Charity Classic returns to Daytona on May 22

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After six consecutive sellouts, the Daytona Beach Kennel Club is welcoming back the Deep Stack Charity Classic on May 22 to go for lucky No. 7. The DSCC isn’t just about giving back to those in need, but to the players who are willing to lend a helping hand.

This year’s prizes are as impressive as ever. The first royal flush that gets flopped in the event will receive a $15K prize package. Even better than that, the first royal of the tournament to be flopped in diamonds will be taking home a new car with a trunk full of cash (the prize is worth $69K). The final table will earn a trip to Las Vegas for themselves and a guest.
Playing alongside Daytona’s local talent will be the likes of poker legend Phil Hellmuth, announcer Norman Chad and former November Niner Dennis Phillips. This event will come with a price tag of $275 and tickets are on sale now.

In other news, Daytona Beach Kennel Club announced plans to open a new cardroom and sports bar in Orange City. The Orange City Council approved the new room on March 8 and after $5.6 million in renovations to their new property, the Orange City Racing and Card Club is scheduled to open before the end of the year.

In a further example of the positive side of poker to Florida and its communities, the room is expected to bring 150 jobs to Orange City with an economic effect of around $6 million.

BESTBET JACKSONVILLE: The Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event wrapped up in March and for the second straight year the guarantee was broken, this time by more than double. The $1.1K buy-in brought out nearly 460 players to fight over the $445K prize pool. In his largest career cash, Arthur Andrade of Lake Mary took home $112K, besting local David Mitchell, who took home $65K.

Other notables and locals at the final table included Jermaine Gerlin, Chris Brauch and Blake Whittington, who was hot on the heels of his $16K Event 1 win in the same series.

If you read this in time, the WPT DeepStacks Tour returned at the end of April with a $1,500 main event that features a $300K guarantee. A 10-seat guarantee with a $350 buy-in will be April 25 with high hands and satellite entries into that event being given away all week leading up to the main.

EBRO GREYHOUND PARK: The Emerald Coast Spring Classic was still running at press time, so look for results in an upcoming issue.

Mississippi

BEAU RIVAGE: The Biloxi property has promoted long-time Beau Rivage tournament director-floor supervisor Henry Garrison as successor to Johnny Groom’s director of poker. Garrison is Mississippi poker through and through, having begun in Tunica at the Horseshoe more than a decade ago as a dealer. He made his way south where he spent the past nine years as part of the Beau team. When news of his appointment spread through social media, dealers and players alike agreed this was great news for the room.

Said Beau poker host Felica Watkins: “Henry is smart, funny and he truly has poker in his heart. He has a great vision on where he wants to take Beau Rivage poker and I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

In the coming months, look here for more from Garrison to see what you can expect from Beau Rivage tournaments. The next scheduled event is the Gulf Coast Poker Championship in September. Details of promotions and events can be found at beaupoker.com.

HORSESHOE TUNICA: At the northern end of the state in Tunica, this magazine will hit the shelves just barely in time to register for the Horseshoe’s $50K guarantee on April 29-May 1. The last one exceeded all expectations and you don’t want to miss out. Expect a bigger crowd this time.

Central Florida

SEMINOLE IMMOKALEE: Herb Woodbery of Winter Garden, Fla., snagged the Seminole Immokalee Poker Challenge Main Event title March 13, his second top-five finish in a year. The $1,650 event, which carried a $200K guarantee, drew 127 players from the west coast of the Sunshine State and across Alligator Alley to fight for the $51K top prize and a seat into the WPT $3,500 main event at Hard Rock Hollywood.

Last June, Woodbery finished fourth at the $1,100 Coconut Creek main event for $20K. He said he appreciated the local community’s support. He also said the night before the final he couldn’t get a hotel room so he slept in his car.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS: The Silks Poker Room hosted another four-event PPC Spring Stakes event in March and will send six players from this to the PPC Championship in Aruba. After agreeing to add two packages to Aruba for fifth and sixth places, the action continued until Tom Faust won the top prize of $12,800 and the travel package to Aruba. This was just his second cash, the first was for $408.

NAPLES-FT. MYERS GREYHOUND AND POKER: The Naples-Ft. Myers Poker Championships ran March 18-20 with its two-day $1,100 no-limit hold’em main-event title going to James Nelson.

He has been on somewhat of a heater lately, pocketing a little more than $50K for this victory. He went in with a small group to win more than $88K during March’s forceout at Gulfstream Park. That is more than $100K over a few weeks of March. He also has a Heartland Poker Tour final table to his credit when he finished sixth at Ameristar East Chicago in August 2014.

Missouri

HOLLYWOOD CASINO: The Hollywood Poker Open recently wrapped up another regional stop. The $1,115 main event drew 257 runners, including world champion and HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker and six-timeWorld Series of Poker Circuit ring-winner Kyle Cartwright, to generate a $257K prize pool. Corey Bogert took home top honors and $41,690 as part of a three-way deal he made with Jeremy Scharf and Lloyd Ney, who hails from nearby O’Fallon. A number of other locals cashed, including hometown heroes Ryan Tepen (16th) and Joshua Turner (18th), who also won the city championship for the third year in a row. Bogert and Turner earned $2,500 seats to the HPO Championship.

AMERISTAR ST. CHARLES: The Heartland Poker Tour returns May 12-23 to give players the opportunity to win life-changing money. Win your way into the $1,650 main event for as little as $200 in any of the daily qualifiers. You can win a seat into the qualifier via a $55 single-table satellite, too.

South Florida

ISLE CASINO: John Dollinger of Gulf Breeze captured the $1,500 deepstack Battles at the Beach main event at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, pocketing a cool $181K for the victory, part of an 11-event series that ran Feb. 29-March 21. Dollinger outlasted a field of 515 players who showed up for the $500K guarantee, which was easily surpassed with a $696K prize pool. Raminder “Raminator” Singh of Delray Beach finished second ($106K) and Ed Mandel of Hollywood was third ($69K).

Singh also won one of the series’ undercard events, the $350K turbo (Event 7) for $6K. Other winners included Sean Irvin, who won Events 4 and 11, Peguy Michel, Alan Saltzman, Ed Mendez, Trevan Hansen, Alberto Niebla, Alex Findlay and Mordecei Benowitz.

GPL: With the inaugural season of the Global Poker League under way, at least two South Floridians are excited at the prospect of being a part of Alex Dreyfus’ first attempt at “sportifying” the game of poker. Jason Mercier of Davie, ranked fourth in the world on the Global Poker Index, was a first-round selection (No. 3 overall) of the New York Rounders at the GPL Draft in February, while Chance Kornuth (ranked 75th on the GPI and living in Ft. Lauderdale) was selected in the fourth round by captain Maria Ho of the Los Angeles Sunset.

“It was cool to be a part of the first-ever draft in poker for an official league,” Mercier said. “I am very excited and hopeful for the league to be successful.”

Mercier and Kornuth were looking forward to being involved with a project that seeks to unite players and fans in a unique way.

“When the draft started, I was kind of indifferent, but as I watched it unfold on Twitch, I was thinking how cool it was to be a part of it,” Kornuth said. “I’m looking forward to seeing in what direction it goes and I can see the future of poker becoming better because of it.”

While the two South Floridians could match up at the six-max tables in the opening weeks, the first heads-up matches between these two players could emerge in Week 4, when the Rounders and Sunset meet on April 28.

“The GPL is trying to be considerate of everyone’s time, knowing that most of the players involved are traveling to live tournaments much of the year,” Mercier said. “I am not too worried about the time commitment. I am interested in doing anything that is going to grow the game of poker and inspire another poker boom.”

TYLER’S TEAM: Scott Cadmus took home the title, the $580 World Series of Poker Circuit seat and Tyler’s Cup at the sixth annul Tyler’s Team Charity Classic at Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach. Others attending included ex-Dolphin Bob Brudzinski and Ante Up’s Dave Lemmon, who also hosts the Poker Action Line radio show. Erin Coley of Lake Worth finished second. Proceeds supported the Tyler McLellan Foundation.

Louisiana

COUSHATTA CASINO RESORT: High waters and a closed interstate weren’t enough to dampen the good times at the Spring Classic Series on March 16-20. The Sabine River between Louisiana and Texas crested near Interstate 10 and caused flooding, which closed the freeway during the series.

“Normally the Spring Series is our busiest tournament of the year, but we could not beat the hand we were dealt from Mother Nature,” tournament director Danny Wade said. “Despite the high waters and major detours to and from Houston, we maintained numbers that were consistent with our fall and winter tournaments. The staff and management sincerely appreciate the players that had to endure harsh traveling conditions to come support our tournaments.”

Event 1 (seniors) drew 129 players and ended in a 20-way chop with each player receiving $2K and chipleader Renee Armstrong winning $3,280. The second event was the $300 mega-satellite where 24 packages to Events 3 and 4 were awarded out of the 133 participants.

Event 3 ($500 NLHE) had 108 runners and ended in a three-way chop as Clint Whitman from Texas took home the most ($9K) and runners-up Jordan Hollier and Bryan Mayeux, both of Louisiana, each received $8,131.

The final event was a $1K buy-in as the final 10 of the starting 82 were paid and featured Coushatta regulars Robert Veazey (eighth, $3,293), Jeremy Tinsley (seventh, $3,659), Winter Blowout runner-up Jason Daly (sixth, $4,391), Randy Benoit (fifth, $5,854) and Whitman (third, $10,245). The heads-up match between Joseph Golais and Ben Le lasted more than an hour before they agreed to a chop of $16,464 each.

The $550 Spring Blowout begins April 28 with a $125 mega-satellite to the Day 1A flight of the Blowout. Day 1A will be April 29 and Day 1B is April 30. Both flights merge May 1 and will play to a conclusion. The mega-satellite begins at 6:30 p.m. and the Blowout will have noon starts each day.

Call the poker room at (337) 263-5714 for more details.

HARRAH’S NEW ORLEANS: The WSOPC runs May 12-23 with the $1,675 main event May 20-21.

Meet Jeremy Tinsley

Jeremy Tinsley from Nederland, Texas, is a regular in Southwest Louisiana’s biggest no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha games and tournaments. When poker boomed in the early 2000s, he was featured on the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker.

When did you start playing poker? I started playing poker with my father when I was around 5 years old.
With more than $500K in tournament winnings, what are your biggest accomplishments? My fifth-place finish on the WPT in Tunica, Miss. I was proud that my friends and family could see me play on television and do well. It also gave me confidence that I could play at a high level.

What does your poker future look like? Basically, I have to pick and choose carefully when I can play. Since my breakout year of 2003, I have been blessed with three children and they’re my top priority. I love poker and always will. When you don’t get to play as much as you’d like, you tend to appreciate it more when you do get to compete.
— Danny Wade