Michael McCarthy Wins Winter Poker Open Main Event for $135K and a Guitar

2018 Winter Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Tampa, Florida
Main Event
$1,650 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed

Entries: 609
Prize Pool: $913,500
December 13-17, 2018

(Tampa, Florida) – The Winter Poker Open Main Event concluded Monday night at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida. The $1,650 buy-in tournament drew droves of pros and amateurs alike and was won by New York’s Michael McCarthy following a three-way chop. As the champion, McCarthy was awarded $135,000 along with the property’s token trophy — a guitar.

2018 marked the fourth straight year the Main Event drew a supersized field smashing the $500,000 guarantee. With 609 entries, the guarantee was surpassed before cards went in the air on the third and final starting day and the field grew and grew until registration closed. In the end, 609 entries ponied up $1,650 generating a total kiddie worth $913,500.

There was a big influence of pros including 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Raymer, former November Niners John Dolan and Neil Blumenfield as well as Tampa regular Jeff Trudeau who finished 26th in last July’s WSOP Main Event. Of these players, only Dolan found an in-the-money finish.

McCarthy kicked off the 2018 Winter Poker Open with an 11th-place finish in the big $570 buy-in, 867-entry opener last weekend. He parlayed that deep run and $6,564 score into a Main Event entry and some confidence heading into the spotlight event.

He kept a level head through all stages of play and never got dangerously short. He started Day 2 in the middle of the pack and remained in the middle of the pack by the time play narrowed to the nine-handed final table. As a matter of fact, McCarthy never made a run at the chip lead until he eliminated Tampa’s Alex Ivan in 5th place. Next to go was reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year Brett Bader in 4th. McCarthy hit and ran getting the chip lead three-handed before agreeing to a chop. McCarthy and runner-up Richard Carr each took $135,000 while Michael Turton went down 3rd for just over $117,000. McCarthy went down as the champion take 1st place along with the trophy.

In addition to the trio of finalists, Rob Manjura (12th), Tom Nguyen (27th), AJ Kelsall (28th) and Anthony Dianaty (33rd) also finished in the money. One of the most notable scores of the event came via Duff Charette’s 11th-place finish. Charette was down to less than two big blinds prior to the money bubble and grinded his way all the way to a $14,890 score.

McCarthy is 29 years old and resides in Levittown, New York. He is a professional poker play now with four tournament wins and just over $200,000 in career earnings.

Final table results:

1st: Michael McCarthy – $135,000 + Trophy
2nd: Richard Carr – $135,000
3rd: Michael Turton – $117,615
4th: Brett Bader – $55,851
5th: Alex Ivan – $42,871
6th: James Peterson – $35,736
7th: Zach Gilbert – $29,826
8th: Huicun Qiao – $23,915
9th: Ryan Anderkin – $19,023