Raymond Purdy edged Joseph Cappello to win the $1,200 championship of Winter Freeze at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., for $58,883. Cappello earned $50,447 for second.
Matthew Ahmed (third) received $27,384, while Joel Frank (fourth) pocketed $21,759, John Caputo (fifth) took away $15,986 and John Shin (sixth) earned $13,026.
There were 280 entrants for a prize pool of $296,044.
Pierre Saba opened the Winter Freeze with a victory in the $500 tourney for $48,967. Andrew Dubuque got $30,952 for second, followed by Christopher Paolino ($21,476) and Mark Epstein ($16,045).
With 592 entries, the prize pool for the event was $252,666.
The $400 Omaha/8 event went to Orazio Bueti, who banked $5,145 in a chop after beating nearly 80 players. Paul Zarcone (second) earned $5,145, followed by Jonathan Maclellan ($2,623) and Hal Rotholz ($2,018).
The Winter Freeze closed with a $300 event, which Quintin Tyson captured after a six-way chop paying each player $4,250. The event drew 165 players for a $41,613 prize pool.
In other tourney news, Jeff Mack won the opening $300 Big Stack in the Presidents Day Holiday Special Series for $9,608. There was a five-way chop in the $250 turbo, paying $4,635 each as David Casey took the top spot. The $400 main event went to Brad Noonan for $23K as 304 players entered for the $101,923 prize pool. He was followed by Don Farnen ($14,270) and Chris Smith ($9,427).
MOHEGAN SUN: Until April 30, the top 150 players with the most tournament points will be invited to the $10K guarantee Best of the Best tournament. Players will earn points by playing in any daily tournaments. Rules and more info can be found at mohegansun.com.
TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO: The Spring Fling, which sports a $50K guarantee, runs April 14-22 in Verona, N.Y. Room rates are $85 Sunday-Thursday and $125 Friday and Saturday for poker players. Call the poker room for details on how to qualify for this rate.
But before that, April 1 is Fun Day at the poker room where only one hole card will be required to make the high hand, which pays $250 noon-8 p.m. Qualification begins at 11.
SENECA NIAGARA: While the winner of the $300 Winter Western New York Poker Challenge was unknown, Canada’s Ben Underwood earned $22,536 for second and Alex Visbisky won $14,770 for third. Rochester’s Cassandra Johnson was fourth ($10,311).
The next one runs April 6-16; call for details.
DEL LAGO RESORT & CASINO: The new poker room is hosting tournaments, having success with its $80 Sunday Big Stack. The Feb. 25 event had nearly 80 players. Call the room for details.
The annual NEPA Poker Open at Mohegan Sun Pocono runs April 8-14. The series has 11 events, including a $550 main event April 14. The events range from $100 to $550 with satellites scheduled for as little as $18. Games include NLHE, deepstacks, bounty and pot-limit Omaha.
Mohegan Sun Pocono is in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on 400 acres owned by the Mohegan Tribe. Find more info on the tournament series at mohegansunpocono.com.
SANDS BETHLEHEM: The poker room features $250 high hands every 20 minutes every Saturday this month, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Also, Fridays feature a $150 deepstack (25K chips) at 11:15 a.m. and every Sunday is a different bounty event for $150 at 11:15 a.m. Call for more details.
BORGATA: The Spring Open returns April 10-27, featuring 22 events. The kickoff event costs $600 and has a whopping $1M guarantee. The $2,700 main event, which also has a $1M guarantee, is April 22-26 and the final table will be live-streamed.
In other news, Eric Toby of Norristown, Pa., won the $100K guarantee deepstack on March 3, earning $25K from the $400 Saturday Series event. He beat more than 340 players.
HARRAH’S ATLANTIC CITY: The $350 Highest Hand of the Hour runs noon until 10 p.m. Also, the poker room hosts a pair of $2,500 guarantee events on Sunday and Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. for $65. Call the poker hotline at (609) 441-5741 for details.
BALLY’S ATLANTIC CITY: Every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. is a $5K guarantee for $65. Players start with 20K chips and a $5 optional dealer add-on gets you 5K more. Re-entry is allowed for the first six levels.
HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: The 12-ring World Series of Poker Circuit runs April 26-May 7, including two guarantee tournaments. Event 2, which has a $365 buy-in with a $250K guarantee, has five opening flights April 26-28. The $1,675 main event has a $500K guarantee and two opening flights (May 4-5).
The $250 senior ring event is April 29 at 9 a.m. There’s also a $3,250 high roller with re-entry May 6 at 5 p.m. In addition to the ring events, there will be other tourneys and satellites. Call the poker room or go to wsop.com for more details.
LIVE CASINO: On April 15 (noon-2 p.m.), the Ladies Poker Brunch costs $25. Women can reserve a seat to learn how to play poker from one of the poker room’s dealers. They also receive brunch and two drinks. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Maryland property between Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
DOVER DOWNS HOTEL & CASINO: The popular tournament weekend, which is April 27-29, has three events: April 27, 11:15 a.m., $10K guarantee, $125, 25-minute blinds; April 28, 11:15 a.m., $30K guarantee, $225, 30-minute blinds; April 29, 11:15 a.m., $5K guarantee, $75, 20-minute blinds.
DELAWARE PARK: If you’re one of the qualifiers from March, don’t forget your $20K freeroll is April 12 at 3 p.m. Top 40 spots will win $500 each. For more, go to delawarepark.com.
Meet Mike Marder
How long have you been playing poker and do you strictly play tournaments? I have been playing poker full time for about six years. I’ve played poker to some degree ever since senior year of high school, but didn’t make it a full-time profession until early 2012. I play both tournaments and cash games, mostly $2-$5 no-limit hold’em.
You have $700K-plus in tournament earnings in the past six years, including your recent $181K score at the Borgata WPT. How do you maintain a consistent win rate on the East Coast, specifically the Atlantic City-Philadelphia region? I think it’s mostly a comfort-level thing for me. I have heard the A.C.-Philly area games are some of the toughest you’ll find in the country, but I feel like I’ve adapted well to them. I’ve always enjoyed being challenged and being forced to elevate my game.
I’m a creature of habit and I’ve gotten accustomed to my routine of driving less than an hour to any of the area casinos. I feel comfortable in these places, which gives me a sort of homecourt advantage. Playing against the same people on a regular basis doesn’t bother me either because I am confident in my ability to adapt to certain opponents’ perceptions of me. I used to play in home games frequently, so I’m familiar with the mind games and leveling wars that come with playing against the same people all the time. Hopefully the high level of competition on the East Coast has groomed me well for future endeavors.
Will this be the year you venture out to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker? Yes, I definitely plan on making a trip to Vegas this summer. It probably will not be a full summer thing, but I am looking forward to playing the main event this year if nothing else. — Jo Kim