John Nethery wins Ante Up Poker Tour Main Event at Atlantis

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The path to a major tournament title has many twists and turns, and for John Nethery, the path to winning the Ante Up Poker Tour Main Event at Atlantis Casino Resort spa involved craps, a text to change a flight and, of course, a couple fortuitous hands.

“It feels great. I’m on top of the world. I came out to win it and it worked out. My wife was away for the weekend, so I decided to come out and play,” Nethery said after beating Rian Mullins heads-up to win $47,902 and a seat in the Ante Up World Championship. “I lost the satellite, and then won my entry on the craps table. Since 11:30 Friday night, it’s been all good.”

Nethery came into Day 2 of the two-flight, $1,100 buy-in event at the Reno, Nev., casino as the chipleader, having amassed 637,500 chips, many of them coming in a half-million-chip pot about an hour and half before Day 1B ended when he ran his pockets kings into the pocket queens of John Minor. 

When asked what his strategy was going into Day 2 with a heavy lead, Nethery said, “Patience. I hovered around 6 or 7 hundred for a long time. I didn’t feel like doubling anyone up. I was just hoping to keep pace and hoping that Loren didn’t get too far ahead of me.”

“Loren” was four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Loren Klein, who came into Day 2 second in chips and quickly piled more up as soon as Day 2 began. When play got to the final table, local player Valerie Hanley, known for her unbridled aggression, was owning the final table, racking up big pot after big pot. That’s when Nethery realized he was probably going to miss his flight home to Pleasanton, Calif.

“I looked up at the clock and texted my wife, ‘you need to change my flight for me.’ “

“I looked up at the clock and texted my wife, ‘you need to change my flight for me.’ ” he said. 

With that taken care of, and Hanley having eliminated Klein, Nethery got his biggest hand of the tournament. He and Hanley spiked their kings on a king-high flop and got it all in, but Nethery had an ace kicker to Hanley’s queen kicker. 

“I bet the turn, she shoved and I insta-called,” said Nethery, who took over his father’s industrial sanitation business and ran it for 24 years before selling it two years ago. “As soon as I said call, she said, ‘uh-oh.’ “

The hand zoomed Nethery to nearly 3 million in chips, and left Hanely with just 13 big blinds, which she got all in against Nethery soon after and was eliminated in third. Nethery finished off Mullins when his queen-four held up unaided against Mullins’ jack-ten for the biggest tournament score of his life.

“My kids were going nuts texting me watching the live updates,” said Nethery, who is known as “Uncle Vegas” in his family because every time one of his nephews turns 21, he takes them to Las Vegas to celebrate. 

But it was Nethery’s turn to celebrate, planning on enjoying a steak Diane and a bottle of wine after the win. He normally plays cash and small tournaments at Livermore Casino near his home in California’s Bay Area, and occasionally some events at Bay 101. The family has a trip to Ireland coming up, and said he might have to upgrade his wife and himself to first-class tickets for the flight over. 

“This was such a well-run tournament. I can’t remember the last time I played in a tournament with 200 people where everybody was having a great time,” Nethery said. “No one was saying, ‘that was a stupid call.’ No one was attacking players. I hate that stuff.”

Kevin O'Donnell
Kevin O’Donnell won two of the 19 events.

The series featured a total of 19 events, two of which were won by pro Kevin O’Donnell, including the Western Seniors Poker Series seniors event, which was renamed in honor of Cary Marshall, a beloved Reno player who passed away just before the series began. Other events included limit Omaha/8, a survivor, a few bounty events and two events unique to Atlantis Casino Resort Spa – a Kitchen Sink event that was six-handed with bounties and the winners of each hand getting the button and an 8-Game Mix that included games such as Drawmaha, Badacey and Razzdugi popular in the poker room’s Monday night dealer’s choice cash game.

All players who made a final table got an Ante Up Poker Tour Atlantis hat, and winners of each event received trophies. Hold’em Radio live reported the entire series, and Poker News provided live reports from the Main Event. 

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is a AAA Four Diamond resort, with a luxuriously appointed Concierge Tower. All rooms in that tower and the Luxury Tower feature custom desks with a multimedia launch pad where guests can connect their laptop to the 42-inch flatscreen HDTV. Guests can choose from eight award-winning restaurants, including Bistro Napa, a winner of the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, and Toucan Charlie’s Buffet & Grille, which has been voted Best Buffet by locals. Atlantis has a 30,000-square-foot spa, 50,000 square feet of convention space and a casino that offers 1,400 slot machines, table games, race and sportsbook, keno lounge and a comfortable, non-smoking poker room.

8/23-25/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 15 $1,100 Main Event $200k GTD
189 Entries
$200,000 Prize Pool
24 Places Paid
1st Adds $1,650 Ante Up Champs Seat
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 John Nethery $47,902
2 Rian Mullins $33,581
3 Valerie Hanley $21,580
4 Craig DiSalvo $15,987
5 Ryan Awwad $12,000
6 Loren Klein $9,600
7 Jed Hoffman $7,974
8 Marshal Barnes $6,387
9 Madison Austria $4,780
10 Jarod Minghini $3,491
11 Tom Cage $3,491
12 Mary Swafford $3,491
13 Joe Elpayaa $2,876
14 Nathan Tremble $2,876
15 Sean Barker $2,876
16 Ted Lawrence $2,440
17 Scott Davies $2,440
18 Scott Yarnell $2,440
19 Josh Morrow $2,142
20 Rudy Wasstin $2,142
21 Shawn Daniels $2,142
22 Richard Hanley $1,904
23 David Badolato $1,904
24 Daoud Majid $1,904

 

8/15/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event #1 $200 Warmup $50 Bounties
69 Entries
$8,623 Prize Pool
$3,450 in Bounties
12 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Paul McGurk $2,078
2 Jacob Arguello $1,535
3 Robert Springer $1,116
4 Nathan Rold $826
5 Tim Kuss $620
6 Benjamin Horr $496
7 Don Grove $413
8 Jason Daniele $331
9 Curtis VIning $248
10 Randolph Vanderwest $200
11 Andrei Krauchuk $200
12 Tom Franklin $200

 

 

8/16-18/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 2 400 NLH $50k GTD
184 Entries
$62,468 Prize Pool
23 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Mitch Barney $12,803
2 Marty Gorenc $10,000
3 Steve Nevius $10,000
4 Jason Pease $5,050
5 Brian Lindstrom $3,775
6 Theodore Kessler $3,025
7 Arturo Segura $2,520
8 Jeff Day $2,075
9 Alan Mastic $1,505
10 Adam Bishop $1,100
11 Tom Franklin $1,100
12 Jed Hoffman $1,100
13 Jeff Trettenero $905
14 Mary Swafford $905
15 Joel Danforth $905
16 Scott Ayers $800
17 Arash Roofi $800
18 Dwight Englekirk $800
19 Brent Bruno $700
20 Paul Morris $700
21 Griffin Willis $700
22 Scott Hofer $600
23 Dale McMullen $600

 

 

8/16/17 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 3 $180 NLH $5k GTD
54 Entries
$8,119 Prize Pool
8 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Keith Asbell $2,636
2 Michael Powell $1,742
3 Gregory Varanese $1,093
4 Brian Curtis $899
5 Christine Pritchard $656
6 Chao Chen $493
7 Timothy Malone $425
8 Phillip Rhodes $175

 

 

8/17/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 4 $180 Omaha8 $5k GTD
$52 Entries
$7,818 Prize Pool
$7 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Edward Thiele $2,558
2 Dean Smith $1,718
3 David Badolato $1,113
4 Sherry Byrd $938
5 Larry Nicholas $704
6 Christopher Brandt $547
7 Robert Cain $240

 

 

8/17/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 5 $180 NLH $5k GTD
$49 Entries
$7,367 Prize Pool
$7 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Darren Walker $1,900
2 Richard Kamamru $1,661
3 Stewart Levy $1,458
4 Navjot Dhillon $908
5 Scott Ayers $687
6 Jagdeep Bal $503
7 Gerardo Murillo $250

 

 

8/18/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 6 $260 NLH $10k GTD
65 Entries
$14,186 Prize Pool
9 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Kevin O’Donnell $2,833
2 Ryan Awwad $2,200
3 Oren Mosher $2,200
4 Richard Moon $2,200
5 Scott Shawver $2,200
6 Vincent Mortino $851
7 Brian Curtis $709
8 Kenneth Webster $567
9 Paul McGurk $426

 

 

8/18/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 7 $140 NLH $100 Bounty
$80 Entries
$1,312 Prize Pool
$8,000 in Bounties
$5 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Shane Gray $263
1 Alfred Driscol $263
1 Jack Noble $262
1 Jeff Nichols $262
1 Arash Raoofi $262

 

 

8/18/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 8 $150 Survivor
24 Entries
3,000 Prize Pool
4 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Matthew Coleman $757
1 Aaron Fang $757
1 Tom Carmody $756
1 Thomas Raso $756

 

 

8/19-20/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 9 $200 Seniors $15k GTD
206 Entries
$32,970 Prize Pool
25 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Kevin O’Donnell $4,900
2 Tim Corcoran $4,564
3 George Geros $4,000
4 Joe Long $4,000
5 Mitchell Cogert $4,000
6 Richard Clausen $1,596
7 Greg Wagner $1,325
8 Dale McMullen $1,062
9 Scott Ayers $795
10 Ed Yang $580
11 Ralph Koehne $580
12 John Codding $580
13 Mark Vail $478
14 John Valadao $478
15 Monte Gilley $478
16 Marty Gorenc $406
17 Matthew Rabb $406
18 Mitchell Friedman $406
19 Mark Meurrens $356
20 Heidi Sjogren $356
21 Michael Alton $356
22 Nels Erickson $317
23 Barry Milender $317
24 Lance Donnell $317
25 Jim Stephen $317

 

 

8/19/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 10 $200 NLH $10k GTD
64 Entries
$10,554 Prize Pool
10 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Glynis He $1,929
2 Richard Hood $1,650
3 Stephen Velateur $1,650
4 Barry Raymos $1,650
5 Paul Sampson $1,650
6 Andrew Tang $608
7 Phillip Rhodes $503
8 Keith Asbell $397
9 Scott Shawver $292
10 Billy Casey $225

 

 

8/20/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 11 $260 Battle of the Ages
79 Entries
$17,242 Prize Pool
11 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Scott Ayers $4,431
2 Alfred Ahlm $3,000
3 Robert Rawlinson $3,000
4 Jarrad Reynolds $1,724
5 illy Derego $1,293
6 Brian David $1,035
7 Griffin Willis $862
8 Ron Mossbarger $690
9 Craig Harris $517
10 Grant Beere $345
11 Charles Smith $345

 

 

8/20/20 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 12 $180 8-Game Mix
22 Entries
$3,308 Prize Pool
3 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 William Nikakis $1,300
2 Barbara Kay $1,096
3 Andrew Tang $662
4 John Muntean $250

 

 

8/21/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 13 $260 6-Max $10k GTD
73 Entries
$15,932 Prize Pool
9 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Bill Watchman $2,816
2 Justin Buchanan $2,728
3 Adam Bishop $2,662
4 Dennis McMahan $2,488
5 Steve Christian $2,070
6 Ray Villaman $956
7 Ralph Koehne $797
8 Chance Prebey $637
9 Daniel Frank $478
10 Billy Derego $300

 

 

8/21/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 14 $450 $200 Bounty $20k GTD
64 Entries
$12,032 Prize Pool
$12,800 in Bounties
9 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Jared Shipley $3,610
2 Jeff Newman $2,527
3 Russell Groomer $1,624
4 Bill Sandborn $1,203
5 Tim Kuss $902
6 Mary Swafford $722
7 Punkie Nelson $602
8 Ray Villaman $481
9 Rex Linin $361

 

 

8/24/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 16 $180 NLH $5k GTD
39 Entries
$5,864 Prize Pool
5 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Marty Gorenc $1,994
2 Darrell Jones $1,793
3 William Barringer $1,006
4 Andrew Sling $771
5 Beean Lennon $300

 

 

8/25/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 17 $260 NLH $50 Bounties
57 Entries
$9,675 Prize Pool
$3,083 in Bounties
6 Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Tom Franklin $3,290
2 Griffin Willis $2,225
3 Scott Hofer $1,451
4 Stephen Bai $1,161
5 Arturo Segura $871
6 Leigh LeBlanc $677

 

 

8/25/19 Ante Up Reno Series
Event 18 $120 Kitchen Sink
16 Entries
$1,469 Prize Pool
$400 in Bounties
Places Paid
PLACE NAME PAYOUT
1 Jason Daniele $650
2 Donnie Rhodes $526
3 Steve Christian $293

 

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