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Zac Stites Wins Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Main Event

25-Year-OId Floridian Captures Title And $61K


Zac Stites, an industrial engineer from Orlando, has won the $1,100 buy-in Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville main event for $61,136. The event easily surpassed the $200,000 guarantee.

The 25-year-old outlasted a starting field of 289 players, which created a prize pool of $280,330. Mark Smith, a golf caddy from Naples, FL, was able to survive with a short stack for much of the final table to finish second. There was no final-table deal.

On the final hand of their heads-up match, Mark Smith shoved for 435,000 with the JDiamond Suit9Spade Suit, and Stites, who was sitting with nearly 6.8 million, insta-called with the AHeart Suit3Diamond Suit.

The dealer put out the 5Heart Suit4Diamond Suit2Heart Suit flop, which gave Stites a wheel and a near lock on the title. The JSpade Suit on the turn had Smith drawing dead on the river. The 2Club Suit completed the board, and Smith was gone in second, collecting $42,986 for his efforts.

Stites played solid poker at the final table, but he was no doubt helped out by a cooler against poker pro Brandon Miller. The action begin with Miller opening preflop; Stites three-bet, and Miller flatted.

On a board reading AClub SuitQSpade Suit3Heart Suit, Miller check-shoved to put Stites all in for 1.15 million. Stites insta-called with the ASpade SuitAHeart Suit for top set. Miller exposed the ADiamond SuitKDiamond Suit and needed runner-runner for Broadway to win the hand.

The 8Spade Suit on the turn was of no help, and a meaningless 5Club Suit landed on the river to send Miller down to just 200,000. Stites was up to about 2.7 million. He basically coasted the rest of the way thru a speedy three-hour final table.

Stites entered the final table third out of nine. Going into day 2, he was second in chips out of 69, so he was one of the big stacks thru a lot of the tournament.

The four-day tournament began on Friday and featured two starting days.

Brian Woods, a local poker dealer in Orange Park, had the chip lead going into the final table, but he ended up finishing fifth when Stites busted him.

Here’s a look at the final table results:

1. Zac Stites: $61,136
2. Mark Smith: $42,986
3. John Redlitz: $27,650
4. John Swope: $17,246
5. Brian Woods: $13,326
6. Brandon Miller: $11,038
7. Brittney Loy: $9,277
8. Jared Reinstein: $7,627
9. Jie Liu: $6,112