WPT RRPO Surpasses $2M GTD on Day 1a; James Calderaro Bags Big Stack

James Calderaro

On Friday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) returned to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the 2022 WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO). The first of two starting flights in the $3,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Main Event attracted 664 entrants, which surpassed the $2 million guarantee.

With Day 1b still to go at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 26 (late registration will be open until 9:15 p.m.), a prize pool in excess of $4 million seems likely.

At the end of the night, James Calderaro led the advancing 220 players with 527,500. Calderaro, a WSOP gold bracelet winner, is no stranger to WPT success. Back in 2014, he won the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open $3,500 Championship for $271,102, and a month later took second in the WPT Jacksonville $3,500 Main Event for $133,764. Two year prior he had finished runner-up in the WPT Jacksonville $5,000 Main Event for $236,560.

Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts

1James Calderaro527,500
2Lanny Vaysman496,000
3Max Kingstone487,000
4Igor Tretyakov445,000
5Steve Karp408,000
6Viet Vo406,000
7Lester Rainey386,000
8Jonathan Jaffe383,000
9Rogen Chhabra345,500
10Adam Wells332,000

Others to make it through Day 1a were Asher Conniff (309,500), Michael Wang (306,000), Nadya Magnus (296,500), Chad Eveslage (221,000), Natasha Mercier (198,000), Ethan “Rampage Poker” Yau (178,500), Jesse Lonis (167,000), Sergio Aido (132,000), Landon Tice (120,500), and Nate Silver (119,500). Likewise, defending champ Gediminas Uselis is still alive with a healthy 166,500.

Listen to WPT champ Chad Eveslage on the PokerNews Podcast!

A Royal Flush

In the last level of the night (Level 10: 1,000/2,000/2,000), a big hand was captured in the WPT Live Updates. It happened when Paul Brar raised to 4,500 from middle position and three other players called, including Marc Levy, which brought about a flop of AJ3.

Brar continued for 6,500, his trio of opponents called, and the 9 appeared on the turn, which checked around. When the K completed the board on the river, action checked to Levy and he bet 11,000. Only

Brar called and that prompted Levy to say, “My first one!” He then tabled the Q10 for a rare Royal Flush! Levy went on to bag 252,000 on Day 1a.

Previous WPT Seminole RRPO Prize Pools and Turnouts


The Season 19 WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open in December 2021 attracted 1,566 runners to generate a prize pool of $5 million, two and a half times the guaranteed $2 million.

The previous year, the WPT Seminole RRPO Main Event drew a field of 988 players to generate $3.1 million in prize money, while the 2018 Main Event had 1,309 entrants for a prize pool of $4.2 million.


Entrants into all events on the WPT Seminole RRPO schedule will be eligible for WPT’s Player of the Festival leaderboard, which awards a $1,100 WPT Prime Passport to the player with the most points over the course of each tournament festival.

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world's largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

Listen to more about the WPT World Championship on the new PokerNews Podcast!

*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato.

  • James Calderaro bagged the big stack on Day 1a of the @WPT @SHRHollyPoker $3,500 RRPO Main Event.

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PR & Media Manager

PR & Media Manager for PokerNews, Podcast host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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