Shariati is Mega champ at the Bike in Los Angeles

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Mike Shariati took down the Bicycle Casino’s Mega Millions Main Event for $275K in Los Angeles on April 9. Going into the final nine, Shariati was chipleader and eventually eliminated Ming Li in second place ($163,020).

Others who made the final table were Karlo Gharabegian (third, $90K), Chris DeMaci (fourth, $60,570), Joseph Lerman (fifth, $51K) Roger Nehme (sixth, $44,350), the Bike’s World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event champ Gevork Kasabyan (seventh, $37,225), William Vito Sturiano (eighth, $30,140) and Jason Les (ninth, $23,100).

The event drew 5,412 players over the various days and buy-in levels, including 80 players who paid the Day 2 $5,300 buy-in. The prize pool was nearly $1.8 million.

The Bike also is hosting a WSOP 30 Seats Guarantee tournament series June 5-17 with four ways to enter. From June 5-15, there will be daily tournaments with am $85 buy-in for 5K chips and one optional add-on of $60 for 8K more chips at noon and 5 p.m. The top 10 percent from each session will be in the money and the top 7 percent will advance to Day 2 on June 16.

June 5-7 and June 12-14, there will be a $250 tournament at 2:30 p.m. where players get 25K chips with no add-on. Top 10 percent advance to Day 2.

On June 15, there will be two mega satellites. The first will be at 2:30 with a $250 buy-in (25K chips). The second is at 8:30 ($470, 10K chips). Both events have 10 seats guaranteed to Day 2. On June 16, there will be a mega-satellite turbo at 10:30 a.m. ($470, 8K chips, 15-minute levels).

Day 2 is the main event ($2,200) on June 16 at 4 p.m. Players who register on Day 2 will receive 250K chips. More details are at thebike.com.

PALA CASINO: Vinnie Engen of Murrieta, Calif., took home $3,500 and the trophy in the River Card Quest for the Cup tournament April 18, after a five-way chop. A total of 118 players vied for the $18,790 prize pool and 15 cashed. Following Engen were Heath Klock of San Diego ($3K), Ken Money of San Diego ($2,500), Rob Cook of Oceanside ($2,243) and Joe Araya of Escondido ($2K).

Pacific Northwest

The $40K-added Spring Round Up at Wildhorse Resort in Pendleton, Ore., completed April 19 with one player winning the first three events. Here are the winners: Angela Jordison of Terrebonne, Ore., (Event 1, $10K, Event 2, $18K, Event 3, $9K), Orlando Gallegos of Yakima, Wash., (Event 4, Omaha/8, $9K), Greg Wilson of Plains, Mont., (Event 5, HORSE, $7K), Adam Sotelo of Bakersfield, Calif., (Event 6, $4K), Sid Thorpe of Spokane, Wash., (Event 7, seniors, $11K), Bruce Peterson of Kimberly, Idaho, (Event 8, High Roller, $14K), Kerry Moynahan of Dallas, Ore. (Event 9, $14K), Kevin Richardson of Lynwood, Wash., (Event 10, $23K) and Azariah Wojteczko of Bend, Ore. (Event 11,r $34K).

Jordison won the overall championship, of course.

Meanwhile, a little further north, Hard Rock Casino in Vancouver had a sellout series of four tournaments ending April 26, with Chi Chan taking Event 1 for $26K, Neil Madu winning the seniors event for $8K, Degeana Amarae taking Event 3 for $6K and Jeffrey Wilson capturing the main event for $57K.

Northern California

BAY 101: This month, the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose hosts its annual Summer Madness Series, which includes five no-limit hold’em events. There will be three $350 one-day tournaments June 9-11. The event on June 10 will be a turbo. On June 12, the price stays the same but the event will be a shootout. The final event will be June 13 and will carry a $560 buy-in. All tourneys begin at 9:30 a.m. The Summer Madness Series has a great structure and is a favorite among players in the Bay Area.

THUNDER VALLEY CASINO RESORT: The Western Senior Poker Series runs June 7 at 2 p.m. This $250 event is for players 50 and older. They start with 12K units and levels will be 20 minutes, increasing to 30 minutes at Level 7. The WSPS will hold this same event here Aug. 9, Oct. 4 and Dec. 6.

THE 101 CASINO: The Petaluma poker room offers a variety of jackpots, including a Super Bad Beat Jackpot with the qualifier being quads, a Mini Bad Beat Jackpot (aces full) and an Omaha bad beat (quads). The 101 also has free breakfast daily for players seated at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 (limit) and 10 (no-limit).

GRATON CASINO: There’s an early bird special weekdays 8-10 a.m. The first 20 cash-game players receive $100 for an $80 buy-in. The Rohnert Park poker room also has a progressive bad-beat jackpot with a player table share. This 20-table room is a newer addition to the Bay Area and being less than an hour from San Francisco it gets a lot of business.

CLUB ONE CASINO: In Fresno, there’s a Royal Flush Progressive Jackpot running for hold’em games. All four suits are represented with $100 added to each suit every day until it hits. This promotion is available to all hold’em limits. Club One also features a Monster Jackpot with a $20K payout where quads must be beaten to qualify with both hole cards playing.

LUCKY CHANCES: The Colma poker room has an updated weekly tournament schedule featuring some great events. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday will have a $120 buy-in while Tuesday will be a $200 event. The largest event of the week will be on Sundays ($250). All tournaments begin at 9:30 a.m. and offer re-entry.

Thunder Valley hosts the WSPS this month, but don’t forget the AUPT is there in August.

Las Vegas

ARIA: The Aria Classic runs May 31-July 6. The highlight is the return of the popular WPT 500 sponsored by partypoker. The schedule is slightly unusual, with the Day 1s spread out over the course of the tournament.

The first three Day 1s are on May 31, June 1 and June 2. The next three run June 6, 7 and 8. The last four are July 2, 3, 4 and 5. The final Day 1 is a turbo that starts at 8 a.m., leading directly into Day 2 starting at 2 p.m. on July 5, with the final table the next day. The buy-in is $565. The top 12 percent on each day will be in the money and the top 5 percent from each day be awarded $800 that day and advance to Day 2. The tournament has a $2 million guarantee.
The rest of the schedule features $235 NLHE tournaments at 1 p.m. and $150 NLHE tournaments at 7 p.m. The only non-hold’em events are a $450 2-7 triple-draw event June 14 and a $235 PLO tournament on June 23. The Seniors Poker Tour, a two-day event, begins June 17 and a $125 ladies survivor tournament is June 28.

BINION’S: The ninth annual Binion’s Poker Classic runs May 23-July 4. Every event has a guarantee. Most events have buy-ins of $160 or $220 and offer $10K guarantees. In addition to hold’em, there’s plenty of Omaha/8, PLO, PLO/8 and HORSE. Most of the daily events start at 2. The $1K main event is June 18 and has a $50K guarantee.
Two World Series qualifiers (June 25, July 2) offer players a chance to win entry into the WSOP main event for $550.

The $400 Masters Series event runs three days starting June 20. This event is open to all players 45 years and older.

HOLLYWOOD POKER OPEN: The M Resort will host its third annual Hollywood Poker Open on June 25-28. Chris Moneymaker returns as the event’s ambassador. The three-day, $2,500 championship event begins June 26 and has a $500K guarantee. There’s a $555 seniors event June 27.

GOLDEN NUGGET: Arshavir Doulatyan won the Golden Saturday event on April 4 ($5,847). Paul Radfor, Ted Mamola, Sandra Steffen and Ryan Leadem each won $5843. It drew 492 players.

Andy Rich is the new poker room manager at the downtown property. Rich had managed several poker rooms for Caesars Entertainment, including Flamingo, Harrah’s Rio and Caesars Palace. He also has been director of poker for the WSOP.

VENETIAN: Calvin Anderson won the Deep Stack Extravaganza on April 11 ($111,549), followed by Benjamin Yu ($73,190) and Ramesh Puradchithasan ($53,089). The prize pool of $515,424 came from 354 entrants.

Overall, DSE II saw an increase of 37 percent in players over the same event in 2014 and saw almost 10K players. The room gave away $43K for missed guarantees, which was more than made up for by the big increase in attendance.

PLANET HOLLYWOOD: David Higgins ($24,500) defeated James Johnson ($15,138) in the Phamous Poker Weekend main event, which had a $100K prize pool and drew 166 entrants on April12.

WYNN: Clayton Nicholas ($15,677) took first over Christopher Keller ($14,439) in the recent $100K Spring Weekend Guarantee, which attracted 307 players.

CAESARS PALACE: The room is flourishing with the Omnia Nightclub open. The club took over the original poker room’s location and creates a tremendous amount of foot traffic passing by the room on the nights it’s open, bringing more inexperienced players to the room. Though the room doesn’t take a jackpot drop, it’s offering cash-game players a tournament voucher for getting quads or better. The voucher is good for free entry into the room’s 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. tournament, a $125 value. Alternatively, the voucher can be used for entry into the $150 9 p.m. tournament by paying the $25 difference.

SANTA FE STATION: The friendly locals joint in North Las Vegas has 14 tables and offers two $45 tournaments twice a day, at noon and 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). The tournament has a progressive bad-beat jackpot.
The most popular cash games offered are $2-$4 limit hold’em ($20 minimum buy-in), $3-$6 limit ($30 min), $1-$2 NLHE ($100-$500 buy-in) and $3-$6 Omaha/8 ($30 min).

Promotions include progressive Aces Cracked on Monday through Thursday 7 a.m.-3 p.m., starting at $50. There’s also a progressive quads bonus 24/7, which pays double from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Omaha game has a bad-beat jackpot and the hold’em games are part of the Station’s chain-wide jumbo bad-beat jackpot. There are cash drawings every Wednesday at 6 p.m.; players earn tickets for every hour of live play in the week prior. A total of $3,500 is given away, the top prize is $1,100 and unclaimed prizes rollover to the next week.

STRATOSPHERE: The 12-table room at the north end of the Strip has been running a “Stratstack” tournament one Saturday a month at noon. The starting stack is 20K and the buy-in is $110. The levels are 30 minutes.

The room has a daily 7 p.m. tournament with buy-ins of $100 (Monday), $70 (Wednesday) and $50 the rest of the week. Monday has a $50 bounty, Wednesday has a $20 bounty and the other days have no bounties. The main cash games are $2-$4 limit ($20 min) and $1-$2 NLHE ($50-$300). There are high-hand bonuses and a bad-beat jackpot.
— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.

Reno

ATLANTIS: The room is offering the biggest bad beat in Reno ($10K) and has added a mini bad beat for $1K. To qualify for the mini, aces full needs to beat by quads or better.

GRAND SIERRA: There’s a daily $25 rebuy tournament. Also, in the live games, high-hand bonuses range from $20-$599. Tuesday-Thursday pays $100 for its Aces Cracked promotion.

ELDORADO: If you’re an early bird tournament player, you’ll like the $30 morning tournament at 10. In live games, look for a high-hand bonus of $50 every two hours as well as a $2K bad-beat jackpot.

PEPPERMILL: You’ll find a $5K bad-beat jackpot among other things when you visit this room, including a $100 high-hand bonus every four hours. For daily tournaments, money is added often (sometimes $400) in cash or satellite seats.

Meet Selena Kui

Selena Kui is a tournament floorperson at the Bicycle Casino. She began working at the Bike in September 2008 but began her career at the Commerce as a dealer in 1990 where she “had the pleasure of witnessing some of the poker legends at play: Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington, Walter “Puggy” Pearson to name a few.”

Why do you love poker? I love the fact that I get to interact with all social economic groups. Where else can the average person sit at a table with the rich and famous?

Cash games or tournaments, and why? Tournaments. You can actually see the making of a legend during tournaments. You see a player taking baby steps. First, they start making final tables at some of our smaller tournaments. Later, that player will make it to that final table of our main event and then you see them on the big screen.

What are your hobbies other than poker? I have been an avid runner since high school. I also love to read. In the past few years, I have discovered that I enjoy cycling as well. — Kittie Aleman