Level 4: 100/200/25 ante
Saturday Night (Poker) Fever
The kickoff event at the WPT Regional Tampa Bay Open continues with 80+ entries in the second flight. Registration for the $150,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool is open through the break at the end of this level (~9:25 pm).
In addition to tournament tables, the Poker Room is buzzing with cash games and single table satellites for the $1,650 Main Event (Dec. 13th-15th).
First Flight Complete
John Faucette & Stephen Diamontas on to Day 2
18 players bagged an average chip count of 86k (29 bb) with blinds going to 1,500/3,000/500 ante for the start of Day 2.
Play resumes 12 pm Sunday.
Kirk Adams 206,100
Jimmy Dowda 177,300
Martin Werch 129,600
John Pappas 116,400
Scott Gertiser 113,500
Sterling Savill 101,500
Ricky Carter 90,200
Michael Masella 90,600
AVG CHIP STACK 86,000
Michael Ferneman 79,000
John Faucette 78,000
Roy Young 61,800
Tom Nguyen 60,200
Rebecca Furlong 54,800
Meir Barack 53,100
Stephen Diamontas 46,000
Shawn Deufel 39,300
Thomas Powers 37,200
James D’Arcangelis 16,000
Kirk Adams, Chip Leader
The 11 am flight is in the books and the chip leader is Kirk Adams (St. Pete Beach, FL) who bags 206,100 and is thrilled to be playing close to home.
“I travel a lot,” said the full time pro, “so to have a series 45 minutes away is awesome.”
Adams is one of 18 players who bagged chips and will return Sunday for Day 2. Second in chips is Dean “Jimmy” Dowda (Orlando, FL) who finished with 177,300 after leading earlier in the day.
Adams’ good start continues his best year to date in poker as he has a couple of final tables and $30,000+ in tournament earnings alone from Biloxi, Mississippi. He’s been playing professionally since 2006 when he was doing well enough online to quit his job as a bartender.
“I miss bartending, the social aspect of it,” said the 34-year-old Adams, but he doesn’t bring that part of his personality to the table. “You’re trying to take their money. It’s not like sitting around to watch a football game,” he said.
And speaking of football, Adams is staying put Saturday to watch the SEC Championship game, which meant poker was out of the question.
“I had extra incentive to play well (today), said Adams, “I’m doing it for Auburn. War Eagle”
The 18 remaining players will join the remainder of Flights 1A & 1B at noon Sunday to play for their piece of the $150,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400/400 ante
We’ve only lost one player since returning from dinner break, so it looks like, with 21 players remaining, the field will complete the level before bagging and tagging.
The clock will be stopped at 7:30 pm (10 minutes left on the level) and each table will play five more hands to end the session.
The second flight of the day is off and running in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Room.
Players start with 15k in chips with levels lasting 30 minutes each. Re-entry and late registration is open for the first two hours (~9 pm).
Players who busted from the 11 am flight may also play in this one and/or Flight 1B set for 11 am Saturday. Day 2 is 12 pm Sunday.
Level 13: Blinds 1k/2k/300 ante
The opening flight of most multi-flight tournaments tend to draw the lowest numbers and Event 1 is no exception.
Today’s 103 entries are buzzing through the field and play may stop before the scheduled 14 levels to keep from the number from going too low. If the field hits 15 players (15% of the starting field), play will end early so as to not affect the money bubble.
The remaining 22 players are back from dinner and will play the next two levels, or 15 players, whichever comes first.
Dinner Break; Play Resumes at 6:40 pm
Dean Dowda, Chip Leader
The 22 remaining players are on a one hour dinner break and the chip leader is Dean Dowda (Orlando, FL) who has 198k (99 bb).
Kirk Adams (St. Pete Beach, FL) is second at 185k.
The average stack is 70k (35 bb) with blinds moving to 1k/2k/300 ante.
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante
Faucette Keeping Emotions in Check
John Faucette (Apoka, FL) is one of 26 players remaining as we head towards the dinner break.
And while the temperatures outside hit 80 degrees, Faucette is prepared for the Winter Tampa Bay Open with his wintry head gear.
“It’s Angry Birds, it helps me let my anger out,” says Faucette who is ~10k above the chip average with 69k (43 bb)
Players will finish the level and then take a one hour dinner break at 5:37 pm
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200/200 ante
Becky Furlong, Last Woman Playing
The last woman in the opening flight of Event 1 is Becky Furlong (Palm Harbor, FL) who doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but says the men sure take notice.
“They target you because you’re a woman,” says Furlong who’s below average with 45k (38 bb), but still has enough chips to make moves. “They treat you differently because they’re not used to having a woman left.”
Currently 30 players remain and Furlong, who is a regular tournament player at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, isn’t concerned about gender, only playing good poker.
“They would look at me differently if I was Vanessa Selbst,” laughs Furlong, who has met Selbst, arguably the best woman to ever play the game.
While Furlong doesn’t have results like Selbst’s $8 million in career tournament earnings, she did make a deep run on the High Heels Poker Tour in a 2010 satellite to the WSOP ladies event. She finished in 4th place, just missing one of the seats.
While we’re a long way from the final table, Furlong is keeping her focus on the last few levels tonight and hoping to bag chips for Sunday’s Day 2, no matter what the men think.
Level 10: 500/1k/100 ante
The inaugural event of the Seminole Hard Rock Tamp Winter Poker Open is off to a good start with 103 entries in the first of three flights.
Currently 34 players remain with an average stack of 45k (45 bb).
They’re playing 14 levels and heading towards the one hour dinner break at ~5:35 pm.
We’ll keep you posted on this flight and are looking forward to another strong field when Flight 1A kicks off at 7 pm ($490Buy-In + $45 Entry Fee + $20 Staff).