Linus Dahlstroem, a 19-year-old Santa Barbara City College student from Sweden, caught fire in the final hour of play, reached the final table with a mountain of chips and earned the top prize Saturday at the $75,000 Central Coast Fall Poker Classic at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez.
The No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament started at 9 a.m. Saturday with 542 players in the Samala Showroom. When the final table was set after 12 hours of poker, Dahlstroem agreed to split the $51,000 in remaining prize money with his nine competitors, including two women. He walked away with $10,213 while the other finalists accepted amounts ranging down to $3,612.
“I used to play online in Sweden, but you can’t play online here,” said Dahlstroem, who’s studying finance. “So, I rented a car with some friends to come play today because the payouts were big and the structure was good. I struggled for a while, and it wasn’t until the last hour that I started getting a lot of chips. I got a little lucky, I guess. And now, I have my biggest win ever ... or, so far.”
The other finalists included Shari Schubot, Arlo Dango, Bob Bartlein, Terry Howell, Leslie Grodin and Charles Dolan of Santa Barbara, Noah Smith of Santa Maria, Joe Rogers of Ventura and Andrew Tan of Los Angeles.
This year, the poker world has seen more women contending for titles, and the Central Coast Fall Poker Classic was no exception. Schubot and Grodin provided the rare sighting of two women at the final table in a showcase tournament at the Chumash Casino Resort. Schubot was among the chip leaders in the later stages of the tournament, while Grodin managed to grind it out and keep her short stack alive by winning multiple all-in showdowns late in the action.
“It’s pretty significant because normally only about 10 percent of the field are women, so for 20 percent of the final table to be women is quite exceptional,” said Ian Adams, poker manager at the casino. “This was a great tournament. It was well-received by the guests, and we received multiple requests to do these large events more often.”
The top 80 competitors in the field of 542 earned prize money. Saturday’s payouts ranged from $954 for 11th place down to $347 for 80th. The tournament’s entry fee was $200, but those who registered on or before Oct. 14 received a $20 discount. And the first 100 to sign up were invited to a $1,500 free roll tournament held on Oct. 15.
Click here for more information about daily poker tournaments or games offered in the poker room at the Chumash Casino Resort.
Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, 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.
— Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist with the Chumash Casino Resort.