Derby Lane’s Pokerfest coming March 18-30

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Derby Lane is breaking out of the usual humdrum poker series with its new Pokerfest $150K guarantee series that runs March 18-30.

This series offers 12 events, including a slew of no-limit hold’em tourneys, pot-limit Omaha (March 19, 6 p.m., $220), a $1K High Roller (March 25, 6 p.m.) a senior event (March 26, 11 a.m., $200, $10K guarantee), a six-max (March 26, 6 p.m., $170), a five Day 1 Micro event ($40 with a $10K guarantee) and nine Day 1s sprinkled throughout for the $100K guarantee main event ($300). Day 2 of the main event will be March 30 at noon.

As part of this series, there are a host of excellent prizes tied to drawings (and early registration) for participating in these tournaments, including an Ante Up Poker Cruise for two out of Port Canaveral to the Bahamas in July, a five-day vacation package to Las Vegas (airfare and hotel included), a flatscreen TV, autographed guitars, commemorative T-shirts for the 98 Rockfest concert on April 25 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, plus tickets, a limo and VIP treatment to the concert and other meet-and-greet opportunities.

To learn more about this series, including the full schedule, blind levels, buy-ins and prize details, be sure to go to derbylanepoker.com. And for info on the concert, go to 98rock.com.

MORE TOURNAMENTS: Tampa Hard Rock, the Silks and Seminole Immokalee also have tournaments this month.

Hard Rock hosts its WPT Regional, March 13-16.

The Silks hosts the next leg of the PPC, the Florida Spring Poker Stakes (March 11-16), featuring a few new events (Open Face Chinese and PLO) and $60K in guarantees.

Jordan Wunder won Silks’ Winter PPC main event and $23K, beating 290-plus players.

Seminole Immokalee is bringing back friend Scotty Nguyen for a $550 event on March 30 at 2 p.m. The winner of the event gets to play Nguyen for a $3,500 seat into the $5 million guarantee Seminole Hard Rock Open WPT Main Event in April.

SAD DAY: It’s a sad day for the Tampa Bay area poker players as popular player Walter “Walt” Meredith recently died.

A staple player at Derby Lane and the Silks Poker Room, Meredith was known by almost every regular. Loud and wild sweaters, large preflop raises and a joke for every dealer, he was a happy-go-lucky player who knew how to put the bad beat on players. A few remembrances over Twitter brought memories of horrible calls, bad beats and even arguments at the table.

I can remember many a poker tournament looking across the table at Walt and asking myself, “What is going on here?”

Archibald McLauchlin, who just chopped the Derby 12 Days tournament in December, posted on Twitter, “RIP Walter Merideth. I will miss his quick wit, funny banter, awesome sweaters, impeccable smile, and of course those 12x preflop raises.” Walt, we will miss you.

NAPLES-FT. MYERS: The Naples-Ft. Myers Championships will be March 28-29 at Naples-Ft. Myers Poker & Racing. The PLO championship is $550 and begins at noon on March 28. The $1,100 NLHE two-day event has a $100K guarantee and starts at noon on March 29. See the ad on Page 9 for more details.

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