The fifth annual Pulse Pounding Tournament, which raises funds for St. Joseph’s Hospital, attracted 56 entries to Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa in Wisconsin. There was a $17,300 prize pool, raising $4,200 for the charity. One of the celebrity bounties, local radio host Panama Jack, bubbled the money in eighth place, though the other players were kind enough to do a $280 save, all of which went to the charity. Among those to cash were Stevan Jaksic (fifth, $1,211), Robin Weideman (fourth, $1,384), Richard Hebert (third, $1,730), Randy Bauer (second, $4,152) and winner Jeff Jelinek ($6,920).
POTAWATOMI BINGO & CASINO: In late September, Bob Rech, director of entertainment, was named casino entertainment executive of the year at the Global Gaming Expo’s third annual Casino Entertainment Awards.
MENOMINEE CASINO RESORT: The poker room closed Oct. 4.
RUNNING ACES HARNESS PARK: Peixin Liu of Blaine, Minn., earned $85,498 for winning the Mid-States Poker Tour in Columbus in September. The event drew 328 players and boasted a $316,660 prize pool. Liu entered the final table with the largest stack of 1.7 million chips as Ben Marsh was second with 958K.
Derek Lesniak entered the final table with the shortest stack (275K), but he doubled-up early and kept chipping up until he reached the final two. The tournament only lasted about another 20 minutes as Liu’s K-Q bested Lesniak’s A-9 to give Liu his second MSTP win. Liu won the MSPT in Canterbury in 2014. Two other past MSPT champs made the final table: Muneer Ahmed won at Meskwaki in 2012 and Marsh won at Treasure Island in 2011.
MESKWAKI CASINO: The Mid-States Poker Tour visits Oct. 31-Nov. 8 with a $300K guarantee, the richest in the state. Players from all over flock to this event, creating a fine tournament and some fantastic cash-game action. This event, as well as all poker at Meskwaki, is open to players 18 years old. For more information visit msptpoker.com.
HORSESHOE CASINO: The Council Bluffs property hosts the iNinja Poker Tour on Nov. 12-15 with a $50K guarantee with a $275 buy-in. There will be three flights and players who survive will return Nov. 15. If you use promo code “ninja” you’ll get 35 percent off your room at HarrahsCouncilBluffs.com.
RIVERSIDE CASINO: The property that’s south of Iowa City will again host the Cold Turkey Showdown on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 27-29). This is a popular event that always draws a good field. Event 1 is spread-limit Omaha/8 with a $125 buy-in on Nov. 27. Event 2 will be a $250 bounty tournament Nov. 28. The $375 main event is Nov. 29. Also, the bad-beat jackpot was nearly $150K at press time.
SOARING EAGLE CASINO & RESORT: The HPT returns to the Mt. Pleasant property Nov. 13, but the $1,650 main event kicks off Nov. 19 with four starting flights Day 1s. Main-event satellites for $190 and $365 are running as early as Nov. 6.
Often as the weather cools in the Western Pennsylvania and Ohio area, poker action picks up significantly. This year is no different as the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh welcomes Poker Night In America for the Pittsburgh Poker Open, which begins Nov. 5. In addition to the 17 days of tournament action, concluding with the $1,100 main event Nov. 20, PNIA will record the main-event final table and the high stakes cash game in the poker room. Phil Hellmuth is scheduled to return to defend his main-event title from last year. Joining Hellmuth will be a host of pros, including Jennifer Tilly, Matt Glantz, Phil Laak, Shaun Deeb, Tom Schneider and Dennis Phillips.
HORSESHOE CLEVELAND: The poker room continues its quarterly freeroll for cash and tournament players. The 25 cash-game players with the most hours logged will receive entry and the top 25 finishers on the quarterly tournament leaderboard will qualify, too. Also, popular deepstack event on the last Sunday of each month will continue. Contact the poker room for details.
HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: The poker room is gearing up for its annual Ohio Poker Championship in December. It will feature eight days of tournament action and, like last year, should draw large fields and offer big prize pools.
HOLLYWOOD CHARLES TOWN: The West Virginia poker room features a fine tournament calendar with daily events ranging from $85-$325. It also offers a monthly $560 megastack, which has become popular.
MAJESTIC STAR: Josefina De Los Santos won the inaugural monthly seniors $4K guarantee, winning $3K as 20 players who entered for $125 event benefited from the missed guarantee.
“This tournament had the biggest overlay that I have played in,” poker pro Andre Pierre said.
Senior tournaments are run on the last Sunday of the month, starting at noon. For more details, call the poker room.
JUMER’S CASINO: When the property reopened in 2008, its poker room became Illinois’ first on land.There are plans for both Iowa casinos across the river to make the move, making all Quad Cities casinos land-based. Jumer’s six-table room offers five hold’em tournaments weekly, allowing players late entry one hour and re-entry up to the first break (two hours). Tournament buy-ins range from $40-$100. For more information, go to the Where to Play section in this issue or call the poker room.
HPO: The Hollywood Poker Open kicks off its fourth season Nov. 12-22 at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Chris Moneymaker will be on hand. The main-event winner is also awarded a seat into the $500K championship at the M Resort in Las Vegas in June.
CHARITY EVENTS: Oswego’s annual Turkey Hold’em Tournament will be Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Briar Hall in Oswego. Buy-in is $50 and cash games will be offered during this event. … Moose charities is hosting its inaugural hold’em tournament Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Paul J. O’Hollaren Center in Mooseheart, Ill. Buy-in is $200. For more info, go to moosecharities.org. S
Meet John Reading
John Reading of Rochester, Minn., caught the poker bug after watching the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour around 2003-04. He cut his teeth on online freerolls until he eventually had two six-figure scores on Full Tilt before Black Friday. Since then, he has transitioned to live poker and had a fantastic run at the 2015 WSOP, earning a bracelet and cashing six times for almost $492K.
Do you prefer cash games or tournaments? I like to play cash and tournaments equally; it just depends on which game has the best value at that given moment.The beauty of a tournament is you could have a big score in one tournament.The thought of having a big score in a cash game is basically unheard for a given session. However, the beauty of a cash game is you can make a consistent hourly rate.In that sense, playing cash can feel like a more secure income. I feel like doing both helps someone avoid becoming burned out on either.
What was it like having such an amazing 2015 WSOP? It’s quite an amazing feeling saying I own a WSOP bracelet now. I was blown away by all the support I received this summer and couldn’t thank everyone enough for all of their encouragement. … However, I have set quite lofty goals for myself and do not feel like this year at the WSOP was a climax to where I eventually want to go.I will hence be trying to improve in every way I can and keep striving for those goals. — John Somsky