Downstream Casino Resort-Quapaw, OK Recap

Ozark Man Gets Through Ice & Snow to Win $59k

Quapaw, OK- Dedicated poker enthusiasts went heads up against Mother Nature for a chance to win life-changing money on national TV when The Heartland Poker Tour returned to Quapaw, Oklahoma.  The “Four States” area of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas saw one of the worst storms in recent history, blanketing the area with ice and snow.  Although airports and highways were closed, more than two hundred diehard players found their way to Downstream Casino Resort.  

Just two Missouri business owners overcame the storm outside and in to go heads up.  Joey McCaig, a Springfield furniture store owner, knocked off every player at the final table before facing Reginald Roberts for $59,891.  Roberts, who owns a lighting business in Ozark, proved unstoppable when he hit the flop to pair his ace against McCaig’s gutshot straight draw.  Crippled in chips, McCaig survived just a couple more hands before collecting $29,945 in second place.   

Retired furniture importer Ernie Grant planned ahead on the brink of the storm, parking his car on top of a hill to get out in time to play the Main Event.  Playing poker for over 40 years, the Bella Vista, Arkansas man made it to the televised final table on his first attempt playing a Heartland Poker Tour event.  Still snowed in, his wife was unable to attend the taping of the final table.  When the two episodes filmed Sunday air in Season VI, she’ll watch her husband finish sixth for $9,982.  The widely-distributed Heartland Poker Tour is syndicated in over 100 million US homes, throughout Europe, and the Caribbean.

Giving himself plenty of time to travel safely and sneak in a cash game, Don Douglas of Warrensburg, Missouri arrived two hours early.  Going out in fifth place when a third ten hit the turn against his ace-king, his $ 11,978 payday was pure profit.  Douglas won enough to pay for his qualifier seat while he waited for the tournament to start.  

Twenty-year-old Richie Blazevic was more concerned about getting home than getting there.  The Pittsburg State student takes an eight o’clock class Monday mornings.  When the Heartland Poker Tour visited Downstream a year ago, the marathon final table continued until 6 AM.   An ace-king against his ace-ten allowed him to hit the road in plenty of time, cashing out in fourth place with $ 13,974 for tuition.

No stranger to winter, Adrian Crededio of Chicago is a man on a mission to “win enough to do little or nothing else.”  All in with ace-queen against jack-eight, it looked like he was on his way. The self-described “aspiring man of leisure” has been on the road for weeks playing as much poker as possible.  An ace on the flop and jack on the river meant the end of the road for his championship bid Sunday night.  His $17,967 prize for third place will fill his tank for more poker road trips.

At each stop on the tour, producers of Heartland Poker Tour invite poker enthusiasts to compete for a chance to play on TV and win a substantial cash prize.  Of the 214 poker enthusiasts who played the Main Event, five of the final six to make it to the televised set were from the Four State region.  

“I’ll put our great players up against players from any other region, “says Elliott Schecter, Poker Room Manager for Downstream.  Long after the snow melts, local players will boast about beating out accomplished opponent Greg Raymer, the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.  Raymer, known as “The Fossilman”, finished 204th when he ran into another player’s aces.


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