World Poker Tour Heads To Jacksonville For BestBet Open
26 April 2012
The World Poker Tour has reached its next to last event of their Season Ten schedule, heading just up the coast of Florida from their last stop to land in Jacksonville, FL, tomorrow.
Starting at noon tomorrow, the inaugural WPT Jacksonville BestBet Open will begin play in their $5000 Main Event. The tournament will be filmed for broadcast on Fox Sports Network during the Season Ten schedule and will feature the entirety of the WPT cast, including its long-time announcing team, Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, the host of “The Raw Deal” and live streaming host Tony Dunst and the Royal Flush Girls. For the first time, the hosts of the popular WPT programming – Sexton, Van Patten and Dunst – will be adding another duty to their agendas.
Sexton, Van Patten and Dunst will step to the felt during the WPT Jacksonville and, if none of them make the final table, will then go on to perform their regular duties. The WPT has also confirmed that poker pros and WPT Season Ten champions Matt Giannetti, Matt Waxman, James “Flushy” Dempsey and Anthony Ruberto will be in attendance at the tournament. These gentlemen will be joined by other top players such as Jonathan Little, Andy Frankenberger, Maria Ho, Matt Marafioti, Lauren Kling, Matt Affleck, Jason Mercier and Kathy Liebert.
There are several festivities planned for those in attendance at the WPT Jacksonville as it plays to its final table on May 2. After the end of play on Friday evening, the participants will be able to celebrate their success – or drown their sorrows – at a special VIP Party on the grounds of BestBet Jacksonville. The Royal Flush Girls will be playing special Sit and Go tournaments on May 1 with selected players and other activities, such as a WPT golfing expedition and a night of greyhound racing at the Orange Park Kennel Club, are also on the packed schedule.
The WPT Jacksonville BestBet Open is the final chance for players to earn their way into next month’s WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and to earn the privilege of having their name etched onto the WPT Champions’ Cup. It is also the next to last chance for players to earn points towards the WPT Player of the Year race which, after the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown last week, has suddenly become quite contentious.
With his third place finish at the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown last week, underrated pro Joe Serock has passed reigning WPT Legends of Poker champion Will “The Thrill” Failla for the lead in the POY race, a position that Failla has seemingly had all year. That lead is a tenuous one, however, as Serock only is 150 points ahead of Failla for the prized POY crown. In fact, with the potential points for the WPT Jacksonville (with a $1 million prize pool, the champion would earn 1000 points) and the WPT World Championship (1400 for the victor), a player could conceivably win both events and pass everyone on the list to take the WPT POY.
There are a host of potential title contenders in the Top 50 who could surpass or tie Serock for the POY award with just the victory at the WPT Jacksonville. Fred Goldberg, L. A. Poker Classic champion Sean Jazayeri, WPT Seminole champion Tommy Vedes, David “Doc” Sands, Vanessa Selbst, Andrew Lichtenberger, John Dolan, Christian Harder, Antonio Esfandiari, Erik Cajelais, Jason Somerville and all the other Season Ten champions are just a few of the notables that are 1000 points or less behind Serock heading into the WPT Jacksonville.
The WPT Jacksonville BestBet Open should be one of the more hotly contested titles of the Season Ten schedule, considering that the end of the season is at hand. Poker News Daily will bring you all the action as the tournament runs through this weekend.