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Talking Stick Resort crowns Arizona State Poker Champion

21 August 2015

(PRESS RELEASE) -- After a three-hour battle of wits and skill, Vance Fitzgerald of Surprise was named the 2015 Arizona State Poker Champion on Aug. 18. Hosted in Talking Stick Resort’s ARENA Poker Room, the 11th Annual Arizona State Poker Championship hosted 1,580 competitors. The poker hopefuls brought their ‘A’ game to the five-day tournament, vying for ultimate bragging rights and a share of the more than $1 million prize pool.

“The 11th Annual Arizona State Poker Championship was a huge success,” said Tom Young, the director of poker at the ARENA Poker Room. “We were pleased to see an increase in interest in the tournament this year surpassing last year’s competitor count. And although we had several pros battling it out for the title, it truly was anyone’s game from beginning to end.”

The No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament kicked off on Aug. 14 and included a semi-finals round on Aug. 17. Finals took place the following day with the remaining ten players vying to win the top spot. Four-time World Series of Poker champion, Tom Schneider, emceed the final table, engaging spectators with his colorful commentary throughout the round.

In the end, Fitzgerald beat his opponents with two pair of queens. In addition to $253,600, the victor took home a Presidential Rolex watch and a customized trophy. Second place and third place finishers, Chad Mizner and Jake Balsiger, also earned trophies as well as payouts of $189,600 and $134,300 respectively. Various poker professionals also competed in the 2015 tournament including Dennis Phillips, Karina Jett and Kenna James.

For more information about the ARENA Poker Room and upcoming tournaments at Talking Stick Resort, visit or call (480) 850-8693.

The following are the top 10 players in the 11th annual Arizona State Poker Championship:

1. Vance Fitzgerald $253,600
2. Chad Mizner $189,600
3. Jake Balsiger $134,300
4. Matt Schultz $98,750
5. Gail Getzwiller $90,850
6. Hooman Nikzul $75,050
7. Matt Elsby $59,250
8. A.T. Gruzak $43,450
9. Alex Shelton $27,650
10. Tom Uwanawich $19,750

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