Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker Room Recap
‘Lion’ Roars Through
Field for $106k on HPT
316 entries at Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room
Beach, FL (September 26, 2016) – Jermaine “Lion” Gerlin earned $106,732 on Monday by winning the
Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event
at Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room. The poker player from
Jacksonville, Florida plans to use the winnings to purchase his first home.
Gerlin steamrolled his way through the
competition most of the day, along with his heads-up counterpart: well-known
pro Scott Davies. After a lengthy
back-and-forth match with Gerlin, Davies fell just short and took second place.
On the final hand, he got his chips into the middle with pocket twos only to be
called by Gerlin’s ace-ten. Two aces on the flop all but sealed the deal.
Davies, from nearby Sunny Isles Beach, collected $67,570 for the runner-up
Self-employed Manelic Minaya has built quite a resume in his decade-long poker
career. The Tampa, Florida man has amassed more than $1.5 million in earnings.
Now he can add an appearance at a televised HPT Final Table to his list of
accomplishments. Davies eliminated Minaya in third place for a score of
Denver, Colorado’s Griffin Malatino navigated his way through a field of over 500
players a few weeks ago to take down an HPT preliminary event in his home
state. The electrical engineer made the trip to Florida to try his luck at a
Main Event title and nearly made it happen. The eventual champ sent Malatino to
the rail in fourth place. That finish was good for a $31,557 payday.
Coming into the day, attorney Eric Fetter listed his career winnings
at negative $80. The Orlando man can adjust that figure now. Fetter invested
$575 and won his tournament entry through HPT’s qualifier system. He parlayed
that into a fifth-place finish and took home $23,668. When asked what he
planned to do with his newfound winnings, Fetter responded, “I’m going to buy a
parrot, a swing set, and a wizard suit.”
Operations Manager Dan D’Alesandro also played his way into the tournament through a
qualifier. He found himself at the Final Table on a $400 investment. The Orange
City, Florida native didn’t have many chips to begin the day, but he made the
most of them. D’Alessandro would finish in sixth place and take home $18,563.
Nobody at the Final Table had more experience in
front of the HPT cameras than Thomas
Giorgi. The poker player from Valrico, Florida was making his third
consecutive appearance under the lights in Daytona Beach. Unfortunately, the
title remained elusive for Giorgi. He was knocked out in seventh place and
Merda was playing his first ever HPT event. The Miami man outlasted over
300 other entrants, but wasn’t able to get anything going on Monday. He exited
in eighth place for a score of $12,994. Merda plans to apply his winnings
towards a family vacation.
The first player eliminated was Jose Delacruz. A pizza man by trade,
Delacruz got caught in a bluff-gone-wrong situation early on. It was enough to
end his day in ninth place. Delacruz earned $11,184 for his weekend’s worth of
From here the HPT truck will head west for the
final two stops of its twelfth season. The next series begins later this week
in Reno, Nevada. After that, the tour heads to Northern California for its
championship event. All of the details are available at HPTpoker.com.