Signature Poker Series

2023 PPO In Review

The 2023 Pinktober Poker Open was our last major series of the year and it was a fantastic two weeks in the Poker Room. In addition to handing out some big prize pools, the series raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society.

Events: 8
Guarantees: $410,000
Entries: 2,390
Prize Pools: $715,845

The series featured eight trophy events with $410,000 in guarantees and attracted 2,390 entries for $715,845 in prize money.

The PPO Championship headlined the series and drew 298 entries to create a prize pool worth $283,100. After a tough final table, Frank Weigel captured the title outright for over $60K and the PPO Guitar trophy.

Frank Weigel, 2023 PPO Champion

Another notable win was $600 Deep Stack champ Karl Manouchakian. He won the trophy, went deep in the Championship, and now sits only a few thousand dollars away from topping $1,000,000 earned in his career.

Karl Manouchakian

You can find results for all PPO events below, and we look forward to seeing you at our next major series in January.

The Tampa Winter Poker Open was moved from early December to late January. Running from January 24 through February 5 with nine trophy events.

2024 Tampa Winter Poker Open schedule

PPO Championship: Frank Weigel – $60,190
Event 1 ($200 NLH): Glyn Griffis – $29,065
Event 2 ($600 NLH): Karl Manouchakian – $12,700
Event 3 ($400 NLH): Nick Scholz – $16,860
Event 4 ($400 OE): Chi Phan – $3,789
Event 5 ($400 Mixed PLO): Michael Bennett – $5,575
Event 7 ($200 NLH): Daniel Zappulla – $4,940
Event 8 ($250 Seniors): Lahcen Imkhaoun – $5,162

Frank Weigel Calls His Shot; Wins The PPO Championship

2023 Pinktober Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa, Florida
$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed
Entries: 298

Prize Pool: $283,100
October 26 – 30, 2023

Frank Weigel, 2023 PPO Champion

The $1,100 buy-in Championship headlined the 2023 Pinktober Poker Open with three starting flights and many great players. After calling his shot earlier in the tournament, Frank Weigel dominated a tough final table to win the title outright for $60,190.

The PPO Championship drew 298 entries over three flights, and Weigel made it through on Friday evening. While putting his chips into the bag, he left a message for your media guy.

Weigel wrote us a note saying he was going to win it; three days and a lot of hands later, Weigel was the player posing with the PPO Guitar trophy at the end.

“It feels awesome, always feels good,” Weigel said afterward. “And this one feels really good.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the eventual champ; Weigel had to get lucky against Tampa legend Karl Manouchakian. With 11 players remaining, the two played the biggest pot of the Championship up to that point when he ran big slick into Manouchakian’s kings.

An ace on the flop put Weigel into the chip lead, and Manouchakian was left with a surprising 11th-place finish.

“That was the hand that changed everything,” Weigel recalled. “We were playing five-handed, and I’m not getting away from ace-king there. I got lucky, got an ace, and rode the momentum from there.”

“You have to get lucky two or three times to win a big tournament,” he finished.

Weigel began the final table second to WSOP bracelet winner Brett Apter. While the rest of the table was knocking each other around, he stuck to his strategy until it was time to switch it up.

“My strategy was to play very tight, let them shoot themselves in the foot a little,” Weigel said. “With about five left, I said I was going to get more aggressive. I got a lot of cards at the end, and the big hands held.”

Weigel collected his second major SHR Tampa title to go along with his $1,100 Deep Stack victory during last year’s PPO series, and he also owns a May Little Slick win. He banked $60,190 for his 2023 PPO Championship title, plus the accomplishment of calling his shot and making it happen.

Congrats Frank and thanks to all of our players for making this another successful series!

Final table results:

1st: Frank Weigel – $60,190 + PPO Trophy
2nd: Harry Binda Jr – $40,070
3rd: Vincent Cafone – $29,190
4th: Shane Melert – $21,550
5th: Brett Apter – $16,130
6th: Doug Marro – $12,240
7th: Anthony Bertuccio – $9,410
8th: Bo Gray – $7,340
9th: Aaron Thivyanathan – $5,800

Frank Weigel

Lahcen Imkhaoun Wins PPO Seniors Event

2023 Pinktober Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa, Florida
Event 8

$250 Seniors 50+ NLH (Re-Entry)
$10,000 Guaranteed
Entries: 149

Prize Pool: $30,545
October 30, 2023

Lahcen Imkhaoun, PPO Seniors champ
PlaceFirst NameLast NameCityStatePrize Amount
1LahcenImkhaounCelebrationFL$5,162 *
2JeromeBocquetOcalaFL$5,152 *
3JosiasCardoso Dos SantosKentWA$4,918 *
4ChristopherBilbroNew Port RicheyFL$3,543 *
5GeraldSilvaTampaFL$1,920
6MarcusGarciaTampaFL$1,460
7PaulStanechewskiTampaFL$1,140
8BrianRushPembroke PinesFL$910
9JamesCourtneySeminoleFL$740
10PatrickKellySaint PetersburgFL$740
11WesleySkinnerTampaFL$640
12DonaldLinskyTampaFL$640
13AnthonyPellegriniLargoFL$560
14EricPideritHallandale BeachFL$560
15RickyMefferdSarasotaKS$510
16AnthonyDagostinoSeminoleFL$510
17PaulGratschCocoaFL$480
18JamesBumbulSaint PetersburgFL$480
19DamonFerranteParsippanyNJ$480

* – denotes results of a four-way deal

Championship: Frank Weigel ($60,190) Defeats Harry Binda Jr ($40,070)

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 27:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante

Frank Weigel

Frank Weigel had a big lead going into heads-up play and only extended it over the first few hands. Harry Binda Jr was down to 425K, moved all in from his button, and Weigel called.

Weigel showed 8d2s and was surprised when Binda Jr told him he was ahead. He shoved with 5d2h and was in trouble.

“Run it clean one more time dealer!” Weigel asked.

The flop came Th4c4s followed by the 2s turn. It looked like a chopped pot, both with fours and deuces, but the Ts river gave them both two pair tens and fours, and their kickers played.

An odd but fun hand to end the PPO Championship with Binda Jr earning $40,070 as the runner-up and Weigel taking home $60,190 for the title.

Final table results:

1st: Frank Weigel – $60,190 + PPO Trophy
2nd: Harry Binda Jr – $40,070
3rd: Vincent Cafone – $29,190
4th: Shane Melert – $21,550
5th: Brett Apter – $16,130
6th: Doug Marro – $12,240
7th: Anthony Bertuccio – $9,410
8th: Bo Gray – $7,340
9th: Aaron Thivyanathan – $5,800

Harry Binda Jr

Championship: Heads-Up Counts

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 27:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 29

Harry Binda (left) versus Jr Frank Weigel (right)

The heads-up match for the PPO Championship title is underway with Frank Weigel holding a big lead. They will play out Level 27 and go to 30-minute levels for the rest of the match.

Seat 4: Harry Binda Jr – 1,450,000 (15 bb)
Seat 7: Frank Weigel – 7,500,000 (75 bb)

1st: $60,190 + PPO Trophy
2nd: $40,070

Championship: Vincent Cafone – 3rd Place ($29,190)

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 27:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 29

Vincent Cafone

Frank Weigel opened to 250,000 from the small blind, Vincent Cafone shipped from the big blind and Weigel quickly called.

Weigel: JsJd
Cafone: AdQc

They were racing for a huge pot and Weigel’s jacks held on the 9h6d2cKs8h board. Cafone was eliminated in third place and heads-up for the Championship got underway.

Frank Weigel – 7,500,000 (75 bb)
Vincent Cafone – Eliminated in 3rd Place ($29,190)

Championship: Counts on Break

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 27:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 298

Seat 4: Harry Binda Jr – 1,475,000 (15 bb)
Seat 7: Frank Weigel – 5,300,000 (53 bb)
Seat 8: Vincent Cafone – 2,200,000 (22 bb)

1st: $60,190 + PPO Trophy
2nd: $40,070
3rd: $29,190
4th: Shane Melert – $21,550
5th: Brett Apter – $16,130
6th: Doug Marro – $12,240
7th: Anthony Bertuccio – $9,410
8th: Bo Gray – $7,340
9th: Aaron Thivyanathan – $5,800

Championship: Vincent Cafone and Harry Binda Jr Swap Doubles

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 26:  40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 298

Vincent Cafone shipped from the button for 1,025,000 to get a call from Harry Binda Jr and folded from Frank Weigel.

Cafone: Kd7s
Binda Jr: Ah9c

Cafone needed help to double back into contention and took the lead when he paired his king on the Ks5h2d flop. The 6d turn and Jd river finished the board for Carfone’s double.

Vincent Cafone – 2,210,000 (28 bb)
Harry Binda Jr – 905,000 (11 bb)

Soon after, Binda Jr moved all in for 805,000 from button and Cafone called in the big blind.

Cafone: Ac5d
Binda Jr: QsQh

Binda Jr was much stronger this time around and faded a scary 9d7s4d6d2h board to double back.

Harry Binda Jr – 1,730,000 (22 bb)
Vincent Cafone – 1,180,000 (15 bb)

Championship: Shane Melert – 4th Place ($21,550)

$1,100 PPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 26:  40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 298

Shane Melert

Frank Weigel opened to 215K, Shane Melert moved all in for 910,000 and Weigel called.

Weigel: JsJd
Melert: 7d7h

“Keep it clean again,” Weigel said.

“Keep it dirty!” Melert joked.

Melert need a lot of help to stay in the game but Weigel’s jacks held on the Ac8d4dQhAs board to send Melert out in fourth place.

Frank Weigel – 4,560,000 (57 bb)
Shane Melert – Eliminated in 4th Place ($21,550)