The inauguration ceremony on March 23 commemorated SugarHouse Casino’s new poker room, branded as Poker Night in America’s main locale and launched its first Poker Night Classic series.Since opening the 28-table room on
Feb. 25, SugarHouse has held daily high hand promotions and increasing number of games, bringing in big names such as Chris Moneymaker and Brian Hastings.
The PNC series has brought in more tournament players who help fill the event rooms that contain 24 additional tables. The structures for the tournament series have been designed by Matt Glantz, who recently accepted the job as Rush Street’s ambassador for its two Pennsylvania locations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“Once we gather all the data after the final event of the Poker Night Classic, we will be crunching the numbers and looking to optimize all aspects of the series going forward,” Glantz said.“You can be certain that we will always look to improve.” The series had 35 events and satellites.
“The buy-ins, along with everything else we have constructed, are geared toward the recreational player,” Glantz said.“It will be interesting to see what type of crowd we attract.”
The $1,100 main event featured live-stream updates by the PNIA production team and is available on the SugarHouse website. Results will be recapped in the next issue.
After the PNC series, SugarHouse hosted its second PNIA televised high-stakes cash game on April 9-10 with an elite lineup that included WSOP champ Joe McKeehen. Episodes should be available by fall on the CBS Sports Network.
PARX: WPT Deepstacks joined the Big Stax series Feb. 9-March 3. Its schedule featured the biggest series in Parx tournament history, including the $2,500 high roller.The room broke its record for most entrants in a trophy event as 696 players entered the $1,600 main event for a $1,009,680 prize pool, paying $202,944 to the winner.
Brent Roberts took home the trophy after a long line of notable players who cashed, including Jared Jaffe, Kane Kalas and Justin Liberto.Jaffe and Liberto also made the final table of the WSOPC main event at Harrah’s Atlantic City, which you can read about in the next note.
“There was a good mix of pros and non-pros at the table and I came in as a short stack,” said Mike Hollenberg, who came in second for $130,500.“There were a bunch of plays made that I would consider a little unorthodox, therefore, it was definitely fun to play at this final able and be a part of it.”
WPTDS returns to Parx this month (May 2-23).
HARRAH’S ATLANTIC CITY: The World Series of Poker Circuit made its annual stop March 15-26.The $1,675 main event drew 370 entrants, paying $122,098 on top.Player of the Year points-leader Ari Engel placed fourth to clinch the award by 500 points.Robert Kuhn, a 25-year-old pro from Barnesville, Ohio, won the trophy after dominating the final table.Local player Nenad Cvetkovic took home $75,452 for second and Dorian Rios of Venezuela was third ($55K).
Kuhn splits time between Mexico, where he plays online, and Ohio. This was the first six-figure score for Kuhn.
Engel, who won the $580 Event 7 in the series, was playing for the ninth WSOPC ring of his career to tie the all-time record. Kuhn may have started the final table with the chip lead, but Engel was second in chips and had position on Kuhn, sitting on his left.
Engel wasn’t the only tough spot at the final table as WSOP bracelet-winner Jared Jaffee and two-time WSOPC winner Joseph Liberta also were in the mix. But Kuhn was so focused on Engel that he sacrificed sleep to study Engel’s recent victory at the Aussie Millions.
“I watched about four hours of Aussie Millions footage last night. I had a really good grasp on Ari, a really good grasp,” Kuhn said. “I went to bed at 2 a.m. and woke up at 7 a.m. and just studied. I wanted to sleep in, but I just couldn’t.”
FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO: The $800K guaranteed MegaStack Challenge on May 6-16, including the $1,650 main event, which has a $250K guarantee in Mashantucket, Conn.
Event 1, a $600 event, sports a $250K guarantee, too.
Speaking of the Mega series, Richard Alarie, after chopping with Jason Eisele, won $1,675 main event of the February edition of this series, pocketing $72,826. Eisele earned $72,825 and James Campbell, who was third, collected $36,177.
The cash was the first for Alarie since 2012, when he was 26th in Event 13 of the Foxwoods August Mega. Both of his wins have come at Foxwoods.
In March, Eisele was 52nd in the World Series of Poker Circuit main event at the Bicycle Casino in Las Angeles, good for $3,675.
MOHEGAN SUN: The property holds guaranteed tournaments every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Entry costs $120 as each tournament has a $10K guarantee. Players are urged to register early.
Its Monthly Top Player Promotion gives players a chance to qualify for a daily food coupon. Cash players with a minimum of 72 hours played in a month, and tournament players totaling at least 35 tournament points during a month, obtain a $10 food coupon for each day the next month.
SENECA NIAGARA CASINO & HOTEL: The New York property hosts a First of the Month tournament the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. The $160 buy-in gives players 10K chips and anyone reaching the final table of any of the monthly tourneys wins a seat for the championship event on Jan. 15. The prize pool for the championship is expected to be more than $20K.
TURNING STONE: The East Coast Championships runs May 12-22. See the ad in the May issue for details.
MARYLAND LIVE: The Live Spring Poker Showdown runs May 13-22 with the $1,100 main event featuring a $200K guarantee and the Live Legends Celebrity Bounty on May 13-15. Some of the Legends include Ronnie Bardah, Jamie Kerstetter, Melissa Burr and Christian Harder. See the ad in our May issue for the series schedule.
DOVER DOWNS: The Crown Royal Poker Room hosts a Getaway Weekend May 27-29. On May 27, there’s a $225 Black Chip Bounty that guarantee $3K for first. On May 28, there’s a $30K guarantee ($225), followed by a $5K guarantee for $75 on May 29.
There are many cash-game promotions in May, too. After 25 hours of play, you will receive $2 per hour of comp dollars. See the poker room for details.
HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: The World Series of Poker Circuit made its annual stop last month, but wasn’t completed by press time, so be sure to check in next issue to see the results, including who won the $1,675 main event.
Meet Mike Hollenberg
How long have you played tournaments and would you say being a tournament player is your main profession? I’m 24 years old and I’ve played tournaments since I was 21, so three years, and everything I know about the game I learned from my father, David.I would say my main profession since graduating from UConn two years ago is playing tournaments, but my plan right now is to attend law school in the fall of 2017.
What are some of the criteria you look for when chasing tournaments? I look for things like the price points, guarantees, and if there are multiple “good” tournaments within a short time period to keep travel expenses low.
Any plans for the upcoming WSOP? I plan on being in Vegas for the entire WSOP.I would like to play about 20 bracelet events, grind cash harder than I have in the past and have fun and experience some non-poker related things with friends and my girlfriend, Kelsey. — Jo Kim