Amer wins big at Ohio Championship


Ante Up Magazine Midwest Poker

The annual Ohio Poker Championship tournament series ran Dec. 2- 15 at Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio. The $550 main event drew 795 entries for a $354,100 prize pool that beat the $250K guarantee. One of those entries was Abdul Amer, who won the title and took home $70,813. Brian Hall ($43,661) came in second and Ian Richardson ($32,188) took third.

For Amer, who lives in the Columbus area, the win continues a remarkable run over the past two years. In 2018, he won the $1,100 main event of the MSPT in Cleveland for $118,350, his largest payday. Before his win in December, Amer had cashed in 12 tournaments in 2019, including a sixth-place finish at an HPT event ($30,418) and four cashes at the World Series of Poker, totaling $53,545.

Other winners at the Ohio Poker Championship were Zack Sims ($200 Super Stack, $3,768); Steven Perkins ($200 double-green-chip bounty, $3,518); Daniel Hummer ($200 seniors, $6,736); Michael Lind ($200 Sunday Funday, $4,798); Thomas Williamson ($200 second chance, $5,001) and Roger McKinney ($150 warm-up, $4,388). The $350 deepstack and $150 women’s events ended with first-place chops.


CANTERBURY PARK: Season 10 of the Mid-States Poker Tour concluded in Shakopee as Anthony Dunne of Minneapolis made the most of his first MSPT cash by coming home with the $155,288 and the trophy. Dunne navigated a tough final table, including two former MSPT Player of the Year champions: Richard Alsup and Aaron Johnson.  

Johnson finished third for his eighth MSPT final table as Alsup was second, making 12 MSPT final tables for him.  Dunne started Day 2 with the 19th largest stack. Dunne started heads-up play with a big lead against Alsup.  Dunne’s K-J bested Alsup’s A-5 after they got it all-in preflop, giving Dunne the title. The $1,100 event drew 802 runners for a $776,440 prize pool.

Becky Anderson of Shakopee took home $16,539 after chopping the $500 Monster Stack. The event drew 243 entries for a $105,704 prize pool.

RUNNING ACES: Michael Confer of Centerville, Minn., won the Cold Hard Cash tournament in Columbus. The $20,037 is the best of his career. Others of note at the final table included Steven Belland, Eric Eelkema, Jason Sell, Muneer Ahmed and Alan Carty. The $280 event drew 606 players for a $119,877 prize pool.


FIREKEEPERS CASINO: The fifth annual Valentine’s Day mixed-doubles tourney is Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in Battle Creek. It’s $50 per person and each player gets 10K chips and 20-minute levels. For Levels 1-4, each team member plays with their own stacks, but at Level 5, the teams and chips combine. Teams will alternate play after each level as long as there are chips in play. 

GUN LAKE CASINO: See the ad on Page 31 for information about this new 14-table room in Wayland and check our Where to Play listings. If you’d like up-to-date cash-game details, download the Bravo Live Poker app. 


The annual Holiday Poker Classic at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa saw Cody Bartlett take down the $350 main event for $31,903 after beating Alex Wheeler in head-up play. The main event had 263 entries. The $150 senior event drew 81 entries and Mark Laughlin took home the title and nearly $3K. He also had success in the $230 tag-team event, which had 31. With partner Ken Reedbouley, Laughlin chopped the title with the team of Charles Marty and Duster Ellis for $1,163 each. 

The Horseshoe hosts the RunGood Poker Series on Feb. 4-9 that will culminate in a $100K guarantee main event. There’s also a bounty, PLO and turbos.

PRAIRIE MEADOWS CASINO: WSOP main-event satellites have returned for this summer’s big event. The next one is Feb. 16 for $200. The winner gets a $10K buy-in plus $2K for expenses. 


FOUR WINDS SOUTH BEND: The bad-beat jackpot (quads) was $184K-plus at press time. There are $500 high hands daily with a bonus Monday-Thursday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). If the hand holds up it wins $1K. Call the poker room at 574-931-3309 to be placed on the waiting list one hour in advance.

GRAND VICTORIA: A freeroll series has started with $150K guarantee main event Nov. 29. Three $10K guarantee freerolls with 10 seats advancing to the main event. 

The first freeroll is April 19. Call for more details Also, the bad-beat jackpot (aces full of kings) was $251K at press time.

HOLLYWOOD AURORA: The $50K HCA Classic will be April 25.

MAJESTIC STAR: The MSPT returns April 3-5 and Aug. 14-16.

PUPILLO WINS: Nick Pupillo, who started playing poker in the Chicago area, won the HPT Player of the Year. His first HPT win was at Ameristar in 2015 and he has $3M-plus in live earnings.


Wisconsin’s Mike Shin finished as the MSPT’s Player of the Year after amassing 5,725 points, well ahead of second-place finisher and 2018 MSPT POY Aaron Johnson (4,442). 

On Dec. 22, Leon Gao of Madison won a Venetian Las Vegas Deep Stack Extravaganza event for $7,571.

MPC: The $500 Madison Poker Community championship drew 54 entries for a $24,300 prize pool. In the end, Larry Wagner and Missy Bartelme chopped for $6,465 apiece. Meanwhile, Will Koenig finished at the MPC Player of the Year. 

POTAWATOMI HOTEL AND CASINO: The WSOPC runs at the Milwaukee property until Feb. 10.

Meet Ryan Page

Ryan Page, 32, was born in Madison, Wis., and grew up in nearby Verona. He spent seven years working from home for an answering service and then worked in the kitchen with his dad at Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ. All the while, he nurtured a love affair with poker.

“Poker became a passion of mine instantly after seeing it on the Travel Channel, then after the (Chris) Moneymaker boom on ESPN,” he said. “My proudest poker accomplishment is definitely my 13th-place finish at Ho-Chunk Mid-States Poker Tour’s $1,100 main event in February 2016. This was not even a month after my second surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my brain.”

The cash was good for $4,728 and came in a field of 489 entrants.

When asked who is favorite poker player is, Page snapped off Scotty Nguyen: “Keep the Michelob comin’ baaaaaaaby,” Page said, because of Nguyen’s entertaining personality.

Page is a member of the Madison Poker Community and can be spotted competing in bar games around town and in the bigger tournament stops in the Wisconsin area.

“Away from poker, I still like to cook for my wife, Rachel,” he said of his non-poker hobbies. “I recently found out that I am in remission, so every day is Friday for me.”
— Chad Holloway

Chris Cosenza

Chris Cosenza