Oklahoma crowns state champion of poker

Poker Table

Nearly two weeks of poker at the Cherokee Casino Resort in Catoosa, Okla. (outside of Tulsa) have crowned several state champions at the Oklahoma State Championships of Poker.

Starting on Feb. 14, the Championships featured $300 buy-ins for several disciplines of poker and drew quite respectable fields. The average field was 219 players, topped by the 754 runners that came to the line for Event 2, the No-Limit Hold'em State Championship. There definitely seemed to be something for everyone as Omaha Hold'em, Pot Limit (both Omaha and Texas Hold'em) and even H.O.R.S.E. champions were crowned.

The finale of the two weeks of poker was the $3,000 Oklahoma State Championship, a No Limit Hold'em tournament. Former world champions Berry Johnson and Scotty Nguyen, the Cherokee Casino's sponsored professional players, were both in attendance, as was fellow pro Keith Lehr.

While Johnson and Lehr both were eliminated early in the action, Nguyen stuck around for most of the tournament before being eliminated on the final-table bubble.

The gentleman who took out Nguyen, Fred Roll of Seneca, Mo., turned out to be the story of the tournament. He was a one-man wrecking crew as he eliminated all but one player at the final table and, incredibly, took out three in consecutive hands at one point.

For his two days of work at the Cherokee Casino, Roll captured the Oklahoma State Championship and a payday of $113,680.

"I'm happy I won. I felt confident about the game and I've been catching cards the last two days," Roll offered as an explanation of his success.

Roll was followed at the final table by the following men:

Fred Roll
Seneca, Mo.
Tony Lay
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Jason Mitchell
Broken Arrow, Okla.
Leroy Spires
Las Cruces, N.M.
Cory Albertson
Houston, Texas
Rufus Yates
New Iberia, La.
Branden Kennedy
Broken Arrow, Okla.
Steve Keel
Norman, Okla.
Son Pham
Wichita, Kan.

This is the third year that the Cherokee Casino has offered the State Championships, which is one of three large tournaments that the casino offers annually (the Cherokee Poker Classic and the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge are the other two).

"I'm proud of our accomplishments in the poker room here at Cherokee and we look forward to what our improvements will bring for the upcoming year," says Poker Room Manager Jimmy Simms. For a list of all the new Oklahoma state champions, be sure to visit www.cherokeecasino.com for more details.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »