By Raymond T. Akers
When poker pro, model and TV personality Lacey Jones came to Colusa Casino Sept. 29 and 30 for a special poker tournament, the potential to win part of $25,000 wasn’t the only thing many players had their eyes on.
Gracious, friendly, intelligent, articulate, and smokin’ hot are only some of the terms one could honestly use to describe her. Add patient to that list, as she hung around all day Saturday and Sunday taking pictures, signing autographs, and chatting with patrons while she waited for a chance to play. She took a seat at the final table Sunday night against the top four players from each of the two days.
During the first break after the final table began she said, “I’ve been itching to play for two days now. Finally I’m here and I’m card dead which is terrible. I wish I could be playing every single hand. And having a bounty on my head makes you play slightly different, especially when it’s $1,000—everyone’s going to call, which I want people to call, but not when I have 7-3 or 5-2.”
The format called for her prize money to be added to first place if knocked out, but if she won it all the first place prize money would be divided equally among the eight at the final table. Asked if that added to her desire to be victorious she said, “I want to win for them. That would be really nice. It would be kind of cool for Colusa as well, to have their host come and win, but I really would like someone to win first place prize money, so I don’t mind if I get knocked out next or if I win this. It’s just a good time to play with everybody and to be here at Colusa.”
There were 97 entries at $220 each but many players won their way in through $40 sit-n-go satellites held over five weeks leading up to the event. Whenever a player was eliminated the winner of that hand was given a bounty envelope worth from $20 to $500 in free slot play.
Jones went out in sixth place when her flush draw didn’t hit and Sam Soto of Yuba City claimed her $1,000 bounty.
Chico’s Rana Khalid wound up with first place when he and Soto, after a long and grueling heads-up battle, agreed to push the chips in the middle and play one hand for the top prize. “It was a long day, but it was pretty fun,” Khalid said. “The people were very nice here and Lacey Jones was really nice. It was fun playing with her.”
He took home $5,890 for first place and Soto received $4,750 for second. Third through ninth places went to Kyle Bunn ($2,850), Brandon Eldridge ($2,090), Zack Priddy ($1,520), Jones, Rose Clifford ($950), Don Deeds ($570), and Scott Thompson ($380).