Poker: Seminole Hard Rock Tampa has only 16 players left to win $615,350
September 6, 2022
The final table of the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is approaching, with only 16 players remaining from an initial field of 1,165, all vying for the $615,350 first-place prize.
Out of the 16 players, only James Calderaro is a member of the WPT Champions Club. The remaining players aspire to be members of one of poker's most exclusive clubs. In fact, eight of the remaining players had never previously cashed in a WPT event.
They all, however, stand a good chance of winning life-changing sums of money. The top seven finishers are all guaranteed at least $100,000, with a minimum payout of $32,000 this week.
Calderaro finished Monday's Day 3 session with 2,125,000 chips, a little less than the average stack, after winning the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole's sister property in Hollywood, Florida in 2014 for $271,103. When play resumes at noon ET on Tuesday, the blinds will remain at 50,000-75,000 (75,000 big blind ante) for the final 30 minutes of the current level.
Calderaro and the other players are attempting to catch Fred Paradis, who has 6,975,000 chips (93 big blinds). If Paradis wins the tournament, it will be his biggest win to date, but it will not be his first six-figure score.
Calderaro placed second for $100,000 in a $600 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament at Foxwoods in 2015. Prior to the start of the WPT Tampa, Calderaro had over $700,000 in live tournament cashes.
Final 16 players
Some extremely talented pros are in the final 16, including Brock Wilson, who has emerged as one of the world's top high rollers in the last year or two. Wilson finished the third day with 5,075,000 chips and maybe the favorite to win. In live tournaments, Wilson has won over $5.3 million.
Wilson, a regular on the PokerGO Tour, made a name for himself at the 2021 US Poker Open by reaching two final tables. Wilson's biggest payday came in 2019 when he finished second in the MILLIONS World $25,000 Super High Roller for $619,536.
Corey Wade, who took the chip lead after Day 2, is having a career year after finishing second for $179,010 in a $1,500 Omaha hi-lo event at the 2022 World Series of Poker. However, he ran into some bad luck late in the session, taking two costly bad beats. Fortunately, Wade, with a population of 2,825,000, is still alive and well (38 big blinds), but he's still in it with two days to go.
Day 4 kicks off at noon ET from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida. The plan is to play down to a final table of six before bagging chips, and then finish the tournament on Wednesday.
2021 WPT Tampa
Brian Altman won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa last year, defeating 1,165 other players to take home $613,225 in June 2021. Altman has three World Poker Tour titles, all of which he has won in Florida, including two since 2020.
The Massachusetts native won his first bracelet in a $400 buy-in no-limit hold'em online event at WSOP.com at the recently concluded 2022 World Series of Poker, winning $110,662. Altman was also named World Poker Tour Player of the Year for the 2019-2021 season. Altman finished Day 1a of this year's WPT Seminole tournament with a sizable chip stack of 266,000.