The fourth annual World Series of Poker Circuit event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club begins Feb. 5 with a guaranteed million-dollar prize pool on the line in Event 1, all for a reasonable $580 buy-in per entry.
With three WSOPCs under his belt, director of poker Noah Carbone feels his staff has everything down pat.
“We won’t have the problem of long lines like we had two years ago, because we have a better registration process in place, including an online registration system with very minimal fees,” he said.
The big change this year for the opener will be an additional opening session on Friday night, giving players as many as five opportunities to take shot at the $1 million prize pool. The re-entry event kicks off with Day 1A on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m., with additional sessions on Feb. 6-8 at 11 a.m., plus that Friday night session at 7.
“We wanted to give an extra opportunity for those 9-to-5 guys to give people a shot after their work week, then they can still try again on Saturday if necessary,” Carbone said.
With a mantra of “12 rings in 12 days,” the series will feature 10 hold’em events with most buy-ins at $365 (the main event will feature two opening sessions on Feb. 14-15 with a $1,675 buy-in). Jonathan Tamayo won last year’s championship event.
The two other games, PLO/8 or better and HORSE, will run back-to-back early in the series as Events 2 and 3.
“We don’t want to leave out the guys that play mixed games,” Carbone said. “In fact, we had the biggest field for HORSE on the entire circuit last year.”
The kennel club, with its two poker rooms, will have 75 tables in place to accommodate the huge opening event field, along with the numerous satellites and cash games that always surround such a big event. The WSOPC will again have special Player of the Tournament standings, which will award an entry into the million-dollar freeroll in May.
In addition, PBKC will offer a separate competition among its 7 p.m. non-ring events, with cash prizes to the top-five finishers, including $5K to the winner.
If there is a dark cloud to the proceedings, it would probably be a conflicting event with a million-dollar guarantee being presented by PBKC’s closest competitor, the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.
The World Poker Tour moved its non-televised Lucky Hearts Poker Open series from the Hard Rock Hollywood venue to the Northern Broward casino with 14 events slated for Jan. 29-Feb. 10, and the Lucky Hearts has two opening sessions on Feb. 7-8, though the $3,500 buy-in for that event may appeal to different audiences.
Carbone, a veteran of the extremely competitive South Florida market, was not surprised, but felt bad for the players forced to make a choice.
“For the reasonable buy-in of $580, we feel our Event No. 1 is the only place on the East Coast that players will have a shot at a guaranteed million-dollar prize pool for that price. I think that product speaks for itself.”
Regardless of the competition, Carbone knows his facility is ready for an outstanding series.
“Things are lining up well for us. I think players will be pleased with the improvements we’ve made in Wi-Fi access as well as the convenient online access to register for the tournaments.”
MORE PBKC NEWS: John McNulty won the main event of the December series at Palm Beach Kennel Club pocketing $68,191 from the $1,100 no-limit hold’em $250K guarantee.
The 25-year old pro from Jacksonville bested nearly 290 players, including Chino Rheem, Brian Hastings, Matthew Waxman, Eric Blair, Darryll Fish and Mukul Pahuja.
“It’s cool. It’s awesome,” McNulty said after the win. “I’m sort of stunned right now in the moment. It’s crazy.”
The heads-up match came down to McNulty and pro Luke Brereton after a quick, 4.5-hour final table.
“Luke is an awesome player,” McNulty said. “I ran good against him the whole tournament, on both days. That’s it. Your hands just have to hold and you have to get cards to win. It was cool.”
— Email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.