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.

8/23-25/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 15$1,100Main Event$200k GTD
189Entries
$200,000Prize Pool
24Places Paid
1st Adds$1,650Ante UpChamps Seat
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1JohnNethery$47,902
2RianMullins$33,581
3ValerieHanley$21,580
4CraigDiSalvo$15,987
5RyanAwwad$12,000
6LorenKlein$9,600
7JedHoffman$7,974
8MarshalBarnes$6,387
9MadisonAustria$4,780
10JarodMinghini$3,491
11TomCage$3,491
12MarySwafford$3,491
13JoeElpayaa$2,876
14NathanTremble$2,876
15SeanBarker$2,876
16TedLawrence$2,440
17ScottDavies$2,440
18ScottYarnell$2,440
19JoshMorrow$2,142
20RudyWasstin$2,142
21ShawnDaniels$2,142
22RichardHanley$1,904
23DavidBadolato$1,904
24DaoudMajid$1,904

 

8/15/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event #1$200 Warmup$50 Bounties
69Entries
$8,623Prize Pool
$3,450in Bounties
12Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1PaulMcGurk$2,078
2JacobArguello$1,535
3RobertSpringer$1,116
4NathanRold$826
5TimKuss$620
6BenjaminHorr$496
7DonGrove$413
8JasonDaniele$331
9CurtisVIning$248
10RandolphVanderwest$200
11AndreiKrauchuk$200
12TomFranklin$200

 

 

8/16-18/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 2400NLH$50k GTD
184Entries
$62,468Prize Pool
23Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1MitchBarney$12,803
2MartyGorenc$10,000
3SteveNevius$10,000
4JasonPease$5,050
5BrianLindstrom$3,775
6TheodoreKessler$3,025
7ArturoSegura$2,520
8JeffDay$2,075
9AlanMastic$1,505
10AdamBishop$1,100
11TomFranklin$1,100
12JedHoffman$1,100
13JeffTrettenero$905
14MarySwafford$905
15JoelDanforth$905
16ScottAyers$800
17ArashRoofi$800
18DwightEnglekirk$800
19BrentBruno$700
20PaulMorris$700
21GriffinWillis$700
22ScottHofer$600
23DaleMcMullen$600

 

 

8/16/17Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 3$180NLH$5k GTD
54Entries
$8,119Prize Pool
8Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1KeithAsbell$2,636
2MichaelPowell$1,742
3GregoryVaranese$1,093
4BrianCurtis$899
5ChristinePritchard$656
6ChaoChen$493
7TimothyMalone$425
8PhillipRhodes$175

 

 

8/17/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 4$180Omaha8$5k GTD
$52Entries
$7,818Prize Pool
$7Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1EdwardThiele$2,558
2DeanSmith$1,718
3DavidBadolato$1,113
4SherryByrd$938
5LarryNicholas$704
6ChristopherBrandt$547
7RobertCain$240

 

 

8/17/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 5$180NLH$5k GTD
$49Entries
$7,367Prize Pool
$7Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1DarrenWalker$1,900
2RichardKamamru$1,661
3StewartLevy$1,458
4NavjotDhillon$908
5ScottAyers$687
6JagdeepBal$503
7GerardoMurillo$250

 

 

8/18/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 6$260NLH$10k GTD
65Entries
$14,186Prize Pool
9Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1KevinO’Donnell$2,833
2RyanAwwad$2,200
3OrenMosher$2,200
4RichardMoon$2,200
5ScottShawver$2,200
6VincentMortino$851
7BrianCurtis$709
8KennethWebster$567
9PaulMcGurk$426

 

 

8/18/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 7$140NLH$100 Bounty
$80Entries
$1,312Prize Pool
$8,000in Bounties
$5Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1ShaneGray$263
1AlfredDriscol$263
1JackNoble$262
1JeffNichols$262
1ArashRaoofi$262

 

 

8/18/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 8$150Survivor
24Entries
3,000Prize Pool
4Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1MatthewColeman$757
1AaronFang$757
1TomCarmody$756
1ThomasRaso$756

 

 

8/19-20/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 9$200Seniors$15k GTD
206Entries
$32,970Prize Pool
25Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1KevinO’Donnell$4,900
2TimCorcoran$4,564
3GeorgeGeros$4,000
4JoeLong$4,000
5MitchellCogert$4,000
6RichardClausen$1,596
7GregWagner$1,325
8DaleMcMullen$1,062
9ScottAyers$795
10EdYang$580
11RalphKoehne$580
12JohnCodding$580
13MarkVail$478
14JohnValadao$478
15MonteGilley$478
16MartyGorenc$406
17MatthewRabb$406
18MitchellFriedman$406
19MarkMeurrens$356
20HeidiSjogren$356
21MichaelAlton$356
22NelsErickson$317
23BarryMilender$317
24LanceDonnell$317
25JimStephen$317

 

 

8/19/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 10$200NLH$10k GTD
64Entries
$10,554Prize Pool
10Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1GlynisHe$1,929
2RichardHood$1,650
3StephenVelateur$1,650
4BarryRaymos$1,650
5PaulSampson$1,650
6AndrewTang$608
7PhillipRhodes$503
8KeithAsbell$397
9ScottShawver$292
10BillyCasey$225

 

 

8/20/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 11$260Battle ofthe Ages
79Entries
$17,242Prize Pool
11Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1ScottAyers$4,431
2AlfredAhlm$3,000
3RobertRawlinson$3,000
4JarradReynolds$1,724
5illyDerego$1,293
6BrianDavid$1,035
7GriffinWillis$862
8RonMossbarger$690
9CraigHarris$517
10GrantBeere$345
11CharlesSmith$345

 

 

8/20/20Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 12$1808-GameMix
22Entries
$3,308Prize Pool
3Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1WilliamNikakis$1,300
2BarbaraKay$1,096
3AndrewTang$662
4JohnMuntean$250

 

 

8/21/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 13$2606-Max$10k GTD
73Entries
$15,932Prize Pool
9Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1BillWatchman$2,816
2JustinBuchanan$2,728
3AdamBishop$2,662
4DennisMcMahan$2,488
5SteveChristian$2,070
6RayVillaman$956
7RalphKoehne$797
8ChancePrebey$637
9DanielFrank$478
10BillyDerego$300

 

 

8/21/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 14$450$200 Bounty$20k GTD
64Entries
$12,032Prize Pool
$12,800in Bounties
9Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1JaredShipley$3,610
2JeffNewman$2,527
3RussellGroomer$1,624
4BillSandborn$1,203
5TimKuss$902
6MarySwafford$722
7PunkieNelson$602
8RayVillaman$481
9RexLinin$361

 

 

8/24/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 16$180NLH$5k GTD
39Entries
$5,864Prize Pool
5Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1MartyGorenc$1,994
2DarrellJones$1,793
3WilliamBarringer$1,006
4AndrewSling$771
5BeeanLennon$300

 

 

8/25/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 17$260NLH$50 Bounties
57Entries
$9,675Prize Pool
$3,083in Bounties
6Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1TomFranklin$3,290
2GriffinWillis$2,225
3ScottHofer$1,451
4StephenBai$1,161
5ArturoSegura$871
6LeighLeBlanc$677

 

 

8/25/19Ante UpRenoSeries
Event 18$120KitchenSink
16Entries
$1,469Prize Pool
$400in Bounties
Places Paid
PLACENAMEPAYOUT
1JasonDaniele$650
2DonnieRhodes$526
3SteveChristian$293