The guys who run one of South Florida’s largest bar-poker leagues are going international.
Bryan Oulton and Sandy Swartzbaugh, co-owners of All in Free Poker, have launched a tournament series in Aruba May 3-7. Qualifying tournaments with prizes that include free entries and travel to the Westin Resort and Casino Aruba start April 1 at Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach.
The pair in 2005 created All in Free Poker for people to play free poker in South Florida bars. They’ve also established a partnership with the Isle, so players who fare well in the bars can graduate to a casino poker room.
Now comes a series in Aruba, which is about 20 miles north of Venezuela.
“It’s the next step in our growth,” Oulton says. “We’ve been working on the concept for three years.”
The tournaments, called the Players Poker Championship, will be part of a series that Oulton and Swartzbaugh hope to run across the Caribbean.
“Ideally, we are looking at six events a year in locations such as the Bahamas, St. Croix and Turks, with a second event in Aruba hopefully this year if it fits the poker schedule,” Swartzbaugh said.
Isle director of poker Mike Smith will serve as tournament director in Aruba, and the Isle will host tournaments throughout April to give players a chance to win their way in. There will be $520 buy-in tournaments at 3 p.m. each Sunday, and the Isle will award one $4,500 package of tournament entries and travel money per each nine entrants.
A mini-satellite will be held for players who don’t want to shell out $520. Winners of a $60 tournament (with $40 rebuys) at 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays, and noon Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays can then turn around and play in the aforementioned 3 p.m. Sunday tournament.
For those people who want to bypass the Isle, the tournaments in Aruba include a $330 mega-satellite into the May 4 $3,300 main event. Other tournaments cost from $330 to $1,100.
For more information, go to PokerPlayersChampionship.com.
Aruba is likely going to be a popular spot for South Florida players. The World Poker Tour Boot Camp will present its “Battle on the Beach” from April 30 to May 4. It will include poker instruction and eight tournaments with a $250,000 prize pool.
Go to WPTBootCamp.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times