$560 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Entrants: 639 Prize Pool: $319,500
Normally when you’ve just won a poker tournament and $64,887, that’s easily the best thing that happened to you on that day. That wasn’t the case for Jason Bartholomew, however, as all he could talk about before and after winning Event 1 of the 2014 Lucky Hearts Poker Open at Stax Poker Lounge at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Coconut Creek was his favorite college basketball team, Syracuse, and their thrilling win against Duke earlier in the evening. Anytime Jason would win a pot his rail would let out a “Let’s Go Orange!” chant. It would be an oft heard chant by the end of the evening as Jason surged from a short stack to the winning one by the time it was all over. Bartholomew, a 41 year old poker dealer who was once a former pro baseball pitcher in the Cleveland Indians organization said afterwards “this was my biggest tournament win. I’ll definitely be playing in the Main now.” Congratulations on your win Jason!
It took three days and five initial starting flights to get us to our 2nd day of action. By that time, 639 entrants had been whittled down to 143 with Seth Berger, fresh off a 2nd and 3rd place finish at the 2013 World Series of Poker, holding the chip lead. There was still a long way to go before the money was made, however, as only 63 would get paid.
It wouldn’t take long to make the money as the bubble burst early in the evening. Play continued at a rapid break neck pace and they would hit three tables shortly after 7 pm in the evening. Among those that hit the rail but made the money were Brian Phillis in 49th place, Abbey Daniels in 46th place, Brett Bader in 43rd place, Roger Goindoo in 30th place, and Michael Laake in 28th place. WSOP bracelet winner Joey Weissman was the chip leader as they redrew with 1.91 million in chips.
It would take approximately an hour to go from 27 to 18 with players like Stuart Paterson and Marla Crumpler hitting the rail. They all received $1,917 for their efforts. Benjamin Cross was now the chip leader with two million in chips, followed closely by well known professional Ronnie Bardah, who had doubled up at the hands of former chip leader Weissman.
Weissman would be one of the next players eliminated when he fell to the deceptive play of Angelo Miele who had limped in with pocket Kings. Marina Koles Kings would not do her justice as Ronnie Bardah flopped quad Jacks with K-J to send her to the rail. With 11 players remaining there was six consecutive double ups from shorter stacks but we finally reached out final 10 when John Utley was crippled with Queens against the Kings of Richard Leger and would be eliminated soon after.
Our final ten and their approximate chip counts were as follows:
|2||Robert Zuckerman||1.6 million|
|3||Richard Leger||1.25 million|
|5||Steven “Cuz” Buckner||2.15 million|
|6||Peter Vitantonio||3.8 million|
|7||Angelo Miele||2.0 million|
|8||Benjamin Cross||1.1 million|
|10||Elliott Zaydman||2.2 million|
Our first player out at the final table would be Enrique Roman when he moved all in with and was called by Angelo Miele and his . The flop would come leading Roman to stand up and say “good hand” to Miele. The turn and river would change nothing as it came and Angelo pumped his fists and let out a loud “Yes!” Roman finished in 10th place and wins $3,514 for his two days of play.
Angelo Miele would continue his dominant ways in eliminating another player a few minutes later. With the blinds at 40K/80K with a 10K ante, Miele raised to 250K and was called by Ben Cross. The flop came and Angelo led out for 500K and Cross didn’t take long before announcing that he was all in. Angelo snap called and Cross turned over an that looked pretty but was dominated by Angelo’s . The turn was the meaning only a King could save the day for Ben. The river would be another Ace, the and Cross was our 9th place finisher.
In the meantime, Ronnie Bardah had shipped a huge double up to Peter Vitantonio when he five bet shoved at the wrong time with Q-J off as Peter held pocket Aces. With 8 remaining, the approximate chip counts were as follows:
|1||Robert Zuckerman||1.05 million|
|2||Richard Leger||1.695 million|
|4||Steven “Cuz” Buckner||1.15 million|
|5||Peter Vitantonio||4.1 million|
|6||Angelo Miele||4.6 million|
|8||Elliott Zaydman||1.775 million|
Vitantonio would use that momentum and surge to the top of the leader board when he picked up Aces yet again, this time when two players were already all in. With the blinds at 50K/100K, Robert Zuckerman moved all in for just less than a million in chips. One to his left, and with about 1.5 million behind, Richard Leger also moved all in. It was folded to Peter in the big blind, who looked down at his Aces and made the easy call. A frustrated Leger turned over his hand, and it was a big one… Kings. Zuckerman had the worst hand of the three with and would need a miracle to survive. The board would run out and Zuckerman finished in 8th for $6,549 with Leger finishing in 7th for $8,946.
Continuing the Peter and Angelo show theme of the final table, Angelo Miele would take his turn at eliminating a player when he picked up Ace-King at the same time that Steven “Cuz” Buckner found Ace-Queen. “Not much you can do when someone is running like God,” moaned Buckner as he went to collect his $11,661 in winnings for his 6th place finish.
After sending most of his chips over in the aforementioned five bet shove to Peter Vitantonio, Ronnie Bardah had hung on for quite some time with a shortish stack and when he looked down at pocket 9’s had a perfect opportunity to score a big double up against Peter who held . An Ace on the flop would ruin those dreams for Bardah, who let out a sigh, obviously upset that this would be the end of his tournament. Still, a good finish for the consummate professional whose four straight cashes in the World Series of Poker Main Event is an unparalleled accomplishment. Bardah collected $15,016 for his 5th place finish.
A short stacked Elliott Zaydman would be our next player out when he moved all in under the gun for his last 300K and all three of the other remaining players called. The flop came and everyone folded after Jason Bartholomew moved all in. “I need runner runner diamonds,” said Elliott as he turned over . Jason had for flopped trips. The turn gave Zaydman some hope as it was the but the river was the and Elliott was our 4th place finisher for a nice $21,246 pay day.
With the blinds now at 80K/160K, Jason Bartholomew opened for 350K and found a caller in Angelo Miele out of the big blind. The flop came and Miele checked leading to a 500K bet from Jason. Angelo made the call and we saw a turn. Miele checked again and Jason moved all in for 1.84 million. Angelo called quickly and Bartholomew shook his head, thinking he was behind. He wasn’t, however, as Angelo had for 2nd pair with a straight draw which was behind Jason’s . “I didn’t think you had the King,” said Angelo as he shook his head. The river was the and Bartholomew earned a much needed double up as his rail let out a “Let’s Go Orange!” chant. That took Angelo to under two million in chips and moved Jason up to approximately 5.5 million. Both trailed Peter Vitantonio who had just over 8.5 million.
Heads up, Bartholomew and Vitantonio decided to split the prize money equally. Jason held a slight chip advantage and was crowned the winner. Vitantonio had an excellent consolation prize with the $64,886 cash he would be taking home. “Not a bad payday,” he smiled. Jason would get one more dollar – $64,887 and the Lucky Hearts Poker Open trophy.