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Fri & Sat, Jan. 15-16, Majestic Star Casino, Gary IN

Sponsored by Win Texas Holdem Card, the "Science of Poker"











(Jan. 16). BREAKING NEWS: News is just reaching the poker wires that Ronald Golz of Orland Park, IL has won the 2010 Quad-States Poker Texas Holdem Championship. Kevin Rush finished 2nd ahead of Jason Trezak of Portage, IN who finished in 3rd Place. The Final Table included David Kheel (4th), Michael Kroll (5th), Bret Martin (6th), Logan McCoy (7th), Ben Reinhart (8th) and Vicente Torres in 9th.

David Kheel of New York, NY, was crowned 2010 Grand Champion due to his stellar finish in both No-Limit Texas Holdem and Mixed Games events. Chicago Poker News will bring you the full story and photos as they become available.




Runner-Up Bracelet awarded at marathon tournament.

Francesco "Cheech" Barbaro

 2010 Quad-States Poker Mixed Games Champion

(Jan. 16). BREAKING NEWS: Francesco "Cheech" Barbaro of Willow Springs, Illinois wins the 2010 Quad-States Mixed Games Title Bracelet after over 14 hours of non-stop competition at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary. Jon Johnson of Hoffman Estates, IL was runner-up and Dan Miller of Nappanee, Indiana finished 3rd. The Final Table included Gary Lucht (4th), Donald Hines (5th), Alan Milesky (6th), Thomas Martin (7th), Michael Foster (8th) and Kevin Bohling.

Tournament Advisor Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop watched the event and noted that of the final 12 players "...anyone of them could have won it... it was one of the most solid fields I've seen.... these are veteran players who know poker is more than just Texas Holdem... that's why a special Runner-Up title bracelet was declared..".

Bishop described the Championship as "...throwback poker to the early days of marathon Vegas tournaments... it took more than skill and some luck, you needed experience, patience, and alot of stamina. It also required an efficient and dedicated management team. "The Majestic Star poker tournament staff did an amazing job running such a challenging tournament," noted Bishop. "Because the dealers were experienced at all the games, there were very few calls to the floor for rulings."

To put Barbaro's accomplishment in historical perspective, at the rate the 45 players were eliminated from this event the 6500-person 2009 WSOP Main Event would have taken about 180 days of 12-hour play and the 770-person $1500 HORSE which lasted 3 days would have been stretched out to 21 days! The grand prize for endurance goes to the WSOP World Championship HORSE which in 2009 took 62 hours to eliminate 95 players!

The Runner-Up title bracelet was awarded to Jon Johnson who finished in 2nd place. "...Johnson battled to the end..." said Bishop, "... he was right down to the felt with 5 players to go and came back to make it a photo finish... he sure earned it."

"Cheech" attributed his victory to several factors, especially having played Mixed Game and High-Low Tournaments for over ten years, "... my strategy was to use my experience and play each hand based on how it presented itself...", he said, "... when you're playing 3 different games both no-limit and limit against this quality of competition you can't take your focus away for a second..."

If a bad beat at the final table were awarded it might go to Kevin Bohling who was all-in for a major double up holding A-Q vs. A-J. When the Jack came on the river Bohling slammed the table, resigned to the "agony of defeat", out in 9th place. "I think it was toughest on Gary and Donald", said Bishop, " come so close after playing so brilliantly... they've both been playing Mixed Games for decades".

The Championship started at 6pm Friday and concluded with the morning sun well overhead around 9am Saturday. The final payout percentage was nearly 90%. The Quad-States Championship continues today with the No-Limit Texas Holdem Event.

The Championships are sponsored by Win Texas Holdem Card, "the Science of Poker". Chicago Poker News will report the full story on both of these historic tournaments as the information becomes available.

(Jan. 12). BREAKING NEWS: Chicago Poker News announces the 2010 Quad States No-Limit Poker Grand Championship, scheduled for January 15 & 16 at the Majestic Star Casino & Hotel in Gary.

Publisher Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop reflects on the significance of these tournaments: "...This is the Regional Championship of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin... Players come from all over the country... it's the series that puts the players to the test and decides it all... you have to get it right: the buy-in, the payout, the awards, everything has to be focused on establishing who the true Champions are..."

The Quad-States Poker Grand Championship is designed as the most challenging and prestigious tournament series in the Lake Michigan Region. Three title bracelets will be awarded along with trophies and high-percentage cash payouts. "... the Lake Michigan region is known for the heart of it's competitors... Dick Butkus would have played football for free just to compete... that's the dedication of Quad-States players... from Green Bay to Chicago to Indy to Detroit, you can't find better competition..." said Bishop.... "....we'll play in 20 below weather, just shuffle up and deal !..."

Custom jewelers have designed three unique masterpiece title bracelets worthy of this historic Regional Championship event.

Mixed Games (H.O.S.E.) Grand Championship Jan 15

No Limit Texas Holdem Grand Championship Jan 16

Players may compete in one or both of these championship tournaments. In addition to generous cash payouts to the top 10%+ of finishers, one title bracelet will be awarded to the winner of each event. The player with the best combined standing in both events will be awarded the Grand Championship Title and Bracelet.

Both tournaments will be conducted "double elimination" style with one full re-buy and add-on available. This is the toughest tournament style and effectively means that to win you must "beat everyone twice", leaving no doubt who the Champion is. Double elimination tends to reduce the luck factor and increase the skill factor in the contest.

The Quad-States tournaments have an excellent payout structure, offering over a 90% prizepool payout at full buy-in & rebuy in addition to trophies and the coveted Championship Title Bracelets. "The payout percentage for these tournaments is about as high as it gets", says Bishop, "... players can do the math and recognize the value here..."

Despite the popularity of the Texas Holdem Event, Bishop advises players not to overlook the Mixed Games Championship: "... Texas Holdem gets alot of attention these days, since Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP in 2003...", Bishop reflects, "... I've been managing poker events almost 20 years, I can tell you absolutely, without question, the number one way to improve your poker game is to play Mixed Games. It's like an athlete needs to cross train, a poker player needs to play all the games if they want to get to the top... that's one reason Chicago Poker News recognizes this series as the 4-State Regional Championship, because it offers both Texas Holdem AND Mixed Games and has a great payout..."

A special hotel room rate will be available to players at the event. See calendar page for complete details.

See official Majestic Star PDF on blind schedule, payout structure, and general rules for 2010 Quad States Texas Holdem Championship here.

See official Majestic Star PDF on blind schedule, payout structure, and general rules for 2010 Quad States Poker Mixed Games Championship here.

All players reaching the final tables will also qualify for the Player of the Decade Championship. For more tournament information click here. This championship event is brought to you by Win Texas Holdem Card, the "Science of Poker". Click here for a special offer for tournament attendees.



Kostas Tsonis wins Chicago Championship

5 New Players Qualify for Player of the Decade

Next Up: Quad States Championship Jan 15 & 16

A field of 90 qualifying players shuffle up and deal.

See event photo coverage here.

(June 20, 2009). BREAKING NEWS: On Sunday, June 14th, over 90 Chicago poker players met to compete at the 3rd Annual Chicago No-Limit Poker Grand Championship. The tournament featured all the competition and drama you would expect of an event of this caliber. As one measure of difficulty, four of the players making the final table had previously qualified for the 2010 Player of the Decade Grand Championship!  

Chicago's most challenging poker championship features Double Elimination No Limit Texas Holdem. This structure gives every player two full opportunities to win.  Tournament Director "Chicago Mike" Bishop explains: "This is the toughest tournament structure because double elimination format effectively means you must beat everyone twice... it increases the skill factor while reducing the luck factor. This format was first introduced right here in Chicago and it's one reason Chicago poker is respected around the world..."

After nearly 10 hours of play, Championship honors went to Kostas Tsonis. Chicago poker veteran Jamie Grenon was second runner up. Tsonis came to the Final Table short stacked and adjusted his game accordingly, "... I waited until the right situations came along... I folded some medium pairs along the way, I just didn't want to chase marginal situations..."  

Kostas Tsonis, 3rd Annual Chicago NL Holdem Champion

See Final Table here.

Bishop remembers one very fateful heads-up hand: "... They'd been playing heads-up back and forth for awhile when chip leader Jamie Grenon hit a good made hand and put Kostas all in. It was one of those Joe Hachem moments where Kostas had a well-hidden inside straight and the huge pot really swung the tide his way..." When the final hand was dealt shortly thereafter, Chicago Mike gave high praise to Tsonis, "... I've seen him excel at tournament poker for years... but more than raw talent he's got a love for the action... it's something the great throwback players were born with because their game seems to improve under pressure..."

Besides Tsonis, this year's Final Table included 3 other players who had previously qualified for the 2010 Tournament of the Decade including Jennifer Lewkowicz, Richard Lambert, and 2007 Player of the Year Fabian Ramos. The entire Final Table will return to compete in the 2010 Chicago Poker Tournament of the Decade.

Acting Tournament Director for this event was Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop, a rules forum administrator for the Poker Tournament Directors Association. Interviewed after the tournament, Bishop commented: "...TDA Rules are the industry standard. The TDA has been working tirelessly for almost a decade to bring uniformity to the industry. By following a consistent set of rules the players know what to expect from tournament to tournament, it increases the level of the game and reduces the surprises...."

Bishop continues to be impressed by the skill level of players in the region: "... the tournaments just keep getting better year after year.... new players emerge and the veterans have to prove themselves again... The entire Lake Michigan region is great... This is the home of Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, Kenna James, Bill Edler... Scotty Nguyen first lived in Chicago when he came to the States. Greg Raymer started playing when he practiced law here.... you can't find better competition than in the Quad-State area..."

For complete photo coverage of the 2009 Championship, click here. More information can also be found at the event websites at the Chicago Poker Group and the Chicago Texas Holdem Group.

Chicago Poker News is honored to have been a part of this historical tournament and congratulates all competitors for making it such a great success!

For an index of pictorial coverage of all prior Championships in the series, click here.

See archive of prior news stories here.

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