Talking Stick Resort welcomed a record-breaking crowd to the Arena Poker Room on Aug. 15 for its 13th annual Arizona State Poker Championship.
Nearly 1,700 players converged on the property to compete for a share of more than $1.6M, but it was Rellie Sigua who won the coveted title, $265,706 and a $30K watch. Sigua, from Daly City outside of San Francisco, travelled to Scottsdale for the five-day tournament. A pro player for a decade, he joined the championship late in the day as an alternate.
“I’ve been looking for a title, and this is it,” he said. Emotional from the win, he immediately called his wife and his mother, whom he credits for the success. “My mom and wife are my biggest supporters,” he said. “My wife encouraged me to keep going and not to work. She had faith in me which helped me stay optimistic.”
Dylan Hortin was second ($196,156), followed by Aaron Valencia ($139,508), Jeff Fielder ($105,688), Kevin Lott ($97,233), Michael Bosco ($80,323), Zachary McDiarmid ($56,987), Dameion Bryan ($46,503), Scott Gwilliam ($29,593) and Arman Zolnoorian ($21,128).
Other recent results: The $345 Big Stack was Aug. 5. It drew 239 players as 13 players cashed for $4,600 or more, including Kyle Pewsey, Murphy Russo, Thomas Ruwald, Jason Manger, Gordon Woodruff, Jason Fisher, Bob Queen and James Manhennett.
The $240 bounty tournament was Aug. 19 and had 276 players. Ismail Ozaki took top honors for $3,800. The $160 End of the Month event (Aug. 26) attracted 443 players as Siu Wong and Aaron Valencia chopped for $6K each.
Up next is the Fall Classic on Oct. 20-22.
GILA RIVER WILD HORSE PASS: The tournament schedule remains the same this month. The Super Bonus High Hand will be Oct. 7 and 21. Five players receive $100 for the top hands every 30 minutes.
GILA RIVER VEE QUIVA: Football splash pots continue until football season ends.On selected NFL games, three tables will be splashed with $100 on every touchdown.For college games, two tables are splashed. Field goals get one table splashed for $100 and for college it’s a $50 splash.For safeties, two tables get a $100 splash and college is one table. Quads or better, Red or Black Aces Cracked, high hands and Monday Madness promotions continue, too. Gila River will be making a major tournament announcement for Arizona very soon.
HON-DAH CASINO RESORT: The Tournament of Champions winner is Gary McLeod, left, and the reigning annual King is Jock Phillips.
The Heartland Poker Tour returns Oct. 5-16 to Ameristar Casino in Kansas City. Satellites for $75 begin Oct. 4.
The kickoff event is a three-flight, multiday, $350 buy-in, $100K guarantee.
Leading up to the main event, the rest of the schedule consists of $230 bounty, $230 seniors, $230 pot-limit Omaha, $150 NLHE and a $230 six-max.
The last event of the series is a $300 bounty. Nightly $125 tournaments will run, too.
The main event begins Oct. 12 with the final table televised via Twitch.TV/HPTpoker. Call 816-414-7000 with code HPTAKC to get $90 rooms Sunday-Thursday and $159 Friday and Saturday.
CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: The WSOP Circuit makes the first of three scheduled stops in Oklahoma and first of two at Choctaw, Nov. 1-13.
Ring events are primarily $365 events with the exception of the seniors ($250), women’s ($250), a pair of NLHE ($580 and $1,125) and a PLO ($1,125). The main event is $1,675.
Many non-ring events begin Oct. 26 and include other games such as Congress and Big O.
DOWNSTREAM CASINO: The bad-beat jackpot has exceeded $200K. Getting quad fours beat yields more than $80K.
The WPT DeepStacks series ran in the middle of September and results will be reported in a future issue.
The next monthly $5K freeroll is Oct. 7. Players can qualify by playing 40 hours on eligible tables in September.
WINSTAR WORLD CASINO: At press time, the $2M guarantee main event had not completed. Series results will appear in a future issue.
HARD ROCK TULSA: Running through Oct. 8 is the Oklahoma State Championship of Poker. It opened with a $3K guarantee for $100, followed by a two-day, four-flight, $235 Kickoff Classic with a $100K.
Most events in the series sport $85-$100 buy-ins with a $70 event, a couple of $235 buy-ins and the two-day, $1,100 buy-in, $150,000 guarantee main event. Other events on the schedule include seniors, Jack and Jill, bounty and six-max. The lone non-NLHE event is a $100 PLO.
The hometown RunGood Poker Series stops by Nov. 14-19. The series kicks off with its traditional RunGood Pro bounty tournament, where you can win $1K for knocking someone out of the event.
The series features a $25K guarantee deepstack for $180 and the main event will have $100K guarantee.
All preliminary winners will win a cruise package for two to the RunGood Poker Series global championship cruise May 13-20. All main-event final-tablists win a package as well.
KANSAS STAR CASINO: The quarterly $10K guarantee Tournament of Champions is Oct. 14 at 11 a.m., for the top 40 qualifying players. From July through September, players earn base points for playing in tournaments that run four days of the week. Those points are determined by the buy-in and for top 10 finishes. Qualification for January’s freeroll starts Oct. 1.
CHEROKEE CASINO WEST SILOAM SPRINGS: Bryant Libscomb came out on top of a field of 135 to earn $12,500 at August’s Cherokee Summer Pokerfest, which had a $350 buy-in and a $50K guarantee.
Other winners were Daniel Brewer, Matt Ellis and Kent Werly. Daily Quad tournament players continue to have the chance to win a progressive jackpot. Amounts are awarded for quad aces through quad 10s.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: Players on bad-beat jackpot eligible tables an hour before each daily tournament could win one of two hot-seat drawings for an entry into that daily.The entry does not include the dealer add-on. Qualification into the quarterly $35K freeroll ended Sept. 30 as$10K is guaranteed for first place. Players typically qualify through tournament play or cash-game hours.
RIVER SPIRIT CASINO: Oct. 14 is the next monthly $15K freeroll as 40 hours of live play in September qualifies players into it. Oct. 7 will be a day of cash drawings totaling $65K.
On Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 and 6 p.m., respectively, $1-$2 PLO is the featured game. Eight-max $10-$20 Big O with a kill runs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 1.
HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGood Poker Series visits in December, but official dates haven’t been released.
CRIPPLE CREEK: At theMidnight Rose, the Beat the Boss tournament series in the first week of October features eight events, culminating in the Oct. 8 title event, where managers within the casino (one per table) compete with an instant $75 bounty for being felted.
The top 30 players with the most cash-game hours between Sept. 8-Oct. 5 qualify for this freeroll.
The first seven events include a Meganormous (40K chips). There are four qualifiers leading up to the $500 main event, which runs Oct. 7.
Also in October, one of Jeff Peck’s most successful promotions is Throwback Thursdays where stud and stud/8 are spread.
BLACK HAWK: TheGolden Gates’ Colorado Poker Championship saw Thomas Fuller take down the main event for $51K. The $1,100 tourney drew nearly 300 players as Ryan Van Sanford of Colorado Springs was second ($48K), followed by Teresa Hemingway ($37K), Michael Monetti ($20K) and Andrew Griffin ($15K).
The $400 Kickstart tournament saw a large turnout (599 players) to more than double the $100K guarantee. Hemingway, Carlos Patricle and Ryan Remington chopped for $31K each. The series points board saw Hemingway take down first with 300 points, Daniel Nelson was second Patricle was third.
• The Ameristar bad-beat jackpot (quad threes) was $262K at press time.
• At the Isle, the Totally Free room promotion continues. Play six hours to enjoy a free hotel room Sunday-Thursday.
• Around the corner at Lady Luck, a black royal flush is worth $3K.
Alton Shields won the seventh annual $100K Poker Championship on Aug. 6 at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, N.M.
After a three-way chop, he pocketed $9,833 as Mike Read took second and Homero Ramos was third.
If you missed out, don’t worry, you can play in the upcomingDrawing DeadHalloween tournament on Oct. 22 for $230 as big-money tournaments run every quarter.
Also, each Friday is a $120 event at 6 p.m. while every Sunday at 2 p.m. is a $75 event. Earn bonus chips when playing cash games before each tournament.
SANDIA CASINO RESORT: Regular weekly tournaments run, with Sunday hosting a $50 event at noon and a $45 event at 5. Monday brings the Sprint Tournament for $50.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can play a bounty tournament for $75.
The $60 Wacky Wednesdays series features different events from stud, River Down, Big O/8, Ladies Night, Pineapple, HORSE or Omaha/8.
At the time of this writing, players were deep in the battle for theFour Corners Championships so look for results in a future issue.
ISLETA CASINO RESORT: Cruz Baca took the top prize of $9,152 after winning the Summer Poker Classic. Be sure to take your shot for some big money in the Fall Poker Classic, running through Nov. 26. Check with the poker room for complete details. Lots of great new daily tournaments are happening here, too. On Mondays, you can play Crazy Pineapple for $15 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Each Wednesday brings Omaha/8 at 7 p.m. for $25. And the Thursdays Beginners is $15 at 7 p.m.
Each Friday and Saturday, you can play in added-money tournaments for $100 at 7 p.m.
BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The big monthly event continues to be the $150 Last Saturday of the Month tourney, which starts at 1 p.m.
The 6:30 tournament later that evening 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.
ROUTE 66 CASINO: Play in three tournaments every day. Most times are for NLHE, but there’s a pineapple tournament each Wednesday, plus many tournaments include bounties. Join thePlayer of the Year promotion where you can earn big bucks for finishing in the top five for the year.
SANTA ANA CASINO: On a sad note, the poker room has closed.
Meet Jon “JR” Roybal
Jon Roybal has been apoker dealer at the Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino in Cripple Creek, Colo., since March 2006.The 43-year-old dealer started playing Texas Hold’em in 1998 with friends and family.He didn’t step into a casino until a year later after reading Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones and felt comfortable with the concepts.He played the$2-$5spread-limit game that was common at the Midnight Rose from 1999-2007 when the stakes in Colorado were limited to$5-max bets.This fit his style and almost nonexistent bankroll at the time.
Jones’ book taught him the patience and discipline it takes to be a winning player. Later he read Small Stakes Hold’em by Ed Miller, David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth and really started to reap some profits. He still enjoys playing low-limit hold’em, though it seems to be a dying game in Colorado casinos.
Having not read any tournament books, JR will not venture into that venue.His favorite hand is a winning hand he doesn’t have to show.
He’s married the love of his life, Wendy, and they had a daughter, Haley, in 2007. Since then his poker playing priorities have changed from that of a serious hobby to just a hobby. He spends weekends with his daughter climbing, inline skating and traditional archery shooting.
“My biggest priority now is teaching my daughter to be strong, independent, self-sufficient and to think for herself,” he said.
JR strives to be a friendly dealer but firm, fair, professional and consistent. He absolutely knows the name of every player whoever sat at his table. The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to him. He’s affectionately referred to as “Mr. Persnickety.” — Dick Stein