Bonjean wins Emerald Coast Poker Championship Main Event



Over the past month, the North Florida poker scene was as busy as it gets and will continue to stay that way this month. Here’s a look at what happened and what’s coming up from the Panhandle to the First Coast and Daytona Beach.

ECPC: The Emerald Coast Poker Championship, the signature series of the fine Ebro Greyhound Park poker room, concluded Sept. 16 with Spence Bonjean capturing the main-event title and $12K. Pamela Cobb and Gail Giles split second- and third-place money, getting $8,590. Other winners included Julia Castronova (Event 2, $4,198), Ben Chan (Event 3, $3,210), Rondo Hanson (Event 4, H.O.R.S.E., $1,324), Jenny Chandler (LIPS event, $1,004), Matt Smith (Event 6, $4,380; Event 9, $3,173) and Dave Pleat (seniors, $2,278). Brian Roper and Rob Hayden chopped Event 1 and Travis Schofer, Todd Derrick, Kevin Paulk and Phillip Petit chopped Event 8 (Omaha/8).

In other Ebro news, look for a Veterans Day special (Nov. 12) as the poker room will be giving away $100 every 15 minutes to the highest hand, plus $100 for Aces Cracked. From Nov. 22-25 look for $200 every 30 minutes for the highest hand.

DBKC: Just as one tournament finishes, another begins at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club poker room. The Heartland Poker Tour returned to DBKC in October as salesman Andy Denick of Rockledge, Fla., won the main event on Oct. 14, besting nearly 325 players for the $138,187 payday.

The DBKC signature series, the International, runs Nov. 2-14. Call for details.
And looking ahead, more than $20,000 in prizes, including two Ante Up Poker Cruise packages, will be up for grabs in the Daytona Toyota Holiday Charity Classic on Dec. 2. The tournament winner gets a $6,500 prize package from the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, including a $3,500 seat in the Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event, airfare, hotel, food and cash.

Second- and third-place finishers win an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Feb. 4 sailing out of Port Canaveral. Advance entries are $150 at DBKC or at HolidayCharityClassic.Com.
If entries remain on the day of the tournament, they will be $175. For more information, call (386) 316-3138.

BESTBET JAX: The LIPS Florida Women’s Championship will be at bestbet Jacksonville on Nov. 16-18. This will come after the conclusion of the property’s Jacksonville Fall Series, which culminates with the WPT main event (Nov. 9-13).

The poker room also hosted its first College Poker Championship, as 132 college players came from all over the Southeast to vie for the title. Edvin Hot, a regular at bestbet and a 27-year-old student at Florida Coastal School of Law, captured the crown and $1K. The New York native bested Taylor Trace heads-up for the title.

GRETNA/PENSACOLA: The Creek Entertainment Gretna poker room and the Pensacola poker room will continue with their $10K and $20K guarantee tournaments. Gretna’s $10K guarantee will have a $250 buy-in on Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. There will be $75 satellites every Thursday (7 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (1 p.m.).

The Pensacola $20K guarantee will have a $500 buy-in Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. There will be $100 satellites every Thursday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) There’s also a $10K guarantee ($250, Nov. 10, 1 p.m.) with $50 satellites on Tuesdays (7 p.m.).

— Chaz Allen is Ante Up’s North Florida Ambassador. Email him at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine