By Sean Chaffin
With back-to-back events at the Borgata and Live Casino & Hotel in the books, WPT players can look forward to the $5,000 WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble kicking off on October 19. The event runs through October 23 in Jacksonville, FL, with a $1 million guarantee and a great poker atmosphere in the largest poker venue in Florida
Bestbet features 20,000 square feet of space, and this will be the seventh event at the venue on the WPT Main Tour. The location has become a popular stop with numerous amenities for players.
In Season XIV, it was Tyler Patterson (pictured) taking the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble title after topping a field of 412 entries for $359,870. He entered the final table third in chips but was able to work his stack up and made use of a large chip stack heads-up for the title versus Season XV WPT Player of the Year Ben Zamani.
Before that win, Patterson had won a World Series of Poker bracelet and also won a few events at the Borgata and the L.A. Poker Classic. He even finished third in the Season XI $3,500 WPT Borgata Poker Open for $298,950. However, Patterson says the win in Jacksonville gave him a nice feather in his cap and some extra pride in his tournament game.
“I have played live cash games for a living since 2005, so I didn’t need a tournament to validate that I could play poker for a living,” he says. “But it helps to make you feel like you belong and that traveling around chasing tournaments can be worthwhile. I had won a bracelet the previous year, and two major victories feel a lot less flukey than one.”
The WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble event has been a home away from home for this poker pro from Everett, WA. He followed up his title in Season XIV with another final table appearance the following year, finishing fourth for $100,643. In Season XVI, the made it three straight cashes after taking 14th for $21,575.
That string of success helped solidify Patterson’s belief that he can play with some of the best players in tournament poker. As the event gets closer, he offered some insight on what players can expect from the event in North Florida.
“I’m obviously biased, but I love Jacksonville,” says Patterson, who now has more than $900,000 in WPT winnings. “The poker room at bestbet is renowned for the sushi, which is really good. But my favorite thing about the place is the staff. They run a great room with a great atmosphere.”
The bounty scramble format offers players a chance at an extra $2,500 for knocking out some bigger names in the field including four-time WPT champion Darren Elias, actor and comedian Kevin Pollack, former Patriots and Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour, WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage, and players Lacey Jones, Kitty Kuo, two-time Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier, among others.
Patterson believes bounty busting brings a ton of entertainment to the tables and sets the tournament apart from others on the schedule.
“The unique format of the bounty event is really fun,” he says. “With no Bay 101 Shooting Star on the schedule, for now, it makes it even more unique and fun. There’s always a cool buzz in the room surrounding these bounty events.”
For golfers, Patterson also notes that the area offers some nice options to hit some balls including Top Golf and TPC Sawgrass nearby. Pack the clubs and arrive a day early to play 18 – or maybe 36.
Looking for even more action on the felt? Along with the WPT Championship, players can get in on 21 other events beginning Oct. 5 with buy-ins ranging from $200 to $1,500. That includes a $1,500 Short Deck event and even a $200 All In or Fold tournament.
Mark the calendar, the $5,000 WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble approaches and you won’t want to miss out.
Click here for a complete schedule of the WPT bestbet series. Click here for the schedule and rules of the WPT Championship event.