Strelitz dominates L.A. Poker Classic



Daniel Strelitz of Torrance, Calif., took home more than $1M after winning the L.A. Poker Classic. The 27-year-old pro bagged the chip lead at the end of Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5, and though he lost the lead briefly at this World Poker Tour final table, he bounced back heads-up and took down the title. He also gets a seat to this month’s $15K WPT Tournament of Champions.

In our last issue, we highlighted some of the victories from the earlier events. Go to for that report. Here’s a recap of the final events: Event 32 ($1,100), Patrick Chan, Brooklyn, $26,360; Event 33 ($150 NLO/8), Tony Merksick, Council Bluffs, Iowa, $6,215; Event 34 ($350 triple stack), Adam Volen, Fullerton Calif., $32,895; Event 35 ($1,110 2-7 triple draw), Hanh Tran, Austria, $16,400; Event 36 ($570), Cheng Hai, Temple City, Calif., $49,290; Event 37 ($570 dealer’s choice), Craig Chait, Newport Beach, Calif., $9,810; Event 38 ($1,100 NL 2-7 single draw), Chait, $9K; Event 39 ($1,100 HORSE), Isaac Crow, Downey Calif., $23,250.

Susan Genard of Huntington Beach and producer of the No Limit documentary, won Event 41 ($1,100 Omaha/8) for $24,480; Event 42 ($550 partners), Kathy Chang, Valencia, Calif., and Jean Gaspard, Montebello, Calif., $11,140; Event 43 ($1,100 O8-PLO/8), Joshua Tieman, Cherry Hill, N.J., $11,700; Event 44 ($1,100), Jesse Vilchez, Pico Rivera, Calif., $185,010; Event 45 ($150), Harry Arutyunyan, Glendale, Calif., $14,960; Event 46 ($1,650), Ilya Miller, Sherman Oaks, Calif., $33,910; Event 47 ($350 HORSE), Fabian Morales, Santa Maria, Calif., $9,120; Event 48 ($570 seniors), Steven Silverstein, Orange, Calif., $14K; Event 49 ($1,100 O/8-stud 8), Phil Hellmuth, Palo Alto, Calif., $25,200.

Event 50 ($1,100) went to Tim Cramer, Costa Mesa, Calif., $44,960; Event 51 ($1,100 PLO/8), Allan Le, Huntington Beach, Calif., $24,480; Event 52 ($570 Escalator), Kenneth Morrison, Tustin, Calif., $13,650; Event 53 ($5,250), Koray Aldemir, Austria, $124,240; Event 57 ($2,140 six-max), Adam Dunkle, Clovis, Calif., $81,750, and Event 59 ($25K six-max high roller), Dietrich Fast, Germany, $233,860.

HARRAH’S SOCAL: Donnie Goodson took down the inaugural Chip Escal8tor $5K guarantee Feb. 18. There was an eight-way chop for $1,466 each with Jerry Mangum, Sean Reagan Stafford, Melissa Lenora King, Danny Gonzales, Vladimir Medvinsky, Paul Jones and Quincy Le. In addition to the cash, Goodson received a World Series of Poker school package and headphones. There were 146 entries for a $13,600 prize pool.

This was a unique event as the buy-in structure increased the later you entered: Levels 1-2 cost $80 for 8K chips, Levels 3-4 cost $105 for 10,500 chips, etc. This event is every third Saturday of the month with a $1,500 guarantee for first place.

Northern California

Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif., hosts the WPT DeepStacks series April 9-18.

The partnership with the World Poker Tour always draws a crowd at these events because of its value and huge guarantees. There will be 13 events covering numerous buy-ins and game variations.

The series kicks off April 9 with a massive $100K guarantee for $400.

There also will be HORSE (April 11) and variations of Omaha (April 13-14).

Other notable events are a $30K guarantee with a $335 buy-in and $100 bounties on April 13 and a $40K guarantee for $340 on April 14.

The $1,100 main event is April 15 with a $250K guarantee. This will be a four-day event with an undoubtedly huge turnout.

ELK VALLEY CASINO: The Crescent City poker room hosts a $250 World Series of Poker satellite April 7-8.
There will be two flights (April 7, 6 p.m. and April 8, 10 a.m.) with the finals at 4 p.m. on April 8.

The winner gets a $10K seat into the WSOP main event in Las Vegas, plus $2K for expenses. For more details or see the ad on Page 33 or go to

LUCKY CHANCES: In Colma, the Battle of the Bay series runs April 23-May 1. Each of the five NLHE events offers a guarantee for first.

The opening four events are April 23 ($600, $40K for first), April 24 ($350, $20K for first), April 26 ($350, $20K for first) and April 27 ($200 turbo, $10K for first).

The three-day main event runs April 29-May 1 and will have a $1,080 buy-in and guarantees a huge first-place prize of $100K.

JACKSON RANCHERIA: The Jackson poker room is rewarding loyal players by offering a points championship where players earn points in each daily tournament.

For $20, players get 600 points and will receive more points after each cash. The top 36 players for the quarter will be entered into a $4K guarantee with the first event April 23.

Jackson Rancheria also has other great promotions, including a Hot Spot Poker Bad Beat and Aces Cracked. The largest tournament is the second Sunday of the month with a $220 buy-in and a $5K guarantee.

Pacific Northwest

CHINOOK WINDS CASINO: Robert Brewer of Portland won the first event of the PacWest Poker Classic for $18K in Lincoln, Ore. Allen Oh of Portland and Barry Washington of Beaverton, Ore., chopped the fourth event for $5K each. Yacht You from Salem won the seniors event for $5K.

Jacob Dahl of Portland won the Omaha/8 event for $3K; Gail Hand of Seaside, Ore., won the ninth event for $2K; Jeremy Harkin of Vancouver captured the pot-limit Big O title for $3K and Steve Loth of Camas, Wash., won Event 12 for $5K.

Jason Adams of Vancouver won the biggest piece of a 13-way main-event chop for $17K.

Chinook Winds has seven tables and routinely spreads $1-$3 NLHE and features Omaha games on Tuesdays and stud on Fridays. The room is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.

MEDFORD SOCIAL CLUB: The club’s 10-week qualification tournaments for May 14’s World Series of Poker main-event qualifier continue throughout April and the beginning of May.

The $80 weekly qualifiers started March 5 and will continue until May 7. Each of the 10 winners will return May 14 to see who wins the $10K seat and $1,500 for expenses.

And don’t feel too bad for the other nine qualifiers, as they will each get 2 percent of the winner’s cash at the WSOP.

The Medford Social Club is the largest of the Oregon social gaming clubs south of Portland with six tables.

To conform to Oregon regulations, there’s no rake for cash games or house fees on the tournaments and the dealers are paid from tips. There is a daily $10 fee to join the club.

LITTLE CREEK CASINO: Want a crack at the WSOP Millionaire Maker? Head to Shelton, Wash., and play in one of $255 tournaments Tuesday evenings in April.

For each 10 players that play, including re-entries the first three rounds, one player will get a $1,500 entry and $750 in expenses.

Little Creek is a five-table room routinely offering $4-$8 limit and $3-$500 spread-limit.

The casino is 77 miles southwest of Seattle. During the twice-per-year tournament series, the room adds 12 or more tables in a conference room across the hall from the poker room.

WILDHORSE RESORT AND CASINO: April 6-16 is the Spring Round Up series. Buy-ins range from $125-$1,100, including a two-day $550 main-event the second weekend.

There also will be $230 Big O, Omaha/8 and HORSE events, with dozens of cash games springing up as tournament tables break. A total of $40K will be added to the 14 tournaments.

Take extra money if you go; this will be the first year re-entries will be allowed for most of the tournaments.

COYOTE CREEK GOLF CLUB: In Surrey, B.C., the Die Hard Poker Series has 10 tournaments running every two weeks over the long Canadian winter, culminating in a $500 entry tournament April 7. Last year’s tournament had 60 entries and a $29,900 prize pool.

Las Vegas

The $1,600 main event of Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza finished Feb. 24 and saw Terry Fleisher of Las Vegas and Ryan Rogers of Ohio chop for $161K each. Timothy Chang of Las Vegas took third ($90K). The event drew 675 entrants for a $976K prize pool, easily surpassing the $750K guarantee. The latest DSE ends April 16.

The next Weekend Extravaganza runs May 3-7, offering guarantees totaling $235K. The big event is a $340 Double Stack with two starting flights May 5. Players start with a 25K stack and the levels are 40 minutes. The guarantee is $100K.

The DSE III runs May 15-July 23, making it one of the longest tournament series to hit Vegas. There are 110 tournaments. The Venetian guarantees more than $21M in prize money will be awarded.

The series starts May 15 with a $250 buy-in, three-starting flight tournament that has a $125K guarantee.

There’s a $1,100 buy-in two-starting flight tournament that’s part of the Mid-States Poker Tour starting June 5 and offering a $2.5M guarantee.

Two $1,100 SuperStacks (20K chips) are offered. The first one is May 29 and has a $250K guarantee. The second starts July 14 and has a $1.5M guarantee. Levels are 40 minutes. A $1,100 two-day bounty tournament starts July 3 with a $200K guarantee and has $300 bounties.

There’s plenty of action available for those who prefer disciplines other than NLHE. A $400 Omaha/8 event is May 31 with a $20K guarantee. A $600 three-day Omaha/8 tournament starts June 2 and has a $150K guarantee. A two-day, $600 PLO/8 starts June 11 with a $75K guarantee. Big O is June 13-14 with a $600 buy-in and a $75K guarantee.

A $600 PLO bounty event with $200 bounties goes June 15 with a $50K guarantee. A two-day $600 PLO event starts June 19 and offers a $75K guarantee. A one-day $1,100 PLO/8 is June 24 with a $75K guarantee. A $1,100 PLO/8 with two starting flights starts June 30 with a $200K guarantee. A two-day $1,100 PLO-PLO/8-Big O tournament starts July 5 with a $100K guarantee.

A $10K high roller with two starting flights begins June 2. It has a $1M guarantee. A $1,600 event starts the first of its three starting flights on June 19 and features a $2M guarantee. Seniors get their shot June 13 with a $600 event and a $400K guarantee.

June 26 is the first of three starting flights for a $3,500 event with a $3M guarantee. The main event, which has a $5K buy-in and a $2M guarantee, runs the first of its three starting flights July 17.

There are more moderately priced tournaments ($300, $400, $600) throughout the event.

On the cash-game side, the Venetian will run a high-hand promotion April 17-May 11. On Mondays through Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m., the room will be giving away $250 every 20 minutes. The room continues to offer a progressive bad-beat jackpot that resets to $50K when hit.

WYNN: The Signature Weekend runs April 20-23. It’s a $600 tournament with three starting flights and has a $250K guarantee. Players start with 15K chips and play 40-minute levels. Satellites begin April 19.

BELLAGIO: Bellagio Cup XIII runs July 13-18. The five-day, $10,400 buy-in event starts July 14. Satellites begin July 13 and are $1,090 buy-ins. The venerable poker room, host to the biggest cash games in Vegas, has started spreading a $9-$18 limit game that is popular. The buy-in is only $100 (no max) and the blinds are $6 and $9.

RIO: Ryan Jones of North Carolina won the main event of the WSOPC for $269K. Muruz Yohannes of Las Vegas took $166K for second and Jeremy Joseph of New York earned $123K for third. The $1,675 buy-in event had nearly 950 entrants for a $1.417M prize pool.

RED ROCK: Long-time Vegas poker veteran Bobby Griffith is the new poker room manager at the busiest room in the Stations chain. Previously, Griffith ran the Palms poker room and recently has been a shift manager at the Orleans and Red Rock. He replaces Forrest Caldwell, who has taken another position in the Stations organization.

SANTA FE STATION: The room offers a $100 tournament on the last Friday of the month. The starting stack is 12K and the levels are 30 minutes. The tournament starts at 6 p.m. and players who register by 5 get an extra 500 chips. As with all Santa Fe tournaments, there is a bad-beat jackpot. The most recent tournament had 126 players.

CAESARS PALACE: The tournament schedule has been revised. At 10 a.m., the buy-in is $100, the starting stack is 12K and the guarantee is $1,500. At 6 p.m., the buy-in is $125 with a 15K stack and a $2K guarantee. At 2 and 9 p.m., the buy-in is $150, the stack is 15K and the guarantee is $2,500. The levels for all tournaments are 20 minutes.

HARD ROCK: The poker room has closed.

— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at


ELDORADO: The $30 events run daily at 10 a.m. Also, players can use Eldorado comps at Silver Legacy and Circus Circus after the three properties recently came under one ownership.

ATLANTIS: The poker room serves a mini-buffet for its players at 5 p.m. every Monday. The WPT DeepStacks series ran March 16-27 so look for results in a future issue. Also, players earn $4 an hour in comps until June 30.

NUGGET: Players can win $10-$100 on a wheel spin for the Aces Cracked promotion.

GRAND SIERRA: Free $10 slot play goes to players who start any cash game around 12:30 p.m. daily.

PEPPERMILL: Run It Up Reno returns April 3-10. Join host Jason Somerville for tournaments crafted for all players. Players also are welcome to attend seminars and parties hosted by poker pros. Special room rates are available April 2-11. Use offer code RIU0417 when booking on

HARVEYS LAKE TAHOE: Tournaments on Mondays and Wednesdays begin at 6 p.m. The buy-in is $50 for 3K in starting chips. The Tuesday and Thursday events also begin at 6 p.m. but the buy-in is $75 for 3K chips.

Meet Joe Ross

You will not find a more well-mannered and genuine poker dealer in Reno than Joe Ross.

How did you get a job in the poker industry? I started off dealing blackjack, craps and roulette. My favorite games were Pai Gow and Three Card Poker. When it got to the point of dealing $10K per hand in Baccarat, I no longer enjoyed working in the pit. I was able to get a job dealing in the poker room at the Nugget, where I learned about poker and its lifestyle. Shortly after, I was invited by Eldorado’s cardroom manager Margie Heintz to deal in one of her big summer tournaments. I agreed and soon after I was dealing full-time in my favorite poker room.

What do you like most about working at the Eldorado? When you’re in a poker room for many hours during the week, you build a special bond with people that work and play there. These people basically become your friends and family. Our team here is smart and witty and I’m thankful to be a part of that.This is absolutely the type of environment where I forget that I’m technically clocked in at work.What a fun atmosphere.

Any hobbies outside of poker? I love to play hockey, pool, guitar and attend rock concerts. I also want to give a shout out to my favorite poker player, Dan Harrington.
— Philip Chow

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine