The World Poker Tour returns to the Maryland Live Casino Sept. 22-Oct. 4 with 20 events, including a $2M guarantee main event Sept. 30 for $3,500. There are two starting flights (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, both noon) with a ton of satellites along the way.
Most of the other events have guarantees with $800K-plus spread across 17 events. Some of the ones of note include the $200K guarantee opener (Sept. 22, 11 a.m., $350), HORSE (Sept. 22, 1 p.m., $330), a ladies event (Sept. 23, 1 p.m., $230) and five-card PLO (Sept. 28, 4 p.m., $350, $20K guarantee). There are a bunch of NLHE events, including a handful of $50K guarantees and a $100K guarantee (Sept. 28, $1,100, noon), so see the ad on the facing page for more info.
MGM NATIONAL HARBOR: The poker room is set to hosts its first series, the Potomac Poker Open, Nov. 24-Dec. 4. More details will be reported when they are available.
Did you know there is a poker host for this fine poker room? Call 301-971-5600 to check on games or to get on a list. You can even ask about the safety deposit boxes that are made available to the higher limit players.
DOVER DOWNS HOTEL & CASINO: The $100K guarantee Delaware Poker Championship, in its seventh year, highlights a massive championship weekend Aug. 30-Sept. 4 of eight elite events. The championship tournament is Sept. 1-3 and guaranteed prizes for the weekend will reach at least $160K.
The $550 main event features two opening flights (Flight A, Sept. 1, 10:15 a.m.; Flight B, Sept. 2, 10:15 a.m.) for 30K chips and 30-minute blinds. Players knocked out of the first flight can enter the second flight. Only the larger of the two stacks earned from Flights A and B will move on to the second day of the tournament.
Those who make the cut reconvene Sept. 3 for the final day. There are six $65 satellites with 12-minute levels as one out of 10 participants earn a seat into Flight A. Players who play multiple satellites and win more than one seat may use the second seat for Flight B. Check with the poker room for the satellite schedule.
Six other NLHE events include a $10K-guarantee Black Chip Bounty and one pot-limit Omaha tournament.
In other tourney news, beginning Sept. 9, Dover Downs will offer guarantees every weekend. Saturdays at 11:15 will be a $5K guarantee for $100. Sundays at 11:15 is a $10 tournament with four spots paid guaranteed: Minimum payouts will be $100, $75, $50 and $50, though with bigger fields come bigger payouts.
Also during the week, players who participate in three of the four 11:15 tournaments Monday-Thursday get a free seat into the Friday 11:15 tournament.
After leaving the East Coast for Las Vegas with the sole intention of playing the $10K World Series of Poker Main Event, Scott Blumstein had the best run of his life. Though his tournament resumé totaled $300K-plus in earnings, Blumstein never had cashed in a WSOP event. With the total prize pool at nearly $68M, Blumstein was one of 7,221 players who entered for a chance to win life-changing money.After selling a big chunk of his buy-in at a mark up, Blumstein entered the Rio not knowing he would soon surpass his biggest win of $199,854 from last year.
Blumstein entered the final table as the leader and dominated after crippling the next leader for most of the opponent’s stack. After 13 days of tournament play, Blumstein achieved most players’ dream of winning the WSOP main, doing it at the age of 25 and cashing for a remarkable $8.15M.
“It’s a crazy experience,” Blumstein told Ante Up. “Something I could have never imagined. I’m still trying to soak it all in and enjoy it.”
When Blumstein isn’t chasing live tournaments, he spends most of his time playing online in New Jersey.When asked if he’d continue to play as a poker ambassador, Blumstein said, “I wouldn’t say I’m looking to fill that role specifically, but I love the game of poker and I would obviously love to see it grow.It would be great to be an ambassador for the benefits and good parts of poker, without condoning the bad parts of the game.”
BORGATA: The Summer Poker Open came to a close with Abraham Korotki and 2015 WSOP champ Joe McKeehen heads-up for the Borgata title. The event set a record at 600 entrants for a $1.5M-plus prize pool. After placing second in the $1,090 six-max for $22,252, McKeehen continued his deep run to another runner-up finish for $196,425. Korotki claimed his ninth Borgata trophy, earning $349,329.
PARX: Philadelphia players will have a new poker room to look forward to this fall. The poker room will move from the East building and expand into the main casino. The $50M construction will add 45,000 square feet to the casino along with Lombardi’s Pizza and the Liberty Bell Gastropub, creating 200 jobs.The new 48-table poker room will have 22 TVs and an exclusive three-table VIP high-limit enclave.It’s tentatively scheduled to launch in November.
MOHEGAN SUN POCONO DOWNS: The poker room has announced the Pa Poker Classic, which will run Nov. 26-Dec. 2. The main event is $550 and is Dec. 2. There will be plenty of satellites for the main event, see the ad on the facing page for details.
Peter Raimondi grabbed the $1K high-roller title at Seneca Niagara’s Summer Slam in New York, but not the most money because of a deal at the final table. From Ontario, Raimondi was given the crown in the Summer Slam’s deepstack event at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, earning $11,500, but Andrew Mosey was $12,500 for second, while Guy Klass (third) got $8,676. With 82 entrants, the prize pool was $73,501.
Like Klass, Chris Damick, Raymond Williams, Alex Visbisky and Maurice Sessum each earned $8,676.
Jeffrey Roth edged Blake Napierala (second) and David Battaglia (third) to win Event 2 for $8,992 in a chop. Napierala and Battaglia earned $8,900 apiece. Tadeusz Blaszczak was fourth ($8,400) and Kevin Hetzer was fifth ($5K).
The prize pool for Event 2 was $83,98, which beat the $50K guarantee, as 520 players entered.
Arthur Gates won Event 3 ($150 NLHE) for $4,679 but Battaglia (second) had a better payday, getting $7,294. The prize pool was $43,320, better than four times the guarantee.
RIVERS CASINO & RESORT: The Schenectady property has a high-hand payout six times daily, beginning at 6 a.m.
TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: The Empire State Hold’em Championships were running as Ante Up went to press. In the meantime, there will be high hands during some NFL games and a $50K guarantee Oct. 4-8.
FOXWOODS CASINO: The World Series of Poker Circuit was still running at press time. Looking ahead, the Foxwoods World Poker Finals runs Oct. 1-16.
Meet Andy Santiago
Andy Santiago is a regular at Parx Casino in the Philadelphia area.
Do you consider yourself a cash or tournament player? Definitely a tournament player. I do like cash games and I’ll mix it up a bit, but my passion is with tournaments.The return on investment is just ridiculous on the East Coast and it suits my game more than cash, where I sometimes feel like I’m just chasing money.
You have multiple final-table results despite having a job. Would you say having a job has any disadvantages or limits your volume of play? Not at all, actually. However, my wife, four kids, two dogs take up a lot of my time, which I consider to be an advantage to my life overall. Family means more to me than any tournament. My family, especially my wife, is supportive when I play and I couldn’t have the success without them.
Any sick brags from your poker career? I’ve had the opportunity to play against the best in the world.I got knocked out on Day 4 in the WSOP main this year with Gus Hanson, Scotty Nguyen, WPT champion Mike Linster and multiple bracelet-holders at my table. Along the way, I’ve met some genuinely good people that I’ll have as friends for life like Asher Conniff, Alyson Parker, Don Dombach and All-American Dave Swanson.
— Jo Kim