Wins Main Event In Council
Bluff's Horseshoe Classic
n early September Becky Makar from Las Vegas, Nevada put on quite a show by making four
final tables in a row, winning two first places, and coming from behind to capture the Main
Event of the 2nd Annual Horseshoe Poker Classic States. She has accomplished a lot in her
life and is excited tournament poker held at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
It was an inspirational performance by the 65 year old grandmother who has embarked on a
poker career which will take her on many poker travelling trips around the United is opening a
new world for her to conquer. I felt lucky to have had a ringside seat of her much talked about
performance in Council Bluffs, as I was the announcer at all of the event’s final tables.
In a ten day event, with all final tables held on Day 2, I kept introducing Becky as part of the
final table line-up in her amazing streak! With the average payouts of each event being
around $9,000 for first place…….. she won just over $60,000 with her $45,000 for first place in
the Main Event, her $9300 from another first place in a No-limit event, and her other prize
money that she received from the other events. She certainly opened up a lot of eyes as her
consistency and aggressive approach at the final tables she qualified for made her the star of
the entire tournament!
I called Becky up a few weeks after her outstanding performance in Council Bluffs, as I wanted
to find out more about this intriguing lady. How many people do you know makes a decision to
pursue a brand new career at the age of 65? In the poker world ……….remember the
upcoming name of Becky Makar, as she is on a mission! In fact, when I called her she was in
Reno, Nevada competing in her next tournament where she had already won another
tournament in a four way chop. She is already being recognized as a force to be reckoned
with! Her story growing up is unbelievable, as she literally had to take care of herself at the
young age of nine years old! I’ve never met anyone who had to overcome such incredible long
odds in life! How could it be a young girl at nine could pull it together, find a job, and take care
Sexton’s Corner: Speaking of Woody, he was at the rail rooting for you at all of your final tables you qualified for in Council Bluffs, Iowa at the
Horseshoe, and you mentioned the key role he has played in helping you with your poker game. You two have a 50/50 split agreement, as I
understand it, while you travel together playing in various tournaments around the Country. Please tell us about Woody’s big score in a recent WPT
event called the LA Classic.
Becky Makar: Both my Mom and Dad have passed away, but when I was growing up they had split up. I had four sisters, but I guess I was the one who
was considered to be the rebellious one. We all lived with our Dad, but after several confrontations he suggested I go live with my Mom when I was nine
years old. My Mom had met someone else and was a waitress at a Chinese restaurant called the Nanking. She put in a word for me, and I got my first
job there washing dishes for .50 per day and room and board in the room over a garage that was like a little nice apartment. Every once in a while I
would see my Mom, but mostly I was on my own. I managed to work and go to school at the same time, which wasn’t always easy. When I would walk
home from school with a friend………..she might ask where I lived and I never told her or anyone else. I had heard bad things that went on at an
orphanage, and didn’t want to risk being sent to one. As I got older and graduated from High School I began to make more money, and became a
waitress myself where I could make tips, etc. Looking back, I don’t blame my parents, as all of this actually made me a stronger more independent
person more ready to take on life’s challenges.
Sexton’s Corner: One can only admire any young lady who had to work and go to school at such a young age in life. Turning your situation into a
positive looking back in time is simply remarkable! From this point in your life can you highlight a few other things you did for a living?
Becky Makar: In the restaurant business I continued being a waitress in the day time
while putting a hostess gown on to welcome people for dinner reservations on the night
shift. This was working a double shift. I tried to pass my Real Estate exam to become an
agent, but failed the test the first four times. Thanks to my very good friend Steve who
encouraged me to never give up…….I finally passed on my fifth try. After several years
learning the ropes becoming a very successful agent……. I owned my own office with 40
agents who worked for me at Century 21 in the San Fernando Valley in California. Along
the way, I began a computer service and have been involved in it in Las Vegas over the
last 20 years. Today I’m basically retired and have decided to pursue tournament poker
which I love to play.
Sexton’s Corner: When I introduced you at one of the final tables in Council Bluffs, Iowa
I mentioned you and Woody Moore had adopted your best friend’s handicapped daughter
after making a pledge to look out for each other’s child in case anything happened to
either one of you in life. After your friend got breast cancer and unfortunately passed
away at the young age of 42, you followed through with your promise. She(Jeanne)
actually worked for you in your real estate career. Can you tell us a little more about this
Becky Makar: Jeanne and I started out in the real estate business working for another
office and we ended up being the closest of friends. I had a son, Travis, and she had a
daughter named Cindy, who happened to be handicapped. We agreed should anything
happen to either one of us that we would always look out for each other’s child. Sadly at
a very young age she got breast cancer and after it recurred the second time, she only
had about five months before she died. I met Woody Moore about five years ago at a
party and we have been travelling together to many poker tournaments since, and we
have adopted Cindy.
of herself while still going to school? Becky was born in Lima, Ohio in 1942, and she was quick to point out she isn’t ashamed of her age………….she is
proud of it! Join me in our interview and find out the rest of her story:
Sexton’s Corner: At the tournament in Council Bluffs, Iowa you had mentioned to me that you were on your own at the young age of nine years old!
This sounded stunning to me, as in today’s world, this doesn’t seem possible to be able to actually happen with all the protective agencies out there.
Usually a child might become an orphan and either is adopted or placed in an orphanage. I know this goes back almost 55 years ago, but could you tell
us how this happened and how you managed to cope with such a situation?
Becky Makar: Woody is a great poker player who won a big event not too long ago in Costa Rica, but really
hit a big score in the WPT LA Classic. This was the one not too long ago that Phil Ivey won. This was Phil
Ivey’s 1st WPT victory after making several WPT final tables. Woody actually knocked Phil Hellmuth out and
he couldn’t have been more gracious on the popular TV show with his exit. It was a tough lineup with Scott
Montgomery, who is one of the upcoming November Nine players ready to play soon in the upcoming WSOP
Main Event for that $9,000,000 plus 1st place prize.
I think he won about $300,000 in the LA Classic which he said was the most money he had ever seen!
Woody crippled Phil Ivey on a big hand, but Phil came back to win the event. Woody won $630,000 for 3rd
place which was fantastic! I remember being so nervous in the audience, listening to Woody and Phil Ivey talk
about making a golf match during the final table play……………and I said to myself, “This is driving me
crazy….Woody focus on the poker tournament……remember we are partners!” ( Becky begins to laugh
recalling the moment.)
Sexton’s Corner: Becky………Can you tell us how the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas played a big role in all
of this happening for the two of you?
Becky Makar: I live close to the Silverton and go there for breakfast quite often. The poker room there is
small, but had a small $40 Buy-in tournament to qualify for another tournament that I won, and I ended up
winning my seat for the $10,000 WPT LA Classic. Woody travelling with me entered a mega satellite and won
his way into the Championship event and the rest was history. We had just started our 50/50 split agreement
on our winnings, and his winning over $600,000 in that event was good timing from my point of view. I did well
at Council Bluffs, Iowa at the Horseshoe, winning $60,000 but have to win many more small tournaments to
reach $600,000! I hope to win a big one along the way as well very soon!
Becky Makar stole the show in Council Bluffs with her amazing consistency. I remember when they were five handed in the Main Event, and Becky
asked the other four gentlemen if they wanted to split the prize money five ways, and each of her opponents smiled and quickly said “No thanks!” True
she was on a very short stack, but you could see the over confidence of her opponents smiling and glancing at each other, like they all assumed they
would be quickly knocking Grandma out any minute now. Becky very confidently said OK and began going All In about 8 out of 10 hands. She began
to move on the field like a run-a-way locomotive that appeared unstoppable. As the announcer of the event I could see those smiles soon turned into
worried looks, as Becky took a commanding chip lead and closed the show with a tremendous and very convincing victory! No deals……………she got
the whole $45,000 for 1st place and the coveted beautiful gold bracelet. Congratulations to one of the upcoming stars out there on the poker
The Cab Is Parked,