Tampa Poker Classic

Main Event Day 1C: Back in Action

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 10:  500/1,500 with a 1,500 ante
Entries:  450 (Total: 958)

The dinner break is complete and registration closed for the TPC Main Event. The clock shows 450 entries but we will wait for stragglers before staff release the official numbers.

With nearly 960 entries, the prize pool will come in just shy of $1.5 million for an incredible turnout.

Main Event Day 1C: Dinner Break

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 9:  500/1,000 with a 1,000 ante
Entries:  418 (Total: 924)

Level 9 is about to come to an end which means the dinner break is near. Players will take a 90-minute dinner break at 5:30 pm and return at 7 pm to play out the night.

Registration will close at the start of Level 10 and we will have our final numbers for the TPC Main Event.

Main Event Day 1C: Wally Maddah Eliminated by Massimo Dirienzo

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 6:  300/500 with a 500 ante
Entries:  380 (Total: 924)

Massimo Dirienzo

We caught the action on Table 8 with the board reading Qd8s2hTd. Wally Maddah checked and Massimo Dirienzo put him all in from the button. Maddah called for 20,100 and the cards were tabled.

Dirienzo: AdKd
Maddah: AcQh

Maddah was ahead with one card to come but needed to fade the diamonds and jacks and kings. The river came 2d to fill Dirienzo’s flush to send Maddah up while moving his stack higher.

Massimo Dirienzo – 140,000

Main Event Day 1C: Justin Zaki Leads

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 6:  300/500 with a 500 ante
Entries:  380 (Total: 875)

Justin Zaki confirmed

While walking the empty tables during the break looking for big stacks, we found one next to Alex Rocha. The seat with the castle was empty and Rocha was unable to name his big-stacked neighbor so a return visit was needed to find the identity of our leader.

“I don’t know but it should be fun,” Rocha said.

After action was back underway we checked in and asked for his name.

“Justin Zaki,” said Justin Zaki from behind his mask. A bit a shock that he was so far under the radar but not a surprise that he has a lot of chips. Then he had a laugh with Rocha once he revealed who was playing the big stack.

The Tampa champ is up to 197,000 for a clear lead in the middle of the day.

Main Event Day 1C: James Calderaro Talks His Way to a KO

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 5:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Entries:  333 (Total: 841)

James Calderaro

If you are at a table with James Calderaro, there is one guarantee. You will not be bored. The happy WSOP bracelet winner keeps things light during tournaments and the masks and dividers don’t seem to have slowed him down.

We caught his action with the dealer peeling the river to put a Th9d4s4h3h board out there. The small blind player checked and Calderaro asked how much he had. It looked to be around 12,000, Calderaro tossed out 15,000 and the chatter kicked in while the at-risk player was making a decision.

“You have big pair?” Calderaro asked. He got a nod in return.

“Uh oh, I don’t know about that,” Calderaro said while laughing. “That might put you back in that juicy Omaha game.”

The good-natured bantering went back and forth for a minute before the small blind player called. Calderaro flipped over 8h7h for the flopped open-ender, turned flush draw, and rivered flush. His opponent quickly mucked before the dealer could table his cards but he was on his way to the Omaha game while Calderaro stacked his chips.

James Calderaro – 52,000

Main Event Day 1C: First Break

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  100/200 with a 200 ante
Entries:  270 (Total: 778)

Flight C players are taking their first break of the day not long after the Main Event prize pool surpassed the $1.2 million mark.  The tournament is also two entries away from topping the huge crowd that came out for the 2020 Tampa Winter Poker Open Main Event. They won’t match the 1,160 entries for the WSOP Circuit Main Event but it will be fun trying.

Main Event Day 1C: Two Fifty and Counting

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  100/200 with a 200 ante
Entries:  250 (Total: 758)

Manny Minaya

Level 3 rolled around and the entry count climbed to 250, well on the way to becoming the biggest flight of the Main Event. There are other records in the making and we’ll be keeping an eye on them.

Manny Minaya grabbed a seat in the back of the Poker Room looking for another guitar trophy. The popular regular has two Tampa titles, both from the Winter Poker Open, with one in 2014 and the last in 2016.

Manny Minaya, 2016 WPO Event 10 Champion

Main Event Day 1C: Clicking Off Milestones

$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 2:  100/100 with a 100 ante
Entries:  220 (Total: 728)

Jeff Morzella

It seems each time someone looks at the clock, another big number is reached. This time we’re looking at the 220 entries so far this morning which pushed the prize pool over $1.1 million. Now the Main Event is aiming directly for the $1.2 million prize pool generated by the WPO Main Event in December.

We caught up with Tampa regular Jeff Morzella in the Main Event field for the first time. And he’s sport the latest hot item in sports fashion; a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Brady jersey.

Jeff Morzella sports the latest trend in jerseys