The Lucky Hearts Poker Open is proving to be just that for two poker-playing lovers. Last year, Lily Kiletto finished second in the event, and this year her boyfriend, James Calderaro, took home the top prize of $271,103 Tuesday night at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.
Calderaro, 48, is an investor originally from New York. The couple spends time playing in South Florida, while also traveling to all the World Poker Tour events. (Kiletto was one of six women featured in a recent made-for-TV women’s WPT tournament.)
The $3,500 main event drew 415 entries, generating a prize pool of $1,348,750.
Kiletto, who posted photos on Facebook praising “my Blue Berry Love Muffin Chubbers for Fingers,” finished 19th in the event, earning $12,139.
The tournament series was held in Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s STAX Poker Lounge and Pavilion and featured the largest buy-ins and guarantees ever offered by the property. Main event buy-ins ranged from $150 to $3,500.
Calderaro entered the head-to-head match-up with a 2-to-1 deficit in chips. He continued to win small pots, though, even though WPT livestream announcer Tony Dunst and others criticized his play, saying he wasn't collecting enough chips for the powerful hands he kept getting. The key hand came with him and Shannon Storr nearly even. Storr was dealt A-A vs. Calderaro's 10-7. But a 10 and a 7 came out on the flop, giving him two pair and when Storr pushed all-in, Calderaro called and all but ended the tournament right there.
“It feels awesome,” said Calderaro, who listed his hometown as Venice, Fla.. He had been a runner-up twice, including at a WPT final table. “I thought I might be jinxed with second-place, so getting over the hump is incredible.”
Complete coverage of the tournament can be found at http://www.seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com/casino/south-florida-poker/poker-blog/.
Final Table Results
1st- James Calderaro (Venice) $271,103
2nd- Shannon Shorr (Birmingham, AL) $190,039
3rd- Keven Stammen (Coldwater, OH) $122,197
4th- Dimas Martinez (Atlanta, GA) $90,366