Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room

Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room
Daytona Beach, FL
October 4-14, 2013
Total Prize Pool: $433,500
Congratulations to Cong Pham for winning $104,033
and the HPT Championship Package! 

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Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room Quick Summary

Please check out the full event write up below.

Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room Top 9

First Place

Cong Pham
Naples, FL

Second Place

James Calderaro
Venice, FL

Third Place

Thomas Giorgi
Valrico, FL

Fourth Place

Luis Sierra
Sanford, FL

Fifth Place

John Holley
Niceville, FL

Sixth Place

Justin Fawbush
Cocoa Beach, FL

Seventh Place

Talesh Patel
St. Augustine, FL

Eighth Place

Peter Walsworth
Sarasota, FL

Ninth Place

Dalton Mills
Jacksonville, FL


Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room Top 26 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Cong Pham $104,033 50
2. James Calderaro $64,158 45
3. Thomas Giorgi $43,350 40
4. Luis Sierra $30,779 38
5. John Holley $23,843 36
6. Justin Fawbush $19,508 28
7. Talesh Patel $13,655 24
8. Peter Walsworth $11,271 22
9. Dalton Mills $8,887 20
10. Jeffrey Fullmer $8,887 15
11. George Lampert $8,887 14
12. Edward Mroczkowski $6,936 13
13. Adam Bruha $6,936 12
14. Harvey Vandeven $6,936 11
15. Andrew Kelsall $5,419 10
16. Vincent Florenza $5,419 9
17. Moe Musa $5,419 8
18. Davis Adams $4,769 7
19. Roy Whitorne $4,769 6
20. Jonah Miller $4,769 5
21. DW Matthews $4,769 5
22. Michael Wakefield $4,769 5
23. Glen Clementi $4,769 5
24. Albert Calderon $4,769 5
25. Michael Dempsey $4,769 5
26. Chris Dillion $4,769 5

Florida - Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room Recap

Florida HPT Championship Goes to Cong Pham


Daytona Beach, FL (October 14, 2013) When Heartland Poker Tour turned on the lights and the cameras at their nationally-televised Final Table from the Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room, Cong Pham had a commanding chip lead.  Six hours later, stacks were even as the 29-year-old poker pro from Naples, Florida stared down his final opponent, James Calderaro.  Both players were confident and the risks were calculated.  It took 46 hands of heads-up play before an all-in and a call took place. “I hope viewers enjoy this. It’s a good heads-up match,” said world champion Greg “Fossilman” Raymer who commentated the Final Table live for HPTpoker.com, “Neither player did anything silly.” Ultimately, Pham got every last chip for the title and $104,033.


It took pocket pairs for both players to get all the chips in the middle.  Calderaro was all-in and at risk with eights while Pham held aces. The board ran out safely for the pocket aces bringing an end to the tournament.  Calderaro of Manasota Beach, Florida adds $64,158 to over $1.8 million in career earnings.  “Just add it to the pile," he said.


The elimination for third place saw fireworks as Thomas Giorgi flopped a set of eights. The turn was not kind to him as it gave Calderaro a straight.  The 46-year-old poker pro from Valrico, Florida collected $64,158. 


John Holley and Luis Sierra went out in back-to-back hands. Holley, who finished third in June in the World Series of Poker senior’s event, was eliminated in fifth place when his ace-eight was unable to improve against Calderaro's pocket jacks. Holley takes $23,843 back to his home in Niceville, Florida for his fifth place finish. "I'm just thankful to be here,” he said.


In the next hand, Luis Sierra moved all-in from early position and was called by Pham. Sierra needed a nine or running cards to avoid elimination, but it was Pham who caught the running cards he needed. The 36-year-old business owner from Sanford, Florida takes home $30,779. His fourth-place finish was a huge success considering Sierra was the short stack heading into the Final Table and invested just $360 in the tournament.


With the second-shortest starting stack, Justin Fawbush, also had an impressive finish.  "It's pretty much shove or fold for me to start," he said of his pre-game strategy.  It worked out well until he ran into the pocket aces of Pham. The US Navy Chief from Cocoa Beach, FL was eliminated in sixth place for $19,508.


After starting the day second in chips, Keith Romanovitz of Salem, Massachusetts made his departure in seventh place. "I'm just going to try to stay out of trouble and not commit too many mistakes," he said before taking his seat at the Final Table.  Moving all-in over the top of Fawbush's early-position raise proved to be a fatal mistake. Romanovitz's pocket jacks looked like they would give him a double up but a king came on the turn to give Fawbush a straight. He collects $16,256 for his seventh-place finish.


The first elimination of the day came after Peter Walsworth of Sarasota, Florida moved all-in and was called by Giorgi. Walsworth was poised to double up with his pocket kings against Girogi's pocket jacks. A jack on the turn eliminated Walsworth, a finance worker, in ninth place for $11,271.  Talesh Patel of St Augustine, Florida was the next to go in eighth place for $13,655.

Seven stops remain in a record year for HPT.  For details about upcoming events and to watch the action live every Monday, visit HPTpoker.com. “This was my first time playing HPT,” said the champion, “but I like it and I’m excited for next time."