The World Series of Poker Circuit at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Los Angeles is in the books as it saw nearly 3,000 entries, $1.8M in prize money and 13 rings awarded. Most of the players earning a ring (11 of 13) were first-time winners. Some of those competitors were Kristian Fabros (Event 3, $11,550), Adam Kipnis, who won the HORSE tourney (Event 4, $9,185), Javid Javani, conquering a field of 815 entries in the Monster Stack (Event 5, $61,795), Mike Dollins (Event 10, $27,565), and Justin Chauvin (Event 15, $10,010).
Ian Steinman was the first to break through for another title. Steinman earned his third ring by defeating five-time WSOPC champ Scott Stewart heads-up in Event 8 ($400 NLHE).
Andrew Wisdom took down the $3,250 High Roller for a second time at the Bike, earning him $75,390 and his second ring.
A handful of WSOP bracelet-winners also made themselves known during the series. Omaha legend and three-time bracelet-winner “Miami” John Cernuto had a fine showing in Event 9 ($400 Omaha/8), making the final table. But another bracelet owner, Carol Fuchs, took the title. Fuchs, a mixed-games pro from Los Angeles, beat nearly 100 players for her first ring.
A smattering of international players visited the winner’s circle, beginning with Mike Cean in Event 1. Cean, native to Romania, topped a field of 287 for $21,600 and his first ring.
Then came Mark Hamilton (Event 6, $6,190), originally from Great Britain, and Luis Yepez (Event 7, $10,475), a Venezuelan who moved to the United States in 2019. Canadian Joe Matton won Event 12 ($22,775) and Sid El Harrak, native of London but living in California) won the main event. El Harrak meticulously made his way through three days of poker and 487 entrants to seize his first ring, a top prize of $147,435 and a seat to the Global Casino Championship.
JAMUL CASINO: The RunGood Series visits Feb. 18-23. This stop will include a $100K guarantee main event. For more on this, including a satellite schedule, see the ad on the next page.
BAY 101 CASINO: The Bay 101 Shooting Star series returns March 8-14. The $5,200 Shooting Star with 30 players having a $2K bounty on them is one of the country’s most popular tournaments for pros and locals. Satellites are running to give players a chance to win their seat for $350 or $700. Preliminary events include a $1,100 tourney March 8 and a $2,100 event March 10.
LUCKY CHANCES CASINO: The $265 Last Sunday of the Month tournament has a $50K guarantee, 15K starting stacks, 30-minute levels and a 9:30 a.m. start time.
THUNDER VALLEY RESORT: Chris Elkins ($11,735) took down the New Year’s Day $30K guarantee. Also, the WSOPC was still running at press time so look for a recap in our March issue.
Next up on the tournament schedule is the Feb. 29-March 10 WPT Rolling Thunder series, featuring the $5K main event. After that is the March 19-April 7 WPT DeepStacks Season Championship series, including the $1M guarantee Season Championship $2,500 main event the final weekend of the series. See the ads on Pages 2-3 and 46-47 in our current issue.
JACKSON RANCHERIA: On Sundays at 10:30 a.m., there’s a $100 bounty event with 15K stacks and $50 bounties. Saturdays at 11 a.m. is a $60 event with $20 bounties tournament and a $1.5K guarantee. Earn a 2K-chip bonus to your starting stack with at least one hour of live play before the tourney begins.
— Dan Ross, the northern California Ante Up Ambassador, is owner of Hold’em Media, including Hold’em Radio Podcast Network and the Hold’em Live Updates tournament reporting team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Meadows, the Oregon city’s largest social gaming room (22 tables) closed in December after the sale and redevelopment of the Portland Meadows horse-racing facility, but another location, under the same moniker, should have opened at 8102 NE Killingsworth by the time this issue hits the stands.
The final week was commemorated with a 15-event Grand Finale series that awarded two Oregon-shaped trophies for the final two events.
The $80K guarantee championship event ($480, no re-entry) got more than 250 players for a prize pool of $120K-plus and awarded $24K to Lucas Ferguson of Eugene, Ore. The final tournament of the series. $15K guarantee Big O, saw Liz Tedder (Newberg, Ore.) get more than $7K and the trophy in a heads-up deal with Jacob Thibodeau of Juneau. The total prize pool was pumped up to nearly $40K in Big O-crazy Portland, with 175 entries and re-entries and 70 add-ons. Thibodeau was having a good weekend, as he also took third in the NLHE championship.
CHINOOK WINDS: The PacWest Classic is Feb. 15-23, featuring 13 tournaments, including six-max ($50K guarantee, $550 entry), HORSE ($10K guarantee, $240 entry), Big O ($25K guarantee, $150 entry and $80 add-on) and big bounty ($40K guarantee, $650 entry, including $200 bounty). The opening event is a $100K guarantee for $310. The $575 main event has $225K guarantee and optional $200 add-on.
LITTLE CREEK: Northwest of Olympia, the poker room is open at 8 a.m. Thursday and Sunday, 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. Monday-Wednesday, closing at 4 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It regularly spreads $1-$3 NLHE and $4-$8 limit.
Sundays feature $4-$8 Omaha, Wednesdays is $3-$10 spread-limit hold’em and $5-$5 NLHE is available by request on Thursdays.
RED DRAGON: Open 24 hours, this north-of-Seattle room has 15 poker tables, daily tournaments at 10 a.m. and noon, 7 p.m. tournaments Sunday-Thursday and a $15K guarantee twice a month. Red Dragon regularly spreads $4-$8 Omaha, $3-$20 spread-limit and with $1-$3 PLO and NLHE.
RIALTO: In downtown Portland, look for runs low-stakes ($20-$200) equity-chop tournaments nightly. Usually NLHE, mixed with pot-limit Omaha and Big O, gets spread.
— Darrel Plant, the Pacific Northwest Ante Up Ambassador, is a poker blogger at mutantpoker.com.
SILVER LEGACY: You will find $100 high hands Monday-Friday (5 a.m.-noon). The highest hand (minimum aces full to qualify) will win $100.
GRAND SIERRA: The weekly $1,500 freeroll is Sundays at
2 p.m. Earn points by just playing and the top 20 players in hours are eligible for the tourney. There may be 10 alternates.
PEPPERMILL: Join Jason Somerville for the Run It Up Reno event April 3-13. Run It Up players qualify for 20 percent off of hotel room rates at the time of booking with code RUNITUP.
Valentyn Shabelnyk of the Ukraine won $136K for capturing the $3,500 main event of December’s Deep Stack Extravaganza at Venetian Las Vegas. Steve Sung from Southern California pocketed $85K as runner-up and George Wolff of Oregon grabbed $60K for third. The event drew 160 players and had a $504K prize pool.
The next DSE is under way and runs through March 1. A $600 Monster Stack with two starting flights begins Feb. 7 and has a $150K guarantee. Players start with 35K chips and play 40-minute levels.
The $400 Ultimate Stack has a $100K guarantee and begins Feb. 10 with two Day 1 flights. The starting stack is 40K and the levels are 30 minutes for the first 20 levels and then increase to 40 minutes.
An $800 Monster Stack with a $250K guarantee has three starting flights beginning Feb. 14. It has a 35K stack and 40-minute levels.
A $400 Monster Stack, which has a $100K guarantee, has the first of its two starting flights Feb. 22. The stack is 30K and the levels are 40 minutes.
A one-day $400 pot-limit Omaha event is Feb. 23 and has a $10K guarantee. For those of you who prefer freezeouts, one-day $300 Monster Stack events with no re-entry run Feb. 9 and March 1. These have $20K guarantees.
The main event starts Feb. 18. It offers a $1,600 buy-in, three starting flights and a $1M guarantee. Players start with 30K chips and play 60-minute levels.
There are plenty of $200, $300 and $340 events throughout the series. The guarantees for the series exceed $3.3M.
The regular schedule at the Venetian has been revised. There are tournaments daily at 12:10 and six days a week at 6:10. Monday-Thursday afternoons, a $150 NLHE tournament has an $8K guarantee. Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels. Friday is a $200 Super Stack with a $20K guarantee. Players start with 15K chips and play 30-minute levels. There are two $100 add-ons available. The first is available after the fourth level and is for 12K chips. The second is after the eighth level and is for 25K chips. That’s when registration ends. This tournament is so popular, there’s no evening event.
A $340 Double Stack runs Saturday afternoon as players start with 24K chips and play 40-minute levels. The guarantee is $25K. The Sunday tournament is a $250 Super Stack with a $15K guarantee. Players start with 20K and play 30-minute levels.
Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings host a $125 Monster Stack with a $4K guarantee that offers 20-minute levels and a 20K starting stack. Monday offers a $125 bounty with a $4K guarantee, 15K stacks, 20-minute levels and $25 bounties. This same tournament runs Thursday but with a $6K guarantee. Tuesday has a $200 bounty event with 12K stacks, 30-minute levels and $50 bounties.
HARRAH’S: Mexico’s Anthony Spinella won the WSOPC main event in December, taking home $192K. Nipun Java of Los Angeles received $119K for second and Canada’s Jimmy Lee earned $87K for third. The $1,700 event had 665 entrants, creating a $1M prize pool, easily surpassing the $500K guarantee.
RIO: The WSOPC runs Feb. 14-25 with 14 ring events, including a $400 combination NLHE-PLO that starts Feb. 18 and plays over two days. The next day, a $600 two-day HORSE event begins. There is a one-day $250 seniors event Feb. 17. A $400 Monster Stack with two starting flights begins Feb. 21.
The $1,700 main event has two starting flights beginning Feb. 22 and a $1M guarantee. A $2,200 High Roller closes out the action Feb. 24.
WYNN: Michael Rocco of Southern California won the $5,300 championship at the Winter Classic in December, taking home $540K. Michael Dyer from Las Vegas earned $353K for second and England’s Ben Farrell claimed $240K for third. The event drew 557 players, resulting in a $2.7M prize pool, smashing the $1.5M guarantee.
BELLAGIO: Alex Foxen of New York took down the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December. He received $1.694M for the win and, as a result, finished first in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race for the second time in a row. Ireland’s Toby Joyce scored $1.12M for second and Seth Davies out of Oregon claimed $827K for third. The $10,400 event drew a record 1,035 players and had a $10M prize pool.
SAM’S TOWN: The room offers a $50 PLO tournament Wednesday nights at 7. Players start with 10K chips and play 20-minute levels. There is an optional $10 add-on for 5K chips available any time during the first six levels. The tournament features a $1K guarantee.
SAHARA LAS VEGAS: The poker room opens Jan. 29.
GREEN VALLEY RANCH: Through the end of March, the room is offering the GVR High Hands promo on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m., the highest hand of the period (two or three hours) receives $200, $250 or $300 depending on the period it hits.
If a period does not have a qualified winner, that amount rolls over into the next day the promo runs. The minimum qualifying hand is queens full.
— Check out Rob Solomon’s blog at robvegaspoker.blogspot.com.
Meet Jordan Cristos
Jordan Cristos won the 2019 U.S. Poker Open pot-limit Omaha event for $179,200. Jordan, whose nickname is J.C., is a father of two boys. His hobbies include spending time with his family, listening to yoga, meditating, creating music, writing out ideas and keeping dream logs.
How did you start playing poker? I learned stud, five-card draw and gin rummy from Grandma. I was introduced to no-limit hold’em during the boom.
What’s your best poker memory? The best poker experiences I’ve had was winning the WPT Legends in 2013 and getting deep in the 2018 WSOP main event. Both had their own sacred tone, a magical experience.
Favorite poker room, players and plans for 2020? My favorite place to play is the Venetian and playing at the Rio during the WSOP. My favorite poker players are Mike Kachan and Garrett Greer. My plan for this year is just to play better than ever and see where that takes me. — Philip Chow