Fontenot earns $23K at Stones in California



Frank Fontenot won the $100K guarantee Quantum Series $120 event at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights, Calif., earning $23,133. The 942-entry tournament had a $159,589 prize pool.

Sebastian Lampe took top honors in the Western Senior Poker Series tournament, defeating an 86-entry field. The next WSPS tournament is July 8 at the Northern California property.

There’s a $20K guarantee eight-max big-blind ante tournament at noon July 4. Players begin with 20K chips for $200.

ELK VALLEY CASINO: July 14 is the $10K guarantee fifth annual Deck Championships, a $160 buy-in with a $10 dealer option starting at 4 p.m.

BAY 101 CASINO: Rellie Sigua defeated Tom West heads-up to win the $1,100 Bay 101 Open’s main event May 21. Sigua earned $76,410 as champion of the 364-player freezeout tournament. The next series is Summer Madness (July 23-Aug. 6).

BLACK OAK CASINO: A new poker room opened May 15 with Joe Bernardi as manager. The six-table room has high hands on Mondays (10 a.m.-9 p.m.) and Wednesdays (4-11) through July 30 and cash giveaway drawings each hour (11 a.m.-8 p.m.) on Tuesdays. The daily tournament schedule includes 10:30 a.m. tournaments Thursday-Sunday and a Thursday 7 p.m. tournament.

CLUB ONE CASINO: Matt Montgomery topped a field of 258 entries to win the WPT DeepStacks $1,100 main event. Montgomery earned $70,650, plus a $3K championship package, by defeating Delmiro Toledo heads-up.

TACHI PALACE HOTEL AND CASINO: There’s a $60 knockout tournament on Tuesdays. Saturdays feature a Summer Super Series or $100 deepstack tournament.

THUNDER VALLEY CASINO RESORT: There were 54 players who won their way into this year’s World Series of Poker through satellites here in May, including nine for the $10K main event, 15 in the Millionaire Maker and 30 in the Colossus.

TURLOCK POKER ROOM: Scott Nguyen defeated Yann Sargoni to win the Summer Championship Series’ $1,100 main event, taking home $27K. Sargoni earned $22,900. There will be 10 hours of drawings the first Saturday each month; players earn tickets in live games.

GRATON RESORT AND CASINO: Midnight-8 a.m. every Monday through Friday is an Aces Cracked promotion, plus there’s High Hand Bonus Spins to win $1K every Friday (5-10 p.m.).

JACKSON RANCHERIA: Tuesdays at 11 a.m. is a $40 Omaha tourney, plus a $30 crazy-pineapple tourney Thursdays at 11 a.m. The house fee for all Tuesday-Thursday tournaments is $2.

— Dan Ross owns Hold’em Media Group, including the Hold’em Radio Poker Podcast Network and Hold’em Live Updates, doing tournament reporting across America. You can reach him at
Southern California

Michael Woo of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., captured the California State Poker Championship’s $1,100 main event at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles for $166K. The event drew 1,278 players to beat the $1M guarantee at $1.278M. This score puts Woo’s career winnings past $2M.

David McCaw from Rancho Cucamonga is having a nice run. In addition to taking down Event 6 ($350 HORSE) for $6,830, he recently had two other wins, one at Ocean’s 11 in April ($29,649) and the other at the Bike’s WSOPC stop in March (Event 26, $245 deepstack, $53,798).

Sirous Baghchehsaraie of Cerritos won Event 3 ($350 bounty) for $8,225 and he cashed 11th in Event 7 for $3,760.
Christopher Doan of Hacienda Heights took first and second just days apart in Events 16 ($570 NLHE, $50,470) and 18 ($250 NLHE, $17,030). These cashes bumped his career earnings to $300K-plus.

Other winners from the series included Phonesana Siyarath of Riverside (Event 1, $175 NLHE, $10,165); Sameer Aljanedi of Marina Del Rey (Event 2, $240 shootout, $17,570); David Brookshire of Chatsworth (Event 4, $350 Omaha/8, $7,780); Austin Hansen of Yorba Linda (Event 7, $240 NLHE, $46,390); Frank Lin of Arcadia (Event 8, $350 Omaha/8-stud/8, $7,010); Paul Araneta of Covina (Event 9, $65 NLHE, $1,225); Christian Cordero of West Covina (Event 10, $65 NLHE, $1,460); Henry Machado of Los Angeles (Event 11, $120 NLHE, $5,980); Nguyet Dao of Anaheim (Event 12, $350 NLHE, $4,360); Kathrine Brandt of Ladera Ranch (Event 13, $350 PLO, $4,910); Pamela Rich of Beverly Hills (Event 14, $220 NLHE, $4,335); Qinghai Pan of Diamond Bar (Event 15, $350 PLO/8, $4,495); Howard Mazer of Aliso Viejo (Event 17, $350 NLHE, $6,755); Sean Yu of Los Angeles (Event 18, $350 NLHE, $24,290); Eli Loewenthal of Los Angeles (Event 20, $1,100 bounty, $9,060) and James Ditter of Van Nuys (Event 21, $350 NLHE, $14,990).
Pacific Northwest

WSOP UPDATE: Kate Hoang of Federal Way, Wash., took second for $148K in Event 4 ($1,500 Omaha/8). This event ran so long that when it reached four players, the tournament director had to add levels. Hoang has been an Omaha/8 tournament phenom the past three years, with her biggest cash being second in 2016’s WSOP Event 64 ($3K PLO/8) for $182K.

WILDHORSE RESORT AND CASINO: The property near Pendleton, Ore., will host its Summer Round-Up (July 18-22) and will add $15K to the prize pools over seven tournaments, including $5Kto the $340 main event July 21.

FORTUNE POKER ROOM: If you’re in Washington, don’t miss visiting this 15-table room, formerly known as Diamond Lil’s, just south of Seattle in Renton. On a typical Saturday night, you’ll find five $4-$8 tables, two $8-$16 tables and a pair of $20-$40 tables, all striving to hit the $250 high hand paid every 15 minutes. If no-limit is your preference, there will be three $1-$3 tables and two $3-$5 going, plus daily tournaments.
Las Vegas

The next Extravaganza Poker Series at the Venetian Las Vegas will be Aug. 9-19. The series offers $400K-plus in guarantees. This will be the first series at the Venetian to feature the big-blind ante structure in all of its events.

The biggest guarantee, $200K, is offered in a five-starting-flight, $250 NLHE event that begins Aug. 14. The top 10 percent of each flight will be in the money, with the top 5 percent advancing to Day 2. Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels on Day 1, which increase to 40 minutes on Day 2.

A two-starting-flight $340 doublestack starts Aug. 10. It has a $100K guarantee. Players start with 25K chips and play 40-minute levels.

There are several $200 rebuy events during the series. The starting stack is 12K and $100 rebuys are available for 12K chips whenever a player’s stack is 12K or less for the first six levels. The guarantees are $9K or $12K, depending on the date. These events run in the evening. There’s a pair of noon $300 rebuy tournaments with $25K guarantees, with the same rebuy rules. All of these tournaments have 30-minute levels.

During August, the room is offering a splash-pot promotion. Every 15 minutes between 12:15 p.m. and midnight, a random table will be splashed with $300. If the table is $1-$2 NLHE or a $4-$8 limit, the selected table will get three consecutive $100 splash pots. If the table is playing $2-$5 or $8-$16 limit, the table will get one $300 splash pot. More than $446K will be awarded for this promo.

Then in September, players will earn drawing tickets to win a custom Orange County Chopper Motorcycle. Players earn one drawing ticket for every 20 hours of live play in the month. For every 100 hours of live play, players get five more tickets. The drawing will be Oct. 10.

In May, Etienne Luduc of Canada took the $36K first-place prize in the $340 doublestack at the May Extravaganza. Esther Fedorkevich from Austin, Texas, claimed $22K for second and Klein Bach, a Vegas resident, grabbed $16K for third. The event drew 612 entrants, creating a prize pool of $171K, easily surpassing the $100K guarantee.

ARIA: The room hosted two big WPT events in May. Darren Elias won the inaugural $10K Bobby Baldwin Classic, taking home $387K. It was the fourth WPT title for Elias, a record. Kitty Kuo earned $248K for second and 2015 WSOP main-event champion Joe McKeehen received $179K for third. There were 162 entries and the prize pool was $1.5M.

A few days later, Matthew Waxman won the WPT Tournament of Champions, earning $463K. Matas Cimbolas took second for $266K. Elias placed third for $177K, wrapping up an incredible week of poker. The event had a $15K buy-in and was open only to previous WPT winners as 80 players entered and the prize pool was $1.3M.

Aria also was the scene of the fourth annual Super High Roller Bowl. The $300K buy-in event, was limited to 48 players and had a $14.4M prize pool. Justin Bonomo outlasted the field, finally eliminating runner-up Daniel Negreanu to take home the $5M prize. Negreanu received $3M. Jason Koon finished third for $2.1M.

BELLAGIO: The first WPT Elite Poker Championship ran in May as the $379K first-place prize went to Lawrence Greenberg. Danny Qutami was second for $224K and Jim Collopy finished third for $147K. The $10,400 event drew 126 players and the prize pool was $1.2M.

The 14th Bellagio Cup runs July 10-17, including the $10,400 main event, which plays out over five days, beginning July 13. There are several $1,100 satellites beginning July 12. Also, a $1,100 seniors event will be July 11.

RED ROCK: The room has picked up most of the regular games that were spread at the old Suncoast poker room, including the stud games regularly spread there. The famous, long-running Hoggie spread-limit $2-$10 stud-8 game runs regularly on Mondays during the day shift. The betting becomes $2-$20 on seventh street. The minimum buy-in is $100.

There’s also a regular $4-$8 stud game that runs Wednesdays and Saturdays with a minimum $40 buy-in. Sundays usually find a $4-$8 Omaha/8 game with a $40 minimum buy-in.

Hold’em fans will find plenty of $2-$4 limit action here, in addition to $4-$8 limit. The minimum buy-ins are $20 and $40, respectively. The busy $1-$2 NLHE game has a $100-$300 buy-in. For the $2-$5 game, it’s $300-$1K. A $5-$10 NLHE game runs fairly often with a buy-in of $500-$3K.

Promos include Quad Floppers: Flopping quads on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday wins $500. A high-hand-of-the-hour promo runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The top hand wins $200, a full house or better is needed to qualify. A progressive-straight-flush promo runs 24-7. The payout progresses each day a specific straight flush fails to hit. Each straight flush starts at $75.

TREASURE ISLAND: The room has revamped its tournament schedule. The popular Magnum T.I. tournament is running every Thursday night at 7. The $125 buy-in gets players a 30K starting stack and there’s a $15 add-on for 15K chips at the end of registration (Level 10). The levels are 20 minutes and the house adds $250 to the prize pool.

The room has three daily tournaments at 12:30 p.m., 6 and 10, except on Thursdays when the 6 and 10 p.m. tournaments are replaced by the Magnum T.I. All the dailies have an $80 buy-in for 12K chips with an optional $8 staff bonus for 8K chips. The levels are 20 minutes.

— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at .

NUGGET: There is a bounty freeroll July 15 at 2 p.m. The top 40 players in total hours of live play (April 15-June 30) qualified. Each time a player knocks out another player there will be a $100 bounty awarded. The winner receives $599 and there will be payouts for every finisher.

ATLANTIS: The Ante Up Poker Tour is coming Aug. 16-26. For more information, call the poker room at 775-954-4142.

SILVER LEGACY: The next Beat The Boss freeroll will be Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. Log 25 hours of live play in July to qualify.
Meet Van Kalogerou

Van Kalogerou started playing hold’em in 2007 at Circus Circus in Reno. His friend, Alan Jue, introduced him to a $4-$8 limit game and he fell in love immediately after flopping a set of eights during his first session. He’s one of the most well-dressed players in Reno.

You’re known for being a great tipper. In 2010, I won $4,500 playing in a tournament at Grand Sierra Casino. I tipped the dealers $500 and the floor manager $100. I believe in taking care of the staff because they create a great environment for us to play poker. Another time, I won $6K in a Pai Gow tourney and tipped $600 to the staff. That’s pretty standard for me.

You recently hit a jackpot? Yes, I was dealt pocket eights in the hole. The flop came 8-8-Q, A queen came on the turn and the river! My opponent held A-Q and we kept raising until we were all-in. I received $1K for the bad-beat jackpot. This happened at the Eldorado poker room shortly before it closed. This became a bittersweet memory for me after playing countless nights in that room.

Any hobbies? I used to spend my days at Circus Circus wagering on horse racing and playing Pai Gow. It’s all about Texas Hold’em and sports now. I am a huge fan of the 49ers. I enjoy bowling as well. You will also see me eating at the Eldorado buffet after a long session of poker. — Philip Chow

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine