There were many regional players who had notable finishes in this year’s World Series of Poker, so let’s get right to it.
Cleveland’s Jeremy Halaska made two deep runs in large-field events (Millionaire Maker and the Little One for One Drop). Greg Kolo, also of Cleveland, took a bracelet in the $1,500 limit hold’em event, besting a field of 557 for $169K. From Columbus, Byron Kaverman had five cashes and $100K-plus, including another deep run in the main event, finishing 123rd (following last year’s 34th-place finish).
And last but not least, Tom Sarra Jr. took 15th in the main event for a whopping $456K. It’s not a bracelet, but I will take the straight-up cash. This was surely a boost to the local poker economy as he shared his winnings with his poker league and the 40 other players.
Now back to business, and for many that means getting back on the grind and finding cool spots to take shots as the year goes along. As the poker year resets after the main event, here is what we are looking at in our region in the next poker season: The Hollywood Poker Open is likely expanding to Toledo and perhaps some other non-Hollywood locations in the region.
The HPO has been growing steadily since its inception and offers players the opportunity to play at the HPO national championship, which this year featured a $1.5 million prize pool in Las Vegas at the M Resort. The WSOP Circuit will have at least three stops in the region. Who knows, perhaps even Cleveland will see a circuit event.
The Rivers Casino is increasing its tournament series to four or five times per year. This series has been showing growth over the past year and is poised to post some larger fields.
Jason Newman in Cincinnati will continue to grow the major tournaments and has provided the region exciting things in the form of small buy-in vs. big prize pool opportunities.
Take some time to do some research on the events coming to your region, the buy-ins and timing.
Decide the ones that are best for your style of play and that have been good for the poker community and then resolve to support them.
— Dan Harkenrider hosts the Division of Poker and Chris Moneymaker radio shows. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DivisionofPoker.