Championship: Fun Table to Cover

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 3: Blinds 100/200
Entries: 84

Kessler (red shirt) & Levi (left) Join the Field
Kessler (red shirt) & Levi (left) Join the Field

“That’s a fun table to cover,” says Stephen Diamantas (Tampa, FL), who is glad he’s simply a Table 9 spectator.

The table features two Las Vegas pros in Allen Kessler and David Levi. The two each have more than $3 million in career recorded tournament earnings and 43 combined wins.

Also on the table is Timothy “TK” Miles (Tallahassee, FL) who won the Championship Event here in June for nearly $300,000.

Diamantas, the 2013 winner of this event, has a good view of the action from his seat on Table 8. He busted late last night, tweeting this summary of his title defense to date:

Championship: Calendar Girls Await Your Arrival

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 1: Blinds 50/100
Entries: 49

Crystal Brittany, Dale & Sonia
Crystal Brittany, Dale & Sonia

Calendar girls Crystal Brittany & Sonia are here waiting to deal you in as we’re more than halfway through the opening level. But you have to hurry as they’ll only be here until noon.

Lots of familiar faces already in the field including:

Tony March
Douglas Chan
Hristos Tsironis
Elliott “Comrade” Zaydman
Jeff “Flicka” Coutroulis

Championship: Flight C, Taxis on Runway

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 1 Blinds 50/100

Hard Rock Exterior2-001

It’s a picture perfect day for the Day 1C of Championship Event, the last chance to enter this $300,0000 Guaranteed prize pool tournament.

Players are taking their seats and waiting for the official “shuffle up and deal.”

Starting stacks are 30k  and Day 1 levels are 45 minutes, with time to 60 minutes on Day 2. Registration and re-entry is open until the start of Level 9, approximately 6:30 pm.

Flight B big stack Matt Rose is the overwhelming chip leader with 484k (242 bb).  44 players remain from the first two flights.

Overall Chip Leaers

Matt Rose 483,700
Michael Laake 372,900
David DiBernardi 255,400
Robert Gill 236,900
Tony Tran 215,000

Championship Schedule

Day 1A: 75 Entries/20 Players Remaining
Day 1B: 90 Entries/24 Players Remaining
Day 1C: Starts in Minutes
Day 2: 12 pm Sunday

Totals: 165 Entries/44 Players Remaining
113k Avg (57 bb)
Day 2 Blinds: 1k/2k/200 ante

Championship: Flight B Photo Gallery

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Championship: Flight B Chip Counts

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

End of Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante

Reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the year Angel Vu busted out before the end of the night and she was the last woman remaining in this flight.

Matt Rose - Flight B Chip Leader
Matt Rose – Flight B Chip Leader

Out of 90 entries, only 24 survived to bag up chips.  Matt Rose went on a heater the last couple of levels to take the overall chip lead, bagging 483,700.

Chip counts:

Matt Rose 483,700
David DiBernardi 255,400
William Smith 193,500
Tom Nguyen 169,200
Sterling Savill 151,900
Chris Conrad 145,000
Josias Santos 126,600
Rick Clayton 107,100
Brett Streicher 97,300
Giancarlo DiSalvo 91,400
Jeffrey Gilbert 85,300
Barry Wiedemann 83,600
Andrew Whitaker 83,500
Adam Mouyal 83,200
Darryll Fish 73,800
Mike Raimon 73,100
Phil Wasserman 67,600
Santana Noronha 63,100
Greg Jennings 56,600
Mansoor Kader 55,500
Alexandru Ivan 45,000
Robert LeBeau 43,600
Ross Fischer 34,600
Peter Williams 28,100

Championship: Boulais Busted By DiBernardi

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante

On the flop reading 8s7c6h Joe Boulais got his chips in the middle against David DiBernardi.

Joe’s pocket Kings had been out-flopped by David’s pocket 7s.  The last two came adqc and were no help to Joe, who reported to the rail during the last level of play.

Only 27 players remain as they approach the ‘bag & tag’ at the end of level 12.  Average stack is 100k.


Championship: More Goners

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600/200 ante

Just before the start of level 12, we saw another couple of players exit the tournament.

Konstantinos Pantaridis
Konstantinos Pantaridis

Konstantinos Pantaridis busted out with a full house, holding K3 on a board of K 7 5 5 5.  Josias Santos had A5 for quadzilla to take the pot.

On a board of qs4c3d8h Sterling Savill bet and his opponent shoved.  Sterling called, showing kskd.  His opponent had khqd and was drawing slim to one of two remaining Queens.  When the 8d landed on the river, another player hit the rail.

Only 34 remain out of 90 entries in this flight.  Average stack is ~79k.

Championship: Rose Rises to Chip Lead

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200/100 ante

A huge hand went down on table 2, creating a new monster stack.

On a flop of 4h3h2h three players got all their chips in the middle.  An unknown player had 4d3d for two pair.  Brian Arbaugh had pocket Aces with the ah for the straight-flush and nut flush draws.  Matt Rose had khth and had flopped a flush.

The last two cards were bricks and Matt scooped the pot.  He’s up to over 320k and the clear chip leader.  Arbaugh and the other player were busted.

Championship: Going, Going, Gone

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200/100 ante

Players have just returned from a break, but there was lots of action before the end of level 10.

Yong Wolfer
Yong Wolfer

Two short-stacked players were all-in pre-flop holding A7 suited and AJ offsuit against Yong Wolfer’s pocket 8s.  The board came K 5 3 Q 2 and changed nothing.  Yong scooped the pot and busted both opponents.  Yong was the winner (via chop) of Event 1 a couple of weeks ago.

Jose Galvez
Jose Galvez

On the river with a board of td8c4d7c8h Jose Galvez got all-in and called by Richard Clayton.  Jose’s pocket Aces had been cleanly cracked by Richard’s 6h5h when he turned a straight.  Jose was gone before the break.  He was the winner (via chop) of Event 5.

Championship: Whole Lot of Folding Going On

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 9: Blinds 400/800/75 ante

Chris Dombrowski
Chris Dombrowski

On a flop of 8d6c3h Joe Boulais (bb) bet 2,200.  Chris Dombrowski  (hijack) raised to 5,800.  Joe gave it some thought, then folded.

Tom Nguyen
Tom Nguyen

On the river with a board of qh8c5c4h6h Tom Nguyen (button) bet 2k.  His opponent in seat 8 thought about it, then folded.

There’s a whole lot of folding going on right now as players seem to have tightened up after dinner.

There were 90 entries in this flight and only 49 of them still have chips.

Championship: Dinner Time Chip Counts

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Returning to Level 9: Blinds 400/800/75 ante

Stephen Diamantas - Defending Champion
Stephen Diamantas – Defending Champion

Tom Nguyen and defending champ Stephen Diamantas share the chip lead with about 160k each (200 big blinds).

Here are some other chip counts as of the dinner break:

Yong Wolfer 130k
David DiBernardi  125k
Angel Vu 85k
Peter Williams 67k
Josias Santos 66k
Manny Minaya 65k
Konstantinos Pantaridis 65k
Phil Wasserman 55k
Chris Dombrowski 53k
Mansour Kader 53k
Jose Galvez 51k
Sterling Savill 50k
Lachen Imkhaoun 50k
Daiane Mendes 45k
Darryll Fish 40k
Tony March 36k
Richard Clayton 32k
Ross Fischer 22k
Wally Maddah 13k
Michael Scott 13k
John Holley 11k

Championship: Dinner Break

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

End of Level 8: Blinds 300/600/75 ante

Level 8 is complete and players are off on a 45-minute dinner break.  Play will resume at about 6:28pm.

When they start level 9, registration for this flight will close and no more entries or re-entries will be allowed.  Players will have to wait for Flight C tomorrow at 11am to try again.

There are 86 entries in this flight so far, with about 54 of them still in action.

Championship: Lots of Action

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 8: Blinds 300/600/75 ante

Phil Wasserman
Phil Wasserman

Phil Wasserman doubled up when his as3d turned a boat against his opponent’s ah9h.  The final board was adac7c3cJs when Phil shoved on the river.

Peter Williams
Peter Williams

Peter Williams sent an opponent to the rail when his pocket Jacks flopped a set.  On the flop of jdts8s they got all the chips in.  His opponent had two pair with jcts and was drawing slim to a back-door straight.   The last two fell ah4h and Peter took the pot while his opponent took the walk.

Championship: Nguyen-ing the Chip Race

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 7: Blinds 250/500/50 ante
Entries: 78

Players are back from break and Tom Nguyen (Tampa, FL) is still leading the field; he’s up to 146k.

Defending Champion Stephen Diamantas (Tampa, FL) hit a big hand at the end of the last level.  Diamantas and his opponent are all in on a three heart board of Q-J-T-4.

“It didn’t work,” says Diamantas of his opponent’s all-in bluff, “he had Queen-Eight, no heart.”

Diamantas has 8h6h for the winning flush in a 60k pot. He’s up to 102k.

Chip Leaders

Tom Nguyen 146k
Stephen Diamantas 102k
Chris Conrad 101k
Angel Vu 85k
Brian Arbaugh 81k

Championship: Running the Show

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 6: Blinds 200/400/50 ante
Entries: 73

Tommy & Kyle Peck
Tom Bates Talks with Kyle Peck at the Start of Day 1A

As Day 1B is quickly closing in on the Day 1A total of 75 entries, it’s worth mentioning two of the key figures who are making sure the Tampa Winter Poker Open runs smoothly.

Director of Poker Tommy Bates is thrilled with how the Championship and the entire 18 day series is going.  “Living the dream,” says Bates, “we do this for the players. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and want to keep growing Tampa poker.”

Bates’ right hand man is Tournament Director Byron Rodriguez who oversees everything from event structures to tournament rulings.  “I want to mention all my floor guys and dealers. Without them, things wouldn’t run as smoothly as they’ve been.”

Bates and Rodriguez are in the Poker Room everyday and encourage players to continue giving their feedback. They want to thank everyone for making poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa a big success.

Byron Brendaly and Reani
Rodriguez with Hard Rock Calendar Girls Brendaly (left) and Reani

Hard Rock Calendar Girl – Jasah

Ms. July 2015, Cupcake Queen

Jasah (8)Name: Jasah

Month: Ms. July

Born: Tampa, FL

Resides: Tampa, FL

Instagram: Jasah_

Favorite Casino Game: Texas Hold’em (table game)

Jasah (pronounced Jay_sah) has been working at the Hard Rock table games for two years. This her second appearance in the Hard Rock Calendar.

She occasionally works in the Poker Room and says, “I love poker. It’s so much fun to interact with the players. They’re sarcastic and so am I. They give me a hard time and I give it right back.”

Jasah is graduating from nursing school and is preparing to take the boards (BON). “Being a nurse would be awesome,” she says.

As for trying out for the calendar, Jasah’s biggest supporters are her mom and dad. “They told me to go for it. I said, ‘are you sure, you’re my parents?”

 Q & A with Crystal Jasah

Favorite Music?

“I really like rock and alternative. I love Bad Suns and Bear Hands. It’s fun and gets you in the mood to do stuff, like a bad a$$ workout. It motivates me to do something awesome.”

Special Interest?

“Baking is in my blood. My grandmother (Dorothy) and I started when I was little and she passed down her recipes.

Mmm, Mmm, Good!
Mmm, Mmm, Good!

“Oreo and pink lemonade cupcakes are my favorites. I love cake, so a mini cake that you can eat anytime is so convenient. I love baking.”

Experience of being a Hard Rock Calendar Girl?

“The girls are so sweet, I made really good friends. The experience I had was so wonderful.

“At first you feel like an average Joe, but when you try out they make you feel like a rock star. The Hard Rock makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, especially with so many people looking at you on a photo shoot. I don’t think every company can do that.”

Jasah Signing Autographs for the Fans

More Photos of Jasah from the Tampa Winter Poker Open

Championship: Big Stacks

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 5: Blinds 150/300/25 ante
Entries: 68

Tom Nguyen
Tom Nguyen


Players are back from their second break of the day with Tom Nguyen (Tampa, FL) the chip leader at 113k.

A couple of stacks are in the 80k range including Yong Wolfer (Rochester, NY) who returns to South Florida after chopping Event 1 for $39,273. Wolfer earned the custom Hard Rock guitar trophy and entry into the Championship Event.

“I’m glad to come back,” says Wolfer, “it’s cold in New York.”

Players will play two levels, break, and then two more levels before a 45 minute dinner break at ~6:00 pm.

Chip Leaders

Tom Nguyen 113k
Yong Wolfer 85k
Chris Conrad 83k

Yong Wolfer
Yong Wolfer with a Massage from Pamela


Championship: Fishing for Chips

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 4: Blinds 100/200/25 ante
Entries: 60

South Florida pro Darryll Fish (Fort Lauderdale, FL) is back for another shot at the $300,000 Guaranteed prize pool after busting Day 1A.

Today’s action has been pretty loose as we’ve seen several players bust and re-enter.

Here’s one hand that epitomizes how play is going; we’ll keep the players anonymous to protect both the innocent and offenders.

Blinds 100/200 – all players with between 20k and 30k in chips.

EP position limps, cutoff makes it 1100. The button and limper both call.

Flop: 8d6d5s

Check, c-bet to 2200, button and EP call.

Turn: Th

check, aggressor bets 6k, button and EP fold.

Just an average hand here in the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room.

Championship: Brazilian Invasion

$1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)

Level 3: Blinds 100/200
Entries: 58

Daiane Mendes
Daiane Mendes

We’ve seen an influx of Brazilian players in Tampa this series, many of them know each other and are currently living in Orlando.

Today’s Brazilian invasion landed three of them on the same table. Josias Santos finished 8th in Event 7 for $1,451 (1 of 4 series’ cashes), he’s next to Ricardo Rodriguez (9th in Event 4 for $1,125).

Across the table from her countrymen is Daiane Mendes, who was 22nd in Event 4.

Other Brazilians seen here in Tampa include Claudemir Osorio who was part of a final chop in Event 4 for $10,000, Rafael Reis, two event cashes and Paulo Castro who final tabled Event 7 with Santos finishing one spot higher in 7th place.

Josias Santos & Ricardo Rodriguez
 Santos & Rodriguez