All posts by Ray Stefanelli

Event 6A: AA vs AA vs QQ vs TT

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200/200 ante
46 players remaining, 45k avg (38 bb)

Robert Messina & Kellie Hastings & Amie MartiniMessina (2nd from right) Knocks Out the Two Men
as Kelli Hastings & Amie Martini (right)Watch

A four way all in features four pocket pairs and a chopped pot.

Robert Messina (Tampa) is at risk for 12k and has the other short stack covered as they wait for the side pot action to reveal their fate.

After a flop of 3-2-2, Suzette Johnson (Trinity) moves all in and the other remaining player calls.

Messino: AA
Johnson: AA
Short Stack: QQ
Player 4: TT

After dodging the turn and river, the Aces hold for Messino and Johnson who knockout the other two players and then chop the main pot.

Messino was down to 2,500 earlier in the day, but is now north of 30k.

Event 6A: More Big Stacks

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 10: Blinds 500/1k/100 ante
58 players remaining, 36k avg (36 bb)

Donnie Kidman & Pat Gigante (2)Kidman & Gigante

In addition to Amie Martini’s (Tampa) chip lead, two other players are big stacks and side-by-side.

Donnie Kidman (Tampa via Richmond, MI) and Pat Gigante (Port Charlotte, FL) are in the 70k-80k range, just shy of Martini’s 81k.

Event 6A: Amie Aims High

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 9: Blinds 400/800/100 ante

Amie MartiniAmie Martini

Amie Martini (Tampa) is another cold weather transplant who’s glad to be playing at the Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open. The Detroit native who says, “Go Sparty!” after Michigan State’s Big Ten title win over previously undefeated Ohio State, is the chip leader with 81k.

The field will play down to 29 players (14% of 206 entries) or 8 minutes left on Level 13 (when play stopped in the first flight), which ever comes first.

Event 6A: East Coast Grinder Warms Up in Tampa

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 8: Blinds 300/600/75

Wazir BakshWazir Warm and Dry in F-L-A

The weekend snow storm that gripped the East Coast is just another good reason to play in the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open tournament series.

Wazir Baksh (St. Cloud), who is originally from Queens, NY, is a familiar face on the tournament circuit in Atlantic City and glad he made the move to Florida three months ago.

Baksh is a businessman who’s taking a break from work and spending more time on poker after moving South. His career resume features 18 cashes for nearly $70,000 and a couple of wins including one for $21,000.

He’s eying a return to the job in 2014, but for now it’s a break from work and from the snow.

Event 6A: More Tough Draws

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 7: Blinds 250/500/50 ante

The two resident WSOP bracelet holders are back today after failing to cash in the Seniors event.  Marsha Wolak (Ft. Lauderdale) and Harold Angle (Sun City Center) are in the field on separate tables.

One of the tougher draws features two players who final tabled the Seniors. Herbert Woodbery (Winter Garden, FL), who finished 10th and Michael Lavington (Bradenton), who was part of the chop that earned him $3,438, are across from each other.

Event 6A: Tough Table

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 6: Blinds 200/400/50 ante

Bobby Rosetta and Wally MaddahRosetta & Maddah

Of the 12 tables in Action Table 45 is a tough draw.  Two players who chopped Event 1 ($150,000 NL Guarantee), Stephen Diamantas (Tampa) and Bobby Rosetta (Tampa) are here, as is Wally Maddah (Orlando) who final table bubbled the Seniors (Event 5) last night.

Diamantas ($13,038) and Rosetta ($9,526) were part of the 9-way deal, while Maddah’s 11th place finish was a heart breaker. Eventual winner Maroun Akiki (Orlando) flopped a straight against Maddah’s top pair.

Event 6A: 200+ & Nearly 400 Total

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 5: Blinds 150/300/25 ante

The numbers for this event continue to impress as the field is close to 400 players and the prize pool at nearly $50,000.


Flight 1: 190
Flight 1A: 206
Flight 1B: 7 pm

Total Entries: 396 through two flights

The 11 am flight will play into Level 13 before bagging and tagging at ~6:30 pm, just in time for the third and final flight to take over the room.

Event 6A: Another Killer Field

$125 + $20 + $20 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 4 : Blinds 100/200/25 ante

Poker Room MediumPlayers Smash Guarantee

After 190 entries in the initial flight, the second of three flights is approaching that total as players blow past the $40,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool.

Registration is open until after the first break of the day with the cage closing at ~1:15 pm.

Flight 6B is 7 pm tonight, with all remaining players returning for Day 2 Wednesday at 2 pm.

Fab Four Honored at Hard Rock Tampa

20th Anniversary Celeberation
employee appreciation guitar Rudy Javier, Lue Gardner, Shirley Hajaistron, Teresa LymanJavier, Gardner, Hajaistron & Lyman

In honor of the Poker Room’s 20th Anniversary, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa family is honoring four invaluable associates who have been here since Day 1.

Congratulations to Rudy Javier, Lue Gardner, Shirley Hajaistron and Teresa Lyman who have helped grow the room to the success it is today.

In addition to honoring the fab four, Hard Rock Tampa is having a Poker Room Appreciation Day for all 250 Team Associates. The highlight is the signing of a solid body electric guitar that will be displayed for years to come.

Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and dedication!

Shirley HajaistronHajaistron a Hard Rock Original Since ’93