Deep Stack Winter Poker Series: Feb. 19 – Mar. 1

EventDayEvent DayDateTimeBuy-InDescriptionDetails
1ThuDay 1A2/1911a$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]
1ThuDay 1B2/196p$350
1FriDay 1C2/2011a$350
1FriDay 1D2/206p$350
1SatDay 1E2/2111a$350
1SatDay 1F2/216p$350
1SunDay 22/2212p--
2Thu--2/192p$250Deep Stack Pot Limit Omaha High Only (Re-Entry)
$15,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]
3Sun--2/221p$150Deep Stack Turbo No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
$15,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]
4MonDay 1A2/2311a$150Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]
4MonDay 1B2/233p$150
4MonDay 1C2/237p$150
4TueDay 1D2/2411a$150
4TueDay 1E2/243p$150
4TueDay 1F2/247p$150
4WedDay 1G2/2511a$150
4WedDay 1H2/253p$150
4WedDay 1I2/257p$150
4ThuDay 22/2611a$150
5ThuDay 1A2/2612p$560Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
$250,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]
5ThuDay 1B2/266p$560
5FriDay 1C2/2712p$560
5FriDay 1D2/276p$560
5SatDay 1E2/2812p$560
5SatDay 1F2/286p$560
5SunDay 23/112p--
6Sun--3/11p$150Deep Stack Turbo No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry)
$15,000 Guaranteed
Results [PDF]


Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open
Event 9:  $1,650 Buy-In Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$300,000 Guaranteed

December 18-21, 2014

Entries: 297
Prize Pool: $445,500

AJ Kelsall - Winner
AJ Kelsall – Winner







AJ Kelsall has been playing poker professionally for about 14 years, but is primarily a cash-game player.  Today he booked his first-ever six-figure cash, winning the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open Championship for $124,731.  In addition to the cash, he also takes home the Championship trophy and signature Hard Rock guitar.

“This is only the fourth tournament I’ve played since the Main Event at the World Series of Poker this summer,” Kelsall said.  Despite his focus on cash games, he has recorded almost $388,000 in career tournament earnings before this event.

Runner-up John Holley made his first-ever trip to Seminole Hard Rock Tampa for this series and he did incredibly well.  He min-cashed Event 5, finished 4th in Event 7, finished 2nd in Event 11, and now has booked another 2nd place finish in this event.  His earnings in this series have put his career total over $1 Million.

This event carried a $300,000 guarantee on the total prize pool and featured three starting days.  A total of 297 entries crushed the guarantee, building a total prize pool of $445,500.  The final 27 players got paid.

Ninety players advanced to Day 2 and Matt Rose led the field with 483,700 chips.  He finished 15th.  Michael Laake was second in chips coming into Day 2.  He held on to finish in 3rd place.  Timothy ‘TK’ Miles won the 2014 Summer Poker Open Championship here in Tampa and was looking to repeat.  He was 5th in chips at the start of the day and wound up finishing 11th, bubbling the final table.

A couple of Las Vegas pros made their mark on this event.  Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler final-tabled last year, finishing 6th.  This year he busted out in 17th place.  David Levi made the final table, finishing in 7th place when his Aces got cracked.

The last woman remaining in this event and the only one to cash was none other than Angel Vu, the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year.   She finished 26th.

WSOP Ladies Champion Marsha Wolak made day two, but busted out five spots short of a payday.  Last year’s Winter Open Champion, Stephen Diamantas, also made it to Day 2, but busted out about a dozen spots short of the money.

AJ Kelsall is originally from Philadelphia, but has lived in the Tampa area for the last 20 years.  Despite the relocation, he is a self-proclaimed “die-hard Eagles fan”.

Regarding the Poker Room here in Tampa, he said “They’ve done a great job with the new people they brought in the last year, improving the room.  It’s definitely a lot better than it was a year ago.”

After playing for over 17 hours on Day 2, everyone was ready to call it a night, wrapping up the 2014 Winter Poker Open.

Happy Holidays!!


1: AJ Kelsall (Tampa, FL) $124,731
2: John Holley (Niceville, FL) $73,508
3: Michael Laake (Boca Raton, FL) $42,323
4:  Derek Bowers (Alliance, OH) $34,304
5:Alan Ramkhalawan (Tampa, FL)$26,730
6: Jared Reinstein (Tallahassee, FL) $22,275
7: David Levi (Las Vegas, NV) $17,820
8: Steve Karp (N Miami Beach, FL) $13,365
9: Al Krux (Fayetteville, NY) $8,910
10: Greg Jennings (Overland Park, KS) $5,792
11: TK Miles (Miami, FL) $5,792
12:  Herbert Woodbery (Winter Garden, FL) $5,792
13: Robert Gill (Tampa, FL) $4,901
14: Jesse Cook (Tampa, FL) $4,901
15: Matt Rose (Largo, FL) $4,901
16: David DeBernardi (Youngstown, OH) $4,455
17: Allen Kessler (Las Vegas, NV) $4,455
18: Kevin Blewitt (Tampa, FL) $4,455
19: Rick Clayton (St. Louis, MO) $4,010
20:Kozma Llazari (New Port Richey, FL) $4,010
21: Josias Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) $4,010
22: Rob LeBeau (Tampa, FL) $4,010
23: James Dill (Apopka, FL) $4,010
24: Kyle Peck (Lakeland, FL) $4,010
25: Amelio Amato (Sarasota, FL) $4,010
26: Angel Vu (S Daytona, FL) $4,010
27: Julio Novo (Tampa, FL) $4,010


Championship: AJ Kelsall Wins! John Holley Takes 2nd

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

Level 27:  Blinds 25k/50k/4k ante

AJ Kelsall - 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open Champion
AJ Kelsall – 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open Champion

John Holley got all-in holding pocket 9s and ran into AJ Kelsall’s pocket Jacks.

The board came 8h4d3c5hJh and AJ took the pot and the win!

AJ Kelsall earned $124,731, the trophy, and the signature Hard Rock guitar!

John Holley finished in 2nd place, earning $73,508.

John Holley
John Holley

Championship: 3rd Place – Michael Laake

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

Level 27:  Blinds 25k/50k/4k ante

Michael Laake
Michael Laake

On a flop of 6d4h3h John Holley (bb) got all-in for 1.539 million against Michael Laake (button).  John had jh7h for flush draw with gutshot.  Michael had 5x4x for middle pair with open-ender.

The last two came 2d5c and John made his straight to take the pot.

Then on a board of K J 8 Q 4, Michael was all-in against AJ Kelsall.  Michael had K3 for top pair, but AJ had pocket 8s for a set.

Michael Laake was eliminated in 3rd place, earning $42,323.

Heads-up play began with John Holley holding about 3.8 million to AJ Kelsall’s 5.1 millio.

Championship: Final Four Chip Counts

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

Level 27:  Blinds 25k/50k/4k ante

Players are back in action following a break.  Here are some rough chip counts:

AJ Kelsall 3.8 million
Michael Laake 2.4 million
John Holley 1.9 million
Derek Bowers 785k

Here’s what they’re playing for:

1: $124,731
2: $73,508
3: $42,323
4: $34,304

Of course the winner also gets the trophy and the signature Hard Rock guitar!

Championship: Double, Double

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

Level 26:  Blinds 20k/40k/4k ante

John Holley shoved for 651k on the button and Alan Ramkhalawan looked him up from the big blind.

John had khjd and was dominating Alan’s kdts.  Then the flop came td9d8d giving Alan top pair with second-nut flush draw.  John had an open-ended straight-flush draw.

The last two fell 5c7d and John completed his straight-flush on the river to double up.  Alan was left with less than 200k.

Alan shoved from the small blind and Derek Bowers called dark from the big.  Alan’s kd3c was actually ahead of Derek’s js8s.  The board came tc5h2c5s3s and Alan doubled up.

Championship: Hi-Jacked

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

Level 26:  Blinds 20k/40k/4k ante

Michael Laake opened for 85k, got a call from Alan Ramkhalawan, then AJ Kelsall (sb) kicked it up to 320k.  Michael called and Alan folded.

On the flop of 7h7d5d AJ led out for 320k, Michael shoved, and AJ called.  AJ rolled over two red Jacks and Michael rolled over two black Jacks.

When a heart hit the turn, they split the pot.

Championship: 7th – David Levi; 6th – Jared Reinstein

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

Level 26:  Blinds 20k/40k/4k ante

Jared Reinstein shoved, then Michael Laake shoved, then David Levi (bb) called all-in.

David: AA
Jared: TT
Michael: ac7c

The flop delivered two clubs and the third came on the river, giving Michael the nut flush and the double-knockout.

Since Jared had more chips, he finished 6th for $22,275.  David Levi finished 7th for $17,820.

Michael Laake is back up to ~1.8 million.

Championship: Ramkhalawan Doubles Thru Laake

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

Level 25:  Blinds 15k/30k/3k ante

Michael Laake and Alan Ramkhalawan got to the turn with the board reading 8s5h3d6s.  Michael shoved and Alan called all-in for 484k.

Michael’s pocket Jacks were drawing dead against Alan’s 9c7c which had turned a straight.

Alan doubled up to ~1.5 million while Michael’s stack dropped to ~700k.

Seven players remain.  Average stack is 1.27 million.


Championship: Huge Pot for Kelsall

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

Level 25:  Blinds 15k/30k/3k ante

AJ Kelsall opened for 70k in the cutoff and Michael Laake raised to 220k from the big blind.  AJ called and the flop fell 9d5c5h.  Michael led for 200k and AJ called.  Turn was the as and both players checked.

River was the 4h and Michael fired 375k.  AJ took his time putting together a bet of 975k.  Michael called.

AJ said “fours full” and rolled over 4s4c.  Michael mucked.  His stack dropped to ~1 million while AJ moved back into the chip lead with ~3.8 million.

Championship: Laake Doubles Into Lead

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

Level 24:  Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante

On the turn with a board of jd5s5c6c Alan Ramkhalawan (sb) checked, Michael Laake (button) bet 215k, and Alan check-raised to 420k.

After some thought Michael called.  River was the 4d.  Alan shoved and Michael called all-in for 655k.  Alan had 5d3d for trip 5s.  Michael had 8c5h for trip 5s with a better kicker.

Alan dropped to ~750k.  Michael doubled up to ~2.2 million, retaking the chip lead.

Championship: 10th Place – Greg Jennings

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

Level 24:  Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante

Greg Jennings
Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings opened for ~65k and David Levi shoved, having Greg covered.  Greg called all-in for ~260k showing ksqs.  David had pocket Jacks.

The board came 8 8 5 J Q and David made Jacks-full.  He’s up to ~700k.

Greg Jennings busted out in 10th place, earning $5,792.

Championship: Final Table Chip Counts

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

Level 24:  Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante

Here’s the final table lineup with some rough chip counts:

  1. Greg Jennings – 270k
  2. AJ Kelsall – 1.9 million
  3. John Holley – 1.1 million
  4. Steve Karp – 368k
  5. Jared Reinstein – 690k
  6. Michael Laake – 1.2 million
  7. Alan Ramkhalawan – 1.7 million
  8. Al Krux – 320k
  9. David Levi – 400k
  10. Derek Bowers – 850k


Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open
Event 10:  $150 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
December 21, 2014

Entries: 213
Prize Pool: $25,560

Paulo Castro Winner
Paulo Castro – 1st Place


The last event of the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Winter Poker Open was a seven-way chop with Paulo Castro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) taking home the final custom guitar trophy.

Casto is declared the winner based on having the chip lead, slightly more than runner-up Denise Tuck.

“It’s good,” said the soft spoken Brazilian, who finished 7th earlier in the series in Event 7 ($250 buy-in) for $1,934. He said a key hand in the tournament when his AQ beat pocket 6s.

“Flopped a boat,” smiled Tuck on her key hand. She held AK on an A-A-K flop, “ace-king was the catalyst to get me this far.”

Gary Lucci, Jared Grey, Justin Dunn, Ray Lambert and Norbert Kara are the other five players who all agreed to an even split of the remaining prize pool money.Each player took home ~$2,800.

The tournament began with 213 entries as the top 27 earned a piece of the $25,560 prize pool.

“It was a long day, I’m tired,” said Grey.

Castro is part of a strong Brazilian contingent that has been playing throughout the series. He’s currently living and working in Miami and Castro said this is one of his best tournament cashes.



1st Paulo Castro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) $2,801
2nd Denise Tuck (Bradenton, FL) $2,801
3rd Gary Lucci (Amherst, Nova Scotia) $2,801
4th Jared Grey (Nashville, TN) $2,801
5th Justin Dunn (Ocala, FL) $2,801
6th Ray Lambert (Clearwater, FL) $2,800
7th Norbert Kara (Clearwater, FL) $2,800
8th Rachel Rosario (Warwick, RI) $767
9th Marv “Flying Duckman” Karlins (Riverview, FL) $511
10th Terri Crawford (Lakeland, FL) $332
11th John Stillitano (Trenton, NJ) $332
12th Scott Parttridg (Riverside Heights, FL) $332
13th Garrett Topping (Atlanta, GA) $281
14th Jaeli Moron (Tampa, FL) $281
15th Frank Gomez (Lakeland, FL) $281
16th Rob Thomas (Tampa, FL) $256
17th Travis Fulford (Lakeland, FL)) $256
18th Teresa Mullen (New Hampshire) $256
19th Michael Schmidt $230
20th Matthew Gary $230
21st Kim McCann $230
22nd Gerald Panagrossi $230
23rd Scott Caracciolo $230
24th Joe Squires $230
25th Nagabhushan Begur $230
26th Matt Silva $230
27th Juan Angel Garcia $230