Jody Only, Stockton Fishing Examiner
The 2nd Annual Thunder Valley Outdoors Poker Challenge played out in the Thunder Valley Casino Thursday night. Tournament bass angler Frank Ono was the last man standing of the field of 146 players. In an interview after his win Ono said, “the hardest part of the win was coming back from his short stack.”
With two decades of poker playing behind him, Ono was one of the more experienced players at the table and faced off heads-up against Evelyn Fong, the sister-in-law of bass pro and Fun Fishing television host Alan Fong. “I was looking forward to the showdown at the table with Alan; but he sent in a ringer instead,” joked Ono.
Alan was one of the bass pro bounties in last night’s game offering any player that could bust him out his signature Al-e-Baby swimbait. Prizes were offered for taking any pro on the bounty list.
Becoming a bass bounty hunter, fisherman Bee Vang cashed in on two bounty prizes as he took the chipstacks of Alan Fong and Fishing Experience Guide Don Paganelli. Bass pro bounty Preston Henson was sent packing when he squared off with angler Greg Brown.
Ono racked up $500 for his win. He has been fishing competitively for five years. Between the two sports he has determined that poker seems the easier of the two.
For more details on the game, click here.
The top-30 tournament players move on to the Thunder Valley Outdoor Poker Championship to be held later in the year. A second Championship qualifier will be held in September.
The elimination round poker tournament was presented by Thunder Valley Casino and the Future Pro tour. More information can be found here