Tampa Hard Rock names Bates poker room manager

November 21, 2013, Andrew Malowitz  

The Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, after a significant hiatus, has hired a new director of poker, and this is someone with pedigree. Thomas Bates, who has been at the helm of rooms in California, Mississippi and most recently a part of the team at the Borgata in Atlantic City, has taken over the 50-tables-plus poker room.

HALLOWEEN TOURNAMENTS: The two big multiday Halloween tournaments drew plenty of runners as Derby Lane and the Silks each got more than 220 players and both saw top prizes of more than $10K.

Where the Silks ended in a three-way chop, the Derby tournament ended five ways. The deep tournaments had great play and players were happy with structures for each.

MORE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENTS: From Tampa to Sarasota, the tournament scene is heating up. Sarasota Kennel Club planned an 11-day series after press time that scheduled heads-up, PLO, Open Face Chinese and a $220 main event that ends Dec. 8.

The Hard Rock Tampa runs its quarterly WPT event (Dec. 6-15) with events ranging from $200 to the $1,650 main event with a $250K guarantee. While the schedule was being finalized at press time, we expect the nightly turbo, the black chip bounty and opening weekend $515 with a decent guarantee. With new management, this series might have some shake up.

Derby Lane’s 12 Days of Poker returns with a plethora of events. From Dec. 12-23, the series will feature a mini buy-in $10K guarantee and a $100K guarantee main event. Both are multiday events. Also on the schedule: a ladies event, seniors event, PLO and Open Faced Chinese, though management reserves the right to change, alter or cancel any of these events. See the ad on Pages 2-3 in our December issue for the series schedule.

Finally, the Silks Poker Room has announced the Poker Players Championship will return in January and three more times after that, including the North American PPC Championship. While Aruba will still host its world championship, the North American champion will be decided this year (not this series) in Tampa Bay.

— Email Andrew at anteupandrew@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @anteupandrew and read his blog at anteupandrew.wordpress.com.