The entry fee is $180, but players who register on or before May 25 can enter at the discounted price of $160. While the prize pool for the No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament is guaranteed $50,000, specific payout amounts won’t be determined until the field is set on June 8.

As a bonus, the Chumash Casino Resort has added a $10,000 Main Event seat to the prize pool.

“Our last big tournament had a lot of excitement and received a lot of attention, so we’d like to build on that success,” said Ian Adams, poker manager at the Chumash Casino Resort, referring to 19-year-old Linus Dahlstroem winning the Central Coast Fall Poker Classic in October. “We had quite an eclectic group at the final table. We’d love to see that again.”

The Central Coast Poker Championship, which is an 18-and-over event, is one of two large poker tournaments that consumes the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom each year. It’s an all-day affair that includes a 45-minute break for lunch and short breaks throughout the day as the field gets whittled down to the final table, which can be played into the evening.

“All the supervisors have been through this 10 times before, so it’s just a routine for them,” Adams said. “It’s hard to find something we haven’t come across before. And if we do, we have experienced people to deal with it.”

More than 600 players packed the Samala Showroom to participate in last year’s Central Coast Poker Championship. John Pearley Huffman, of Santa Barbara, reached the final table, took command and graciously chose to share the remaining prize money with three others. Huffman walked away with $14,000 while Tom West of Los Altos, John Myers of Santa Maria and Freddy Castro of Santa Ynez won $11,500 apiece.

In October, Dahlstroem, a Swedish student from Santa Barbara City College, outlasted 542 others and walked away with $10,213 Central Coast Fall Classic after he chose to split the remaining prize money with the final table. The nine other finalists, including two women, accepted amounts ranging down to $3,612.

To register for the Central Coast Poker Championship, visit the Chumash Casino Resort Poker Room or call 800-248-6274. (Phone reservations will be available starting on May 25.) For a schedule of daily tournaments offered at the casino, visit

Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California, the Chumash Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The casino’s gaming floor is open 24/7 and features 2,000 slot machines, dozens of table games, bingo, poker and daily cash and prize giveaways.


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