Isle Poker Open chops; Romano on top



The Isle Poker Room in Pompano Beach closed out its annual cycle of four major tournament series with the conclusion of the Isle Open main event on Oct. 30. Whether the same rotation returns in 2014 is still up in the air, according the director of poker Stan Strickland, who told us he is deciding if the same buy-ins, structures and series dates are still viable in an increasingly competitive and evolving South Florida market.

Amateur player and local lawyer Jay Romano of Boca Raton took home the Isle Open top prize of $100K as the largest chip stack in an agreed-upon four-way chop with Justin Fawbush of Cocoa Beach, Matt Waxman of Parkland and Eric Riley of Deerfield Beach. Fawbush and Waxman collected $84K each, while Riley agreed to slightly more than $82K. The players agreed to play one face-down hand of Omaha for the trophy. The four men turned over one card at a time after the board was dealt and the hardware went to Fawbush when he filled a flush on his final card.

Romano, a gregarious and likeable character, ended up with the trophy after making a deal with Fawbush sometime between the conclusion of the event and the payouts.

“This is my biggest tournament ever and I wanted to give the trophy to my son so he could keep it in his room,” he said. “I didn’t want to lose it with a stupid hand of Omaha; I don’t even know how to play Omaha.”

The event featured a $2,500 buy-in and a $500K guarantee that attracted 241 entries. A slow first day of just 49 players and a turnout of 62 in Day 1B created some apprehension of an overlay, but a big turnout on the final day sent the total cruising past the 218-player mark required to reach the guarantee.

Sunny Isles Beach resident Noah Schwartz, two days after arriving home from winning a bracelet in Paris at a WSOP Europe Mixed-Max event, finished sixth in the Isle Open, while locals Maurice Hawkins and Anthony “Boston Tony” Ruberto took 10th and 11th place, respectively. Waxman chose to play in this event rather than travel to France to play in the WPT Grand Prix de Paris, which he won in 2011, highlighting the fact that the Isle’s biggest events are extremely popular among the area’s top players. (Two of Waxman’s best friends getting married during the same weekend may have had something to do with it, too.)

WPT COCONUT CREEK: Francisco Regalado of Miami collected nearly $28K when the $500 buy-in main event of the WPT Regional Fall Poker Open at Seminole Coconut Creek concluded with a three-way chop. George Ryan of Boynton Beach and Chet Farrell of Jupiter took home the other big prizes when a short Day 2 concluded after about three hours of play.

The Coconut Creek facility also announced it will host February’s WPT Lucky Hearts Open instead of the Hard Rock in Hollywood. Last year’s event was attended by many big-name players and was won by Matt Giannetti. This year’s tourney is scheduled to have a $3,500 buy-in and will be Feb. 7-11.

PBKC: The Palm Beach Kennel Club will host a nine-event series Dec. 5-16. The $1,120 buy-in main event has two opening sessions (Dec. 13 and 14) and will conclude Dec. 16.

— Email Dave Lemmon at

Isle Open

Event 1• $150 NLHE
Entries: 1,090 • Pool: $150K
Jiang Zhao, $20K*
Event 2 • $230 O/8
Entries: 149 • Pool: $15K
Harry Chaimowiz, $3,625*
Event 3 • $120 w/rbs
Entries: 149 • Pool: $20K
Dave Henry, $5K*
Event 4 • $200 NLHE
Entries: 175 • Pool: $30K
Jami Kopacz, $2,214*
Event 5 • $230 PLO
Entries: 47 • Pool: $20K
Kevin Spires, $5,864*
Event 6 • $230 NLHE
Entries: 187 • Pool: $30K
Bruce Rawdin, $2,860*
Event 7 • $330 Seniors
Entries: 50 • Pool: $20K
Scott Levitt, $2,500*
Event 8 • $150 NLHE
Entries: 73 • Pool: $15K
Daniel Genachte, $1,667*
Event 9 • $75 NLHE
Entries: 123 • Pool: $10K
Tracy Brown, $1,307*
Event 10 • $540 NLHE
Entries: 516 • Pool: $250K
Mohammad Siddiqui, $69,660
Event 11 • $230 PLO/8
Entries: 40 • Pool: $20K
Jordan Chizick, $9K
Event 12 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 77 • Pool: $6,160
Fred Devinney, $2,094
Event 13 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 93 • Pool: $20,700
Greg Marcus, $7,036
Event 14 • $200 NLHE
Entries: 156 • Pool: $30K
Allan Bieler, $4,915*
Event 15 • $150 NLHE
Entries: 143 • Pool: $11,440
James Salmon, $3,661
Event 16 • $330 NLHE
Entries: 901 • Pool: $270,300
Ryan Sherman, $64,899
Event 17 • $200 NLHE
Entries: 261 • Pool: $45,675
Paul Balzano, $12,791
Event 18 • $230 HORSE
Entries: 42 • Pool: $10K
Mordecei Benowitz, $3,242*
Event 19 • $1,600 NLHE
Entries: 74 • Pool: $100K
Danit Dayan, $20,350*
$2,500 Main Event
Entries: 241 • Pool: $500K
Jay Romano, $100K*
* Denotes deal

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine