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iNinja returns from the dead at Atlantis!

Our first event at Atlantis casino in Reno was a huge success. With total prize pools of nearly $300,000, and a guarantee smashed every day, there can be no doubt that iNinja is here to stay. The day by day breakdown of the events is below, and you can read a lighthearted look at the events from our perspective over at CardPlayer Lifestyle.

March 6th

We arrived in town a little early to prepare, but the first official happening was not until the 6th, the day before the series kicked off. We met up with some local players, dealers, and staff, at a wonderful little bar and restaurant called the Lucky Beaver. Located just across the street from the Atlantis, the Beaver has fantastic food, cocktails, and staff. We went back multiple times over the course of the event.

Of course they were ninja balloons. Of course.

Our friend Shyla showed up with a friend in tow. Her pal Trina, who was dealing the event, was very interested in the tour. She has been a twitch streamer in the past and loves the industry. The Lucky Beaver would indeed be lucky for us as our meetup with Trina made us a new friend and a new team member!

Trina and Shyla, two of our favorite dealers and friends of the tour, celebrated with us the night before the event at the Lucky Beaver

There were balloons, party favors, drinks, and food, until the wee hours of the morning. Some in celebration of our first big event since the relaunch and some in anticipation of a long road ahead. When you are about to start working fourteen hour days for almost two weeks, the beer flows freely.

March 7th

The big day! In working with the staff at Atlantis, we learned that Reno players love bounty tournaments. Their bounty events have always done well in this slot, so we kicked off the series with the Warm Up Bounty, a $150+50 event that drew a nice field of 79 entries. Not bad for our first event on a Thursday in evening and it surpassed the guarantee easily. Players had a great time, and iNinja themed party favors were again dished out. We were impressed with the staff at Atlantis and the dealers that came in from out of town. Things were looking good.

The Warm Up Bounty was ultimately chopped, with local pro Ivan Zarate getting the lion’s share of the prize pool and the other players each walking with a nice profit for the night on top of whatever bounties the had collected. Ivan would cash in a number of our other events and feature in a fun prop bet story later on.

Ivan Zarate won the Warm Up Bounty event and a hilarious prop bet that we’ll discuss a little farther down…
PlaceFirst NameLast NamePayout
1IvanZarate$2,300
2MitchellCogert$809
3EdgarLabit$809
4DamienJudd$809
5JonathanFarrell$809
6JoseRodriguez-Deluna$809
7WilliamBarringer$808
8ArronSchrmacher$808
9JasonDaniele$808
10PaulSamson$808

The $70 mega-satellite to the $40k Guarantee event also drew on a nice field, giving away eleven seats and some cash.

March 8th

The first two flights of our $280 buy-in event had the room buzzing. $40,000 was an ambitious guarantee for such a small buy-in, but we were confident that we could pull it off. With some help from the marketing department at Atlantis, we were on track after the first two flights and another satellite. We loved seeing the overflow area and hallways filled with players. The old iNinja used to pack rooms for similar events and it was great to see that the old magic was still working.

March 9th

This was our earliest start of the series, at least for the staff. The local news channel KRNV Reno was in the poker room at 5 am to begin airing live spots with us on the morning news. We aren’t morning people (especially Fox) but we had some coffee and made it to the card room before five.

Two more flights for the $40k event brought the total field up to 199 players today. As with all of our two day events, everyone who makes day two is in the money, so the players coming back on Sunday were all pleased to be up for the weekend and fighting for that $11,000 prize up top.

A $200 Omaha/8 event also drew a nice crowd. Players at Atlantis love mixed games. They have a big bet mixed game on Monday nights that includes at least 25 games, some of which we had never heard of. Have you ever played Tahoe Pitch and Roll? How about Double Board Drawmaha with a bloody river? No? Neither had we, but after one night we were hooked!

Monte Gilly won the Omaha/8 event after a long heads up battle.

March 10th

Someone was going to win a big pile of cash today as we wrapped the $40k guarantee event. 26 player returned for day two, and our first bust out of the day was Ivan Zarate, who’s name continued to come up throughout the series. At the end of a long day, Kyle Wright and his stone poker face took down the event and the trophy. Kyle played well from start to finish and we expect to see him at many more final tables in the future.

Kyle Wright poses with the trophy at the iNinja poker tour event at Atlantis casino
Kyle Wright takes the trophy and $11,143 in the $40k Guarantee

We also had our first resurrection event of the series. The resurrection events were created to celebrate the return of the tour from the dead (rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated). To this end, we created an event where each players has the option to buy a resurrection chip when they buy in to the event. For $20, the player gets a special chip that allows them to come back to life with 20 big blinds when they bust out, no matter when that might be. A resurrection chip might be worth 1,000 during the first level of an event, but over a million at the final table, so preserving that chip is the key to success in these events.

The resurrection concept was a great conversation starter, with players talking strategy and watching as the chips were used, seeing them gain value every time the level went up. In the end our victor was our very own pink ninja, Molly Mossey. You may know Molly from her career as a poker reporter where she write about the biggest events and best players in the world, or her appearance at the final table of the ladies event at the WSoP last year. She has been a big supporter of the tour since it’s inception and we were ecstatic to see her win her first ever trophy in our trademark event.

Molly Mossey wins the trophy at iNinja Atlantis Poker Tournament
The Pink Ninja wins the first Resurrection event of the series!

The final event for the day was the Black Chip Bounty, a favorite among Reno locals. The vast majority of the prize pool in this event was in the bounties, so knockouts were the name of the game. Local Christine Pichard won the event after collecting a nice stack of bounties.

Christine Prichard poses with her trophy after winning an iNinja Poker tour trophy at Atlantis casino.
Christine Prichard wins the Black Chip Bounty

March 11th

The big event for the day was an event we co-ran with the Western Senior Poker Series. The WSPS does a great job with these things, and even brought a busload from Stones Gambling Hall to play the event. The owners were a ton of fun and we hope to work with them again very soon. You know you are working hard if you draw 157 entries on a Monday morning!

Chris Johnson bested a field of 157 players in the Western Senior Poker Series event

The second event of the day was a $180 no-limit Holdem event that brought in a nice field as well. The event was was won by Jaime Navarro-Rosale, who works for the card room and runs the crazy mixed game I mentioned earlier. A rousing game of Svitten 1-2-3 anyone? Congrats Jaime!

Jaime Navarro-Rosale runs the mixed games at Atlantis, but he got his trophy in a no-limit event

March 12th

The Western Poker Series brought another fun event, The Battle of the Ages, to Atlantis for our ninjas. The score so far? Old Folks 1 – Young Guns 0. We’ll get em next year! Congratulations to Steve Nevius on winning one for the old guys

The second event of the day was a $160 eight-game mixed event. While we generally don’t play our own events, the staff at the Atlantis thought some of the players would enjoy mixing it up with a mixed game bracelet winner, so Fox agreed to play for charity, letting his twitter followers choose the charity from the four favorites the Atlantis regularly works with. Northern Nevada Make-A-Wish was the winner by a thin margin.

Brian loves mixed-games as well, so he jumped in too, playing for The Veterans Guest House, a wonderful charity that was doing a fundraiser down the hall. They put us on the radio to talk about our event, so the least we could do was try to win them some money.

Sadly, neither of the co-owners cashed, but much fun was had. Our very own pink ninja Molly Mossey was at it again, this time busting the bracelet winner in a mixed game event after asking his advice on the games. Sometimes the student surpasses the teacher

David Badolato looks baffled by the concept of a winner’s photo, but he wasn’t baffled by the mixed games event where he dominated the field.

March 13th

A six-max bounty event, something you won’t see at most casinos, was the big draw today. With a $260 buy-in and a nice field, 10 players were paid in addition to all the bounties they collected. David Veillette was the eventual winner in a slug fest. The rest of the day was filled with satellites to the main event, with players filling up the hallways in the overflow area to play in two mega satellites.

March 14th

After a long week, it was finally time to get started with the main event. Our main event will change according to different areas and venues, but in Reno we decided on a $100k guarantee with a $500 buy-in and we went for it. Flight 1A looked pretty good with 53 players, pretty solid for an early flight. From there we sailed on to beat the guarantee easily, thanks in part to the excellent marketing efforts from Atlantis with billboards all over town, commercials on tv as far off as Sacramento, and signage everywhere. While we did a ton of social media and guerilla marketing, the Atlantis crushed things from their end too.

In the end the prize pool was nearly $140,000. Victor Paredes took down first place for $28,000 and a beautiful custom made katana from Japan with the iNinja logo etched into the blade.

Victor Paredes is all smiles after winning $28,000 in our main event at Atlantis!

One of the most fun events of the series was the Mystery Swag Bounty. every player had a bounty on them, including free play from Atlantis, hats, shirts and other swag from Atlantis and iNinja, signed copies of Fox’s book, and even a pair of Blue Shark Optics poker glasses. Lewis Mitchell took down the win and a stack of fun bounties.

Lewis Mitchell wins the Mystery Swag Bounty event at Atlantis Reno

Interesting story about Mitchell Lewis and his pal Ivan Zarate. Not only did they win the first and last events of our series, but they had the most interesting prop bet of the series. Check out the video below to see how Mitchell ended up in a dress and cowboy boots during the main event.

Lewis Mitchell and Ivan Zarate discuss the prop bet that landed Mitchell in a dress for the main event.

We wrapped up the week with a few drinks with the crew and headed home on Monday, already missing the Atlantis, but we are planning to back next year for an even bigger and better event and more good times! Thanks so much to everyone at Atlantis for hosting us and running such a great event, we really had a great time.


$100K Main Event Seat Assignments

Seat Assignments by chip count:

NameChipsCityTableSeat
Daniel Hughes525,000Carmichael, Ca66
Zach McKirahan485,000Bend,OR37
Elliott Merlin484,000Plantation, FL31
Isaac Choi365,000San Francisco, CA67
Bill Lee364,000Reno, NV47
Travis Jones339,500Boise, ID58
Larry Korgan332,500Reno, NV32
Victor Paredes325,000Modesto, CA45
Greg Wagner295,000Redding, CA41
Pedro Llanes249,500Clarkston, MI25
Doug Englekirk227,500Zephyr Cove, NV34
Barbara Rementeria214,500Granite Bay, CA64
Dustin Fox202,000Tahoe, NV69
Marty Gorenc197,000Reno, NV43
Bruce Powell188,500West Point, CA21
Dane Healey188,000Reno, NV36
Richard Liotta186,000Reno, NV39
Jason Daniele186,000San Francisco, CA33
Paul McGurk169,500Reno, NV42
Matt Boddorf164,000Thunder Valley, CA49
Jay Shipley163,000Silver Springs, NV48
Lewis Mitchell163,000Centerville, VA28
Tom Hammers158,500Burnsville, MN55
Justin Rost157,500Winnemucca, NV35
Greg Ceponis148,000Reno, NV51
Marteen Blanchard140,000Reno, NV26
Brandon Jones124,000Boise, ID54
Charisse Case122,000Sacramento, CA24
Thomas Minnich-Weber109,000Winchester, KY38
Scott Gould106,500South Lake Tahoe, NV57
Gerardo Murillo102,000South San Francisco, CA61
Dan O’Brien101,000Tahoe, NV68
Nathan Dll98,500Reno, NV46
Mohanned Farah83,500Bensalem, PA29
Molly “Pink Ninja” Mossey79,000Las Vegas, NV63
Jacqui Newman77,000Reno, NV23
Ray “Ferrari” Sason71,500Elk Grove, CA59
Noel Edwards68,000Reno, NV56
Joel Danforth65,000Reno, NV62
Timon Rooney43,500Sacramento, CA22
Mark Bansemer32,500Reno, NV53
Empty Seat44
Empty Seat52
Empty Seat65
Empty Seat27

Seat Assignments By Table:

NameChipsCityTableSeat
Bruce Powell188,500West Point, CA21
Timon Rooney43,500Sacramento, CA22
Jacqui Newman77,000Reno, NV23
Charisse Case122,000Sacramento, CA24
Pedro Llanes249,500Clarkston, MI25
Marteen Blanchard140,000Reno, NV26
Empty Seat27
Lewis Mitchell163,000Centerville, VA28
Mohanned Farah83,500Bensalem, PA29
Elliott Merlin484,000Plantation, FL31
Larry Korgan332,500Reno, NV32
Jason Daniele186,000San Francisco, CA33
Doug Englekirk227,500Zephyr Cove, NV34
Justin Rost157,500Winnemucca, NV35
Dane Healey188,000Reno, NV36
Zach McKirahan485,000Bend,OR37
Thomas Minnich-Weber109,000Winchester, KY38
Richard Liotta186,000Reno, NV39
Greg Wagner295,000Redding, CA41
Paul McGurk169,500Reno, NV42
Marty Gorenc197,000Reno, NV43
Empty Seat44
Victor Paredes325,000Modesto, CA45
Nathan Dll98,500Reno, NV46
Bill Lee364,000Reno, NV47
Jay Shipley163,000Silver Springs, NV48
Matt Boddorf164,000Thunder Valley, CA49
Greg Ceponis148,000Reno, NV51
Empty Seat52
Mark Bansemer32,500Reno, NV53
Brandon Jones124,000Boise, ID54
Tom Hammers158,500Burnsville, MN55
Noel Edwards68,000Reno, NV56
Scott Gould106,500South Lake Tahoe, NV57
Travis Jones339,500Boise, ID58
Ray “Ferrari” Sason71,500Elk Grove, CA59
Gerardo Murillo102,000South San Francisco, CA61
Joel Danforth65,000Reno, NV62
Molly “Pink Ninja” Mossey79,000Las Vegas, NV63
Barbara Rementeria214,500Granite Bay, CA64
Empty Seat65
Daniel Hughes525,000Carmichael, Ca66
Isaac Choi365,000San Francisco, CA67
Dan O’Brien101,000Tahoe, NV68
Dustin Fox202,000Tahoe, NV69

$100K Guarantee Day 1E Final Chip Counts

Flight 1E of the iNinja $500 buy-in, $100k guarantee at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is in the books. 8 players have made it through the 60 entry field to return on Sunday at 1pm. Greg Wagner is the only player to bag multiple flights, making it through both flights today and earning himself a buyback of $2,000! Table and seat assignments will be posted shortly. Here are the players and chip counts that have advanced:

Isaac Choi365,000San Francisco, CA
Greg Wagner295,000Redding, CA
Doug Englekirk227,500Zephyr Cove, NV
Barbara Rementeria214,500Granite Bay, CA
Justin Rost157,500Winnemucca, NV
Charisse Case122,000Sacramento, CA
Molly “Pink Ninja” Mossey79,000Las Vegas, NV
Timon Rooney43,500Sacramento, CA

$100K Guarantee Day 1D Final Chip Counts

Flight 1D of the iNinja $500 buy-in, $100k guarantee at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is in the books. Daniel Hughes leads the way as the new chip leader as 14 players have made it through the giant 110 entry field to return on Sunday at 1pm. Here are the players and chip counts that have advanced:

Daniel Hughes525,000Carmichael, CA
Zach McKirahan485,000Bend,OR
Victor Paredes325,000Modesto, CA
Paul McGurk169,500Reno, NV
Matt Boddorf164,000Thunder Valley, CA
Lewis Mitchell163,000Centerville, VA
Tom Hammers158,500Burnsville, MN
Greg Ceponis148,000Reno, NV
Brandon Jones124,000Boise, ID
Thomas Minnich-Weber109,000Winchester, KY
Gerardo Murillo102,000San Francisco, CA
Greg Wagner83,000Redding, CA
Joel Dawforth65,000Reno, NV
Mark Bansemer32,500Reno, NV

$100K Guarantee Flight 1C Final Chip Counts

Flight 1C of the iNinja $500 buy-in, $100k guarantee at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is in the books. 6 players have made it through the 43 entry field to return on Sunday at 1pm. Here are the players and chip counts that have advanced:

Bill Lee364,000Reno, NV
Dustin Fox202,000Tahoe, NV
Dane Healey188,000Reno, NV
Marteen Blanchard140,000Reno, NV
Nathan Dll98,500Reno, NV
Mohanned Farah83,500Bensalem, PA

$100K Guarantee Flight 1B Final Chip Counts

Flight 1B of the iNinja $500 buy-in, $100k guarantee at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is in the books. 7 players have made it through the 57 entry field to return on Sunday at 1pm. Here are the players and chip counts that have advanced:

Elliott Merlin484,000Plantation, FL
Pedro Llanes249,500Clarkston, MI
Marty Gorenc197,000Reno, NV
Jason Daniele186,000San Francisco, CA
Jay Shipley163,000Silver Springs, NV
Jacqui Newman77,000Reno, NV
Noel Edwards68,000Reno, NV

Be Careful What You Wager…

Local pro Lewis Mitchell showed up in a… unique… outfit this morning to play flight 1B of the $100k Guaranteed main event. We figured there must be a story behind it, and a quick interview answers all of our questions.


$100k Guarantee Flight 1A Final Chip Counts

Flight 1A of the iNinja $500 buy-in, $100k guarantee at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is in the books. 7 players have made it through the 53 entry field to return on Sunday at 1pm. Here are the players and chip counts that have advanced:

NameChip CountCity
Travis Jones339,500Boise, ID
Larry Korgan332,500Reno, NV
Bruce Powell188,500West Point, CA
Richard Liotta186,000Reno, NV
Scott Gould106,500South Lake Tahoe, NV
Dan O’Brien101,000Tahoe, NV
Ray “Ferrari” Sason71,500Elk Grove, CA

Winners!


Christine Prichard wins the Black Chip Bounty event! Christine works with animals and volunteers with the ASPCA when she’s not collecting bounties in poker tournaments in Reno.
Chris Johnson crushed a field of 157 players to win the WSPS Seniors event at Atlantis Reno for a nice score of $4,999 and a beautiful shuriken trophy. As you can see in the photo, he was overjoyed!
Steve Badolato shipped the eight game mix event, surviving a field that included a WSoP HORSE bracelet winner and our very own pink ninja. The photo clearly indicates his surprise when he was told that the tournament had ended and he was the winner.
Four shuriken trophies remain, along with the prestigious main event trophy, a custom made, razor sharp, katana with out logo etched into the blade.

Payouts for the WSPS Seniors and Battle events.

$260 WSPS Battle

1stSteve Nevim$3013
2ndJeffrey Trettenew$2659
3rdSkip Ferguson$1571
4thMichael Chihick$1257
5thAl Ahlm$943
6thJohn Gooding$733
7thCharrise Chase$300

$200 Seniors Event

1stChris Johnson$4999
2ndMarty Gorenc$4282
3rdGreg Kukuk$4281
4thAl Northington$2113
5thKenny Webster$1593
6thTim Dankoff$1279
7thKuni Kikawa$1068
8thKitty Gould$862
9thMark Meurrens$651
10thEric Nelson$482
11thCharrise Case$482
12thBarry Birdwell$482
13thPatricia Dellow$402
14thBob Schulhause$402
15thMonte Gilley$375
16thAl Ahlm $375
17thJeff Salmon$347
18thRandy Ryckebosch$347
19thMatthew Salmon$307