Tournaments continuing to thrive in Central Florida



So, do you think the fun stops once the tournament series die down? Not in Central Florida. With the success of the New Year’s Multi Day Extravaganza, One-Eyed Jacks poker room at Sarasota Kennel Club is back with the “Spring Fling” $50K. Five separate starting flights, which began the last weekend of March and continues until the last weekend in April, culminate on April 6 with Day 2 of the tournament. Many of the local grinders/professionals call the Sarasota room their home base and after the New Year’s tournament tripled the guarantee, the $50K guarantee is almost a sure bet.

The structure is incredibly generous: 20K starting chips with 5K more for $10, 30-minute blinds and no real levels skipped. This could turn out to be a deep Day 2 for the poker room.

Coming off of August’s $10 million guarantee in Hollywood, the World Poker Tour is running a main event there this month with a $5 million guarantee.

So Tampa, (and all the Seminole properties for that matter) are pitching in to make the event just as successful as the$10 million was. The first two weeks in April there will be 12 satellite tournaments to send people to the South Florida area to compete for a $5 million prize pool. April 1-3 there will be a $200 satellite at 11 a.m. and a $385 satellite at 7 p.m. On April 6-8, that schedule will repeat ($200 at 11 a.m. and $385 at 7). If successful, there could be a handful of Central Florida tournament grinders playing for a WPT title.

Speaking of the WPT, the Legends of Poker main event in L.A. featured a Tampa local, John “Muscles” Gordon. Known as being a strategic yet intense player Muscles made his way through a field of 710 players to make the televised final table. While sixth-place finish was good for $85,080, Gordon was playing for the title, but he got derailed by eventual fifth-place finisher Phil Laak.

Gordon’s kings fell to Laak’s 10s when Laak made a straight on the river. Muscles flexed a little but eventually couldn’t make the ultimate comeback.

NAPLES-FT. MYERS: Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track will give away an Ante Up Poker Cruise package to the high hand between 9-11 p.m. every Saturday in April.

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

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