Talking Stick Resort recently concluded its Getaway Classic Series on April 15 as 254 players entered the $200 event and 30 places were paid. The final 17 chopped the prize pool as five players took home $1,908, 11 players received $2,208 and chipleader Maher Achour cashed for $3,708.
April 16 saw 285 players compete in a $300 event to generate $75,525 prize pool. Patrick Colceri, Lorenzo Azzi, Michael Walker and Patricia Lirot chopped for $10,394 each. The final event (April 17) was another $300 tourney with $100 bounties. There were 209 players with 20 spots taking home money. The top four agreed on a chop in which Steven Walker, Jeffrey McFarlane and Robert Walp each made $3,500 and Thomas Duncan pocketed $7,627. A reminder for all of the players inside and outside the state of Arizona: The 12th annual Arizona State Poker Championship runs Aug. 12-16.
HON-DAH: Congratulations to the latest Tournament of Champions winner Stan Malaney.
VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: A high-hand promotion runs daily from 4 a.m.-9 a.m. with the highest hand each hour receiving $100. Royal flushes are progressive as hold’em players using both hole cards to make a royal will win between $200 and $3K. Quads and straight flushes are progressive, too. Bad-beat jackpots are always in play and players that get their aces cracked have a chance to spin a wheel to win $300. With plenty of tournaments and sports splash pots, there’s always something happening in the Play Poker room at VQ.
WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: Four tables are splashed with $50 for every run in televised Diamondbacks games. Rolling Cash Fever drawings happen every odd numbered hour throughout the week and often reach $2K.
If you happen to make a royal using both hole cards, you’ll win $100 and your table will be splashed $100. There’s a full slate of tournaments each week with a $5K freeroll every two weeks for the players that qualify by playing at least 20 hours of live poker. There are still Aces Cracked, daily high hands and bad-beat jackpots.
HARD ROCK CASINO: The RunGoodGear.com Series ran May 3-7 but tournament results weren’t available at press. This 14-table room features $2-$5 and $5-$10 PLO, $10-$20 Omaha, $2-$5 NLHE and $6-$12 with a kill Omaha/8. Commonly found are $1-$2 PLO and $1-$2 and $2-$5 NLHE, plus look for $50 splash pots each hour from 2-7 p.m. for Tuesday night $4-$8 limit or bigger games.
CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: This 30-table room sports bad-beat jackpots for hold’em and Omaha. Daily tournament chip bonuses for pre-tournament cash players, early bird specials (first 20 players buy in for $80 and get a $20 bonus), high limit ($2-$5 players who play three hours receive $99 once per day) and hot-seat drawings. In April, Kim Dao collected $286,402 for winning the $1,620 Poker Night in America main event. She overcame a field of more than 1K runners. On the horizon, the World Poker Tour makes a stop here July 14-Aug. 1.
INDIGO SKY CASINO: Closed Mondays, this room continues to offer a range of weekly tournaments, including $35 crazy pineapple on Sundays and others include bounty and seniors. Max buy-in is $65 for the Saturday bounty.
BLACK HAWK: The poker rooms have been busy. The Ameristar Casino has blown the socks off players with three newpromotions, including a free buffet for 50 tier point earned Monday-Thursday until June 30. There are restrictions so be sure to call for details.
Also, a $25K descending bad beat runs Monday-Thursday with the starting qualifier being aces full of kings, descending every day until hit.
James Garritanois the new poker room manager at Golden Gates, where the progressive quads bad-beat jackpot was at $29K at press time and high hands get paid $50 hourly.
CRIPPLE CREEK: The poker community was saddened when Randy “Rambo” Lanosga died from cancer. There was a well-attended memorial. Also, Wildwood dealer Jim “JW” Hutchins died of a heart attack.
In happier Wildwood news, Katherine “Kat” Allen was named poker room manager. She launched her tenure with a bang, too, offering a $10K main-event satellite extravaganza. Wildwood will cover $500 in hotel and airfare in addition to a $10K seat to a certain Las Vegas tourney. Qualifiers for $140 run through July 2. Call the room for details. The winners of these qualifiers play against each other in the Flight Tournaments onJuly 3. Those winners will be headed to Vegas with their $10K buy-in.
• Larry Hill, CEO of Triple Crown Casinos, said, “The Midnight Rose Poker Room continues to enjoy our total commitment and support.” The Rose recently held its second Colorado State Poker Championship and the main event trophy and $4,999 were taken north on I-25 by Golden Gates dealer Byran Wienhoff.
Tournament series leaderboard showed Bob Kidd of Pubelo, Colo., and Phil Esler of Erie, Colo., a dealer at Golden Gates, at the top. Look for a full recap in a future issue. Clyde J. Duet,Louisiana state champion, coach and author, was in the house and performed handily (seven final tables out of 12 entries) and amused the room with his homespun Cajun humor.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: This 13-table room, in the hands of poker room manager Brian Grote and tournament director Brian Vickers, is often packed with a waiting list for $2-$4 limit and $1-$3 NLHE. It also has a steady stream of players in $4-$8 Omaha/8. Pot-limit Omaha stakes up to $5-$5 and $20-$40 limit hold’em also can be found. A new initiative is to offer $3-$6 hold’em. The Hollywood Poker Open promotion wrapped up at the end of May so expect new promotions soon.
HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGoodGear.Com Series that ran April 29-30 (results not available at press time) was the first outside event hosted by this 11-table room.
In the two years Chris Luhning as been poker room manager here, there has been a real push to listen to and take care of players and it clearly shows. Besides being able to host an outside tournament series, he also has restructured the $240 World Series of Poker main-event qualifier to be a real players’ tournament. With 30-minute levels, 10K stacks, 25-50 Level 1 blinds and antes kicking in at Level 7, this qualifier puts runners to the test to earn the seat. Only one seat is given away per qualifier with the rest of the prize pool distributed to the players, another new feature. The last two qualifiers will run June 4 and 18.
A regular promotion the room runs is a quarterly $10K freeroll. The top 25 tournament players and cash players with more than 150 hours played qualify. The top 10 percent are paid, the same payout structure as its daily tournaments. Players earn 75 cents per hour comps and 17 tier credits per hour played.
AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: The room hosted a Heartland Poker Tour stop in April and Kansas City’s Ryan Gregor walked away with the win and $111,696 after 13 hours and 284 hands of final-table play.
Attorney Jason Darland was the final competitor standing in the way of the eventual champ. Darland got the last of his chips in the middle with Q-9 against Gregor’s A-6. An ace on the turn sealed Darland’s fate and the Overland Park man was sent home with $70,709 for second place.
The main event saw 342 entrants, creating a prize pool of $485,640. Greg “Fossilman” Raymer and Craig “The Legend” Casino were among the notables to cash in the tournament but fall short of the final table.
Bill Canedy took over as poker room manager in 2015 and he continues a tradition of running a good room in a great upstairs location with 15 tables. From $2-$4 to $3-$6 with a kill limit to $5-$10 Omaha/8 with a kill to $5-$5 PLO and $1-$2 to $5-$5 NLHE, this room offers good variety. Comps are $1 per hour.
A terrific promotion is for four hours of play get a $15 food voucher. Use it with the room’s tableside service. The room takes great pride in returning jackpot money to players and offers a variety of bad-beat options, including double and triple payouts if the prize pool grows beyond specified levels. A handy reference card is available in the room that breaks it all down.
PRAIRIE BAND CASINO: The poker room has been closed for remodeling, but expect to see it reopen in a different location in late summer to early fall.
KICKAPOO LUCKY EAGLE CASINO: The Sunday Showdown is $120 ($10 add-on) and the Super Tuesday event has a $35 buy-in (rebuys allowed the first hour). Tableside massage is offered Fridays 4 p.m.-2 a.m. and Saturdays 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
BUFFALO THUNDER: Special live games in June include $20-$40 hold’em on Wednesday mornings, $1-$2 PLO half-and-half Wednesday afternoons, Thursday $4-$8 Omaha, Friday $1-$2 PLO/8 and $3-$6 Omaha on Saturday afternoons.
June 18 is the Coyote 102.5 bounty tournament, which sports $102 bounties on Erica Viking and the Hoff, as well as four other players. The buy-in is $102, of course. Then, there’s the $30 Father’s Day tournament June 19 with unlimited $20 rebuys in the first hour and a $25 add-on. The $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is June 25.
Also, the poker room is gearing up for another $10K guarantee deepstack July 16 for $225 and no rebuys. The past four of these events sold out with more than 70 players in each.
Weekly tournaments include Sunday ($30, unlimited $20 rebuys first hour and a $25 add-on); Monday ($30 with one rebuy), Tuesday ($40 with one rebuy), Wednesday ($50 with one re-buy); Thursday Omaha/8 ($30, unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour and a $25 add-on), Friday and Saturday ($75 and no rebuys). Just a reminder, players earn bonus chips for live play before the start of tournaments.
INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: By the time this issue arrives in poker rooms, the final stretch of the four-month Road to the Main Event will have been completed, with more than 100 players vying for a payoff. April’s event brought an El Paso player $13,500 first-place winnings.
Look for May championship results in our next issue. Also planned for June is the return of the popular Test Your Might tournament. Call for details.
ISLETA RESORT AND CASINO: The tournament calendar is crammed as buy-ins start at $15 and include bounty, crazy pineapple, Omaha, tag team, MegaMarathon, ladies only, beginners and deepstack tournaments.
The room hosts some of the hottest cash games of Omaha/8 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and hold’em. Some weekly highlights include Deuces Never Loses with a gift giveaway on Mondays; $10 free with $50 buy-in on Tuesdays, splash pots $50 per hour, per table on Thursdays and Monday-Wednesday night crazy pineapple $2-$6 spread.
SANTA ANA STAR: Pam Kern was named director of table games. Beginning at 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, is the $2-$6 hold’em game.
On Sundays, it’s Omaha/8, which starts at 9 a.m. Quads of the day are determined for daily reward and pots are splashed $50 on Sundays and $25 every half-hour on weekdays.
Meet Megan Roe
Megan Roe, for the past six years, has had the unique title of coaching partner in the poker room at Ameristar Black Hawk in Colorado. She’s responsible for the auditions and training of the dealers, handles rules changes, house policy and interfaces with gaming over bad beats and various rules changes.
She’s a team member for dealer reviews along with surveillance and teaches gaming and house rules to new employees. Roe arrived in Colorado from Michigan via Boston and landed on Sept. 10, 2001, the day before 9/11. She started in valet parking at the Lodge then moved across the street to Ameristar as a slot attendant for 1.5 years, slot supervisor for 2.5 years and then dealer and floor for poker for 11 years.
She plays poker, but never thought she’d like it until she tried it. Her biggest accomplishment was the journey from novice to winning player. Her favorite hand is pocket fours. Why? It was her first quads. She has not yet played nor dealt in the WSOP, but maybe someday. Roe also has dealt nine large bad beats.
Much of her free time is spent with her pets; two dogs (Zena and Batman), B.J. the cat and Darryl and Cham von D, who are sugar gliders. Now that’s quite a menagerie.
— Dick Stein