The annual Pinktober poker festival kicked off at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, Florida on on October 7. After almost two weeks of live poker action, the series came to an end on October 18, awarding more than $650,000 in total prize money to the winners. The success of the annual event is among the latest signs that the live tournament scene in the US is slowly coming back to life.

Pinktober is an annual tournament series that coincides with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is held as a charity tournament, benefiting the American Cancer Society. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa has been hosting the event since 2008, and has so far donated over $1 million to charity.

This year, the property is aiming to raise $50,000 throughout the month for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. A portion of that target has already been collected through the Pinktober poker festival. Last year, the Seminole Tampa was able to raise over $57,000 for the same cause.

Biggest Events Captured By David Sweeley & Nir Sharon

The 2020 Pinktober pulled in a total of 3,315 entries across four events, generating over $650,000 in total prize pool, more than double its $250,000 initial guarantee. For every tournament buy-in recorded, $1 dollar went directly to charity.

Event #2 and Event #3 turned out to be the festival’s biggest events, attracting more than 2,600 entries and awarding over $560,000 in prize money between them.

Event #2 was a $180 buy-in No Limit Hold’em (Re-entry) event that featured four Day 1s, running on October 8-10. On the final day, October 11, David Sweeley captured the lion’s share of the $281,820 in total prize pool after defeating a field of 854 entries. He outclassed Ricardo Tavares heads up to claim the event for $51,698. Tavares walked away with $36,251 for finishing second.

John Ryan IIII (3rd, $23,371), Gustavo Zorilla (4th, $17,160), and Rashaud Cook (5th, $13,105) all made it to the top 5, with Mitchell Smith (6th, $10,447), Jonathan Marlow (7th, $8,652), Tyler Ramsdell (8th, $6,888) and Daniel Quesada (9th, $5,171) rounding out the final table.

Event #3 concluded via a three-way deal between Nir Sharon (1st, $33,921), Burl McCraney (2md. $33,921), and Robert Aleman (3rd, $33,920). A total of 1,786 entries were recorded in the $200 buy-in event, producing $283,974 in total prize money. It was the largest single tournament held at the Seminole Tampa since the worldwide COVID-19 shutdowns back in March.

Carlos Guerrero finished 4th for $16,013, while Fabian Forster ($12,043), Wilmer Chavira ($9,715), and Joseph Kearns ($7,968) finished 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. Jason Giles (8th, $6,282) also reached the final table, alongside Christopher Green (9th, $4,700). Among those who finished in the money were WSOPC players Josias Santos, Jeff Trudeau Jr. and Ricardo Eyzaguire.

Event #1: $180 buy-in NLH (Re-Entry) also ended in a deal with the largest prize of $9,138 going to Joel Wadsworth Jr. Among the top finishers were Michael Traficante, Mohamed Abdelmutaal, Reginald Bautista, and Joshua Harrison. Event #4: $20 buy-in NLH (Re-Entry) was taken down by Brian Barros Vazquez for $7,682.

The next major live event on Seminole Tampa’s poker calendar will be the Winter Poker Open, which will take place on December 2-14. There will be bigger prizes up for grabs in this year’s edition, with the Main Event’s guarantee being increased to $200,000. The event’s entry fee will remain the same at $1,700.


Meanwhile, the property will continue to raise much-needed funds to support the fight against cancer.  It calls on its patrons and followers to also participate in the cause by using the #PINKTOBER hashtag on social media. The venue has also installed a PINKTOBER photo opp at the resort’s Oculus where customers can take a selfie with it as the background to show their support. Throughout October, Seminole will also be lit in pink every night between 10 pm to 12 midnight.

On October 24, the Making Strides campaign will hold its Walk with an additional car parade option. If you’d like to take part, visit their website for more details.

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