Sarmiento takes S. Fla. WSOPC main


Ante Up Magazine Southern Poker

Steven Sarmiento of Forest Hills, N.Y., won the main event of the World Series of  Poker Circuit at Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, collecting $188K, his first ring and a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship. The 30-year-old pro defeated Neal Corcoran of Hobe Sound in heads-up play to notch his fourth six-figure cash in 2019. A close race for Casino Champion honors came down to three players on the final table of the last event. Scott Roberts outlasted WSOP seniors champ Howard Mash and Pittsburgh’s Zach Mullennix to earn his spot in the GCC after winning one event and posting two runner-up finishes.

Several big names took down earlier events, including Brian Hastings, the winner of the $1,125 PLO tournament, former Colossus winner Cord Garcia ($600 turbo) and Orlando’s Jeff Trudeau, who captured the $2,200 high roller.

In past years, this facility hosted a second Circuit series, but this season the February event will be at Hard Rock Tampa.

HARD ROCK HOLLYWOOD: The World Poker Tour returns this month for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Open. The series opens with a $400 event, which features a $1M guarantee and eight opening sessions Nov. 20-23. The series will have several mixed-game events and 27 overall, headlined by the $3.5K WPT championship Nov. 29-30 with a $2M guarantee. That final table will be live-streamed Dec. 4 on 

In other news, tournament director Tony Burns was promoted to marketing director for Seminole Gaming, which means he will oversee promotional and marketing efforts for Tampa, Coconut Creek and Hollywood. Burns was hired in August 2015 after spending eight years at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach.

CHANGES AT THE TOP: Several South Florida poker rooms have brought in new management over the past several months, including former Isle floor supervisor David Berman named director of poker for Casino at Dania Beach and Kelly Mautner is poker room manager at Seminole Coconut Creek. Ken Lambert left the Isle. A replacement hadn’t been named at press time.


The 12th annual Gulf Coast Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage kicked off with a $300K guarantee that drew 1,638 entrants for a $475,020 prize pool. The series included 13 events, including eight-max Big O, PLO, heads-up, $50K guarantee Monster, Little Monster and more.

Greg Peoples of Hoover, Ala., won the opener for $46,197. Event 2 ($300 NLHE) had 200-plus entrants and went to Tony Dobyns of Texas. The $300 Big O event went to Chase Smith of Tennessee.

Other winners: Matt Silva of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., (heads-up); Chris Stevens of Gautier, Miss., (Event 5), and Jeremy Tinsley of Nederland, Texas, (PLO).

In the main event, Andrew Barfield of Ocean Springs, Miss., took first place for $110,266, beating nearly 380 players, which created a $449,761 prize pool. Yousef Salek of Meridian, Miss., took second, while Tim Sanderson of Covington, La., was third.

Barfield isn’t a newcomer to tournament poker, but this is his largest win. He began playing 10 years ago with buddies in college and continues to play live events. When asked what he was going to do next, Barfield said, “Go back to work. Maybe plan a trip to Disney.” Barfield is married and a father of three and a practicing physician at Keesler Air Force Base.

Looking ahead, the Million Dollar Heater is Jan. 3-13.

Central Florida

Melbourne Greyhound Track’s Club 52 hosts a $60 event with a $5K guarantee every Friday in November at 7 p.m. Sundays at noon host a $130 tournament and every Monday at 7 is $60 event. Wednesdays at 7 is $70 turbo and don’t forget high hands are offered for all tournaments. 

Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. begins a $100K guarantee with multiple starting flights. Day 2 is Nov. 10. Please see the ad below and check out for more information on this tourney.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS: Here’s a look at tournaments at the Silks Poker Room in Tampa: Sunday’s Super Stack, $55, 1 p.m. and Cheap Stack, $20, 7 p.m.; On Nov. 11 and 25, there are $150 tourneys with $10K guarantees at 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday are Mini Stack events at 1 p.m. for $45 and a $1K guarantee; Wednesday and Friday,  $55, 1 and 7 p.m., and Saturday, $90, 1 p.m. and $70, 7 p.m. 

TAMPA HARD ROCK: Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. is a $100K guarantee for $500 with re-entry allowed in this one-day event.  

The Little Slick Series runs Nov. 4-10, including a $200 re-entry with a $200K guarantee and two flights offered daily (Nov. 4-8) at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and a flight Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. Day 2 is Nov. 10 at 11. 

Nov. 20 starts the $250 deepstack with a $150K guarantee and re-entries are allowed. Two flights run daily Nov. 20-22 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and one flight is Nov. 23 at 11. Day 2 is Nov. 24 at 11. Satellites are available.

OXFORD DOWNS: The First Sunday of the Month event (Nov. 3) is a $230 deepstack at 12:15 p.m. There’s a $100 add-on at first break for 5K chips. See our Where to Play section of the magazine for the daily schedule.

NAPLES-FT. MYERS GREYHOUND TRACK: Daily tournaments run here and include Sundays at noon ($130 deepstack) and 7 p.m ($100 NLHE). Tourneys run pretty much every day at noon and 7 p.m., so see our Where to Play section for details. 

DERBY LANE: In St. Petersburg, every day at 10 is Morning Madness for $10 (with a coupon). Every Sunday at 1 is a $55 deepstack and there are multiple deepstacks throughout the week. Visit for more information.   

TGT POKER: The $125 Sunday Challenge has a $5K guarantee Nov. 24 at 1. There’s a free buffet to all players. Tuesday and Thursday host a $50 megastack with a $1.5K guarantee at 7. Sunday’s $60 bounty tournament has a $1K guarantee at 2 p.m. All tourneys, sans satellites, pay $250 for royals. 

Daily cash games include $1-$2 NLHE ($40-$200), $1-$3 ($100-$400), $2-$5 ($200-$1K) and $5-$10 ($500-no max). Also, ask about the mixed games, PLO and limit.  

SARASOTA KENNEL CLUB: One-Eyed Jacks hosts the Fall Classic series Nov. 26-Dec. 1. Event 1 (Nov. 26, 1 p.m.) is a $150 senior tourney; Event 2 (Nov. 27, 5 p.m.) is $220 PLO. The $500 main event has a $50K guarantee and multiple flights Nov. 29-30. Day 2 is Dec. 1 at noon.

North Florida

The Ladies International Poker Series visited North Florida’s bestbet Jacksonville in mid September as the main event drew 104 entries with Kelly Salgado of Jacksonville winning $7,623 out of a prize pool of $21,840. J.J. Liu of Georgia was runner-up. Jami Lind of St. Augustine won the LIPS warm-up event, beating nearly 60 players. 

The month ended with the WPT Fall Series Event 1. It had 562 entries for a $168,600 prize pool to eclipse the $100K guarantee. After a five-player agreement, play continued with Eldon Penn of Yukon, Okla., crowned champ. Nabil Hirezi, Glenn Waller, Gregory Goater and Mac Johnson capped the top five. Marcellus Lane won Event 2.

See the ad on Page 23 of our current issue for Turkey Bowl details and for November promotions.

BESTBET ORANGE PARK: In the September deepstack, Eric Scott Chastain won $7K and the title after a deal with runners-up Maheshwar Linga and Shane Scorza ($4K each). The event had 209 players for a $33K-plus prize pool.

EBRO GREYHOUND PARK: Ebro, just north of Panama City Beach, continues its Faces Full Jackpot promo at the cash tables, $100 hourly high hands and Nov. 11 (10 a.m-3 a.m.) a $200 high hand is paid every 15 minutes and there’s a $500 high hand to end the session.

There’s a $200 deepstack at 1 p.m. Nov. 22 with a $5K guarantee. Look for Emerald Coast Poker Championship results in a future issue.

ORANGE CITY RACING AND CARD CLUB: There are GAPT events Monday ($100) and Tuesday ($125) at 7:10 p.m. The first Thursday each month is a 101.1 radio tourney for $65. The last two Thursdays of each month is a $100 doublestack event. GAPT event winners in September include Ivan Michel, Justin Peckholdt, Barrett Worst, Bruce Walters, Donnie Dowling, John Baptiste, David Heusted and Charles Bell.

DAYTONA BEACH RACING AND CARD CLUB: John Stanson outlasted 83 others to win the $250 Premier event at the end of September. Pat Chiasson was second. The $150 Holiday Classic is Nov. 16-24 and look for the October HPT results in a future issue.

PENSACOLA GREYHOUND TRACK: The November $20K offers three Day 1s (Nov. 28-30) and Day 2 is Dec. 1. Multiple satellites into the $20K run throughout the month and $2.5K events run each Wednesday at 7 p.m. for $120. 

The first four Fridays a $2K ($60) is available. Nov. 2 is an Omaha/8 tourney and Nov. 16 a bounty event.

The September $20K winner was Hoang Nguyen ($4,500) with Chuck McDaniel ($3,300) runner-up and the August $20K finished in a four-way chop as Ryne Plyler, Anita Griffith, Marlon Payne and Peter Feriozzi each took home $2,890.

CREEK GRETNA: The mid-month $10K featured a three-way chop between John McLaughlin, Aaron Shurock and Brooks Jampole.

The November $10K will have three Day 1s (Nov. 14-16) with Day 2 on Nov. 17. Gretna has high hands and double full house promos at the cash tables.


AMERISTAR ST. CHARLES: The WSOPC, which concluded in September and was the tour’s first stop in the St. Louis area since 2015, drew 3,751 entries.

Cory Bogert of Chesterfield, Mo., took down Event 2 ($400 NLHE) and Event 5 ($400 PLO) for a combined haul of  $60K-plus.

Rob Keeling of Portland, Mo., kicked off his series by making the Event 3 final table before cruising to a victory in Event 7 for $10K-plus and picked up another $21,357 for winning Event 8, the monster stack. These three cashes put the 46-year-old at 135 points, which would be enough to win casino champion at most stops.

Jeffrey Trudeau of St. Louis made three final tables: runner-up in Event 2, fourth in the six-max and first in Event 9 for his sixth ring. He earned more than $60K and 137.5 points on the leaderboard.

But Jerod Smith of St. Louis won the casino championship award without a first-place finish. All five of his cashes came from final tables, including fifth in the main event, for $55K overall and 147.5 points. 

For winning casino champion, Smith received a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship along with main-event winner Scott Hall of Fayetteville, Ark., who topped a field of 414 entries for his first ring and $130,667.


L’AUBERGE CASINO BATON ROUGE: The bad-beat jackpot (quads) was $160K at press time.  

HARRAH’S CASINO NEW ORLEANS: The Poker Gras series runs Nov. 7-17. Aside from that, there’s a $150 bounty tourney on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. ($50 bounties). Also, the bad-beat jackpot (quad fives) was at $181K-plus at press time.

BOOMTOWN CASINO NEW ORLEANS: The bad-beat jackpot qualifications were decreased to aces full of jacks.

COUSHATTA CASINO: Here are the winners from the Fall Classic series: Mitch Lindley (Event 1, $3,400); Tim Gilliam (Event 2, $4K) and Glen Marshall (Event 3, $4,601). Promotions include splash pots, Aces Cracked, Kings Cracked and Sets Cracked.

ISLE CASINO LAKE CHARLES: The eight-event Louisiana State Poker Championship runs Nov. 9-17, including a $550 main event that sports a $25K guarantee Nov. 16 at noon.

L’AUBERGE CASINO RESORT LAKE CHARLES: You’ve heard of Splash the Pot promotions? Now comes Bomb the Pot. Monday-Friday at 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 p.m., $200 will be added to the pot of every active table. Call for details. 

GOLDEN NUGGET LAKE CHARLES: Aces Full House Mystery Cash gives players a chance to win $100-$1K. 

North Carolina

HARRAH’S CHEROKEE: The WSOPC returns Nov. 28-Dec. 9 with $3M in guarantees. The $1,700 main event has two flights (Dec. 6-7, 11 a.m.) and a $1M guarantee. Other events include PLO, six-max, Monsters Stack and a no-ring senior high roller.

Meet Shelly Roth

Ask Allen Kessler who his favorite dealer is and he will respond without hesitation: Shelly Roth. This speaks volumes about the quality of her craft. She was born in O’Fallon, Mo., but calls Las Vegas home when she’s not on the road. The highlight of her career? Dealing the winning hand to her friend, Darryl Fish.

Where did you learn how to play poker? I started playing as a child. My nana taught all the cousins and we played at holidays. I even played for Halloween candy with my brothers and sister.

How did you become a dealer? In 2012, I found a Craigslist ad for a free class the WSOP had. I dealt the WSOP for several years, as well as the Palms, Bellagio and several circuit events before I finally settled into dealing all of the Hard Rock events and the Venetian during the summer.

What do you like to do when you’re not dealing or playing poker? I love playing board games such as Agricola and Lords of Waterdeep. I like to travel and rock climb. In May, I took my first trip to Thailand, where I got to try free-soloing (rock climbing without a harness) in Krabi. You climb on these cliffs that hang out over the ocean and when you finish the route, or lose your grip, you just jump into the water. I also got to pet a tiger. — Todd Lamansky

Chris Cosenza

Chris Cosenza