Bruce Hugan outlasted 345 entries to win the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event in early December at Belterra Casino in Indiana. The attorney from Indianapolis who had only 20 big blinds left at one point, won $75K. Craig Casino and Greg Raymer were in the field that generated a prize pool of $332K.
Michael Gray won the $300 Monster Stack for $10K as 428 players competed for the $109K prize pool. Douglas Holland won the $200 seniors for $5,861 and Leo Whitt won the $150 seniors ($1,007). The HPT returns here March 10-19.
HARRAH’S JOLIET: The bad-beat jackpot had reached a whopping $700K (quad eights) at press time.
HOLLYWOOD AURORA: Ryan Scully came out on top of 65 eligible players to win the Tournament of Champions for $6,716. The real estate developer-investor was last year’s runner-up.
The bad-beat jackpot at press time was $392K (quad fives).
MAJESTIC STAR: The poker room is the first in the Midwest to use PokerAtlas. “Our sole focus at PokerAtlas is to provide poker players with the best information and playing experience, while offering poker rooms innovative and affordable solutions to manage and improve their operations,” PokerAtlas CEO Jon Friedberg said.
Also, the seniors tournament has been switched to the first Sunday of the month, starting Feb. 5 at noon with a 10-player minimum needed and 20 players will make a $5K prize pool.
JACK CASINO CLEVELAND: Pineapple and crazy-pineapple cash games are offered in a $2-$20 spread-limit format. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Good Morning Splash promotion runs every half-hour from 8:30 a.m. to noon ($150 splash to the table with the best five-card hand). Then from 8 p.m. to midnight, the Flush ball promotion awards $150 every hour to the player with the highest flush of each suit. On Wednesdays, the Hump Day High Hand pays $220 every 20 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
RIVERS CASINO PITTSBURGH: In cash games, various high-hand promotions are on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and $200 Hot Seats on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sundays feature Puck Drops every other hour between noon and midnight. Look for more details on the poker room’s website. At press time, the bad-beat jackpot was $196K.
THE MEADOWS: From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month, $300 will be awarded every hour for the high hand of the qualifying period. A total of $4,500 will be awarded. Also, a royal flush wins the progressive jackpot; see the poker room for amount.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO COLUMBUS: Did you know there is a poker room line? Call 614-308-4655 to join a game of to find out about some great promotions for cash games. Details also can be listed on the room’s Facebook page.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO TOLEDO: The room has been paying high hands every 30 minutes on Thursdays (4 p.m.-midnight a.m.), Fridays (4 p.m.- 2 a.m.), Saturdays (noon-2 a.m.) and Sundays (noon-10 p.m.). The minimum qualifying hand is aces full of deuces and both hold cards must play. Other cash-game promotions include Hollywood Awards, where players win by making any of the 29 qualifying hands. Also, there’s a “3 for $30” in which you play three consecutive hours between 3 a.m. and noon to receive $30 in chips added to your stack (qualify twice and receive $60).
CANTERBURY PARK: Jon Kim of St. Louis Park, Minn., earned $107,659 after winning the season-ending Mid-States Poker Tour event in Shakopee. This cash more than doubled Kim’s career earnings and was more than 10 times larger than his second largest cash. He held one of the big stacks for most of the final table and played it aggressively. Kim, Sam Hanson and Jason Bender battled three-handed for about 40 minutes. After Kim took out Bender, Kim held a 10-to-1 lead over Hanson. After just a few hands, Kim, with K-K, got it all-in against Hanson’s A-K and it held to win his first MSPT tournament.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kim, who qualified for the tournament via a $250 satellite. “I’ve been playing the MSPT since the beginning, but this is actually my first MSPT cash. It’s pretty cool.”
The event had a $1,100 buy-in, drew 464 entrants and generated a $448,580 prize pool.
There was a tough fight in the MSPT Player of the Year race. Before the event, Carl Carodenuto of Bloomington, Minn., held the top spot after two first-place finishes this season. Richard Alsup of New Hope, Minn., needed to finish at least 27th to take the lead and he did, finishing 26th to earn Season 7 MSPT POY. Alsup had six cashes, including a second and a fourth, in 2016 to earn him 3,900 points.
RUNNING ACES: Duane Nelson of Ogilvie, Minn., took home $32,835 after winning the Cold Hard Cash event in Columbus. Nelson earned the title by eliminating local tournament powerhouse Rajaee “Robbie” Wazwaz. The $280 tournament drew 113 entries for a $126,290 prize pool.
HARTMANN HONORED: Anthony Hartmann of Shakopee, Minn., was inducted into the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame. He has been part of the Minnesota poker community since the 1980s and has $1M-plus lifetime tournament earnings.
“I’m more about the players than the game. I love the characters,” Hartmann said. “I also love how poker has afforded me the ability to spend more time with my wife and kids.”
“He’s the last of a dying breed,” said Michael Hochman, Canterbury Park’s VP of casino operations. “Here’s a guy who came up from mucking pan in home games, to hustling gin players three times his age, to showing triple-digit tournament success and continued live-poker success, locally and nationally.”
Hartmann joins Meehan, Blake Bohn, Mike Schneider and Lyle Berman as members of the Hall.
HORSESHOE CASINO: A four-way chop ended the Horseshoe Holiday Poker Classic $240 main event in Council Bluffs. Jeffery Fielder, Michael Fick, Raymond Rife and Joshua Meyer shared equally the $43,226 payout. This yearly event drew 426 entrants. The Horseshoe hosts the RunGood Poker Series, which includes several events and main-event satellites, Feb. 21-26. The main event is $555 on Feb. 25.
WINNAVEGAS: The Sloan poker room has free tournaments on Sundays at noon with a $400 guarantee.
PRAIRIE MEADOWS: The poker room in Altoona will have monthly World Series of Poker main-event satellites, including one at noon on Feb. 19. Registration begins at 10 a.m. for the $200 buy-in event that will give you a chance at winning a $10K WSOP seat in Las Vegas this summer as well as $2K for expenses. Check with the poker room for more details.
WSOPC WIN NO. 5: At the end of November, Janesville’s Josh Reichard topped a field of 518 players in the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Event 4 ($365 six-max) to win his fifth career gold ring and $34,188.
POTAWATOMI CASINO: Speaking of the WSOPC, it visits here Feb. 2-13. The $1,675 main event has two starting flights (Feb. 10-11 at 11 a.m.) and sports a $750K guarantee. The $365 opener has four starting flights between Feb. 2-3 and has a $100K guarantee. Go to wsop.com for the schedule.
HO-CHUNK WISCONSIN DELLS: The annual $300 Holiday Knockout tournament drew 56 entrants plus local radio celebrity Johnny Danger, who had a $400 bounty on his head. Peter Ruskiewicz collected that bounty, while Todd Adler and Dave Grandin chopped the event heads-up for $4,035 each. The tournament raised $670 for the local fire department.
OBIT: James W. “Big Daddy” Kroon, age 78, died Dec. 29. The father of pro Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon, the elder Kroon was a beloved member of the Madison Poker Community and a familiar face at the famed Players Sports Bar.
LAWSUIT: Wisconsin’s Joan Sandoval is one of several players who sued the Players Poker Championship Poker Tour, an organization facing allegations of racketeering and operating a Ponzi scheme. Sandoval, who finished sixth in the 2016 PPC Aruba World Championship for $21,390, is seeking $11,390 of unpaid prize money.
Meet Andy Faber
Andy Faber, a married father of four, spent six years working as a poker dealer at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells before being promoted to a floor, a position he’s held for four years. The Central Michigan University Sociology-Criminology graduate took some time to answer a few questions.
How did you come to work in poker? I started in the casino as a security officer and enjoyed watching the table games.Poker especially interested me.I began watching it on TV a lot and probably spent more time “securing the poker room” than I should have. When the opportunity came to transfer in as a poker dealer, I jumped on it.
What do you like most about working in poker? I enjoy the people in poker more than anything else.Whether the players, the dealers, the visitors for our larger tournaments or anyone else, I enjoy interacting with poker people.Sure, there are a few bad apples, but it seems most are logical, thoughtful people, some who are very passionate about their poker life. I very much enjoy being a part of that community.
— Chad Holloway