Saipan’s Jack Torres went home $1,400 richer after he won the Pika Festival Texas Hold ’Em Poker Tournament hosted by the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino on Saturday evening.
Torres bested 45 other players in the game that started at 10 p.m. and finished at past 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Coming in second and bagging the $450 prize was Motetsu Gaja, followed by third place winner of $300 Ernesto Rivera, both from Tinian.
Fourth place winner Sim Tae Seob and fifth placer Sim Tae Seob won $100 and $50.
Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino marketing manager Chell Funtanar said the turnout was good despite the fact that they did not reach their targeted number of players.
She said some of the players who had already registered for the poker tournament backed out because the tournament started out so late and they were already playing at the slot machines in the casino.
“Some of them were already winning at the machines and did not want to leave their games anymore,” Funtanar said.
They plan to hold more Texas Hold ’ Em poker tournaments within the year to entice more people from Saipan and Rota as well as tourists to come to Tinian.
Tinian Dynasty scheduled the Texas Hold ’Em Poker tournament on Saturday in time for the two-day Pika Festival or hot pepper festival at Tachogna Beach.
“We made the timing so that our players can also have the chance to experience the island’s famous hot pepper festival,” she said.
A Baccarrat Challenge is slated for March 12-13. Over the weekend, the casino also re-launched its Paradise Slot Club, the island’s premier player’s club. Frequent casino players can sign up to earn benefits such as free meals, free hotel accommodation, airline passes, invitations to parties and special events, free entries to tournaments, gift certificates at Monster Pizza or Dynasty gift shops, and more.
Membership is free. Benefits add up each time points are earned playing slots, video, poker or Sega horse race.