Isaac Kempton Wins WSOPC Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event for $290,974

Isaac Kempton scooped the WSOPC Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event title on only his second-ever live poker outing, the win worth $290,974 along with a gold circuit ring…

By: Andrew Burnett


The 22-year old Delaware student was one of 1160 entries to the $1700 buy-in tournament, the huge turnout smashing the $1million guarantee to produce a prizepool of $1,760,430, with the top 4 all looking at 6-figure payouts.

The fourth and final day’s play saw just 25 players return to the felt, Kempton sitting third in chips having led the standings on the previous two days.

Having only played the game for about four years, he later explained to reporters: “I saw some YouTube videos of the old High Stakes Poker days, and then once you watch one then you start watching more and get drawn into the rabbit hole.”

Those videos clearly had a good effect on the youngster, battling his way through a final table of seasoned veterans, the Florida duo of James Calderado and David Jackson boasting more than $7million in tournament earnings between them.

Calderado would fall in 5th, and then Kempton earned his spurs by seeing off both Robert Manjura and Paul Balzano in 4th and 3rd respectively to set up the finale against Jackson.

Showing remarkable poise for someone who admitted of the final hand: "I'm afraid there was not a read. I don't know very much about live poker and I don't know much about live reads, I can't read people!" – Kempton called off Jackson’s triple barrel bluff to land the victory.

The $290,974 first prize was his first-ever live cash – a 50% win rate so far! – and it bolstered his decision to take a break from school. "This semester I'm taking off, so I'm on a leave of absence. So yeah, I'm just playing poker full-time basically," he told PokerNews.

Along with the cash and the Circuit ring, Kempton secured a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship, and with High Stakes Poker set for a comeback, the show’s producers could do worse than invite Kempton along for the new show.

Final results

1 Isaac Kempton $290,974
2 David Jackson $179,833
3 Paul Balzano $135,794
4 Robert Manjura $103,434
5 James Calderaro $79,480
6 Ioannis Patsourakis $61,616
7 Franisco Gomez $48,195
8 Brad Sailor $38,039
9 Fares Santana $30,297
10 John Ott $24,353

 

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