Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba Lotteries puts on its poker face

  • Print

Manitoba Lotteries got to the game late but they are in it to win it.

McPhillips Station Casino will host the second annual Manitoba Lotteries Poker Open, which consists of no-limit Texas hold 'em games played over four days, beginning today. The tournament could be the largest in Manitoba's history.

Players wishing to enter events will have to ante up between $300 and $1,100, depending on the category of competition. If the tournament sells out, total cash prizes will exceed $500,000; 1,000 seats are available.

Manitoba held its first big poker tournament last year, while other provinces have held major tournaments for five years.

The reason for Manitoba's tardiness is murky.

"There were some obstacles we had to get through," said Francis Salazar, poker manager for Manitoba Lotteries. "We didn't have the resources."

Ken Hunter, last year's big money winner, said he was impressed with the first effort.

"It was a feather in the cap of the guys who run tournaments in Manitoba," Hunter said.

"The local dealers are top-notch," he added. "They make it a good time."

In the past many Manitoban poker players seeking a big tournament travelled to Regina, according to Hunter. Things have changed. He said last year's tournament was comparable to any event held in Regina.

Salazar said they've improved the event by listening to last year's players.

"We are offering them a better meal," he said. They also extended the event from three days to four and added an invitational tournament.

People curious about poker or the tournament are encouraged to come to the casino and see what it's all about.

"It's a lot of fun," Hunter said. "There's nothing like it."

Hunter's $56,162 cash prize last year gave him the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and compete in a senior event in the World Series of Poker.

Lotteries is a latecomer to the major tournament circuit, but Salazar said this has an upside -- it allowed them to learn from others.

"We've watched what other tournaments have done and are trying to make ours the best."

Poker tournaments are usually held at Club Regent but until its new concert bowl is completed in 2013, there isn't room for the expected turnout.

The Manitoba Poker Championship, Manitoba Lotteries' next large-scale tournament, will be held Sept 19-23.

kelly.graham@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2012 B3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

Ads by Google