Poker Showdown

Final 6 Set for Shot at $1+ Million at Seminole Hard Rock

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship Event
Blinds 80k/160k/20k ante
6 Players Remaining, 8.975 Million Avg (56 bb)

Stoudt & Pahuja Bag & Tag

Stout & Pahuja Bag & Tag

The remaining players have a one in six shot at winning $1,081,184 in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship. But no matter what happens, it will be an entertaining televised WPT final table.

Poker friends Mukul Pahuja, Chance Kornuth and Mukul Pahuja enjoyed the play down from 18 players on Day 4, especially Pahjua who has the chip lead.

“It doesn’t seem real right now,” said Pahuja who bagged nearly 19 million, more than 1/3 of the chips in play. “I ran unbelievably pure and it’s everything I could ask for. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

The pivotal hand of the day came between Pahuja and Jacob Bazeley in a 9.5 million chip pot. Pahuja check-raised Bazeley on the turn and led out on the river of a board showing AdQh3d10s5h.

“That was a huge one,” said Pahjua who bet 2.8 million on the river with KcJd for the nuts and watched Bazeley deep in the tank. “You have to find the right number to bet and extract the most you can.”

Bazeley eventually called and quickly mucked when Pahjua tabled the winning straight. The hand dropped Bazeley out of the chip lead (13.5M to 9M) and gave Pahjua the big stack (12M to 17M).

Pahuja’s closest competitor is James Mackey who began Day 4 as one of the returning short stacks (14 of 18, 22 bb), but is now at 11.7 million. Bazeley is third at 7.3 million.

Rounding out the final table are Eric Afriat (6.7M), Chance Kornuth (5.3M) and Matt Stout (3.7M), with Kornuth and Stout providing the most entertainment.

“He’s been a good side kick, laughing and having a good time,” said Stout about Kornuth. “Even when we’re going for a big pot, we still go back and forth, and go at each other,” he added with his booming laugh, one of the post recognizable in the game.

Day 4 saw the tournament end for a dozen players including Day 1 chip leader Justin Young (13th), Jeff Gross (10th), Matt Glantz (9th), Barry Hutter (8th) and Blake Purvis (7th) who bubbled the TV final table.

The next player eliminated is guaranteed almost $250,000 on the way to $1 million. And Pahuja has is eyes set on a bigger prize as a win would clinch him the WPT Player of the Year points title.

“That’s always in the background,” said Pahjua, who’s making his third WPT final table. “I show up at each event and do my best. You always try to win and if you do that the other things will take care of themselves.”

Day 5 resumes 3 pm Wednesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, but Mukul, Stout and Kornuth have plans before then.

“I’m going to have drinks with the same guys who are going to try and cut each others throat tomorrow when we play for the big money,” said Stout on his way to the casino’s Center Bar.

Remaining Players

Mukul Pahuja 18.895M (118 bb)
James Mackey 11.680M
Jacob Bazeley 7.305M
Eric Afriat 6.760M
Chance Kornuth 5.315M
Matt Stout 3.665M (23 bb)

Remaining Prize Pool

1,795 entries
Total Prize Pool: $5,788,875


1st $1,081,184
2nd $691,965
3rd $441,128
4th $371,931
5th $308,501
6th $247,954



Event 18: $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty NLH
Total entries:  148
Total Prizepool:  $148,000
Places Paid:  18

Event 18 winner Azim Popatia

Event 18 Champion – Azim Popatia (Markham, ON)

After 2 long days of poker, Azim Popatia maneuvers his way through 148 entries to take down Event 18, the trophy, and $33,225 – the lion’s share of the prize pool.  Popatia won a pivotal pot with Kc 6c during the day to help keep him in the tournament and propel him to the win.  He is very fond of the structure, as well as the amazing staff throughout the course of the tournament.  A number of other players also remarked how they liked the structure.  Popatia plans on coming back in August to make another deep run in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.

The players were stuck at 6-handed for a while before they decided to negotiate a deal to chop the remaining prize pool according to chip counts.  The players that chopped include:
Place – Name
1  Azim Popatia
2  Marc Schiller
3  Roger Linwood
4  James Oliver
5  Paul Domb
6  Amir Babakhani

A few notables who fell short of the money were Event 4 winner Jerome Bradpiece, Justin Zaki, Ray Qartomy, Mike Dentale, and Roland Israelashvili. One notable that made the money is Ebony Kenney (10th place).

Event 18: Bounty 1st Place – Azim “Sammy” Popatia ($32,225)

Event 18: $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty NLH

Michael Noor (L) and Azim Popatia (R)

Michael Noor (L) and Azim Popatia (R)
The Ontario Connection

Event 18 comes to a close with Azim Popatia (Markham, ON) taking down the 1st place trophy and the $32,225 prize.   Popatia took the trip down here from Ontario, Canada with his good buddy Michael Noor.  Noor also did well, as he placed 2nd in Event 19 ($3,673) earlier tonight.

Popatia said that the staff here is amazing, and he would love to come back in August to try his luck in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and the $10 Million Guarantee tournament.  Popatia also went deep in the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $5 Million Guarantee Championship Event, cashing in 108th place for $8,707.

Event 18: Bounty 3rd Place – Roger Linwood ($17,881)

Event 18: $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty NLH

Roger Linwood (Grand Caymand)

Roger Linwood (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)

Linwood said that this is the best structured tournament that he has ever played, very suitable for a conservative player like himself.  He lives in the Cayman Islands, where there is no poker, so he tries to come to The Seminole Hard Rock at least 4 times a year to quench his passion for poker.

Event 18: Bounty Big Stack

Event 18: $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty NLH
Blinds: 2500/5000/ 500 ante
Average: 296K (59bbs)
Players remaining: 6

Azim Popatia (Markham, ON)

Azim Popatia (Markham, ON)

Azim Popatia is our current chip leader with ~650k (130bbs) in Event 18 with 6 players remaining.  Players are now on a spontaneous break in order to negotiate a possible deal based on chip stacks.