2019 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$1,650 Main Event
Prize Pool: $498,000
February 28-March 4, 2019
The inaugural Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic was a ten-tournament series that was headlined by the $300,000 Guarantee Main Event. The tournament drew players from around the country and Matt Leecy outlasted them all to walk away with more than $100,000.
“It’s humbling,” Leecy said of getting the win outright. “Poker is a game where we tend to think we’re doing everything perfect when it’s going and everything’s just against us when it’s going bad.”
“I struggle with pride like the next guy or gal … I feel blessed and thankful that it ran this way,” he countinued. “Obviously, I was on the good end of a lot of big hands all day.”
The Main Event featured three starting flights and they combined to put 332 entries into the big game. Those entrants pushed the prize pool up to $498,000 for a great turnout in the first running of this event.
Of those 332 entries, we had 58 return for Day 2 on Sunday 3with 4 of them set to earn some cash. The slow structure gave them plenty of room to maneuver and they took their time getting to the money.
The bubble burst late in the afternoon with SHR Tampa favorite Wally Maddah sliding into a min-cash with less than one small blind. The rest of the day progressed at a steady pace until they joined as one at the ten-handed final table.
Day 2 came to an end when Vitor Coelho was eliminated in tenth place and the nine remaining players returned on Monday to play for the title. Leecy began the final table with the chip lead but had some tough competition including Jeff Trudeau Jr, Justin Zaki, Filipp Khavin, Karl Manouchakian, and TPC Event 1 champ Andrew Boccia.
The stacks were deep and the blind levels were one-hour long, they settled in for a long day. Amelio Amato went out early in the day followed by Zaki. The final table continued to shrink as Leecy built his lead.
The heads-up match between Leecy and Boccia began with Leecy holding a 7-to-2 advantage and he never relinquished his lead. It came to an end when Leecy’s trip sixes won the last hand against Boccia’s top pair.
Boccia followed up his TPC Event 1 win with another $79,152 score for second place while Leecy earned $112,425 as the Tampa Poker Classic Main Event champion.
“I have a lot of respect for those guys [at][the][final][table “” not found /]
,” The 31 year old Tampa resident said. “There were some really good players that have great resumes at that table.”
Leecy is a professional poker player, but dedicates himself to his faith and is active in his church and ministry. He attended Trinity College of Florida where he played basketball and was part of a National Championship winning team. Leecy graduated in May and is actively looking at applying for seminary or graduate school.
Congratulations to Matt and thank you to all of our players who help make this first running of the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic a success.
Final table results:
1st: Matt Leecy – $112,425
2nd: Andrew Boccia – $79,152
3rd: Ken O’Donnell – $50,906
4th: Filipp Khavin – $31,050
5th: Jeff Trudeau Jr – $23,979
6th: Chad Kitchen – $19,870
7th: Karl Manouchakian – $16,683
8th: Justin Zaki – $13,944
9th: Amelio Amato – $11,245
For complete Main Event results, click the link below: