Cook is the queen of Hon-Dah poker in Arizona

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Hon-Dah Resort in Pinetop, Ariz. recently hosted its annual Tournament of Queens and the title went to Ann “Cookie” Cook for $975.

Also, Bev Frick and Addie Trocano won the annual tag-team tournament for $1,430.

Finally, Jock Phillips captured another Tournament of Champions crown to round out July.

TALKING STICK RESORT: The Arena Poker Room had been busy until a massive rainstorm flooded the poker room, forcing it to close and canceling the Arizona State Poker Championship. We’ll have more on this in our next issue.

June’s $160 End of the Month tournament drew 481 players and in the end eight of them chopped the remaining prize pool. Michael Parker, Andrei Cutov, Alexander Mutsaers, James Niles, John Quarnstrom, Randall Archuleta, Mark Hake and Michael Lavin each pocketed $4,428.

The $345 Big Stack on July 7 saw Jason Lane, Robert Cluff and Nathan Pfluger share the title as each won $9,523. Patrick Colceri took fourth ($8K).

Jeremy Brown won the $240 bounty tourney July 14 for $4,950. Scott Rubel was second ($3,833) and Jonathan Minks, Patrick Davis and Nakia Clark each scored $3,423.

Manish Patel pocketed $6K after beating nearly 280 players in the July 21 $160 event. He was followed by Tomas Marquez ($5,100), Georges Nader ($4,200), James Buckner ($2,904) and Barbara Rugalo ($2,002).

The July End of the Month tourney had Paul Conelly finish on top of the field and add $9K to his bank account. Steven Bustamante, Brian Perzinski and Joshua Staley all walked away with $7,100 and David Lawver rounded out the top five, taking home $3,270.

The Arizona Ladies State Championship is Nov. 4, but there’s also a women-only tourney in September, though details weren’t available at press time. Please check with the poker room for details.
Oklahoma-Missouri

The Heartland Poker Tour returned to Ameristar Casino in Kansas City as Jeff Fielder of West Des Moines, Iowa, captured the $1,650 main event in a series that ran July 19-30, earning $94,713.

Other winners were Jonathan Lorentz ($350 NLHE); Levi Blanchette ($200 seven-game mix); David Elyachar ($200 seniors); Roy Ben-Aharon and Jaret Gordan ($125 tag team); Brian Craig ($200 six-max); Travis Gillihan ($150 NLHE); Michael Shackelford ($200 pot-limit Omaha); Dean Piltz ($300 seniors) and Everett Lawrence ($300 bounty).

Also, Ameristar recently named Monique Havlas as the poker room’s supervisor. New to the featured-games list is $5-$10 HORSE Wednesday evenings and the progressive bad-beat jackpot surpassed $108K at press time. Mini-bad-beat jackpots starting at jacks full earn the loser a minimum of $250. Both hole cards must play.

RIVER SPIRIT: The Sooner State Senior Championship still was running at press time so results will be reported in a future issue. The monthly $15K freeroll, with a 40-hour live play qualification, is expected to run Sept. 1.

Sept. 15 is the monthly $4K freeroll for the top 40 in tournament points. The room’s featured games are $1-$2 PLO Mondays and Wednesdays; eight-max Big O with a kill on Thursdays and Saturdays; and $10-$20 Omaha/8 with a kill Fridays. All are featured in the evenings except Saturday’s Big O starts in the afternoon.

HARRAH’S NORTH KANSAS CITY: The RunGood Poker Series returns Sept. 18-23. Also, Sept. 15 will be the $10K quarterly freeroll for those who qualified. The royal-flush promotion plays a minimum of $1,814, depending upon the suit.
WINSTAR WORLD: The River Series runs until Sept. 4. The $2,500, three-day, $2M guarantee main event begins with two Day 1 flights Sept. 1-2. Sept. 3 will feature a $1,100 turbo with $500 bounties. Daily tournaments resume Sept. 8. On Fridays through September, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., there’s $100 Aces Cracked.

HARD ROCK: The Oklahoma State Championship of Poker runs until Sept. 9. Use code OSC8302018 to book discounted rooms. Some events will use the big-blind-ante format. Buy-ins will be $100-$175 except for the $1,100 two-flight, three-day, $100K guarantee main event. A four-flight, three-day, $175 Kickoff Classic with a $100K guarantee runs early in the series. Other events include seniors, doublestack, green-chip bounty, Jack and Jill and PLO.

DOWNSTREAM: The tournament schedule features $50 seniors, $75 Fridays, $120 Saturdays with a $3K guarantee, and $60 turbo Sundays. The room adds $100 to the prize pool for every 10 entries in the seniors tournament. The room’s progressive bad-beat jackpot (quad 10s) was $118K at press time.

CHOCTAW CASINO DURANT: Early winners at the World Poker Tour series included Simon Webster ($350 monster stack); Adam Mirliss ($350 PLO-PLO/8); Eric Rivkin ($350 NLHE); Jacob Seale ($240 Congress); Minh Duong ($240 four-max); Dusti Smith ($130 women’s) and Gil George ($240 NLHE).

GRAND CASINO SHAWNEE: The $50 high-hand promotion with rollovers continues this month with an aces-full-of-fives qualifier. The promotion runs Sundays 2-10 p.m. and Wednesdays 1 a.m.-7 p.m. Check the room’s calendar for special updates.
New Mexico

SANDIA CASINO: The $600 Four Corners Championship is Sept. 1-3. Players start with 20K and can get another 10K with an optional $20 add-on. Flight A is Sept. 1 at noon and Flight B is Sept. 2 at noon. After Level 12, the remaining players advance Day 2 on Sept. 3 at noon. The casino is adding $5K to the prize pool.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT: The poker room hosts a $330 deepstack Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. Players 20K chips, but the field is limited to 60 entrants.

The poker room will host another special event on Sept. 22 at 7pm. The 98.5 Greatest Hits bounty tournament is Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. and will pay $98 in bounties on Chaz Malibu and possibly five more players. The $98 event gets you 7,500 chips and 15-minute levels.

Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. is the $150 Last Saturday of the Month deepstack, giving players 15K chips and 20-minute levels.

ISLETA CASINO: If you haven’t checked out the new poker room, stop by and take advantage of the promotions. Every Wednesday, Aces Cracked let’s you spin the wheel for a chance to win $100. The player who wins the last pot at the top of every hour also gets to spin the wheel.

On Sundays and Mondays, participate in the black-chip promotion. Every time a player wins a pot, they earn a black chip. The player with the most black chips at the end of the hour receives $25.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the room provides snacks. There’s also Hot Seat Drawings on Thursdays as players have a chance to win $50 hourly.

As for tourneys, on Fridays at 7 p.m., there’s a $50 event for 5K chips with an optional $5 add-on. The room adds $300 to the prize pool. On Saturdays at 2, look for a $25 tournament with an optional $5 add-on and the room adds $100 to the prize pool. Later that day at 7, $50 Classic Satellites gets you 7K chips and a chance to win a $150 seat for future tournament.

ROUTE 66 CASINO: Daily $28 tournaments with a $5 add-on run at noon, 3 and 7. The events on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays pay bounties. There’s also a tournament bad-beat jackpot for all events.

The player-of-the-year promotion focuses on performance in tourneys throughout the year. The room dedicates about $5K to top qualifiers and hosts a freeroll for the top 50 players. Don’t forget about Aces Cracked, which pays $50 for same-color pocket aces losing and $25 for mixed aces.
Colorado

BLACK HAWK: The Heartland Poker Tour $1K mini event in July drew a prize pool of $740K at Golden Gates Casino. Ben Brown of Colorado won $159,131 to beat a field of 763 entries. Rich Dixon of Wyoming came in second for $98K, followed by Eric Klemann ($64K); Craig Casino ($44K); Aaron Frei ($32K); Andrew Van Maanen ($25K); Chris Tryba ($20K); Kevin Nettles ($17K); Brian Leitch ($13K) and Tim Campbell (10K). The HPT returns Sept. 13-24 with deepstacks and numerous qualifiers for the $1,650 main event. … Earn a free room at the Isle of Capri for six hours of play and select from a future free night stay (Sunday-Thursday) or $20 bus ticket reimbursement. … At Ameristar, play at one of the 22 tables where the descending bad beat is $50K with qualifier of quad eights. Bad beat drops to quad sevens at $100K in the primary jackpot. Earn comps while you play. Four hours of play in one day qualifies you for a poker rate at the hotel.

CRIPPLE CREEK: The Midnight Rose will be open 24 hours if games carry through the night. Join the Big Blind Ante League on Fridays at 4 p.m. for $125 and receive 25K chips. Midnight Rose is offering a new monthly, Big Blind Ante $250 tournament with 50K chips and 20-minute blinds. Enter the Fast & Furious Freezeout on Saturdays for $65 and get 30K chips, Play the Meganormous tournament on alternate Sundays, where a 50K starting stack is yours for $120. Play four hours of live action and earn a free room Monday-Thursday.
Kansas

KANSAS STAR: This 10-table room’s bad-beat jackpot was $120K-plus at press time. A $200 on-the-hour high-hand promotion runs Monday and Wednesday mornings. Thursday nights offer a hot-seat promotion. Every 30 minutes someone will spin the cash wheel. Sept. 6 will be a football kickoff party with tailgate food 7-9 p.m. and splash pots for each table for every score.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO KANSAS SPEEDWAY: The 12-table room’s quarterly $35K freeroll with a $10K first-place guarantee Oct. 13. Qualification runs through Sept. 30. Also, ask about the featured cash game of the day.
Meet Matt Anderson

At 28 years old, Matt Anderson has spent most of his adult life involved in two activities: competitive bowling and dealing poker. He has dealt the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas for the past seven years and traveled extensively to deal for the past five.

Away from the felt his interest turns toward bowling. “When I was about 3, my parents took me bowling for the first time. My game developed very rapidly and at about 12 I started traveling for junior tournaments. I mainly traveled to places within Michigan and surrounding states. I’m still very active and when I’m not working on the road, I’m somewhere bowling a tournament on the weekend.”

After high school, Anderson had to find a job. “I never really worked in high school due to all of the bowling. There were charity poker rooms that I played in and I went to one of them to see if they’d give me a shot. The response was ‘No.’ I would practice my shuffling and pitching at home all the time and I went to another charity hall across town that gave me an audition. The next thing I knew I was on the schedule five days a week working my first job.”

He said his favorite place to deal would have to be the WSOP at the Rio in Vegas. “There’s so many varieties of games and tournaments to deal you never get bored.” One of his fondest memories was dealing to former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce in the main event a few years ago.

“He was one of my favorite basketball players growing up, that wasn’t on the Pistons,” he said, laughing. “Getting to be that close to him was pretty cool.” — Chris Cronin

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