HPT St. Louis goes to Las Vegas’ Garosshen


Ante Up Magazine Southern Poker

Editor’s note: Ante Up refrained from publishing its April issue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the news in the issue would have been obsolete, we are publishing online what we deem still newsworthy. There’s no predicting the future so while we may be mentioning some upcoming events, there is a very good chance they will be canceled as well. So, be sure to double check with poker rooms before returning to them.

Las Vegas native Kevin Garosshen topped a field of 392 entries to win the $1,650 main event of the Heartland Poker Tour at Hollywood Casino St. Louis. He took home $131,184 and a $3,500 championship package for his victory, his largest career score, in only his second HPT main event.

The final table, which included two World Series of Poker bracelet-winners (Kyle Cartwright and Brett Apter) lasted several hours, but the heads-up play between Garosshen and runner-up Brent Cunningham was short-lived. Austin McCormick, who finished fourth in an HPT main event in September, was the chipleader coming into the final table and had one of the most remarkable knockouts of the tournament.

His A-Q overcame aces, kings and sixes by hitting running queens on the turn and river to send Day 1A leader Ryan Tepen, former HPT St. Louis champ Paul Belken and Thomas Rennier to the rail in one fell swoop. He busted in sixth place for a $21,959 payday, while his fellow St. Charles locals Neil Patel and Lucas Tae finished in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Patel also finished sixth in the $300 heads-up event and cashed in Event 1. The top five spots were taken by out-of-towners. Jacob Book won the $200 seven-game mix with Craig Welko finishing second. Both players are St. Louis residents. Welko also finished eighth in the $200 deepstack and cashed in Event 13, a survivor tournament.


ELDORADO RESORT AND CASINO: The Shreveport property’s bad-beat jackpot (quad fours) was $264K before the pandemic.

L’AUBERGE CASINO BATON ROUGE: The bad-beat jackpot (quads) was $255K before the pandemic. Other promos include $200 high hands (Mon.-Thurs.), $200 Aces Cracked and $100 Faces Cracked (Fri.-Sun.).

HARRAH’S CASINO NEW ORLEANS: There’s a bounty event Wednesday nights at 6 for $150 with $50 bounties.

BOOMTOWN CASINO NEW ORLEANS: The bad-beat jackpot is easier to hit now as the qualifying hand aces full of jacks. Other promos include splash pots and Aces Cracked.

COUSHATTA CASINO: There are so many promotions at the Kinder poker room, including bad-beat jackpot (aces full of kings), splash pots, Sets Cracked, quads with rollovers, Kings Full Frenzy and Aces Cracked. Call for details.

ISLE CASINO LAKE CHARLES: There’s a $10K guarantee on Saturdays at 3 p.m. for $230 and a $5K guarantee Fridays at 8 p.m. for $150. Players can earn 2K chips for two hours of cash play.

L’AUBERGE CASINO RESORT LAKE CHARLES: You can get paid $500 for making quads in a cash game with rollovers on Sundays. There are drawings on Mondays and Wednesdays ($100-$500) as entries are earned for every two hours of live play.

HORSESHOE CASINO BOSSIER CITY: The mini-bad-beat jackpot (aces full of 10s) pays $5K.

South Florida

HARD ROCK HOLLYWOOD: The fourth edition of the Escalator Series got under way in mid-February and the $150 opening event ended with a seven-way chop as Rafaello Locatelli took home the trophy and $23,577.

The tournament beat the $100K guarantee with 1,477 entries for a prize pool of $177K-plus. All players at the final table received a $250 entry into Event 2.

In other news, the WPT Seminole Showdown, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series, which was set to run April 16-May 5, will be rescheduled.


HORSESHOE CASINO TUNICA: Every Saturday at the ’Shoe is the regionally famous $10K guarantee. Beginning at noon for $165, you get 12K chips and 30-minute blinds. This event is extremely popular and arriving early is recommended. As always, Horseshoe events draw a crowd and rooms will book quickly. For information about these events and others, or to arrange accommodations, call the poker room.

BEAU RIVAGE: The Million Dollar Heater wrapped up recently in Biloxi and here are some of the highlights: Schuyler Thornton captured the $600 opener, which had a $600K guarantee but pulled in 2,612 players for an $861K prize pool. Thornton earned $68K and Jackie Heard was second ($58K). William Scarsdale captured the $300 heads-up title for $5,763 and Joe Hebert won the $2K high roller for $74K.

PEARL RIVER RESORT: The Choctaw property hosts a $5K guarantee every fourth Saturday, but it’s a $3K guarantee for $125 at 5 p.m. every other Saturday. Call the poker room for details. In promotions, on Tuesday and Thursday in hold’em games (8 a.m.-7 p.m.), the top three high hands per hour win $100, $50 and $25 in what’s called Win, Place, Show High Hands.

North Florida

The February $5K at Ebro Greyhound Park drew 100 entries for a $9,500 prize pool. Todd Smith took top prize of $2,849 while Bobbie Rock and Adam Simerson split second and third for $1,500 each.

ORANGE CITY RACING AND CARD CLUB: The Tuesday night tournament (7:10) has become a $180 double-green-chip-bounty event paying $50 per bounty. The structure has 20-minute blinds and offers 18K stacks.

BESTBET ORANGE PARK: Esther Petiote of Woodlane, Ga., won $8,357 in the February deepstack event after a five-way chop. There were 319 entries for a $51K-plus prize pool as 40 spots were paid. Scott Kilduff, Jacobs Sukhram, Bryan Brozman and Terry Davis rounded out the top five.

BESTBET JACKSONVILLE: Bill Cavanaugh of St. Simons Isle, Ga., took home $15,883 in the $30K in February. Jack Sumner of St. Johns was runner-up and earned $11,100 from a $66,600 prize pool. The $350 event drew 222 entries.

DAYTONA BEACH RACING AND CARD CLUB: February was a hectic month. Event 7 of the GAPT Championship Series went to Roger Stewart of Sanford. Stewart won $16K in a tourney that drew 193 entries and paid 21 places. He also won the coveted GAPT Championship seat after a three-way agreement with Yaran Elkayam and Cory Pansano, who each took home $15K out of the $88K prize pool.

Michael Markson and Charles Fetterly chopped top money ($19K apiece) and Markson got the GAPT Championship seat for the Players event. Matija Simunic was declared champ of the GAPT Classic. Simunic was chipleader in a six-way split with each player taking down $4,200 each.

Central Florida

The World Series of Poker Circuit visited Hard Rock Tampa for the first time in February with 14 events, which drew 7,998 entries and awarded nearly $5.8M. Here are some of the highlights: Event 1 ($600 NLHE) drew 2,433 entries for a $1.2M prize pool as Byron Johnson took home $166,176 and a ring.

Fabian Foster was second ($102,705). Event 4 ($1,125 NLHE) saw Ryan Yu beat 227 entries for $53,725. Event 6 ($400 monster stack) went to Kevin Ho, who beat 1,370 entries for $70,567.

The $250 seniors event had 532 entries and Seth Bobet took home $16,354 and a ring. The $1,700 main event beat the $1M guarantee with a $1.76M prize pool from 1,162 entries. Isaac Kempton took home a $290,974 and the title. Visit shrtpoker.com for all events and winners.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS: Daily tournaments include Sunday superstack ($55, 1 p.m.) and cheap stack ($20, 7 p.m.); Tuesday and Thursday ministack ($45, $1K guarantee, 1 p.m.); Wednesday and Friday ($55, 1 and 7 p.m.), and Saturday ($90, 1 p.m. and $70, 7 p.m.).

OXFORD DOWNS: Daily tournaments include Monday $30 Shirley’s seniors at 11:15 a.m.; Tuesday $55 deepstack turbo at 12:15 p.m. Thursday $100 Omaha/8 at 11:15 a.m.; Saturday $100 NLHE at 12:15 p.m. and Sunday $230 deepstack at 12:15 p.m.

TGT POKER: The Tampa poker room hosts a $125 NLHE event, which has a $5K guarantee, the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Blinds are 25 minutes and players get 25K chips. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 is the Night Quickie Tournament. Buy-in is $20 for 8K chips 10-minute blinds. You can win $10 Quickie tickets all month in cash games and tournaments. Call the poker room to learn how.

NAPLES-FT. MYERS GREYHOUND TRACK: Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em are among the offerings now.

MELBOURNE GREYHOUND TRACK: Club 52 offers table top games, including High Card Flush, One Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Face Up, Pai Gow and Three Card Poker.   DERBY LANE: Daily tournaments run at 10 a.m.

Chris Cosenza

Chris Cosenza