Derby Lane is billing it as “The Best Little Tournament in the USA,” and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who could challenge that slogan.
The centerpiece of the Fall Pokerfest Ante Up Poker Tour series that runs Nov. 1-16 at the St. Petersburg, Fla., poker room is a $150 main event with 18 starting flights and a staggering $250K guarantee. And if you’re wondering how the 54-table room is confident it’ll get the 1,667 runners needed to avoid an overlay, here’s the one-word answer: accumulator.
That’s right, players are welcome to play as many of the 18 flights as they wish, as well as re-enter in as many of them, too. Instead of advancing only their largest stack, players will be able to advance their five biggest stacks and combine them into one for Day 2.
“We were looking for a way to break out of the pack with a unique tournament idea, as well as create an event that would appeal to recreational players and more seasoned players alike,” said Jeff Gamber, director of poker operations at Derby Lane. “Where else can you take a stab at a $250,000 prize pool for just $150?”
Indeed, the main event accomplishes that rare feat of being attractive to players of all bankrolls and skill levels. For weekend warriors, the chance to turn $150 into enough money to buy a luxury car doesn’t come often. For daily grinders and semipros, the opportunity to bag chips over and over also is a rarity.
And to further encourage repeat entries, Derby Lane will immediately pay $150 the top 12 percent of players in each flight who advance to Day 2, a la the World Series of Poker November Nine.
In addition to what is sure to be a nice payday, the main-event winner will appear on the cover of the December issue of Ante Up, earn a 2015 seat in the $1,650 Ante Up World Championship Main Event, win an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two for the Dec. 15 sailing and get a personalized tour champion’s jacket.
While the main event is sure to be the headline-grabber of the Fall Pokerfest, six other events from a variety of disciplines are on the schedule. Highlights of those include a $1,020 High Roller, a $560 Pineapple Open Face Chinese tournament, a $340 pot-limit Omaha event and $340 six-max tournament. Cashes in all events earn Ante Up Poker Tour Player of the Year points.