James Kerr Dominates to Win TPC Main Event in Three-Way Deal

2021 Tampa Poker Classic
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa, Florida
$1,700 TPC Main Event
$300,000 Guaranteed

Entries: 959
Prize Pool: $1,486,450
February 25-March 1, 2021

James Kerr, 2021 TPC Main Event champion

Before the Tampa Poker Classic Main Event, it had been a long time since James Kerr sat at a poker table. A year in fact with the lockdown. He returned to the action this weekend and finished his first tournament back with the Main Event win for his third Tampa guitar trophy

“I’m glad to be back,” Kerr said. “And I’m happy to have another guitar.”

The $1,700 buy-in TPC Main Event featured a $300,000 guaranteed prize pool that was surpassed before the dinner break in the first flight. The three flights combined to put 959 entries in the game and push the prize pool up to $1,486,450 with 96 spots getting paid.

Day 2 saw 158 players return with a chance to win with Kyrylo Kobzyev leading the way. The money bubble burst shortly after the first break with two players going out on the same hand; Donald Mathews and Scott Dobbs chopped up 96th place money and the field sped down to the final table with seven return on Monday.

Kerr took the chip lead midway through Day 2 and never relinquished it. Scott Robbins was the first eliminated from the final table when he lost a big coin flip then ran into a cooler.

“I just ran like pure god,” Kerr said. “I had aces versus kings a couple times, I had pairs against aces and flopped sets every time.”

“It was really pretty easy.”

Ken O’Donnell, second in chips with six players remaining, ran into the Kerr heater. O’Donnell found kings in the small blind only to have Kerr wake up with aces in the big. The hand gave Kerr half of the chips in play before Steve Brite went out in fifth place followed by Gary Bowker in fourth.

Kerr, Kobzyev, and Alex Ivan counted down their stacks and agreed to divide up the remaining prize pool based on the ICM number.

Kobzyev earned $166,915 for third place, Ivan banked $197,172 for second, and Kerr took the lion’s share of $228,038 for his TPC Main Event win.

Congrats to James and a huge thanks to everyone who came out to make the series such a huge success!

Final table results:

1st: James Kerr – $228,038 *
2nd: Alex Ivan – $197,172 *
3rd: Kyrylo Kobzyev – $166,915 *
4th: Gary Bowker – $94,620
5th: Steve Brite – $70,543
6th: Ken O’Donnell – $53,299
7th: Scott Robbins – $40,819
* – denotes results of a three-way deal

Main Event: James Kerr Takes the Title in Three-Way Deal

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante

James Kerr

Immediately after Gary Bowker was eliminated, the three remaining players decided to look at ICM number. Once the numbers were crunched, they quickly agreed to a deal with the following counts and payouts:

James Kerr – 15,125,000 (76 bb)
Alex Ivan – 8,925,000 (45 bb)
Kyrylo Kobzyev – 4,725,000 (24 bb)

1st: James Kerr – $228,038
2nd: Alex Ivan – $197,172
3rd: Kyrylo Kobzyev – $166,915

James Kerr held more than half of the chips in play and earned $228,038 for the title with Alex Ivan earning $197,172 for second and Kyrylo Kobzyev taking home $166,915 for third.

Alex Ivan
Kyrylo Kobzyev

Main Event: Gary Bowker – 4th Place ($94,620)

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 959

Gary Bowker

On the second hand back from break, Gary Bowker open-shoved from the button for 2,000,000, Alex Ivan called from the small blind, and Kyrylo Kobzyev folded his big.

Ivan: AsAh
Bowker: KcQd

A tough spot for Bowker at this stage and Ivan picked up aces in the blinds. The dealer ran it out 8h6d4sJhQc and the rockets held to send Bowker out in fourth place for $94,620.

Alex Ivan – 8,925,000 (45 bb)
Gary Bowker – Eliminated in 4th place ($94,620)

Main Event: Counts on Break

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante
Players Remaining:  4 of 959

The four remaining players took a 15-minute break after Level 31 with James Kerr still way out front. The blinds are now 100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante and the average stack is 7,200,000 (36 bb).

Seat 2: Gary Bowker – 2,000,000 (10 bb)
Seat 3: Alex Ivan – 6,525,000 (33 bb)
Seat 4: Kyrylo Kobzyev – 5,225,000 (26 bb)
Seat 7: James Kerr – 15,000,000 (75 bb)

Remaining payouts:

1st: $286,471
2nd: $177,058
3rd: $128,596
4th: $94,620

Main Event: Steve Brite – 5th Place ($70,543)

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 31:  100,000/150,000 with a 150,000 ante
Players Remaining:  4 of 959

Steve Brite

James Kerr opened to 375,000 and Steve Brite moved all in for 1,700,000 next to act. The button and blinds folded and Kerr called.

Kerr: 4c4d
Brite: Ac3s

Brite needed to pair his ace or find an interesting board to double but could only pair his three on the Ks5h3c2hJs board to exit in fifth place.

James Kerr – 15,400,000 (103 bb)
Steve Brite – Eliminated in 5th place ($70,543)

Main Event: Gary Bowker Doubles Through Alex Ivan

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 31:  100,000/150,000 with a 150,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 959

It folded to Gary Bowker on the button and he moved all in for 975,000. Alex Ivan thought for a minute, called from the small blind and Kyrylo Kobzyev folded his big.

Bowker: Ad8h
Ivan: As2c

Ivan was outkicked and Bowker improved when he paired his eight on the 8d6s5s flop. The Td turn and 4h river finished the board to get Bowker his double.

Gary Bowker – 2,250,000 (15 bb)
Alex Ivan – 5,700,000 (38 bb)

Main Event: Kyrylo Kobzyev Doubles Through James Kerr

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 31:  100,000/150,000 with a 150,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 959

Kyrylo Kobzyev opened to 450,000 from the small blind and James Kerr called in the big to see the KdQh2d flop. Kobzyev bet 400,000, Kerr called, and the turn was 7h. Kobzyev bet 1,200,000 with 700,000 behind, Kerr announced all in, and Kobzyev quickly called.

Kobzyev: KcKs
Kerr: QsJc

Kobzyev flopped a set of kings and Kerr was drawing dead to the 6c river to send a double to Kobzyev.

Kyrylo Kobzyev – 5,650,000 (38 bb)
James Kerr – 12,400,000 (83 bb)

Main Event: Steve Brite Doubles Through Gary Bowker

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 31:  100,000/150,000 with a 150,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 959

Action folded to Steve Brite on the button and he open-shoved for 1,300,000. Gary Bowker confirmed the count and moved all-in over the top from the small blind to isolate.

Brite: Kd9h
Bowker: AsTd

Brite was behind but live and paired his nine on the Qs6d5d6h9c board to double up.

Steve Brite – 2,900,000 (19 bb)
Gary Bowker – 1,200,000 (8 bb)

Main Event: Ken O’Donnell – 6th Place ($53,299)

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 30:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 959

Ken O’Donnell

Action folded to Ken O’Donnell in the small blind, he completed and James Kerr raised to 425,000. O’Donnell raised to 1,425,000 and Kerr thought for a minute before announcing all in. O’Donnell double-checked his cards and called at risk for 4,475,000.

Kerr: AcAs
O’Donnell: KhKs

Just a massive cooler for O’Donnell especially at this stage in the Main Event. The dealer ran it out 8d4h2hJd6d and O’Donnell was a surprise elimination in sixth place.

James Kerr – 14,300,000 (114 bb)
Ken O’Donnell – Eliminated in 6th place ($53,299)

Main Event: Scott Robbins – 7th Place ($40,819)

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 30:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  6 of 959

Scott Robbins

Alex Ivan opened to 275,000 from under the gun and Ken O’Donnell called from the hijack. Scott Robbins shipped for 1,500,000 from the cutoff and Ivan reshipped to get a fold from O’Donnell.

Ivan: AdKh
Robbins: AhQc

Robbins had bad kicker issues and could not find a save on the Ac8s8hJcKc to avoid seventh place in the Main Event.

Alex Ivan – 6,100,000 (49 bb)
Scott Robbins – Eliminated in 7th place ($40,819)