Stones, Stars collide in NorCal



In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Chris Moneymaker’s run to his World Series of Poker Main Event win, PokerStars is partnering with Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights, Calif., to give a $30K Platinum Pass to the winner of an $86 tournament Aug. 4-5.
The buy-in is the same amount Moneymaker paid in winning his 2003 satellite to the main event. Winner of the two-flight tournament earns a $25K entry to PCA in the Bahamas and $5K in expenses.
THUNDER VALLEY CASINO RESORT: Chip Up Bonuses are awarded each Sunday through the end of August. Two random winners are drawn hourly from 4 a.m.-1 p.m., with three winners hourly from 2-11 p.m. Each player could earn $500. The next tournament series is the third stop in the WSOPC series Sept. 6-17.

LUCKY CHANCES: The 20th anniversary of Lucky Chances was in late June, highlighted by a tournament with a $200K guarantee for the winner. The $2,100 buy-in drew 307 entries, with Jared Kwong earning the top prize.
Bill Murray ($98,230) and Ignacio Sanchez ($64,460) rounded out the top three.

TACHI PALACE: Aug. 4 is the second of three starting days for the Summer Super Series tournament. The $225 event qualifies players for the Sept. 15 Day 2 and $50 satellites are offered the last two Saturdays in August. The final Day 1 flight is set for Sept. 1.

BAY 101: The Summer Madness series $1,100 main event has two starting flights (Aug. 4-5) with Day 2 Aug. 6. Players begin with 20K chips and play 30-minute blinds the first eight levels, moving to 40-minute levels thereafter.

TURLOCK POKER ROOM: One of the room’s tournament regulars, Rick Peterson, had a deep run in the $1,500 WSOP event with $500 bounties, finishing 13th in the 1,983-entry tournament for $13,336 and a whole host of bounties, too.

500 CLUB CASINO: Play for a grand every Tuesday night at 6 with a $100 tournament that has $20 bounties and a guaranteed $1K payout to the winner.

CLUB ONE CASINO: There’s a $5K guarantee deepstack every Sunday. Players begin with 10K chips and play 20-minute rounds for just $75. Tuesday nights have a $3K guarantee
$70 tournament with $40 rebuys and 10K stacks.

OAKS CARD CLUB: Deepstack Saturday offers a $340 tournament the first Saturday each month with 15K stacks and 25-minute levels. Unlimited re-entries are available the first four levels in this 11 a.m. event.

JACKSON RANCHERIA: Poker Elite players with 100 or more cash-game hours monthly earn $5 per hour, with that jumping to $10 per hour Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (3-6 p.m.).
Southern California

The Summer Series at the Bicycle Casino just outside Los Angeles is over as the final eight players in the $500K guarantee chopped.

Linh Truong was chipleader at the time, so she took first place, as well as $57,932. The remaining seven were: Emil Mactal ($56,424); Rubin Chappell ($50K); Frank Corrales ($48,700); Robert Waterman ($36,404); Gregg Manston ($31,889); Henry Fong ($27,829) and Jeff Friedman ($23,096).

In the $100K event, Chester Burnett started the final table as chipleader and chopped with David Chavez when they got to heads-up play. Burnett earned $33,805 and Chavez got $29,031.

Chris Grim won the $200K guarantee after a chop for $32K. He also came out on top in the $130 Big O-stud/8 for $32,156.

WSOP NEWS: Several Southern California players earned their first WSOP bracelets this summer. Benjamin Moon of San Diego took down Event 13 for $315,346; Gal Yifrach of Los Angeles earned $461,798 by winning Event 28; Yaniv Birman of Los Angeles took home $236,238 for Event 38 and Robert Nehorayan of Los Angeles won Event 41 for $173,568.

Other notable performances included Mark Sleet of San Diego finishing second in Event 24 ($403,870) and Taylor Paur, also of San Diego, came in fourth in the same event ($210,995); Kevin Song of Brea was second in Event 41 ($107,242) and Brendan Taylor of Pasadena finished runner-up in Event 46 ($132,443).

Other quality finishes include Carol Fuchs of Los Angeles finishing third in Event 35 ($89,488) and 11th in Event 27 ($25,498) and Jay Farber of Santa Barbara was third in Event 51 ($121,932).

SoCal women placed third and fourth in Event 57 ($1K women-only): Lisa Fong of Pasadena and Mesha James of Corona took home $55,812 and $39,334, respectively, for their finishes.

Other great stories include SoCal players sweeping the top three spots of the $1K Super Seniors. Farhintaj Bonyadi of Aliso Viejo took home $311,451 and her first bracelet as Robert Beach of Bishop earned $192,397 for second and Paul W. Lee of Orange earned $140,273 for third.

Matt Szymaszek of Redondo Beach was second in Event 52 ($183,081) and Christopher Chung of Irvine took fourth ($93K).

PALA CASINO SPA & RESORT: The poker room hosts its $125 Pala Super Deepstack at 1 p.m. each Saturday. Players get 30K chips and can get 10K more with an optional $15 staff bonus buy. Re-entries will be for three levels and blinds will be 30 minutes.
Pacific Northwest

Once again, PNW players were well-represented at final tables at the WSOP. Some of those early performances were in our July issue, so let’s update you on the rest. In Event 63, Noah Bronstein of Bellevue, Wash., took fourth for $100K and Jonas Mackoff of Vancouver was eighth for $28K.

Other fine final-table finishes include: Jesse Hampton of Seattle (third, Event 8, $72K); Adam Coats of Shoreline, Wash., (third, Event 9, $181K); Timothy Andrew of B.C. (first, Event 11, $117K); Robert Cicchelli of B.C. (third, Event 11, $55K); Jeremy Harkin of Portland (first, Event 12, $130K), Nhathanh Nguyen of Mukilteo, Wash., (fifth, Event 13, $73K); Scott Clements of Mt. Vernon, Wash., (seventh, Event 15, $25K); Shawn Buchanan of B.C. (sixth, Event 20, $82K); Phillip Riley of Vancouver (fourth, Event 30, $66K); Bill Stabler of Salem, Ore., (second, Event 32, $409K); Bill Bennett of Hoquiam, Wash., (fifth, Event 32, $171K); Greg Mueller of Vancouver (seventh, Event 33, $144K); Jesse Kertland of Ellensburg, Wash., (fifth, Event 39, $57K); Jeremy Harkin of Troutdale, Ore., (sixth, Event 40, $16K); George Wolff of Portland (10th, Event 42, $96K); Seth Davies of Bend, Ore., (10th, Event 43, $30K); Rittie Chuaprasert of Portland (ninth, Event 48, $92K); Rep Porter of Woodinville, Wash., (second, Event 49, $629K); Thomas Taylor of B.C. (sixth, Event 50, $18K); Jeffrey Mitseff of Portland (seventh, Event 50, $14K) and Jacqueline Burkhart (fifth, Event 57, $28K).

HIDEAWAY: If you’re in Washington, don’t overlook the cardrooms sprinkled around the state. Just north of Seattle in Shoreline is the recently reopened Hideaway Restaurant and Casino, which celebrated new ownership with an 18-flight $100 tournament that ended June 3. Jane Glover of Seattle won the title for $10K. The Hideaway is a poker-only seven-table room. In addition to three tournament tables playing a $50 tournament, on a typical Friday night you’ll find a $4-$8 Omaha game going all evening. As the tournament tables break, $2-$20 spread-limit and $3-$100 spread-limit games run as well.

SNOQUALMIE CASINO: The poker room is closing Aug. 2.

ATLANTIS CASINO: The Ante Up Poker Tour is Aug. 16-26 and enjoy a complimentary hotel room when you preregister and pay online at for the main event by Aug. 15. Book a special hotel rate by calling 800-723-6500 and mention offer code MANTE18. Go to for more.

PEPPERMILL: Jason Somerville’s Run It Up charity poker series is Oct. 19-29. Look for more details soon.
Tournaments with big-blind antes have been implemented on Saturdays at noon ($120, 10K chips). Second Saturdays of the month will be a $235 event with a starting stack of 12K.

SILVER LEGACY: It’s been a year since the poker room opened and it continues to thrive downtown. The main casinos of Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy are called the Row. Any earned comps with the One Club member card can be redeemed at any of these three casinos.
Las Vegas

The Senior Extravaganza, a new event, runs Aug. 20-26 at the Venetian Las Vegas. Each day features an 11 a.m. event for seniors, starting with a $200 superstack event with a $10K guarantee. Next up is a $250 event with two starting flights and a $30K guarantee. A $400 Monster Stack with a $60K guarantee has two starting flights beginning Aug. 24.

During this series, the room will run two events daily that are open to players of all ages. These tournaments are one-day affairs, with $150-$300 buy-ins and guarantees between $4,500 and $20K.

The Ante Up Poker Tour returns to Vegas as part of Venetian’s DeepStack Extravaganza III, which runs Sept. 3-23. The first of its three starting flights runs Sept, 13. The event is a $600 tournament with a $200K guarantee. Players start with 20K chips and play 40-minute levels.

Other events in the series include a $1,100 MSPT tournament starting Sept. 7 with a $250K guarantee. There are also two of the popular $340 doublestack events, each with two starting flights and $100K guarantees. All told, more than $1.2M in prize money is guaranteed.

ARIA: The WPT 500 completed July 3 as the winner was Greece’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos, earning $208K. Bobby Poe from Southern California took home $140K as runner-up and Hoan Nguyen of Texas scored $103K for third. The $570 tournament had nearly 3K entries and a $1.5M prize pool. There were nine starting flights, including three turbo flights.

BINIONS: The $1K championship event completed June 14 and had 241 entrants. Sean Small of Georgia and Aleksandras Rusinovas of Lithuania agreed to a deal when heads-up, with each player getting $44,850. Small got a few dollars more and the title. Erkut Yilmaz of Pennsylvania earned $23K for third. The prize pool was $219K.

Jeffrey Higgins of Massachusetts won the $1K PLO championship June 23, claiming $23K. Japan’s Masato Okude took second for $22K and Matt Mueller of Illinois placed third for $10K. The event had 104 entries and a $94K prize pool.
Actor James Woods won the HORSE championship June 30 ($14,570) as Mihails Morozovs of Latvia was second ($13,890) and Las Vegans Ron Ware and Daniel DiPasquale each took home $12,500 for third and fourth, respectively.

GOLDEN NUGGET: Guilherme Ksyvickisbordao of Brazil won the championship event July 1, earning $132K. North Carolina’s Juan Garivaldi finished second for $82K and California’s Daniel Placencia was third for $61K. The $570 event had nearly 1,600 entrants, creating a prize pool of $788K.

GREEN VALLEY RANCH: Poker Room in Henderson has updated its tournament schedule. The new 10:15 a.m. rebuy tournament Monday-Friday has a $75 buy-in. Players start with 7K chips and play 20-minute levels. Through the first six levels, players can rebuy 7K chips for $50 any time they are at or less than 7K chips. There’s a $2K guarantee.

On Saturdays at 10:15 a.m., it’s a $50 tournament with a $1K guarantee, 5K chips and 20-minute levels. Players can enter and re-enter for the three levels.

Friday evenings at 6:45, a $100 Survivor tournament runs. The starting stack is 10K and blinds are 30 minutes. Players may take $100 rebuys for 10K chips for the first four levels any time they are at 10K or less. The tournament plays down to 10 percent of the starting field, when each remaining player gets about
10 percent of the prize pool.

Sundays at 1, the room offers a $125 tourney called the Sizzler. The starting stack is 10K and the levels are 30 minutes. There’s a $20 add-on for 2K chips, half of which goes to the staff and half goes to the prize pool. The guarantee is $5K and there’s re-entry for the first four levels.

Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:45, it’s a $75 bounty event. Players start with 6K and play 20-minute levels. Through the first five levels, $50 rebuys are available for 5K chips whenever a player has 6K or less. The bounty is $25 and the guarantee is $2,500.

PLANET HOLLYWOOD: The $2,200 main event of the Goliath Series ended June 30. Krasimir Yankov of Bulgaria took the $272K first-place prize. Raul Manzanares of Spain received $266K for second and Daniel Wilson of Ireland scored $250K for third. There were 924 entrants and a prize pool of $2M.

ORLEANS: The Seniors Poker Tour Championship saw the final three players made a deal as Peter Splettstober of Germany took home the biggest prize ($16,500). Florida’s Dave Smith claimed $14K for second and Paul Niemala of Las Vegas received $11K for third.

The $400 event attracted almost 300 players and the prize pool was $104K.

The final five women in the LIPS National Championship, a $250 event, agreed to a chop. They were Sandra Kasinowitz of Texas, Candyce Samples of Texas, Maria Hagood of Hawaii, Elizabeth Oueliette of California and Eleanor Wheeler of the UK and they each took home $10,500. There were 500 entries and a prize pool of $100K.
— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at
Meet Brad Owen

A pro and vlogger, Brad Owen moved to Vegas twice, first from Northern California and then from Los Angeles.

How did you get started in poker and vlogging? I started playing poker with my older brother and his friends when I was around 14. We’d mainly play tournaments for $1-$5 at our house. I really enjoyed it because for the first time I felt like my brother and I were competing against each other on an equal playing field.

I got started vlogging after seeing the first few episodes that Andrew Neeme put out. I thought it was so cool to see someone honestly depict what it’s like to play low-to-mid-stakes poker for a living.

I felt I had a unique perspective and I wanted my friends and family, who didn’t understand what I was doing for a living, to see what my life is actually like as a professional poker player. I didn’t anticipate that many people would watch it.

What is your greatest highlight in poker? There have been a lot of highlights in the past year. Phil Hellmuth and Doug Polk appeared in different episodes of the vlog. It was a blast hanging out with them. What I’m most proud of is developing different communities within poker.

My brother and I launched a website called It’s a forum site with 1,000-plus members in which people talk about hand histories or anything else poker related. It’s been great to see people share insight, connect with others, and improve together.

What are your poker goals? I don’t have many poker-related goals other than to last as long as I can. I’ve realized that I’m either not very good at or don’t enjoy other (non-poker) activities that make money. I love playing poker and hope to be involved in it at some level for the rest of my life. — Rob Solomon

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine