The World Poker Tour rolled into bestbet Jacksonville on Friday for their $5,000 Scramble Main Event for the first time since 2019. The WPT crew also returned stateside for the first time since July after a handful of events took them to Korea, Lichenstein, Taiwan and Australia. The WPT’s return of the Main Tour to north Florida features two starting flights, a live streamed final table and a healthy $1 million guarantee.
“bestbet Jacksonville is a sensational property. Dan and Allie and Jesse (management staff) treat everyone like a family here,” said Vince Van Patten of WPT. “It’s definitely a world-class cardroom and I always love coming back here.”
Jesse Hollander, Executive Director of Cardroom Operations at bestbet Jacksonville, echoed Van Patten’s sentiments. “We’re very excited to have the WPT back, it’s been since 2019,” he said. “It’s great to see all the players, the old faces and new faces – it’s a lot of fun.”
The room fits well with WPT’s demands and allows the tournament to run eight-handed. “We’re very lucky to have a spacious cardroom; we have a great staff and dealers that are very experienced,” Hollander added. “It’s a comfortable place to play. This is our biggest tournament of the year and we get a lot of people that travel from all over the county – this one brings them in from all over the place.”
Meet Up Game brought out racks and smiles
Before the tournament got underway, WPT Ambassadors Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme hosted a $3/$5 Meet Up Game Thursday night that saw over a dozen tables in action. Players drove as far as eight hours to play with the pair.
Looking back, the event historically averages 377 players over the last decade and the prize pool has been over $1.6 million for the last two events. “We will definitely hit the guarantee and we hope to double it,” Hollander said. “Our goal is to always to double it.”
The tournament features unlimited re-entry up until the start of Level 9 on Day 1 – approximately 8:45 pm. Day 2 has ten scheduled levels of play, Day 3 will play down to six remaining players and the final table kicks off Day 4 at 2:00pm ET with a live stream.
The WPT has busy end-of-year schedule with the Seminole Rock ‘N Roll Showdown from November 24-29 and the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas which features a $40 million guarantee on the Main Event from December 12-21.
2019: Joshua Adkins ($331,480) – 349 entrants
2018: Tony Tran ($341,486) – 356 entrants
2017: Paul Petraglia ($315,732) – 323 entrants
2016: Sam Panzica – ($354,35) – 379 entrants
2015: Tyler Paterson ($375,270) – 412 entrants
2014: Ryan Van Sanford ($421,668) – 461 entrants
2013: Jared Jaffee ($252,749) – 358 entrants (*$3,500 buy-in)