Arizona’s Talking Stick joins online game

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Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort have harnessed the excitement and fun of casino games into an online experience by recently launching TalkingStickCasino.com, a website where visitors can play an array of slot games and online table games to win additional online credits and opportunities for prizes.

Adults 21 and older can register for free and automatically receive 1,000 credits of play daily.

Players have the opportunity to accumulate points and win prizes that can be redeemed at all locally owned Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Enterprises. All participants must be of legal age based on the laws of their state.

CLIFF CASTLE: The property awarded $9,600 in funding to three Verde Valley area non-profit organizations. Yavapai Food Council, Verde Valley Humane Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters were each chosen to receive a $3,200 donation.

“Cliff Castle Casino Hotel takes pride in giving back to the community.” GM Mary Ketterling said. “We believe in supporting non-profit organizations across northern Arizona that are making an impact on the quality of life in our area. These organizations represent this ideal.”

Oklahoma

Titled as the Kansas Poker Championship, the Cards for the Cure charity tournament in Wichita was one of three tournaments benefitting the Kansas office of the Susan B. Komen Foundation. There was a six-table limit $500 High Roller and a ladies-only event.

The championship event drew more than 550 entries with a $100 suggested buy-in. An additional $100 contributed yielded a seat at one of the few feature tables with a dealer. All other tables were self-dealt tables. Jay Dill captured the $10K first-place prize. He also knocked out Ante Up Oklahoma-Kansas Ambassador Robert Kelly in 58th place.

Kansas

7 CLANS PARADISE: Several years ago, this casino had a nice five-table room. In the past couple of years, it has worked to re-establish its poker presence in north central Kansas by offering two nine-handed tables in its table-games pit. Table games manager Adam Behel said the tables open early evening Wednesdays through Saturdays and run until the tables break. Though there aren’t promotions, that means there isn’t a jackpot drop. Rake is 10 percent to $4 as $1-$3 no-limit hold’em is the primary game with a $300 max buy-in.

Colorado

MIDNIGHT ROSE CASINO: Jeff Peck runs this Cripple Creek poker room, which has eight tables and is known for spreading $2-$100, $2-$6 and $2-$10 spread-limit hold’em and $4-8 Omaha/8 on Saturdays. Bad beat is queens full of aces.

Texas

KICKAPOO: On Mondays and Wednesdays, any straight flush during a cash game wins a $250 bonus. Also, the poker room now offers tableside massage, which can make those tense live games and tournaments less stressful.

Tournaments

Duncan Classic: More than $11K was raised for local youth baseball at the fourth annual Duncan’s Celebrity Classic on Jan. 10 in Tucson, Ariz. The tournament drew 133 people who paid $200 for a chance to win a piece of a sizable prize pool, while also getting a chance to battle for pots against various local and national celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment.

The event raised $11,690 for the Tucson Youth Baseball Association, an outfit that puts on clinics and provides coaching for children in Southern Arizona. Founded by former University of Arizona and major-leaguer Shelley Duncan, the tournament was part of a weekend worth of activities that included a golf tournament and a free skills clinic that several hundred Tucson-area baseball players attended.

“It’s for kids’ baseball. That’s always a great cause,” poker director Rick Chaurette said.

Each entry contributed $50 to TYBA, while all $20 add-ons and chip-ups went to the nonprofit. After house fees, a $15,960 prize pool was left for the field to fight over, and ultimately the final 10 players chopped to each take home just shy of $1,600.

BUCKY’S CASINO: Qualifier shootouts for Ante Up Poker Cruise packages will be 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. for only $60 on March 1, 8, 15 and 22. The top three from all qualifiers play in the finals at 4 p.m. First place wins airfare, hotel, transportation and a five-night cruise, which departs from Tampa, Fla., with stops in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico (Nov. 7-12).

HON-DAH: The poker room’s new Tournament of Champions winner is Rich Leenerts.

Oklahoma

CHOCTAW: Jose Montes of the Bronx, N.Y., captured the main event title of the World Series of Poker Circuit and $352K on Jan. 19. He beat Ben Keeline ($218K) of Illinois for the title. Dallas’ Doug Fusella was third ($160K). For more results, go to WSOP.com.

CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: The Ozark Poker Championship returns March 6-15.

INDIGO SKY CASINO: The Heartland Poker Tour concludes on March 9. If you still need a hotel room, call (888) 992-SKY1 and use promo code HPT15 for $89 room rates.

New Mexico

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: The $60K Road to the Main Event that began in February continues. At press time, 160 seats still were available for March.

BUFFALO THUNDER: The $10K guarantee deepstack is March 7 at 1 p.m. The $225 buy-in gets you 15K chips and 20-minute levels (30 minutes with two tables left). Bounty tournaments run March 4 and 18 at 8:30 p.m. ($100 entry, 8K chips, $10 bounties).

Also, look for the $100 Omaha/8 event March 15 at 2 p.m. with $100 added per table. The $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is March 28 (15K chips, 20-minute levels).

SANDIA RESORT AND CASINO: Bounties highlight the March schedule, especially on Thursday nights when a $65 buy-in sports $20 bounties. Sunday’s $45 buy-in and Tuesday’s $55 buy-in come with unlimited rebuys for the first hour.

Meet Richard Reeves

Reeves is an energetic 32-year-old husband and father, ex-poker dealer/bartender who admits he might be wound a little tight, but who obviously knows the secret to patience when he needs it most.

First experience playing poker? Eighth-grade golf bus trips. He couldn’t wait for his 21st birthday to play in casinos without a fake ID to help him get his first taste of cash poker.
Favorite poker room? Inn of the Mountain Gods, mostly because he knows everyone there, the atmosphere is relaxed and it feels like home.

Claim to fame: He recently knocked Phil Hellmuth out of a Las Vegas tournament, in which he ended up not cashing, possibly because he was in shock when he realized what he had done. He has played in the Heartland Poker Tour and even the WSOP, but his biggest wins have come from cash games, such as an $11K win at the Bellagio. His best online win was $3K on Full Tilt and his best online year was 2003 when he banked $10K. Mostly, he plays, and wins, a lot of live tournaments at the Inn and in Vegas.

Path to here? For 4.5 years, Reeves dealt poker at the Inn, but quit the poker room to become a bartender for financial and poker freedom, and it has worked out well for him and his family. With his job plus his poker playing, he finds he’s able to attack more and bigger buy-in tournaments and grind more, bigger cash games. He’s a firm believer in goal-setting and the more you play, the more you win. — Mary Bradley