Live tournament series awards more than $650,000 and raises money for charity
Live tournament poker continues to slowly make its way back in the U.S., and one of the nation’s biggest tournament venues concluded its first series in the COVID-19 era over the weekend.
The Hard Rock Seminole Tampa concluded its annual Pinktober Poker Open Sunday, with the overwhelming player turnout sending prize pools far beyond the advertised guarantees. The series promised $260,000 in prize money over the four events in the series, but the total cash awarded ended up going over the $650,000 mark.
The tournament series played out as part of a larger effort to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which stands as an annual tradition for the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. 2020 marked the 13th year for the property’s PINKTOBER campaign, in which several areas of casino operations raise money for the Hard Rock Heals Foundation — the charity extension of the Hard Rock brand.
The Hard Rock Heals Foundation took $1 from each tournament entry in the Pinktober Poker Open to donate to charity, and the 3,315 entries across the four tournaments raised $3,315 for breast cancer awareness.
Other pledges to the breast cancer awareness cause included the Hard Rock Tampa’s sponsorship of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (Virtual) Walk, as well as proceeds from certain menu items at on-property bars and restaurants.
“We are truly honored to once again provide support to those in need and we are especially proud to work with the American Cancer Society during PINKTOBER,” Steve Bonners, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa President said in a press release. “We encourage guests to come out to support this cause, while spreading a message of strength, hope and awareness for those affected by this disease.”
Three-way chop in $100,000 guaranteed Event #3
A pair of $100,000 guaranteed tournaments highlighted the Pinktober Poker Open schedule. Event #3 produced the biggest player field of the quartet of Pinktober Poker Open tournaments, with 1,786 entries coming out for what amounted to one half of the series’ double main event.
Nir Sharon came away with official first-place honors and a $33,921 prize. The top three finishers each cashed for equal prize money however, including Burl McCraney (2nd – $33,921) and Robert Aleman (3rd – $33,920). The 1,786 total entries pushed the prize pool to the biggest of the series at $283,974 for the $200 buy-in tournament.
Event #2 also drew big numbers, with 854 entries registering for the $400 buy-in event. David Sweeley took down the championship, winning the biggest prize of the series at $51,698.
Other top finishers in Event #2 included Ricardo Alves De Lima Tavares (2nd – $36,251), John Ryan III (3rd – $23,371) and Gustavo Zorilla (4th – $17,160). Other winners included Event #1 champion Joel Wadsworth Jr. ($9,138), and Event #4 winner Brian Barros Vasquez (pictured, $7,682).
Featured image source: Twitter