Rice provides a look into poker’s past recalling days on the road with the late Amarillo “Slim” Preston.
$500 limit hold’em, 2-7 triple draw and Omaha 8 mixed event draws 76 players, Rice takes home $10,127.
Hammond, Ind. (March 11, 2015) — Shawn Rice’s road to the winner’s circle in Event 4 of the Chicago Poker Classic, a $500 H2O tournament, was a long one. While it most recently included a pit stop to score $10,127 at the hands of a 76-player field at Horseshoe Casino, Rice’s journey has been filled with ups and downs and left him with stories for a lifetime.
Rice, a professional poker player, is 48 years old and grew up in Amarillo, Tex. As a boy, he took to pool and eventually managed the local pool hall owned by none other than Poker Hall of Fame member Amarillo “Slim” Preston.
“I knew Slim at the time and he opened up a pool hall,” Rice remembered. “I kind of ran his pool hall for him for about a year or so until he sold it.”
After Preston sold the pool hall Rice was without work. In his words, he was “always kind of scuffling around” and eventually took to poker. He started as a student of the game, joining Preston at his home game and observing from the rail while the man they called Slim undoubtedly raked pot after pot. Eventually, Rice would travel the country with Preston slowly honing his skills into the player he’s become today.
“It kind of gave me my start,” Rice remembered about his time with Preston. “I taught for the World Series of Poker Academy and all that kind of stuff later on. I really hung around some really top pros. Slim gave me my start, but there’s a lot of people that took me to different levels.”
While Preston can’t take all the credit for Rice’s success he’s the only top pro that got mentioned by name Tuesday night following Rice’s H2O victory.
“Slim was probably one of the best, and I mean this in a good way, probably one of the best hustlers that ever lived,” Rice said. “He made people gamble that would never gamble. He was the first poker celebrity. Doing Johnny Carson like nine times or 11 times. He really put poker on the map back in the ‘70s. Then came Chris Moneymaker and he took it to a new level.”
Rice’s 25 years as a professional poker player have translated into five tournament victories and more than $730,000 in career earnings. While he’s still without a WSOP bracelet, of which his mentor owns four, Rice’s most recent CPC victory diversifies a resume that previously only included no-limit hold’em victories.
“The [H2O] event, I love it,” Rice said. “It breaks the monotony of always playing the no-limit hold’em tournaments. I like triple draw and it’s very rare you ever get a chance to play it and Omaha 8 or better.”
The tournament was decided over a rotation of limit hold’em, 2-7 triple draw and Omaha 8. Rice outlasted a tough final table that included Sean Troha, the eventual runner up Kevin Iacofano and others.
“He’s an awesome player,” Rice said of Iacofano. “Really the final table was really tough. Early on in the tournament you saw some weird stuff – really awkward plays. The structure was really good and it evened out. After that it just go to where the levels were long and really kind of low with some really slow jumps. I was surrounded by really good players at the final table.”
Event four was the fourth of 10 numbered events on the 2015 Chicago Poker Classic Schedule. The $500 H2O tournament boasted a prize pool of $32,148 and paid the top 12 finishers. Additionally, the top three finishers received $2,000 CPC Main Event seats added to the prize pool courtesy of the Horseshoe.
The CPC is recognized as the largest non-branded poker tournament series in the United States. In its seven-year history, the event has been headlined most notably by 2013’s 5,165-entry opener – one of the largest tournaments ever to take place outside the confines of Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker.
This year’s series began March 5 and runs through March 16 with the $2,000 Main Event beginning March 13.
Event 4 final results
1st: Shawn Rice – $10,127 + $2,000 seat
2nd: Kevin Iacofano – $6,256 + $2,000 seat
3rd: Sean Troha – $4,081 + $2,000 seat
4th: Matthew Edgar – $2,800
5th: William Miner – $2,016
6th: Daniel Wandling – $1,520
7th: Michael Altman – $1,135
8th: Brian Majcher – $1,35
9th: Richard Bai – $871
10th: John Ma – $871
11th: Casey Robbins – $668
12th: Charles Bransford – $668
2014 Chicago Poker Classic results:
Event 1: $360 NLH Re-Entry – Zal Irani defeated 2,296 entries for $100,000
Event 2A/B: $250 NLH – TBD
Event 3: $500 PLO – David Arfa defeated 165 entries for $18,496
Event 4: $500 H2O – Shawn Rice defeated 76 entries for $10,127
Event 5: $360 NLH – David Eliason defeated 122 players for $10,544
Event 6: $400 OE – TBD
2014 Chicago Poker Classic upcoming numbered events:
Event 7: $600 NLH – Wednesday, March 11 at noon
Event 8A/B: $2,000 Main Event, Friday/Saturday, March 13/14 at noon
Event 9: $250 NLH – Saturday, March 14 at 3 and 6 p.m., Sunday, March 15 at noon, 3 and 6 p.m.
Event 10: $360 Turbo – Monday, March 16 at noon