Several of the world's top professional poker players, including this year's World Series of Poker champion, will be in Jacksonville this week competing for a half-million-dollar prize at a World Poker Tour tournament.
BestBet Jacksonville, Florida's top poker room, is hosting the tournament from Friday to Tuesday. It will be livestreamed on www.WorldPokerTour.com and is open to the public.
Greg Merson, who just last week won $8.5 million and became the only player in the history of the WSOP to win both the Player of the Year award and the Main Event at the same series, will join an impressive list of poker celebrities and legends vying for the guaranteed $500,000 prize. Contenders include Phil Hellmuth, fresh off his second consecutive runner-up finish in the WSOP Player of the Year race; Daniel Negreanu, WPT Champions Club member; Matt Glantz, who has more than $4 million in winnings; as well as up-and-comers Brian Hastings and Jason Koon, both WPT Season XI "Ones to Watch."
"The caliber of players coming to our poker room this week is truly remarkable," said Deborah Giardina, BestBet Jacksonville's executive director of poker operations. "It will be an incredible opportunity to watch international pros at the very top of their games competing live."
The WPT, on its official blog, noted the impressive field slated for the tournament, called the Fall Poker Scramble.
"If you needed any further proof that poker is absolutely exploding in the state of Florida, look no further than the list of poker pros expected to turn out for WPT Jacksonville BestBet Fall Poker Scramble when it kicks off on Nov. 9," the WPT said. "Suffice to say, their accomplishments are impressive, and they all have one goal in mind next weekend, to be the next name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup."
After opening in March this year, BestBet Jacksonville has become one of the tour's more popular venues. The state-of-the-art poker room features 70 tables, with poker at all limits and simulcast wagering on greyhounds and thoroughbreds.
BestBet Jacksonville sponsored Merson in his dramatic World Series win last week, broadcasted live on ESPN. The 24-year-old outlasted a huge field to win $8.5 million and the coveted World Series Main Event bracelet.
For more information on BestBet Jacksonville and the Fall Poker Scramble, visit www.bestbetjax.com.