FOR MOST folks, spending your birthday in Las Vegas playing cards is a pretty nice gift by itself.
For professional poker player Mike Chow, however, the icing on his proverbial cake was a World Series of Poker championship bracelet and $237,140.
Chow, 33, a part-time Honolulu resident, has entered various WSOP events every year “for the last four or five years,” but this was the first time since 2006 that he’s made money.
“I haven’t been doing well going back two years,” he said Tuesday by phone from Las Vegas. “I’m lucky because I lost (money) playing the (WSOP) tournaments, but I won side money playing side games.”
The fourth event in the 2010 WSOP kicked off May 30, with entrants playing the game of Omaha high-low split and vying for more than $1.1 million in prize money. Chow said he started off shaky, but built his chip stack up the second day of play before slipping a bit on the third.
“Then I got a little bit of confidence and I ran pretty good,” he said. “With four people left, I must have had about 60 percent of the chips. … It was kinda nerve-wracking at the end because every hand mattered.
“It was 4 in the morning (when I won), but a bunch of Hawaii people were there cheering, so it was fun.”
Chow went on to play in a $1,000 No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament last weekend and collected $2,518 for his “somewhere around 184th”-place finish. He also plans to enter the Omaha Hi/Lo World Championship before spending the same amount to enter the No Limit Hold ‘Em World Championship on July 5.
“I’m going to be playing a bunch now,” said the former real estate broker. “It’s the same (level of) stress as real estate, except I enjoy it a lot more.” …
GOOD NEWS for concert-goers—Groovetickets.com recently announced a new partnership to sell tickets at all Local Motion stores.
“When you go to a show, you don’t want to worry about … (bringing) a stack of verification and three forms of ID,” said Groovetickets rep Todd Sims. “We’re cutting out the red tape and making it easy for you to attend your favorite events.”
All six Local Motion stores on Oahu have installed the system, which allows customers to purchase a reusable smart card and “load” it with concert tickets. According to Local Motion retail general manager Tim Mock, plans call for the system to expand to Local Motion’s three Maui stores before the end of June.
“It seemed like a natural fit,” he said. “The guys or girls shopping at our stores are the same people who are going out at night.”
Currently, tickets for all BAMP Project concerts and all shows at Pipeline Cafe are available for purchase using the new technology; visit www.groovetickets.com to get started …
After originally announcing two days of performances in September, BayFest will now feature just one night of live entertainment at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Kings of Spade will play at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25, followed by Mike Corrado at 6 p.m. and Willie K at 7:30 p.m. Natural Vibrations will then play at 9 p.m. with fireworks to follow. Visit www.kaneohebayairshow.com for more … Tickets on sale now for Pipeline Cafe concerts by Korean pop stars Wonder Girls on June 25 and 26 and LMFAO on June 30. New Zealand reggae band Fat Freddy’s Drop arrives next month for an all-ages show at the club July 1 … Capone’s Productions has announced “Shaquille O’Neal’s All-Star Comedy Jam” at Blaisdell Arena on Aug. 13. It isn’t clear what role O’Neal will play during the event, which will feature stand-up by D.L. Hughley, Tommy Davidson, Aries Spears and Deray Davis. Tickets will be available soon; call 306-2926 for details on purchasing reserved seats before they officially go on sale …
Celebrate the Green’s debut CD at Pipeline tonight from 10 p.m. with guest performances by Cease Fyah, Rootikal Riddim and Anuhea … Furious Styles, Level H, Artist Groove Network and HPELive kick off “Prestige,” a new weekly party at Paparazzi Nightclub, tomorrow at 10 p.m. Cover is $10 at the door … Rock fans of all ages are invited to the “Haleiwa Gym Rock Show 10” starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Stratus Blue, Smitz, Upon Golgotha, Crossroad Rebels, the Uptights, 2Face4 and Amarnha will perform; cover is $8 for this one …