Talking Stick Resort wrapped up its Winter Point Challenge on April 2 as 163 players vied for the $40K prize pool. The tournament ended with a 22-way chop.The top three players, Frank Linden, Joe Hiudt and Thomas Schulteis, each received $2K and 19 others received $1,488.
The Summer Point Challenge began March 26 and runs through July 15.Players receive a point for each final table.You only have to earn two points to qualify for the $40K tournament July 23. Also, the top 15 players in each category share in another $40K before the tournament.See the poker room for full details.
The Big Stack tourney saw 185 players compete April 1.Michael Bennett finished at the top and earned $9,824. Marlou Heiland, David Kaminsky, Mark Ginn, Darrell Mead, Cedric Kolstad, Scott Cunningham, Juan Sosa, Kautik Surwade and Adam Taskinsoy each received $4,115.
BUCKY’S CASINO: The poker room hosted qualifiers throughout April for its Northern Arizona Texas Hold’Em Championship, with the finals held April 30. It wasn’t completed by press time so look for a recap in our June issue.
HARRAH’S AK-CHIN: There are World Series of Poker satellites here three nights a week. Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. will be for a $1K Omaha/8 seat. This $80 satellite gets you 7K chips; an optional $10 dealer add-on gets you 3K more. Wednesdays at 7:30 are for $1K NLHE seats. This also is an $80 buy-in for 7K chips and the optional $10 dealer add-on for 3K more.
Sundays at 5:30 are for $1,500 NLHE seats. These satellites have a $110 buy-in for 7K chips and the $10 dealer add-on for 3K more. On May 20, there will be a $10K main-event satellite with a $350 buy-in for 15K chips. Preliminary rounds are at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., with the finale at 7:30 p.m.
HON-DAH RESORT CASINO: Bill Moffat won the poker room’s latest Tournament of Champions event.
ROUTE 66 CASINO: There’s a pineapple tournament each Wednesday, plus many tournaments include bounties. Join the Player of the Year promotion where you can earn big bucks for finishing in the top five for the year. Call for details.
ISLETA CASINO RESORT: On Mondays, you can play crazy pineapple for $15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 at 7 p.m. for $25. And new is the Thursdays Beginners NLHE, again only $15 at 7 p.m. Each Friday and Saturday, you can play in added-money event for $100 at 7 p.m.
SANTA ANA CASINO: Every day at noon you can find a solid $2-$6 limit game in the table-games area. Limit may be a lost art these days, but there’s still plenty of money to win if you can make the adjustments.
SANDIA CASINO RESORT: Sunday has two events here, $50 at noon and $45 at 5 p.m. Monday brings the Sprint Tournament for $50. At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can play a bounty event for $75. The $60 Wacky Wednesdays series features a different game each week, including stud, big O/8, ladies night, pineapple, HORSE and Omaha/8.
INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS: Each Friday is a $120 event at 6 p.m. and every Sunday at 2 p.m. there’s a $75 tourney. Plus, you can earn bonus chips when playing cash games before each tournament. See the Inn’s website for details.
BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The $150 Last Saturday of the Month tournament starts at 1 p.m. The 6:30 p.m. tournament is a great consolation if you missed out earlier and, because of the large numbers, there are plenty of cash games in hold’em and Omaha.
Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colo., saw its latest Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event draw 472 entries. After three starting flights and a long Day 2, it was 61-year-old Fred Garcia of Durango, Colo., who emerged captured $109,881 for first.
“I’ve been waiting to make a final table, that was my goal, and things just worked out,” he said after the win. He then showed his card protector, which was a picture of him and his late fiancée. “My girl had passed away in July so she’s been with me all tournament.”
Keith Block of New York took second for $66,387 andJoey Michaelof Texas got $43,266 for third.LocalSammy Aweidaof Broomfield, Colo., was fourth for $29,989 andBaskaiyel Baker,another Colorado resident from Lafayette, won $22,892 for fifth.They were followed by Griff Malatinoof Florida ($17,627),Fernando Galvan of Denver ($14,651),Larry Davidson of Washington ($12,133), Erasmus Morfeof Highlands Ranch, Colo., ($10,256) and Michael Campbellof South Dakota ($7,783).
Among those to fall before the money were Corey Zedo, who had won the MSPT $360 regional event the weekend before, one-time chipleader Jim Morrison, who lasted all of two levels on Day 2, and World Series of Poker bracelet-winner Ben Keeline.
• Over at the Ameristar, David Clark has been named poker room manager. The main bad-beat jackpot (quads) was at $250K and quads beaten is still the qualification.Whenthose quads are finally beaten, an hourly $200 high hand will run 24-7.
• The Isle of Capri’s bad-beat was at $30K at press time. You can also win $100 for getting your aces cracked Sunday through Thursday.
CRIPPLE CREEK: At Midnight Rose, the primary bad-beat jackpot was at $33K. On Thursdays, only a high hand every
30 minutes wins you a collectable Silver Eagle.
HARD ROCK CASINO: Will Berry of Norman, Okla., captured the $1,675 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event in March. He earned $180,086 and his first gold ring. Other winners were Jerry Rushing, Will Joyner, Joshua Evans, William Brock, Matthew Lansdon, Michael Klatt, Kevin Rund, Salvadore Dicarlo, Mike Cordell, Christopher Staats and Michael Hahn.
DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The signature Four States Championship will run May 11-13 and May 18-21. Featuring $77,500 in guarantees, the main event sports a $340 buy-in. Other tournaments offer buy-ins of $75-$230, including NLHE and six-max. Use promo code 4ST17 to get 20 percent off standard hotel room rates.
KANSAS STAR CASINO: Qualification for the quarterly $10K freeroll (July 8) runs through June 30. Traditionally, a special tournament is offered during Memorial Day weekend, but since information wasn’t available at press time, check with the room as the date gets closer.
CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: Daniel Brewer of Bella Vista, Ark., took down the second annual Spring Deepstack event for $4,574. Next up for this eight-table room is the Cherokee Poker Classic, which runs May 12-21.
The all-NLHE series starts with a three-flight, $150 buy-in, $20K guarantee, re-entry event. It will be followed by a $155 buy-in rebuy and a $75 re-entry ($1K added).
It concludes with the three-flight, $50K guarantee main event for $350.
WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: This 24-7 46-table room routinely offers $1-$2, $1-$3, $2-$5 and $5-$10 NLHE as well as $4-$8 limit and $1-$2 and $2-$5-$10 pot-limit Omaha and PLO/8.
An Aces Cracked promotion runs Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight. NLHE tournaments are offered through the week with $65-$230 buy-ins.
RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: Among the promotions offered is a Beat the Clock High Hand promo that runs Sunday-Wednesday. You can win $200 if your hand holds for two hours. Six payouts maximum can be paid each day.
CHOCTAW CASINO: Poker Night in America returned to the Durant, Okla., property April 6-24. Results will be reported in the next issue.
A number of promotions are offered during the week, including $99 Aces Cracked Sunday-Thursday 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. There’s also a $5K Omaha bad-beat jackpot (quad 10s).
HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Tableside food began in March. The room’s next monthly $15K freeroll for qualified players is May 13. The top 10 places are paid with first place earning $5K.
Check the poker calendar online to see what tournaments and high-hand promotions are being offered.
AMERISTAR KANSAS CITY: This 13-table room has a new tournament. A $120 survivor began running April 10. It will run Mondays at 7 p.m.
Ten percent of the field wins $1K with the remaining prize money going to the bubble. The $100 high-hand promotion continues daily 2-6 p.m. and 8-midnight. The minimum qualifier is aces full of deuces.
HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGoodGear.com Spring Brawl wasn’t over at press time so results will be in the next issue. World Series of Poker qualifiers began running in late April.
The remaining dates are May 20, June 3 and July 17. The $320 qualifiers start at 10 a.m.
The daily tournament schedule offers a variety of tournaments with buy-ins $30-$120.
The last Saturday of the month is a $250 Mega Bounty. Call for details. The room’s early bird promotion continues.
Players receive 1K bonus chips if they register for a tournament more than an hour before the event starts, exclusive of the last Saturday of the month’s Mega Bounty.
Meet “The” Ron Walker
Many of the high-limit players at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., requested Ante Up write this profile.
Ron Walker and his wife of 35 years moved to the Phoenix area from Vancouver in 1999. Over the past decade, he has become a regular at Talking Stick and the $20-$40 games have seen more action as a result.
Walker’s business is Classic Sports and Trucks, where he recently had about 35 vehicles valued at $2M-plus in total. He stacks up exotic autos like he stacks his chips. His favorite games are Omaha/8 and stud/8, but his biggest wins have come from hold’em. He has won $10K-plus in on day at $40-$80 and $20-$40 limit, while his biggest Omaha/8 win is a mere 15 racks.
“I’m an action player,” he said. “Everyone loves the fact that I will win or lose $5K at any time. Even Las Vegas players have heard how lucky I am. Players at Bellagio ask visiting Phoenix players if they know me. I’m not afraid to gamble, plus I’m sociable with all of the players. … some I love; some I don’t.”
He’s definitely not afraid to gamble. — Chris Cronin