Sandia hosts AUPT main event on Sept. 3



The three-day Labor Day main event of the Four Corners Championship at Sandia Casino will end with a picture of the champion splashed on the cover of Ante Up. The final excitement of the Ante Up Poker Tour in the southwest happens Sept. 3-5, as the prize pool is expected to exceed $100K and the winner will receive a seat in the main event of the 2017 Ante Up World Championship, as well as a wad of cash. Sandia’s 15-table room stays busy every day with a variety of games that include$2-$4 and $4-$8 limit, $1-$2 and $2-$5 NLHE and $4-$8 Omaha/8.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT AND CASINO: Poker room manager Larry Mundy was extremely happy with his tournament.

“Our $10K guaranteed $225 buy-in deepstack in Julywas a huge success,” he said. “With 77 entries and total prize pool of $15,400, the top winner took home a payout of $4,928.”

More highly anticipated tournaments begin Sept. 5 with the Labor Day $30 buy-in with unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour and one $25 add-on. On Sept. 17, there’s the 107.5 ($107 buy-in) Outlaw Country bounty tournament with $107 bounties on Kidd Corona and five others. The $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack is Sept. 24.

Weekly tournaments include Sunday ($30, unlimited $20 rebuys first hour and one $25 add-on); Monday ($30, one rebuy); Tuesday ($40, one rebuy); Wednesday ($50, one rebuy); Thursday (Omaha/8, $30, unlimited $20 rebuys for the first hour and one $25 add-on); Friday and Saturday ($75).

There are some fine cash games running in September, too. Wednesday morning features $20-$40 hold’em, Wednesday afternoon is $1-$2 PLO half-and-half; Thursday afternoon is $4-$8 Omaha; Friday afternoon is $1-$2 PLO/8, andSaturday afternoon features $3-$6 Omaha.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS CASINO AND RESORT: The sixth annual Championship Poker semifinals and finals will be Sept. 24-25. Satellite winners duke it out Sept. 22-23 in a super qualifier. The prize pool will be $100K and first place will be $30K and a gold bracelet.

Check out the Friday morning $100 Food & Fun on Fifth Street tournament, where all players are treated to burgers and hot dogs so there’s no interruption for lunch. Friday evening is the $120 One-Twenty Tournament, along with Losers Lounge on Saturday morning for a second chance to win with no additional buy-in. Remember, the last Friday of each month is an Omaha/8 event instead of NLHE.

ISLETA CASINO: Affordable tourneys are featured here with buy-ins starting at $15. Hot September games include Tuesday and Thursday Omaha/8, NLHE and limit available 24 hours daily.

SANTA ANA STAR CASINO: There’s one busy table in the pit area with $2-$6 hold’em daily at 1 p.m., including $25 splash pots every hour on the half hour, as well as four quads-of-the-day promos that are progressives and only eligible to be hit in the hold’em game. Friday and Sunday mornings are devoted to Omaha, with $50 splash pots every hour on the half hour.”


This is the hottest time of the year in Arizona, outside and in the poker room. Here is a look at some of the great things coming up this month and beyond.

CASINO DEL SOL RESORT: WPT DeepStacks brings its series to town Sept. 16-25. Guests can pre-qualify for Event 1 and the $1,100 main event, which has a $150K guarantee and runs Sept. 23-25. Two main-event seats will be awarded every Thursday in the 7 p.m. $5K guarantee event. Four seats will be awarded every Sunday at 11 a.m. to the $270 Event 1 that has a $30K guarantee.

HARRAH’S AK-CHIN RESORT: The property has changed its weekly tournament schedule. Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. is a $40 half hold’em-half Omaha tourney; Wednesday at 7:30 is a $40 crazy pineapple bounty event; Saturday at 12:30 p.m. features a $500 guarantee for $50 and Sunday at 12:30 is a $25 event.

As for promotions, the room has morning high hands the first three hours, $50 per hour with the best hand possibly earning a $75 bonus. There’s also the Diamondbacks Splash Pots ($50 in every inning the D’backs score and $100 if they win) and Splash Pot Bonanza ($25-$40 splash pots every half-hour).Other promotions include $50 royals and steel wheels, Aces Cracked ($100, midnight to noon; $50, noon to midnight) and Quad Floppers, which pays a progressive pot for flopping four of a kind with a pocket pair.

TALKING STICK RESORT: The 11th annual Arizona State Ladies Poker Championship runs Sept. 17-18. Buy-in is $300 for 12K chips and a $20 staff appreciation for 5K more.Both days start at 10 a.m. After this event, the Arena Fall Classic will be Oct. 14-16. Play all three days and stay at the resort for free (based on availability).Also, look for results in a future issue from the ASPC, which hadn’t concluded at press time.

Football promos started Aug. 18 and run Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Black tickets will be worth $300 for exact score and $150 for reverse scores.Any time a player a gets paid on their black ticket, their table gets a $100 splash pot. Mad money Monday will be Sept. 19, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 (noon-midnight). The high hand will receive$250 every 15 minutes for hold’em and $150 every hour for Omaha.

VEE QUIVA HOTEL & CASINO: College and pro football games will mean splashed pots most Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Check with the poker room for the schedule.

WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL & CASINO: Like its sister property at Vee Quiva, the poker room will splash pots during pro and college football games. Call the poker room for the schedule. Also, Aces Cracked continues on Sundays at 10 a.m. and Friday at 6 p.m., except during splash-pot promotions.


BLACK HAWK: This summer has been the busiest for Ameristar. The primary bad beat (quads) was at $350K at press time with two resets also at $350K each. There are three mini-descending bad beats left at $25K each. The past two descending $25K bad-beat qualifiers have gotten to kings full of nines before being hit. The $500 every-other-hour high hands are coming back once the primary bad beat is hit. … At Golden Gates, the top 15 finishers in the Heartland Poker Tour were all from Colorado. Thomas Fuller, a former poker pro turned teacher, added $116,242 to his career earnings by winning the HPT’s $1,100 main event. After a long heads-up fight, Terry Harper finished second ($71,055). Dave Hampel took third ($47,100). The HPT will return to Golden Gates for another series this month with a $1,650 main event.

CRIPPLE CREEK: The Midnight Rose has something to offer every weekend, either a major tournament or a promotion. The well-attended $100 Meganormous tournament with 40K stacks is on Fridays at 4 p.m. The new $110 Flopzilla tournament will be the second and fourth Sundays at 2 p.m. with 30K stacks. The mini-bad-beat jackpot’s run-off is the first weekend of the month, when qualifications are met, and starts ataces full of nines, decreasing one notch per hour. Ultimate High Hand is the third weekend with awards and times varying throughout the three days.… The Wildwood poker room closed in August.


The World Poker Tour’s return to Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., concluded Aug. 2 as part of the casino’s Festival of Poker Series. The $3,700 event had a $3M guarantee and drew more than 1K entries. James Mackay captured the crown, earning $681,758 for the win and a $15K seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions.

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: The River Series wraps up Sept. 6. Its $2,500 multiday main event begins Sept. 2 and guarantees $1M for first and $2.5M overall. Day 1 will have 40-minute blind levels, progressing to 60 minutes for Day 2. Players start with 25K chips with 10 percent of the field advancing. Players can play multiple days or re-enter the same day if space allows.

KANSAS STAR CASINO: The eight-table room is midway into its new quarterly promotion that will lead qualifiers competing in a Tournament of Champions $10K freeroll. Players earn points for tournament entries and for their finish. The top 40 July-September point-earners qualify to play Oct. 15. Labor Day the room will host a $350 buy-in, $15K guarantee as $50 satellites run Saturdays leading up to the event.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: The 13-table room continues to run a variety of promotions including $100 high hands, $200 early bird high hands and a $15K monthly freeroll. First place is guaranteed $5K and a minimum of 10 places will be paid. To qualify for the freeroll, players need to put in 50 hours of play in qualifying hold’em cash games or place in the top 10 in the monthly tournament leaderboard. Cash players can earn 1.5 hours for each hour played 2 a.m.-10 a.m. each day.

AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: The property remodeled this 13-table poker room into an enclosed room with a dedicated cage. You can find several games featured here, including $5-$5 pot-limit Omaha; $5-$5 NLHE; $5-$10 Omaha/8 with a kill and $4-$8 O/8 with a half-kill. Promotions include daily Aces Cracked, a $10K freeroll and a unique progressive bad-beat jackpot that offers payouts. Qualification into the freeroll is for August and September play. Players qualify through live play and points.

HARD ROCK CASINO: This 14-table room is featuring different games several evenings of the week. Expect to find $6-$12 Omaha/8; $5-$5 PLO; $2-$5 NLHE; $10-$20 Big O and a $10-$20 mix of Omaha/8-stud/8-Big O/8 and 2-7 Triple Draw. New to its weekly tournament schedule is a Sunday-Friday daily 10 a.m. $35 no-juice tournament.

DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The room has tournaments every day except Mondays and Thursdays. There’s also a Sunday
$45 crazy-pineapple tourney with an optional $20 add-on. Most tournaments, if players register at least 30 minutes ahead, offer a 1K-chip bonus.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The series runs Sept. 13-18. Hotel rooms are available for a 25 percent discount using code RGPTKC. The series opens with a $10K guarantee ($100 turbo shootout, 120-player cap). Also on the calendar is a two-day $180 two-flight $20K guarantee and the multi-day, three-flight $675 event with a $100K guarantee main event. There will be $160 satellites with guaranteed seats into the main event. The PPC series runs Sept. 28-Oct. 2.

Meet Nathan Yanchunis

The new poker room manager at the Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colo., is known as “Cage” to his friends.

With a two-week major series nearly every other month and three daily tournaments, Yanchunis finds it hard to catch a breath.He has more than 20 years in the gaming industry, including dishwasher, valet, brush, poker dealer and floor.

He spent some of that time at the Gilpin Casino, also in Black Hawk, when it still had poker. When asked about playing the game, he said: “I am a lousy player.”

His favorite hand is 3-5 and maybe that explains his quotes. “They never see the wheel coming,” he said.

Playing his guitar takes up most of his free time.

— Dick Stein

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine