Poker is heating up in Central Florida



The past few months have been flooded with tournaments in the Tampa Bay area from Tampa to Sarasota. Now with Derby Lane’s 12 Days of Poker and Hard Rock’s Winter Poker Open ending at press time, the final winter festival will be at the Silks Poker Room in Tampa.

This month begins the first of its four Poker Player Championship series (Jan. 15-19) as the series is highlighted by the $350 main event with a $50K guarantee.

The main will feature four starting flights (two on Jan. 17 and two the next day). Scheduled to appear at the event is Ronnie Bardah, a 2013 WSOP bracelet-winner and consecutive WSOP main-event cashes.
For the women who don’t make Day 2 of the main, a LIPS event is on the schedule (Jan. 19, $130) and should have a strong showing.

On the east coast of Florida, the Club 52 Poker Room in Melbourne is bringing even more poker to the players that travel the Atlantic highways.

When I began my Ante Up career, Melbourne Greyhound Park was the first room I visited, and it’s a nice room with some unusual tournaments. The day we were there it was the necklace bounty where people were given beads to wear and if they were knocked out they had to give their opponent the necklace, which had a prize attached. We look forward to getting more information about promotions and tournaments as 2014 moves forward.

CHARITY: I want to give a special thanks to a few people. In November, my wife and I attended a charity event in Orlando benefitting Best Buddies of Central Florida. Two professionals highlighted the event, Natasha Barbour and Mike Raimon. Both dazzled the players in the tournament. They helped raise awareness for such a worthwhile organization and I was happy to be a part of a wonderful night.

As we enter 2014, the year looks like a banner one for Central Florida. The events are becoming more and more competitive, which benefits the players. I’m looking forward to reporting all the fun and happy times to come.

— Email Andrew at Follow him on Twitter @anteupandrew and read his blog at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine