2023 Tampa Poker Classic
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$2,200 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $92,000
September 13, 2023
Frank Brannan topped the field at a talented final table that included runner-up Paul Snead, AJ Kelsall (who was multi-tabling two final tables along with Event 13), and Joe Serock to take home the tournament title in Event 12 at the SPS tournament series. Brannan was awarded the top prize worth $32,710 along with the SPS guitar pick trophy. He now holds more than $460,000 in career tournament earnings.
Here is what Brannan had to say after the win, “It feels good, I haven’t won a tournament since a deuce-to-seven triple draw. I haven’t won a hold’em tournament since like 2020 or something.”
He continued, “I’ll play anyone, I don’t really care. I just tried to play as optimally as possible short-handed. I’m pretty well studied sub-15 big blind poker, it’s not that difficult. Everyone was pretty even, so there weren’t really many strong ICM spots because we were all equal in chips.”
When he was asked about the heads-up final, here were Brannan’s thoughts “Nothing crazy, and I think heads-up I was just more prepared. He had more chips, but he was doing weird things, he kept four x-ing . I had the more solid strategy, I’ve played a lot of heads-up, I used to play heads-up sit-and-go’s.”
Eight-handed play uncannily lasted for more than three hours, and Brannan took a bad beat during the slow period of play. He offered some interesting thoughts on keeping his composure during that stretch of play.
“I was actually so tilted because I lost a chip lead pot there with jacks versus A-9 there. We were eight-handed for like three hours. I went from being the chip leader to almost the soft bubble, I honestly normally don’t get titled, but I hadn’t eaten yet today because I fasted. I was a little hangry plus tilted. I try not to get emotional. I mean I will get mad, but I don’t let it affect the way I play my hands. It will never change how I play. I’m going to play exactly the way I’m going to play. I’m a big tilter, but if I’m tilted I will just go home, I’ve always good been with that,” said Brannan.
1st: Frank Brannan – $32,710 + SPS Trophy
2nd: Paul Snead – $21,810
3rd: AJ Kelsall – $14,540
4th: Mostafa Aboalmajed – $10,090
5th: Elliot Smith – $7,310
6th: Tim Mina – $5,540