Naples $30K main event highlights summer series

August 01, 2018, Dave Lemmon, Sara Malowitz, Crash Martin, Ron Hope, Todd Lamansky, Jennifer Gay  

The Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Track’s poker room is bringing value to the players. The Summer Series, which runs Aug. 6-12, boasts a $30K-guarantee main event for just $260. And you can get a seat for even less with $30 satellites at noon on the four days leading up to the main-event weekend.

The series kicks off Aug. 6 with a $200 event that has a $15K guarantee, followed by $130 event Aug. 7 at 6 p.m.), and a $155 bounty Aug. 9 at 6.

The main event begins Aug. 10 with two flights (noon and 6) and two flights Aug. 11 (noon and 6). You’ll get 25K chips and 30-minute blinds. Day 2 starts at noon and blinds jump to 40 minutes.

WSOP NEWS: Central Florida players made some noise in the desert this summer. In the $1,500 Monster Stack, Darryl Woodruff finished 20th for $35,819.

He made his way to the event by winning a package in the Elite Tampa Bay Poker League at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg.

The dream ended when he got called down by fourth pair. An unlucky break, but a great run nonetheless.

In the $1,500 mixed Omaha event, Matthew Gregorie, who played in the Tampa Bay area for a good deal of time before landing in Vegas recently, made the final table and finished fourth for $62,226.

Tampa native, bracelet-winner and former November Niner John Racener had a fantastic summer, making three final tables ($565 Colossus, eighth place, $74,178; $1,500 mix, fourth, $40,151; $50K high roller, seventh, $220K) and cashing nine times.

MELBOURNE GREYHOUND PARK: The Club 52 Poker Room is hosting a $10K event Aug. 4 at noon for $130.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS: The popular Summer Series still was running at press time. Be sure to check back for results. Until then, be sure to check out the daily events that have buy-ins of $25-$225 and guarantees of $1K-$10K.

South Florida

Florida players claimed five bracelets at the World Series of Poker and a multitude of players reached final tables. Michael “Grinder” Mizrachi achieved the unprecedented accomplishment of winning the Chip Reese Trophy for the third time by capturing the $50K Poker Players Championship. The Hollywood resident collected nearly $1.24M for the victory, his first since taking the title in 2012.

Popular favorite Jessica Dawley, who recently moved to Las Vegas after living in Palm Beach and Broward counties for many years, won her first bracelet by capturing the women’s title for $130K. In addition, Joey Couden of Tamarac defeated a stacked final table that included Bruno Fitoussi, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu to take home the bracelet and $244K in the $1,500 PLO/8 event. And it was Matthew “mendey” Mendez of Wellington who won the PLO six-max online tourney for $135K-plus.

Former November Niner Jerry Wong of Coconut Creek had a monster series with three final tables in $10K events in three disciplines: fourth in PLO, fifth in razz and sixth in stud/8. Steve Wolansky of Cooper City proved to be one of the most consistent players in the series, cashing more than a dozen times.

HARD ROCK HOLLYWOOD: The sixth edition of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open runs Aug. 2-14, launched by a $570 deepstack that will carry a $1M guarantee and features six opening sessions. There will be two sessions each day with starting times of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 2-4 and unlimited re-entries will be accepted. The exciting Big 4 concept returns with simultaneous final tables scheduled for Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. for the $5,250 championship, which starts Aug. 10, the $2,650 event, which has a single re-entry, a $1M guarantee and starts Aug. 12, the $1,100 tourney with unlimited re-entries ($500K guarantee), starting Aug. 13 and the $25,500 high roller, which has a $1M guarantee and starts Aug. 13.

The Big 4 final tables will be live-streamed by Poker Night in America and filmed for viewing on the CBS Sports Network. Martin Kozlov of Melbourne, Australia is the defending champion of the championship event after defeating 877 entries for $750K-plus.

The Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic returns as part of the series to benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, hosted by the Charity Series of Poker on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. The event kicks off with a VIP party. The buy-in for the charity event is $300 and players can re-enter throughout the evening. Many local and national celebrities will attend, including former major-leaguer Jeff Conine.

CASINO AT DANIA BEACH: A decade ago, Dania Jai-Alai had a large poker room that was a serious draw for single-table tournaments, often running more than 50 each day. It also hosted a popular Friday night $100 tourney that regularly drew 200-plus players.

After several incarnations of the poker room came and went with the addition of a new casino, business had dropped off, but some of the old glory is returning thanks to an old formula. A $100 Friday Big Slick event has grown since the room instituted a $20K guarantee, with $10K guaranteed for the winner, in May and fields have passed the 150-entry mark.
The poker room had the most gross tournament receipts in the state for May, as recorded by the Florida Department of Business Regulation. The room opens daily at noon and closes at 3 a.m. on most nights, staying open two hours longer on Friday and Saturday nights.

North Florida

Bestbet Jacksonville will be the center of attention this month as it hosts its popular Summer Series, featuring a $570 main event with a $200K guarantee.

The nine-event Summer Series runs Aug. 17-26 and includes a $100K guarantee opener. Monster Stack, deepstack, heads-up, six-max short deck, Omaha/8, bounty and turbo tournaments will be offered as part of the well-rounded poker.

Satellites begin Aug. 11 and a mega-satellite into the October WPT main event at bestbet is Aug. 23. All events will use the big-blind-ante format and the main event’s final table will be live-streamed Aug. 26.

“We feel excited about our Summer Series,” VP of poker operations Deborah Giardina said. “For those who haven’t seen our live-stream set, which we feel is exceptional, it’s available through a link on our website, Facebook page and Twitch (twitch.tv/bestbetlive). In person we feel we have great poker, a great staff and great sushi.”

At the cash tables, high-hand promos include $400 every 20 minutes Sundays and $250 every 15 minutes Tuesdays at select times. Call for details.

A Poker 102 class is offered Aug. 25 for $10. Lunch and a chance to win tournament vouchers are included.

Tournament winners from June include Tamiko Davis, who bested a field of 58 to win the Bikes, Trains and Cards event. Davis won $1,070 in this $60 event. James Blick of South Carolina won the $100K tourney, outlasting a field of 514 to earn $25,200 from a prize pool of $154,200. He chopped with Neal Autry and Mary Darnell and then they played it out for the title.

EBRO GREYHOUND PARK: The revamped tournament schedule is paying dividends for the Panhandle room. The mid-June megastack had 247 entries as 54 players survived to Day 2 as 25 places were paid from a $61,750 prize pool. Robert Melton and Tom Bentz chopped for $12,968 each with Melton having the most chips and the title.

The June Friday $10K resulted in a five-way chop with Dave Jones, Kevin Thompson, Will MacLemore, Mike Sullivan and Steve Stangline each pocketing $2,171 out of a $15,960 prize pool. The tourney paid 20 spots as Jones finished with the most chips.

“Customer feedback has prompted tournament improvements,” poker room manager Keith Moore said. “Higher guarantees and larger prize pools are common requests. We have reacted to this and have been rewarded with player loyalty and participation and hope to reach our first $100K prize pool in October’s Emerald Coast Main Event.”

Guarantee tournaments in August include a $3K on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., a $2.5K Aug. 10, a $2K Aug. 14 and a $10K deepstack Aug. 26. Cash tables have high-hand promos every day.

PENSACOLA GREYHOUND TRACK: Tournaments are Monday-Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 1. The biggest tourney in August will cost $180 and have a $20K guarantee. It has three Day 1s Aug. 23-25 with Day 2 on Aug. 26.

The June $50K resulted in an eight-way chop as each player won $4,759.

Pensacola also has lively cash games and high-hand promos daily.

CREEK GRETNA: Cash games offer full-house promos and earnings per hour of play daily. Aug. 11 will be a $200 high-hand payout (1-11 p.m.).

August tourneys include a $2K Aug. 4, a $5K Aug. 31 and the monthly $10K is Aug. 18 at 1. This $270 event has satellites Sundays and Thursdays each week.

The June $10K went to Lloyd Epstein, who took $2,115 out of the $10,200 prize pool as he outlasted 50 players.

BESTBET ORANGE PARK: There are two $50 tournaments each week, Sundays at noon and Tuesdays at 7. In August, the cash tables offer Mystery Monday every 30 minutes noon-6 and 7-midnight. Those high hands could be worth $200-$500. Each Thursday, there’s a $300 high-hand promo noon-midnight.

DAYTONA BEACH RACING AND CARD CLUB: Richard Hammond won $7,368 and the title after a four-way chop in the June Heatwave event. A whopping 490 entries created a prize pool of $58,800.

The poker room runs tournaments daily and has high-hand cash promos.

ORANGE CITY RACING AND CARD CLUB: This facility hosts tournaments Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and has high hands daily.

Missouri

AMERISTAR ST. CHARLES: The Heartland Poker Tour returns to the St. Louis area Aug. 9-20.
The schedule consists of 11 primary events, including a $100K guarantee with three starting flights and a $350 buy-in, a new seven-game mix (HORSE plus NLHE and PLO); a win-the-button tournament, a seniors event, PLO and the usual $1,650 main event, which will use the big-blind-ante format.

Flight A kicks off Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. with flight B the next day at 1. The HPT also hosted a mini-series at the beginning of July. The $350 main drew 416 entries, with Charles Leroi taking home top honors and $28,710.

DESERT DREAMS: Joshua Turner had eight cashes at this year’s World Series, including three final tables. He finished ninth in Event 3 ($18,526), third in Event 34 ($294,760) and ninth in Event 75 ($52,465).

John Richards final-tabled three $250 daily deepstack tournaments at the Rio, winning one ($32,350), while finished third in another ($17,599) and fourth in the other ($13,363).

Craig Welko finished third in a $550 event at the Wynn Summer Classic for $33K, the biggest score of his career, bringing his lifetime earnings to $141,585.

Louisiana

COUSHATTA CASINO: The recent Summer Classic wrapped with three winners: Richard Golomon won the seniors event, Jeremy Kolb nabbed the $300 tourney and Nguyen Nguyen won the $550 main event.

In promo news, the bad-beat jackpot surpassed $100K at press time. Other promotions include mini-bad-beat jackpot ($2,500, aces full of kings), Monday splash pots ($50) and Kings Cracked; Tuesday splash pots ($50), high hands and Sets Cracked; Wednesday Aces Cracked (1-10 p.m.) and Sets Cracked (10 p.m.-1 p.m.). There are specials every day.

GOLDEN NUGGET LAKE CHARLES: The bad-beat jackpot was $101K at press time. The poker room also pays $100 for a straight flush and $200 for royals around the clock.

L’AUBERGE CASINO BATON ROUGE: Splash pots for $50 run daily noon-8 p.m. and hourly high hands are paid $100 (11 a.m.-8 p.m.). The room is spreading new games: Monday and Wednesday nights have a $20-$40 limit game with a half-kill; Sunday and Thursday nights have $15-$30 Omaha and Tuesday nights feature a $5-$10 NLHE. These games begin at 6 p.m. and players can call to reserve seats at 4 p.m.

BOOMTOWN CASINO NEW ORLEANS: Sunday, Monday and Wednesday feature $25 splash pots every half-hour. Tuesday and Thursday have Faces Cracked for $25.

HARRAH’S CASINO NEW ORLEANS: The bad-beat jackpot was near $110K at press time and the mini-bad-beat is 10 percent of the main. Other promos include Aces and Faces Cracked for $50, splash pots ($50 every 30 minutes), Power Hand Wednesdays ($75-$100) and high hands with rollover.

L’AUBERGE CASINO RESORT LAKE CHARLES: There’s a new Sunday Super Bounty tournament on the schedule at noon. The $230 event pays $100 bounties. And with two hours of live play before 4 p.m. events you can get $25 off your tournament entry.

The new Saturday tournament costs $150 and register early for more chips. Call the poker room for details.
As for promos, straight flushes pay $100 and royals get $200.

HORSESHOE BOSSIER CITY: The bad-beat jackpot was $183K at press time. Other promos include Aces Cracked, splash pots and high hands.

ISLE LAKE CHARLES: Look for Aces Cracked on Mondays, Queens Cracked on Tuesdays, Kings Cracked on Wednesday, quads on Thursdays and Aces Cracked on Fridays. If you flop an ace-high flush on Sundays, with the ace in your hand, you’ll win $100 but $800 if it’s done in spades.

Mississippi

AMERISTAR VICKSBURG: The Heartland Poker Tour runs until Aug. 6. The series features several fun events including a $200 tag-team event and the $1,100 main event (weekend of Aug. 3) where the final table will be live-streamed on Twitch. For more information, visit hptpoker.com.

HORSESHOE TUNICA: The Run Good Poker Series is Aug. 14-19. Players may enjoy several smaller buy-in events, such as the $135 pro-bounty tournament where you can earn $1K for some knockouts.
On Aug. 15, the two-day $185 event with a $20K guarantee is sure to draw a crowd. Multiple satellites run daily leading up to the $575 main event on Aug. 17.
The $100K guarantee has Day 1 flights Aug. 17-18. Players lucky enough to bag either day return Aug. 19 to play down to a winner.

Poker room rates are available; call the poker room for more information.

IP: The Biloxi WSOP Circuit stop has been moved from its usual September home to Dec. 6-17.
It’s worth making your reservations now before the poker room rate is sold out. This circuit stop features some of the smallest WSOPC fields, giving players a unique advantage toward winning a ring or racking up casino-champion points to win entry into the Global Championship.

Meet Neil Blumenfield

People see pictures of 63-year-old Neil Blumenfield and recall his third-place finish in the 2015 WSOP main event, where he took home $3.3M-plus. The ex-San Francisco software executive moved to South Florida after that run to the November Nine.

What do you think about the elimination of the Noverber Nine? Though some people don’t like the delay, I loved it and it was so much fun. I got to work on my game a lot and then had over a hundred friends show up for my rail. It may not be worse for all the players who would prefer to go straight through, but I think it’s worse for the audience when you lose that set-up time.

How did that tournament change your life and do people still come up and talk to you about it? Well, I left my day job and I moved to South Florida, which I love, and there are tournaments all over the place down here. For the first year, lots of players came up to me to say they liked the way I play. Not so much now. I’m a much better player now than I was then, so that’s the good news.

How have you done in tourneys since? Overall, it was a pretty good (2017), but I didn’t win much. — Dave Lemmon