The 2018 Winter Poker Open ran December 6th through the 17th at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa. In that time, six guitar trophy events took place including the $1,650 Main Event. Laying claim to the series headliner was Michael McCarthy defeating a field of 609 entries and capturing $135,000 along with the guitar trophy.
For the fourth straight year, the Main Event drew massive numbers smashing the $500,000 guarantee. This year’s 609 entries generated a total prize pool worth better than $910,000.
2018 Winter Poker Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Florida Main Event $1,650 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry) $500,000 Guaranteed Entries: 609 Prize Pool: $913,500 December 13-17, 2018
(Tampa, Florida) – The Winter Poker Open Main Event concluded Monday night at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida. The $1,650 buy-in tournament drew droves of pros and amateurs alike and was won by New York’s Michael McCarthy following a three-way chop. As the champion, McCarthy was awarded $135,000 along with the property’s token trophy — a guitar.
2018 marked the fourth straight year the Main Event drew a supersized field smashing the $500,000 guarantee. With 609 entries, the guarantee was surpassed before cards went in the air on the third and final starting day and the field grew and grew until registration closed. In the end, 609 entries ponied up $1,650 generating a total kiddie worth $913,500.
There was a big influence of pros including 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Raymer, former November Niners John Dolan and Neil Blumenfield as well as Tampa regular Jeff Trudeau who finished 26th in last July’s WSOP Main Event. Of these players, only Dolan found an in-the-money finish.
McCarthy kicked off the 2018 Winter Poker Open with an 11th-place finish in the big $570 buy-in, 867-entry opener last weekend. He parlayed that deep run and $6,564 score into a Main Event entry and some confidence heading into the spotlight event.
He kept a level head through all stages of play and never got dangerously short. He started Day 2 in the middle of the pack and remained in the middle of the pack by the time play narrowed to the nine-handed final table. As a matter of fact, McCarthy never made a run at the chip lead until he eliminated Tampa’s Alex Ivan in 5th place. Next to go was reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year Brett Bader in 4th. McCarthy hit and ran getting the chip lead three-handed before agreeing to a chop. McCarthy and runner-up Richard Carr each took $135,000 while Michael Turton went down 3rd for just over $117,000. McCarthy went down as the champion take 1st place along with the trophy.
In addition to the trio of finalists, Rob Manjura (12th), Tom Nguyen (27th), AJ Kelsall (28th) and Anthony Dianaty (33rd) also finished in the money. One of the most notable scores of the event came via Duff Charette’s 11th-place finish. Charette was down to less than two big blinds prior to the money bubble and grinded his way all the way to a $14,890 score.
McCarthy is 29 years old and resides in Levittown, New York. He is a professional poker play now with four tournament wins and just over $200,000 in career earnings.
Final table results:
1st: Michael McCarthy – $135,000 + Trophy 2nd: Richard Carr – $135,000 3rd: Michael Turton – $117,615 4th: Brett Bader – $55,851 5th: Alex Ivan – $42,871 6th: James Peterson – $35,736 7th: Zach Gilbert – $29,826 8th: Huicun Qiao – $23,915 9th: Ryan Anderkin – $19,023
$1,650 Main Event (Re-Entry) $500,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts Level 30: 60,000/120,000 with a 120,000 ante Players Remaining: 3 of 609
The chop talk took only a brief recess before the trio of remaining players came to a deal. Michael Turton worked his way up slightly from his ICM number, getting $117,615. As the two top stacks Michael McCarthy and Richard Carr each took $135,000 apiece. McCarthy went down as the champion taking 1st place and the guitar.
A full recap will be posted later tonight. In the meantime, here’s a look at the tournament’s full results:
1st: Michael McCarthy – $135,000 + Trophy 2nd: Richard Carr – $135,000 3rd: Michael Turton – $117,615 4th: Brett Bader – $55,851 5th: Alex Ivan – $42,871 6th: James Peterson – $35,736 7th: Zach Gilbert – $29,826 8th: Huicun Qiao – $23,915 9th: Ryan Anderkin – $19,023 10th: Richard Kane – $14,890 11th: Duff Charette – $14,890 12th: Rob Manjura – $14,890 13th: Chris Greaves – $11,775 14th: Nashaat Antonious – $11,775 15th: Mirza Nagji – $11,775 16th: Huayi Zheng – $9,939 17th: Carlos Loving – $9,939 18th: Nick Carter – $9,939 19th: Lunique Petiote – $8,377 20th: Josias Santos – $8,377 21st: Mark Wiser – $8,377 22nd: Jason Goldman – $7,016 23rd: Jordan Joeckel – $7,016 24th: Juan Endara – $7,016 25th: Brandon Caputo – $6,047 26th: Joel Wadsworth – $6,047 27th: Tom Nguyen – $6,047 28th: AJ Kelsall – $5,253 29th: Lawrence Kiang – $5,253 30th: Julio Delgado Reyes – $5,253 31st: Derek Bowers – $5,253 32nd: Maksim Budovskiy – $5,253 33rd: Anthony Dianaty – $5,253 34th: David Harmon – $5,253 35th: Craig Eshleman – $5,253 36th: Corey Lipke – $5,253 37th: Antonio Fernandez – $4,522 38th: Mark Scacewater – $4,522 39th: Ioannis Patsourakis – $4,522 40th: Aaron Speer – $4,522 41st: David Tuthill – $4,522 42nd: Staffan Lind – $4,522 43rd: Christopher Holland – $4,522 44th: Karen Longfellow – $4,522 45th: Cesar Solares – $4,522 46th: Kharlin Sued – $3,837 47th: William Corvino – $3,837 48th: Kristopher Villanueva – $3,837 49th: Jeffrey Russell – $3,837 50th: Wilbur Allison – $3,837 51st: Travis Jackson – $3,837 52nd: John Dolan – $3,837 53rd: Praveen Challagundla – $3,837 54th: Michael Traficante – $3,837 55th: Matthew Leecy – $3,289 56th: Vitor Coelho – $3,289 57th: Oscar Zeledon – $3,289 58th: Keith Oakley – $3,289 59th: Fredrick Hadden – $3,289 60th: Walter Connors – $3,289 61st: Farhad Madhani – $3,289