Winter, Greene have big days at best bet poker room

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May at bestbet Jacksonville saw two players, who have spent years honing their craft, score the biggest wins of their respective poker careers. Each man’s path to the final table was unique. For Sean Winter, poker has been a part of his life before he was even technically allowed to play. He started studying the game in high school and as soon as he was able to walk through the doors at bestbet, he took his place among the best cash players in Jacksonville, and arguably he just may be sitting in the top spot.

He’s dabbled in tournaments before with a fair amount of success, making the final table at the WPT summer main event in 2012 but exiting early in an event he was poised to win. The same can be said for his fourth-place finish at bestbet Jacksonville’s inaugural CPPT last fall. But it seemed when the odds where against him the most was when he had the most success.

The 218-player field in May’s main event hosted some of the South’s most talented players, including Corey Burbick, John Dolan and Zohair Karim. Winter was one of the shortest stacks going into the final table.

A two-outer kept him alive when he found himself all-in with 9-9 against Q-Q. Then he was in a dead heat for the chip lead against second-place finisher Edward Gilfallem. But as play progressed through the final six, Winter built a tower of chips and never faltered. It was his first major tournament win in his hometown and the $84K victory was a nice crown jewel on a career that has only just begun.

For Shon Greene, his journey to being a pro was filled with a few more hardships. He spent most of his life as a barber in Georgia, but after rupturing a disc in his back, it became nearly impossible to stand for long periods of time, meaning he couldn’t do the thing he loved most. So in 2009, he took a seat at the poker table.

He has a few wins and cashes under his belt, but the big win at bestbet Jacksonville’s May $50K guarantee was his largest. Greene’s victory was hardly a breeze, but holding on to the chip lead from the start of Day 2 and never wavering is a rare occurrence in any tournament, especially one with a 577-player field featuring some of North Florida’s top amateur players. He took home $14K for the win.

— Email Charles at anteupcharles@gmail.com.