HORSESHOE HAMMOND: Brian Kleinhenz won the Chicago Poker Classic Main Event at the Horseshoe in Hammond, Ind., after being heads-up with one of Chicagoland’s best players, Eddie Ochana, who won last year. It was the Amherst, Ohio, pro’s first major victory, winning $274K and a $10K World Series of Poker seat. Ochana who has been a familiar face here at final tables, has more than $1.5 million in winnings.
Pro Zal Irani won the CPC opener, one of the Midwest’s biggest tournaments, drawing players from all over the country. He defeated nearly 3K entrants for $100K and a $2K seat. The 42-year-old former certified planner who has emerged as one of Chicagoland’s top players, won the WSOPC main in Southern Indiana in 2013 and made the WSOPC main final table at Hammond in 2012.
Paul Fisher won the $360 mega deepstack turbo, good for a $10K WSOP seat. In January, the 53-year-old from Northbrook won the Ante Up Chicago Charity Championship.
HORSESHOE SOUTHERN INDIANA: Because of the Ohio River flooding that caused the casino to close, the Midwest Regional Championship scheduled for March 14 was canceled.
TROPICANA EVANSVILLE: After a successful inaugural Indiana State Championship in August, the Mid-States Poker Tour increased the guarantee to $250K for Aug. 15-23. Last year’s 225 entrants easily surpassed the $100K guarantee. Also, Poker Night in America is hosting a pro-am May 10-17 as Darvin Moon and Gavin Smith will be playing in the $560 tournament.
MESKWAKI CASINO: The MSPT again stopped in Tama and after three hours of heads-up play, Chad Willett beat Rich Alsup to take home $96,760. The event paid out more than $370K to the field on March 29. The MSPT returns in late July with another $300K guarantee.
RIVERSIDE CASINO: WPT DeepStacks will hold its $100K guarantee main event May 1-3. The buy-in is $1,100. But if cash games are more your style, the bad-beat jackpot has crossed the $100K mark and approached $110K at press time.
PRAIRIE MEADOWS: On May 17, the poker rom hosts a $200 WSOP satellite for $10K main event this summer, plus $2K for expenses. The bad beat was near $100K at press time.
WINNAVEGAS: The casino-resort has revamped its poker room and it’s exciting to see there’s a regular $2-$10 spread-limit stud/8 game running every Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m. If you haven’t been to WinnaVegas, it’s south of Sioux City near Sloan.
HORSESHOE: During Memorial Day (May 25) at 10 a.m., the Council Bluffs property will hold a $150 satellite for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker on June 5-6 or the Monster Stack on June 12-13 in Las Vegas.
FIREKEEPERS CASINO: The Mid-States Poker Tour returns to the Battle Creek property May 9-17 with a $200K guarantee. The $1,100 main event, which runs May 14-17, will have $60 super satellites and $250 qualifiers. Be sure to see the ad on Page 36 for more info. The MSPT in October was a big success, paying out more than $500K.
Firekeepers also has a $240 event on the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 12:15 p.m.
SOARING EAGLE: There is a $175 event on May 30 at 1 p.m. Call the poker room for more details.
GREEKTOWN CASINO: The Detroit poker room has a $110 event with an optional $25 bounty on Thursday nights at 7:30.
CANTERBURY PARK: Rajesh Mehta of Minneapolis won the Minnesota State Championship’s $1,100 main event in Shakopee, Minn., for $46,910 after beating a final table full of all-stars such as Rob Wazwaz, Mike Schneider and Blake Bohn. This is Mehta’s largest cash and comes on the heels of his third-place finish in the Great Minnesota Freeze Out.
The main event drew 186 entries and generated a prize pool of $180,420. For the first time, the series also had a preliminary $500 event. Weston Wells of Bismark, N.D., beat Dan Hendrickson heads-up to win $28,260 as 260 players entered the event for $113,490 prize pool.
RUNNING ACES HARNESS PARK: Clayton Warner, pictured at right, of Saginaw, Minn., won the PPC main event for $21,790 and a $5K package to the PPC Aruba World Championship in November. The $350 event had 335 runners for $100,734 prize pool.
SPRING CLEANING: As the warm weather approaches, look for innovative promotions from many of the region’s talented poker room managers as they vie for your entertainment dollar.
The Pittsburgh Poker Open at the Rivers Casino will be finishing up at press time and this month the Hollywood Poker Open will run at Hollywood Casino Columbus.
These events continue to grow and build momentum. With the World Series of Poker Circuit gone from Ohio and no other properties close, the HPO and PPO series are going to continue to grow and please players with great structures, reasonable rake and nice prize pools.
We’re starting to see outstanding numbers up top on $350-$500 events at these venues that offer players a great opportunity to break out and make a run.
KUETHER ON TOP: Thanks to a ninth-place finish for $25,145 in the World Poker Tour’s Rolling Thunder, Joe Kuether notched his 105th career cash to put him atop Wisconsin’s all-time cash list. Kuether also sits atop Wisconsin’s all-time money list with $3,882,240 in winnings, well ahead of second-place Amit Makhija ($2.57 million).
HO-CHUNK GAMING WISCONSIN DELLS: As of press time, the bad-beat jackpot was just shy of $150K. The jackpot, which requires aces full of 10s beaten by quads or better, hasn’t been hit since Sept. 30, 2014.
MENOMINEE TRIBE: After Gov. Scott Walker denied the tribe’s proposal to build a casino in Kenosha, the tribe is considering several options, including building a casino in nearby Illinois.
“We do not have the luxury of turning down any potential revenue sources, so we have to do our due diligence and that is one of the options that we will review,” Menominee chairman Gary Besaw said.
Meet Andrew Brock
Andrew Brock is the poker room manager at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
How did you get your start in poker? I started playing in high school. … After high school, I joined the Navy and played some good games on the ship. … I played a lot in the cardrooms in Southern California while I was stationed in San Diego. … After the Navy, I moved to Vegas to attend UNLV and get my degree in casino gaming management. In my first semester, I started working at Imperial Palace as a bellman and valet runner. I attended its in-house dealing school and started in the poker room when Wynn opened in April 2005. After graduating in 2008, I’ve been lucky to work in table games, slots and poker at a few properties in operations and analyst positions.
What do you do that inspires your supervisors and dealers and makes your team so strong? I feel you need to enjoy your job and the service you give others. We’re in the service and entertainment business so let’s make sure the guests have a good time. Playing cards is so much fun, but a dealer with a bad attitude can just kill a game. — Ken Warren