$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 6: 300/500 with a 500 ante Entries: 380 (Total: 875)
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.
$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 6: 300/500 with a 500 ante Entries: 367 (Total: 875)
Level 6 is coming to an end which means players will be taking another 15-minute break from the action. The combined entry count is up to 875 to push the prize pool over $1.3 million with plenty of room to grow.
$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 5: 200/400 with a 400 ante Entries: 333 (Total: 841)
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 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 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.
$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 4: 200/300 with a 300 ante Entries: 297 (Total: 805)
The Main Event reached max capacity around the time of the first break and new entries are coming in as alternates. But the fast action means seats are opening quickly and alternates are not waiting long to get back in the action.
$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.
$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 3: 100/200 with a 200 ante Entries: 250 (Total: 758)
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.
$1,700 TPC Main Event (Re-Entry) $300,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 2: 100/100 with a 100 ante Entries: 220 (Total: 728)
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.