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Poker celebrities add to the buzz at Daytona Beach Kennel Club

More than 660 poker players – including several high-profile names – participated in the recent three-day Deep Stack Poker Festival at Delaware North-owned-and-operated Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room.
Tournament festivities kicked off April 17 and culminated on the Sunday that followed with the seventh annual Howard Frank Memorial Deep Stack Charity Classic.
The action-packed weekend featured the likes of celebrity poker pro Phil Hellmuth; Kara Scott, a television personality, journalist and poker star; Norman Chad, a fan-favorite and regular on ESPN’s poker programming; and female Poker Hall of Famers Jan Fisher, Jennifer Harman and Linda
The event’s opening night – April 17 – kicked off with 124 players trying to take down the pros, Hellmuth and Scott, in the “Beauty and the Brat” tournament. Tournament winner Jim Clayton took home $5,065 and a $4,000 World Poker Tour main-event seat package. 
Hellmuth was also the main draw in the “Beat the Brat” tournament, with 11 players – each of whom qualified for a seat at the table during events in March and April – competing for a guaranteed $20,000 prize. Davenport, Fla., resident Michael Ferneman took down the mighty Hellmuth, with additional prize winners taking home a combined $15,100.
The legendary “ladies of poker” hosted their own tournament on Day 2. More than 100 players participated, with Debbie Lester taking home the trophy and top cash prize. All of the celebrities took part in the VIP Celebrity Tournament later than evening. In all, more than $30,000 in prize money was paid out, with first-place winner William Sullivan also taking home a $5,500 World Poker Tournament main-event seat package.
Day 3 was the main event, with the sold-out Howard Frank Deep Stack Memorial Charity Classic, which raised more than $30,000 for Halifax Health NeoNatal Care Facility and the Daytona Beach Police Officers Association. The high-demand event included more than 200 alternates hoping to get a last-minute seat in the tournament, which opened up with well-wishing speeches from Hellmuth and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
A total of 661 players competed in the event’s final tournament, which narrowed down to 12 players at the final table. Each of the players at the final table won an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to participate in the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza, and the tournament winner also pocketed $11,000 in the process.