The Crown Royal Poker Room at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino hosts the Delaware Poker Championship on Labor Day weekend and it has been designated an Ante Up Set Sail Series. The DPC runs Sept. 3-7, consisting of five events with buy-ins ranging from $35 to the $560 main event that features a $100K guarantee.
At the first break of each of the five tournaments, an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Nov. 7 sailing out of Tampa, Fla., will be raffled off as all players in the tournament or a cash game will receive one ticket. The Ante Up Set Sail Series is a designation for tournament series that award a minimum of five Ante Up Poker Cruise packages as prizes.
HARRINGTON RACEWAY: Look for splash pots during NFL games this season. For each quarter of the game, there will be a $100 splash pot added to a random table.
HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: Beginning Aug. 20, the World Series of Poker Circuit will run its 12 ring events with the $1,675 main event on Aug. 28 ($500K guarantee). Event 7 (Aug. 25) is five-card Omaha, known as Big O, recently approved in Maryland. There will be satellite into many of the events throughout the month.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO CHARLES TOWN: On Aug. 29, Hollywood hosts a $560 mega-stack tournament with a $25K guarantee at noon. Players get 30K chips with options to purchase more. Blind levels are 30 and 40 minutes.
Also, ask about the West Virginia poker room’s Fish and Chips Boat Giveaway, which begins Aug. 23 and culminates in a drawing after the tournament on Aug. 30.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO PERRYVILLE: Daily tournaments have expanded in the Maryland room. There are at least two dailies during the week and three on Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesdays in August, random seats will receive $50 each hour. On Tuesdays, $25 splash pots are every half-hour.
From Aug. 1-Sept. 27, earn points by placing in daily tournaments to be eligible for the Chesapeake Overlook, a $5K player-appreciation tournament Sept. 30. The players with the top 70 points will be eligible.
MARYLAND LIVE: The PPC Atlantic Coast Championship runs Aug. 23-30. The eight-day series will guarantee $235K-plus. The series opens with the return of the Sports Junkies PPC Poker Stop on Aug. 23, featuring the popular morning show team from 106.7 FAN in Washington, D.C. The series features a $550 buy-in, $200K guarantee main event (Aug. 26-30).
Players can enter during any of the six Day 1 sessions and will carry their largest stack into Day 2. The fields combine on Aug. 30 at 11:15 a.m. to crown a champion and award the top eight with $5K PPC Aruba World Championship packages.
The promotions continue with $1K high hands every 20 minutes Aug. 10-21 from 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
PARX: On July 7, Big Stax at Parx Casino in Philadelphia introduced another tournament event into its lineup. Though most East Coast regulars were at the World Series of Poker, the Big Stax 200 still compiled an unexpected prize pool of $280K. The new series, introducing its most affordable trophy event buy-in at $200, attracted 1,650 players, which beat the average number of participants for Big Stax 300.
The two-day tournament featured six starting flights and 20K starting stacks with unlimited re-entries. Tyler Beaton won the title and the biggest cash of his career ($53K) as 143 players got paid.
Thai Ha, who has $165K in career earnings, was second ($29K). Ha cashed six Big Stax events before this, including a three-way chop of $159K with Matt Glantz and Mke D’Amico for Big Stax XI 500. Big Stax XII runs until Aug. 17 so call for details.
SUGARHOUSE: The second $100K guarantee Summer Showdown on June 25-29 drew 588 players across six Day 1 flights, meeting the guarantee by the fifth day of the $280 event. Ryan McKnight, a Parx dealer who started the day as chipleader, finished second ($19,963). Matthew “Breatheasy” Diggs, a dealer at Maryland Live, took home the trophy and $35,506 after firing two bullets in the event. The Summer Showdown Encore $100K guarantee will run Aug. 20-24.
BORGATA: The Summer Poker Open ran July 14-31 and featured a $500K guarantee championship for a $2,500 buy-in. Coverage on the tournament will be in the next issue.
WSOP: When the WSOP’s November Nine rejoins for the final table in the fall, it will be after a long period of anticipation stemming from the East Coast region. Joe McKeehen, Josh Beckley, Thomas Cannuli and Patrick Chan come from the same turf, or collectively speaking, Borgata, Parx and Foxwoods. McKeehen, who eliminated Daniel Negreanu in 10th place, is chipleader with 63.1M. Be sure to see our WSOP coverage on Pages 16-20 of our August issue.
TURNING STONE: Poker Night in America’s $250K guarantee main event, which started on Aug. 7 and has a $1,100 buy-in, runs until Aug. 16.
FOXWOODS: Chris Schonbach of Braintree, Mass., won the $400 main event Summer Kickoff, earning $11,831. Peter Halperin was second ($10K), followed by Joseph Heinzmann ($10K).
Edward Sullivan of Duxbury, Mass., pocketed $4,900 for winning the $300 big stack Event 11, followed by Billy Papadopoulos ($4K) and Christopher Jenkins ($3,986).
Event 10 ($300 bounty) went to Rhode Island’s Ken Buchanan ($4K) and Michael Thibeau of Massachusetts won Event 9 ($11,500). Robert D’Agostino of Yonkers was second in Event 9 ($11K).
Meet Frank Foti
Frank Foti has devoted his life to gaming. A native of South Philadelphia, Foti became director of poker at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., this year. While the gig is new, Foti has covered the same ground for decades since his early days in Atlantic City.
How did you get started in gaming? I started in the ’80s. That was a very different time. Back then, there was only Las Vegas and Atlantic City. I was 21 when I started on table games in Atlantic City, which was about a year after it opened. There were a lot of things that drew me in. There were a limited number of people in the business, so, no matter where you worked, there was camaraderie. It was very special, and a very special time. Overall, I’ve been doing this for 36 years. My first stop was the Sands in Atlantic City. It was great. Within a year, I moved up to supervisor. After that, I moved to the Golden Nugget.
What were your first impressions of Turning Stone? The property is beautiful and the casino, including the exterior design, is beautiful. The Oneida Nation heritage is important to the area and the people working here. Coming in, I knew little about the property, but once you get here, you learn a bit about the history and the heritage. It’s very powerful.
What’s the key to making Turning Stone a premier poker destination? I feel it already is one, to be honest. It’s been here a long time. It’s been very successful. We want to provide players with the best poker experience possible. That will make people come here. Since I’ve arrived, we’ve tweaked some things. We’ve added more technology to make it a player-friendly experience. I like to spend a lot of time in the room. I want to know players on a first-name basis. We want to know who our players are. That’s important. I think it’s a necessity in any business. With poker, it’s so much more of a social game. The atmosphere of a poker room is different from the atmosphere of the casino floor. I’m lucky, because the staff I work with is phenomenal. I haven’t gotten one complaint about anyone working here. They care about the room. You want to show that every day. — Dave Lukow