Tournaments continuing to thrive in Central Florida

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