Oziel Zuniga takes down Lone Star Poker Series Main Event

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: November 02, 2020 12:44 PST

Inaugural Lone Star Poker Series festival wraps up in Houston

The first event in the history of the Lone Star Poker Series brought big player turnout and large prize pools at Houston's Prime Social poker club.

One of the biggest major tournament series to run in Houston, the nine-day, 16-event series came to an end Sunday. Oziel Zuniga took down the $580 Main Event, bagging a $45,960 payday in the process.

Zuniga took the biggest of the cash prizes determined in a three-way deal among the final three players in the tournament. The other players in that agreement included Long Nguyen (2nd - $40,365) and Kent Kvaal (3rd - $42,960).

The Main Event, as well as the other tournaments in the series, attracted a field full of poker's most prolific tournament players. Other notable Main Event finishers included Ray Henson (15th - $3,190), William Lahti (37th - $1,650), and former three-time WSOP bracelet winner Rep Porter (47th - $1,440) to name a few.

Other players cashing in near the top of the payout structure included Charlie Dawson (4th - $21,910), Min Zhang (5th - $16,510), and Andrew Dartez (6th - $12,580).

The Main Event promised a $104,000 guaranteed prize pool and played out as a two-day event over the weekend. The tournament attracted 660 entries, however, more than tripling the advertised guarantee.

The final prize pool ended up at $330,000, and tournament organizers with the Lone Star Poker Series and Prime Social have to consider the live event a big success.

Other notable events in the Lone Star Poker Series

The series ran Oct. 23 through Nov. 1 at Prime Social, marking the debut event for the Lone Star Poker Series. The nine-day tournament festival brought a major event to the Houston area, which is rich with poker clubs and one of the biggest live poker hubs on the Texas landscape.

The 16-event schedule began with the aptly-named $360 NLH Kickoff Event, which Lisa Fleishman took down for a $30,820 winner's prize. With 555 entries, the Kickoff Event finished second only to the Main Event in the overall prize pool.

Fleishman also made deep runs in two other Lone Star Poker Series events, including the $500 PLO Championship (8th - $1,250). Fleishman came up just a few spots short of a final table appearance in the Main Event (17th - $2,650).

Min Zhang, before making a run to fifth place in the Main Event, took down the $400 NLH event for $29,920. Other five-figure winners across the series included Josh Burkhalter, the winner in the $400 NLH Jacked Stack event. Burkhalter took home $11,950 in the win.

Mehmet Cetinkaya also earned a five-figure cash, taking down the $500 PLO Championship for $10,770.

Success for the Lone Star Poker Series in debut event

The Lone Star Poker Series went all out for its inaugural event, bringing in PokerNews to provide live reporting coverage and awarded a custom silver belt buckle to each tournament winner.

The series played out as the first of its kind on the Houston poker scene. Texas doesn't host any traditional poker rooms, but the state does play host to more than 20 poker clubs.

Prime Social and the other poker clubs that operate in Texas don't take rake from the games, as that's against state law. Instead, poker clubs charge membership dues and fees for time played, making Texas one of the more unique poker economies in the U.S.