By Scott Long
Scott Frank and Rabbi David Kane, co-founders of the Howard Frank Memorial Deep Stack Charity Classic, face a daunting challenge every year. How can they possibly make the biggest charity poker tournament in Florida even better?
“As poker players ourselves, who really love the game, we design the tournament from a player’s perspective and are constantly striving to provide more fun, more value and more prizes to our guests,” Frank said.
This year’s event will be April 19 at Daytona Beach Kennel Club in Daytona Beach, Fla., with related events the entire weekend. The tournament, which has a suggested donation of $245 with discounts for those who register earliest, has sold out its more than 600 seats each of the past five years with limited opportunities the day of for alternates. And it’s easy to see why. Frank and Kane spend all year packing as much value as they can into the grand event.
And that starts with more than $70K in prizes, most donated, which gives players a huge overlay while helping support the dozens of Daytona Beach-area charities that are beneficiaries. Everyone who makes the final table wins an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for themselves and a guest and entry into Deep Stack Extravaganza at Venetian Las Vegas. The first-place prize is valued at more than $11K and the top 10 percent of the field wins cash prizes.
More than $45K in door prizes are up for grabs and every player is guaranteed one of them worth at least $65. All players are treated to a pre-event brunch and dinner and are eligible for an additional $10K worth of raffle prizes and a chance to win a $100K prize package if they’re the first player to flop a royal flush in diamonds.
One of the hallmarks of this event is the participation of poker celebrities. This year, “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth and World Series of Poker personality Norman Chad return and will be joined by the “First Lady of WSOP TV” Kara Scott. Those personalities and more will be on hand for the rest of the weekend’s special events, which include the “Beauty and the Brat” hosted by Scott and Hellmuth, a $22K single-table shootout with Hellmuth called “Beat the Brat,” a poker seminar by Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher and Hellmuth and a Vanessa Selbst Superstar Spectacular Tournament.
This year’s event will be a bittersweet one for Frank. Just before last year’s event, he lost his father, Howard, whose name will be forever associated with the event.
“My father is my love, my inspiration and my guiding light in all that I aspire. But most important, he exuded his passion for the game and provided his all encompassing love and support to me,” Frank said. “Nine years ago, my father took me to play poker as a father-son bonding experience. And, based upon that simple father-son bonding experience some nine years ago and everything in between, we have lovingly renamed the tournament in my father’s honor.”
For more information or to preregister, call (386) 316-3138 or visit deepstackcharityclassic.com.