Luke Brereton of Manchester, England, who also owns a residence in Hallandale, captured the main event of the Isle Poker Open in late October as the Isle Casino Pompano concluded its major tournament series rotation for 2014.
Brereton, who splits time between the U.K. and South Florida, said he loves the contrast between the locales and decided a couple of years ago to buy a place in the area mainly because of the great poker scene, which includes tournaments like this one. The event came down to an extensive three-way battle between Brereton, Barry Hutter and Javier Sarache of Weston that lasted about 2.5 hours. … and I do mean battle.
Play got a bit contentious after Sarache tried to negotiate a chop, but was rebuffed by both players. Sarache went all-in on six consecutive hands to force the other players to fold, something that put him in the lead.
However, things settled down and after about two more hours of play, Brereton, who won a World Series of Poker Circuit ring at Palm Beach Kennel Club in 2013, eliminated Sarache in third place (good for $59K) for a substantial lead over Hutter. It took less than a dozen hands before Brereton’s pocket 10s held up against Hutter’s pocket sevens to give him the trophy and nearly $155K, his biggest payday.
Hutter, who collected $91K for second, took it in stride.
“That was one of the craziest three-handed games I’ve ever played,” he said “Chips were going back and forth, there were a bunch of all-ins and a lot of up and downs for everyone.”
The tournament, with a $1,200 buy-in and a $400K guarantee, drew 557 entries for a $668K pool. The next big series at Pompano Beach will be the Isle Classic, which runs Jan. 7-27 with the main event Jan. 22.
HIALEAH PARK: The poker room has been the success story of 2014 in South Florida under director of poker Nelson Costa. The room has averaged around $650K in revenue each month, the leader in Dade County for every month but two since it opened in August 2013. Thanks to that huge success, the room will be expanding before Christmas.
Since the 22-table room has been nearly full most of the time, Costa is thrilled to offer more games and less waiting. The new area will include 11 more tables, including a high-roller table that can be used for tournament final tables.
A special tournament featuring a $20K guarantee will be Dec. 23 with a field capped at 40 players, which will include the Top 10 point-earners from November who qualify for a free $550 buy-in. For more information on the opening of the expanded area and for all upcoming promotions, go tohialeahparkcasino.com.
AUPT AT PBKC: The Ante Up Poker Tour comes to South Florida on Dec. 11-14 with a $575 main event featuring three starting days and a $100K guarantee at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. The winner of the main will appear on the cover of the February issue of Ante Up and get a seat into the 2015 Ante Up World Championship Main Event at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Northern California, plus a personalized AUPT champion’s jacket.
PBKC director of poker Noah Carbone is thrilled to be working closely again with Ante Up.
“We basically grew together from the infancy stage at the same time in 2010, for us with the expanded tournament rules and stakes and for Ante Up a move toward national distribution,” he said. “Of course, we are both way past that now, but this is a culmination of our efforts working together to help grow poker in Florida, and it brings added recognition to both of our brands.”
BETTING FOR JUSTICE: Everybody at the final table took home money and prizes, but it was Joe Marchese of Coral Springs who took home the most with a victory in the Betting for Justice charity tournament Nov. 2 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood. Marchese took home the Miami Poker Society championship belt, an autographed Barry Gibb guitar, four Heat tickets, a one-night stay at the Hard Rock and $2,250 in cash and other prizes.
Angel Vu, who captured Player of the Series honors at the Hard Rock Poker Open in August, took second place, while Michael Ortiz was third and Tony Ruberto was fourth. One of Ortiz’s prizes was a guitar autographed by singer Englebert Humperdinck. I challenge you to find another tournament where you can win a prize like that.
— Email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.