Anthony Astarita Wins WPTDeepStacks-Tampa Main Event and $130K

2016 WPTDeepStacks-Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Tampa, Fla.
Event #4
$1,100 Main Event No Limit Hold’em
Entries: 538
Prize Pool: $527,240
June 16-20, 2016


Anthony Astarita is Seminole Gaming’s newest poker champion following a masterful performance at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa Monday afternoon. Astarita laid claim to the top spot in the property’s WPTDeepStacks-Tampa Main Event, a $1,100 buy-in tournament that drew 538 entries generating a total prize pool of $527,240. For the performance, Astarita went home with $130,541 in prize money along with a $3,000 package that includes entry into the WPTDeepStacks’ season-ending Championship.

“I just want to thank my family and friends that supported me through this,” Astarita said. “I thank God for the opportunity to do this. It’s been an amazing run from the beginning of the week. I don’t really play poker tournaments, but knew that I had the skill to do it.”

The Main Event marked the fourth of five primary events on the WPTDeepStacks-Tampa schedule. The $300,000 guarantee was barely a blip on the tournament’s radar as it was surpassed before cards event went in the air for the third starting flight. A tournament rookie, Astarita’s crowning achievement came at the hands of a battle-tested field that included Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year Points Leader David Prociak, tournament legend Sam Grizzle and others. While it was Prociak who sat near the top of the counts to start Day 2, it was Grizzle who faced off against Astarita at the final table. After he bowed out fourth, Astarita sat across from an unlikely opponent — Justin Fawcett.

Fawcett began Day 2 106th of 106 returning players but spun up a stack and miraculously went on to finish 3rd. Falling at the hands of Astarita, Fawcett’s chips went the way of the eventual champion. Their duel left Astarita holding more than 13,300,000 of the 13,450,00 chips in play. It took only two hands for George Wolf, winner of the 2015 WPTDeepStacks-Jacksonville Main Event, to bust 2nd for $73,394.

“It feels amazing,” Astarita said. “First, I cashed in [Event][1][and][Event][3]. A lifetime goal was to play a Main Event — especially World Poker Tour sponsored. I came into today’s chip leader and then took a couple of bad beats and then gained it back.”

Astarita’s unlikely two weeks began with a 55th-place finish in Event 1, continued with a 17th-place finish in Event 3, and were capped off with a win in the Main Event. His final table run played out in front of the live stream cameras on for the world to see.

“I loved the [live][stream][with][hole][cards],” Astarita said. “At the first break, I had about 40 text messages from friends and family — missed calls — saying they were watching it. It was really cool to see that. That was something I never really thought I would be a part of, but to actually be a part of it has been awesome.”

The partnership with WPTDeepStacks and the live stream final table was a first-time occurrence for the Seminole Hard Rock. With a 538-entry Main Event and more than $1,000,000 in prize money awarded between the five primary events, the 12-day series was a smashing success that everyone in the poker world took notice of.

“I thought it was a great, great event,” Astarita said. “Especially the final day here at the final table. The setup up was beautiful.”

Astarita is 29  years old and resides in Flemington, N.J. where he works in sales. His three cashes at the Seminole Hard Rock are the first reported in-the-money finishes of his career. Impressively, his solid play nearly anointed him Series Champion, a title he narrowly missed finishing second to Karl Manouchakian who followed up a runner-up finish in Event 1 with a victory in Event 3.

Main Event results:

1st: Anthony Astarita – $130,541 + $3,000 Package
2nd: George Wolfe – $73,394
3rd: Justin Fawcett – $47,182
4th: Sam Grizzle – $37,483
5th: Cody Sullivan – $29,357
6th: Mario Lopez – $24,115
7th: Bob Gallo – $19,135
8th: Tim Kegel – $14,941
9th: Steve Tziris – $10,485
10th: Plamen Stoyanov – $6,815
11th: Sam Wynder – $6,815
12th: Matthew Rose – $6,815
13th: Daniel Griggs – $5,242
14th: Aaron Young – $5,242
15th: Brian Reinert – $5,242
16th: Joel Gossett – $3,932
17th: Mark Wiser – $3,932
18th: Cody Hernandez – $3,932
19th: Daiane Mendes – $2,883
20th: Benjamin Van Klink – $2,883
21st: Jeff Trudeau – $2,883
22nd: Seth Bobet – $2,883
23rd: Jose Alicea – $2,883
24th: Wally Maddah – $2,883
25th: Alvin Cotton-Lovett – $2,883
26th: Dwayne Sullivan – $2,883
27th: Claudemir Osorio – $2,883
28th: Nicholas Williams – $2,621
29th: Ricardo Rodriguez – $2,621
30th: John O’Neal – $2,621
31st: Alexander Beece – $2,621
32nd: Michael Stokes – $2,621
33rd: Gregory Marcus – $2,621
34th: Charlemagne Benjamin – $2,621
35th: Bob Heinz – $2,621
36th: Ryan Wyant – $2,621
37th: Tom Nguyen – $2,359
38th: Andrew Leadbetter – $2,359
39th: Alfred Muncey – $2,359
40th: Matthew O’Donnell – $2,359
41st: William McPhillips – $2,359
42nd: Len Nhoung – $2,359
43rd: Ioannis Patsourakis – $2,359
44th: Timothy H. – $2,359
45th: Zoltan Czinkota – $2,359
46th: Amelio Amato – $2,097
47th: Antuan Bunkley – $2,097
48th: Alban Frasheri – $2,097
49th: Anthony Pellegrini – $2,097
50th: Michael Turton – $2,097
51st: Geoffrey Creagh – $2,097
52nd: David Prociak – $2,097
53rd: Albert Cohen – $2,097
54th: Michael Newman – $2,097

Next up for the Seminole Hard Rock is the Winter Poker Open expected to take place in December of this year. More information on that series will be available at as soon as it’s finalized.