Isaac Kempton Wins WSOPC Tampa Main Event For $290K

WSOPC Tampa was Isaac Kempton's second-ever live poker tournament. it ended up being his first victory.

Do you believe in beginner’s luck? We know someone who does. Isaac Kempton is his name. Kempton bought into the WSOPC Tampa Main Event, which was only his second-ever live poker tournament. Amazingly, he was the last man standing after three days of hot poker action. He banked a cool $290,974 for his impressive victory.

WSOPC Tampa Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Home Town prize
1 Isaac Kempton Newark, DE $290,974
2 David Jackson Jacksonville, FL $179,883
3 Paul Balzano Sunrise, FL $135,794
4 Robert Manjura Fern Park, FL $103,434
5 James Calderaro Venice, FL $79,480
6 Ioannis Patsourakis Winter Haven, FL $61,616
7 Francisco Gomez Lakeland, FL $48,195
8 Brad Sailor Lombard, IL $38,039
9 Fares Santana Bayamon, Puerto Rico $30,297

There’s a vibrant poker scene in Florida so it wasn’t surprising to see a massive crowd for WSOPC Tampa. Some 1,162-players bought in for $1,700 over two starting flights, rank amateur Kempton among them. Kempton bagged the chip lead on Day 1A, Day 2, before claiming the title and the WSOPC Tampa ring.

Day 2 started with 242 hopefuls and ended with a more manageable field of only 25. A double elimination part way through proceedings popped the money bubble. It’s impossible to point the finger of blame at any of the trio involved.

Matthew Higgins was all in with pocket queens, Jeffrey Morzella held kings, and Robert Pollmeier a pair of aces. Those aces held as the board ran out ten-high, busting both Morzella and Higgins in a cooler hand.

Their misfortune brought joy to the remaining 175 players who were now in the money. These included four-time WSOP bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi and Faraz Jaka. John Racener, John Gorsuch, Aaron Massey, and David Tuthill also cashed.

WSOPC Tampa Main Event Final Table Reached

The eliminations came thick and fast on the final day of the WSOPC Tampa Main Event. Players pushed all-in at will as they attempted to build a stack for the final table.

That final was set after only four hours when John Ott crashed out in 10th place. Ott moved all-in with a pair of eights on a 2h-Qc-Kh-3c board only to be snapped off by Kempton’s As-Ks. The river bricked and the final prepared themselves for the big stage.

Fares Santana’s final table appearance didn’t last long. He three-bet all-in with king-queen after Kempton opened the betting. Francisco Gomez shoved over the top with pocket kings, and Kempton folded. The board ran out kind to those kings and the player count reduced by one.

Brad Sailor sunk without a trace in eighth-place. He was down to less than five big blinds when he jammed with king-nine from the cutoff. James Calderaro called in the big blind with the dominating ace-nine. An ace on the flop was more than enough to send Sailor to the cashier’s desk.

Seven-handed play lasted three hours and ended with the bust out of Gomez. Paul Balzano min-raised to 400,000 with pocket fives and snap-called when Gomez shoved all-in for 14 big blinds with what turned out to be ace-king. Gomez paired his ace, but Balzano improved to a set. WSOPC Tampa was now six-handed.

Six became five as WSOPC Tampa progressed to the 35th level. Ioannis Patsourakis lost a huge pot when his ace-king lost to the inferior ace-ten of Robert Manjura. Patsourakis was forced all-in the next hand and handed over the rest his micro stack to Manjura.

Six-Figure Prizes Begin

Calderaro fell in fifth-place at the hands of David Jackson. Calderaro’s king-seven failed to improve against the ace-seven of Jackson. Calderaro collected $79,840. Everyone else was now guaranteed six-figures.

Kempton soared into the chip lead when he sent Manjura to the showers. Manjura held ace-king and Kempton a pair of aces in the hole. Remember what we said earlier about beginner’s luck?

Balzano’s elimination in third-place sent WSOPC Tampa into the heads-up stage. Balzano’s suited jack-ten was no match for the ace-nine of Kempton.

Kempton had twice as many chips as Jackson going into heads-up, but Jackson is a formidable player so it was far from a done deal. Jackson won the Borgata Fall Poker Open for $211,334 in November 2019 but couldn’t get the job done here.

The final hand took place on an 8h-3d-Ts flop. Jackson fired a 650,000 bet and Kempton called. Jackson made it 2,500,000 to go on the 4d turn and was called again. The As landed on the river and Jackson moved all-in for 8,900,000. Kempton went into the tank before emerging with a call, showing Qs-8c for third pair. Jackson could only muster Js-9h for absolutely nothing! WSOPC Tampa belongs to Kempton.

A delighted Kempton admitted he doesn’t know how to read live poker players. He also revealed he taught himself how to play the game by watching High Stakes Poker. He didn’t, however, admit to enjoying more than his fair share of beginner’s luck.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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