Chicago Joe: "Horeshoe Hammond Started It All"

Chicago JoeRe-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

For our poker players, 08/08/08 is the most important date in Chicago’s gambling history. Why? That’s when the Horseshoe Casino opened. Just over the Illinois border next to Chicago in Hammond, Ind., the Horseshoe Casino created a world-class poker room that rivals the top rooms in the country. When opened, the Horseshoe’s 34-table poker room had twice as many tables than all of Illinois combined. For the staff, the Horseshoe assembled an extraordinary group of professionals from all parts of the country.

The Horseshoe’s $1,500 Summer Poker Tournament Series will be Aug 27.This tournament has a guaranteed $250,000 prize pool.For cash players, a Win a Seat high-card promotion will start a week before the tournament. At 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. one table will be picked. Eligible players at the table will be dealt one card with the high card winning a seat to the $1,500 event.

Starting at $100,000, the Horseshoe’s bad beat is the largest in the Midwest, with quad 10s as the qualifier. Twice a month the bad beat is increased $20,000 and the qualifying hand decreasing. On July 15 the bad beat reached $160,000 and quad sevens. Last year the bad beat reached $320K when the bad beat was hit. For more details see the poker room staff or call 219-473-6065.

For the fourth year the Horseshoe will host the World Series of Poker Circuit in October; in March it’s the Chicago Poker Classic.Both events draw a large number of players.

• The Windy City Poker Championship continues to air its main event coverage Sunday nights at 9 on Comcast Sports. After the conclusion to the main event, coverage from the $1,500 single-table high-roller-winner-takes-all begins. This program will feature famed movie critic Richard Roeper, 2007 WSOP champ Jerry Yang, Scott Clark, Ted Leahy, David Backstrom, Kevin Boyd, Gary Carr, Mark “Poker Ho” Kroon and WPT Boot Camp instructor Nick Brancato.

• For charities in Illinois, poker tournaments are an excellent source for generating revenue. For some charities, tournament revenue is a lifeline for keeping programs going. Family Counseling Service of Aurora recently paired with Hollywood Casino to run their first charity tournament July 7. FCS is a non-profit community agency that helps families manage their problems.

• Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin now has seven tables, recently adding one. The poker room spreads $1-$2, $2-$5 no-limit hold’em and occasionally $5-$10.

— “Chicago” Joe Gieturga is the Ante Up Ambassador for the Chicagoland area. You can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..