Alex Flores wins Ante Up Poker Tour at Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino

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What an Arizona debut for the Ante Up Poker Tour and Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino! The Laveen property saw 348 hopefuls show up March 22-24 for the inaugural Ante Up Spring Poker Classic, competing for the winner’s share of the $50K guaranteed prize pool. And that winner was Alex Flores, who won $12K, a custom AUPT champion’s jacket, a sweet trophy and a seat at the upcoming main event of the Ante Up World Championship at Thunder Valley Resort Casino in California.

After it was over, Flores was nearly poetic with his feelings.

“This was amazing,” the Phoenix resident said. “I feel like I finally made a mark in the poker world. I stand by the motto that if you don’t fight for what you want, don’t cry for what you lost.”

Ante Up Arizona Ambassador Chris Cronin, who was runner-up in the event and pocketed $10K, said Flores earned this title.

“Alex was definitely the most aggressive player at the final table and a very deserving champion,” Cronin said.

Four Day 1 flights produced 123 players for the final day and halfway through the third level that number was trimmed to 60. One hand of note: On the money bubble, Cronin called an all-in with pocket sixes and faced K-K. The flop brought sets for both players and the case six landed on the river to put the remaining 40 players in the money.

Once the final table was seven-handed, the players chopped as James Pausch, Dustin Panoff, Matthew Seitz, Lance Foster and Jose Gonzales-Remigio each pocketed $8K for third-seventh. Kevin Nguyen was eighth ($2,610), Theodore Benner was ninth ($1,523) and Kevin Bobzien was 10th ($1,088).

Poker room manager John “Zach” Lansing was ecstatic with the AUPT event.

“I wanted to do something big here at Vee Quiva, and partnering with Ante Up was the perfect fit,” he said. “I feel it was a super successful event. We set out to have the largest tournament payout that Gila River has ever had, and we accomplished that goal. This tournament will continue to grow and offer even more to our players as we move forward. I would like to thank everyone from our dealers, floor staff, marketing department and players that came from out of town as well as our faithful regulars.”

Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino is one of three casinos in the Gila River Hotels & Casinos enterprises, owned and operated by the Gila River Indian Community. Its casino features a 14-table poker room, 36 table games, more than 900 slot machines and a 550-seat bingo hall. The resort offers 90 luxurious hotel rooms, outdoor pool with poolside suites, event center, four bars and lounges and six restaurants, including a Ditka’s Restaurant from the legendary Bears coach.

ANTE UP SPRING POKER CLASSIC
Ante Up Poker Tour – Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino
Buy-in:
$300
Entries: 348
Prize pool: $87,000
1. Alex Flores $12,081
2. Chris Cronin $10,258
3. Dustin Panoff $9,258
4. James Pausch $9,258
5. Mathew Seitz $9,258
6. Lance Foster $8,258
7. Jose Gonzales-Remigio $8,258
8. Kevin Nguyen $2,610
9. Theodore Benner $1,523
10. Kevin Bobzien $1,088
11. Craig Summers $827
12. Elijah Ruffin $827
12. Matthew Swenton $827
14. Kevin Johns $827
15. Moussa Haddad $827
16. Micheal Gambony $653
17. Gilbert Smith $653
18. Larry Dees $653
19. Rodney Anderson $653
20. Chris Gonzales $653
21. Kerry Kinslow $435
22. Micheal Brutus $435
23. Bert Beavers $435
24. David McCorkle $435
25. Stephen HIlligas $435
26. Anthony Guzak $435
27. Lam Loung $435
28. Richard Boyd $435
29. William King $435
30. Charles Robinson $435
31. James Gibides $348
32. Nicholas Spanish $348
33. David Domanski $348
34. Thomas Haury $348
35. Orville McCollum $348
36. John Chase $348
37. Gary Wilson $348
38. Jason Cruse $348
39. Jeff Gross $348
40. Patrick Rogers $116
41. Larry Savolt $116
42. Christopher Sova $116