Hundreds of Seats Up for Grabs in Live Satellites at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
Hot on the heels of the Season XIII California Swing, the World Poker Tour® returns to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL for the televised WPT® Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship. Located in the ballrooms, this $3,500 buy-in event kicks off on April 16 with three starting flights, and carries a massive $5 million guarantee. In April alone, more than 100 seats will be up for grabs at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
In Season XII, the $5 million guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship attracted 1,795 entries, making it the largest WPT Main Tour event in the history of the World Poker Tour. Eric Afriat defeated eventual Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja heads up to earn more than $1 million and a seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
“Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is proud to present the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and we look forward to another successful partnership with WPT for the series’ exciting televised $5 million guarantee Championship,” said General Manager of Gaming for Seminole Gaming, Larry Frank. “Showdown is one of four world-class tournaments offered in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker series, and has been designed to provide multiple opportunities for players to qualify for a seat in the Championship through satellites and promotions.”
WPT President Adam Pliska adds, “The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino produced yet another four-figure field earlier this season with the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, and we are thrilled to return to this premier property for the televised WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship. With a $5 million guarantee, a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 watch up for grabs, valuable Hublot WPT Player of the Year points on the line, and a diverse 20-event festival, this is a must-attend event for all players.”
Qualify for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Players can qualify for the $5 million guaranteed WPT Main Tour event in one of many live satellites at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Notable dates include:
March 20 at 6 p.m. ($385)
March 29 at 6 p.m. ($385)
April 14 at 5 p.m. ($385)
April 15 at 5 p.m. ($385)
April 16 at 3 p.m. ($385)
April 17 at 3 p.m. ($385)
April 14 at 11 a.m. ($385)
April 15 at 11 a.m. ($385)
Players can also win a seat into the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship by entering a contest on www.HardRockPoker.com. The entry period ends Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST, and one lucky winner will be selected at midnight to play in the event. For official rules, click here.
Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Festival
The 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown kicks off on April 6 with a $250 buy-in no-limit hold’em event featuring six starting flights and a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. The action heats up on April 9 with the $570 buy-in Deep Stack $1 million guarantee, which also features six starting flights.
Other highlights include:
April 7 at 12 p.m.: $350 Six Max (single re-entry, $30,000 guarantee)
April 12 at 3 p.m.: $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty (freeze out, $100,000 guarantee)
April 13 at 3 p.m.: $2,200 Eight Game Mix (single re-entry)
April 14 at 3 p.m.: $2,200 Six Max (freeze out, $200,000 guarantee)
April 19 at 3 p.m.: $1,650 Eight-Handed (re-entry, $150,000 guarantee)
The 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown tournament series will kick-off on Monday, April 6, 2015 at the ballrooms. The series features twenty main events along with several satellite events and exciting live poker action.
All action culminates with the $5 Million Guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship event from April 16, 2015 through April 22, 2015.
Event 15: $3500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poke Showdown Championship No Limit Hold’em April 10-16, 2014
Entries: 1,795 Total Prize Pool: $5,788,875
RECAP Eric Afriat (Montreal, Canada), an amateur player from North of the Border, came to South Florida and beat five poker pros to win the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship.
Afriat defeated Mukul Pahuja (Coconut Creek, FL) the hottest player on the World Poker Tour to take the title and the $1,081,184 first place prize.
“I always envisioned it, always felt I was going to win, but the fact after everything is over, it just sunk in that it’s ridiculous what I just accomplished,” said Afriat with tears in his eyes. “The biggest WPT in history, winning the tournament, having just magical cards for five, six hours, just can’t get better than this.”
On the final hand, Afriat won a coin flip when his held against Pahuja’ , denying Pahuja his first WPT title in his third TV final table of the season.
“It was a roller coaster day and to end up in second isn’t the worst thing in the world,” said Pahuja who earned $691,965 as runner-up. “It just hurts because it’s the closest you can get to getting the title. Another close call, another big score though, so nothing to be too upset about.”
Third place finisher James Mackey (Kansas City, MO) played a pivotal role in three-handed play, which was a marathon and saw each player hold the chip lead and become the short stack at various points.
Mackey earned $441,128 and was knocked out by Pahuja who began heads up play with a 2-1 chip deficit.
The toughest beat at the final table came against fourth place finisher Jacob Bazeley (Cincinnati, OH) who had his pocket Aces cracked by Afriat who flopped two pairs.
“Brutal, what are you going to do,” said Bazeley who earned $371,931. “It’s an unavoidable spot and 99.9% of pros go broke there.”
The day began with the two short stacks eliminated first. Chance Kornuth (Hollywood, FL) was knocked out in 6th place ($247,954) by Mackey (KQ < AT), while Matt Stout (Las Vegas, NV) finished 5th when his QT didn’t improve against Pahujas A8.
The Poker Showdown Championships began with a WPT record turnout of 1,795 entries that created a prize pool of $5,788,875. The field featured a mix of poker stars, celebrities and recognizable faces.
Hall of Famer Scotty Nguyen led the poker contingent that included 2013 WSOP Main Event Champon Ryan Riess, WPT broadcasters Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst, as well as poker couple Phil Laak and Jennifer Tilly. Former NFL All-Pros Bubba Franks (Green Bay Tight End) and Hollywood Henderson (Dallas Super Bowl winner) also played, but none of these players made the money.
The most impressive run of the 170 players who cashed came from “Hangover” Actress Sasha Barrese who finished 22nd for $25,372. “I’m actually relieved it’s over,” said Barrese who is expecting twins in August, “because it’s so exhausting.”
Notables who made even deeper runs included 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.
Once Afriat had the big chip lead, he never relinquished it or gave Pahuja a chance to double-up.
“Everything was just magical,” said Afriat who had the most vocal rail, as Canada was well represented. “You can’t fight faith and it was my time.”
RECAP The final trophy event of the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown series was held in the ballroom as the cameras and lights were on the final table of the Championship event taking place at Hard Rock Live.
A total of 362 entries were tallied for the $200 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event, easily surpassing the $50,000 guaranteed prize pool.
In the end, Jordan Chizik (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) concluded his incredible run at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown by winning the final trophy of the series, after he and David Nowling (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) agree to heads up chip chop with Chizik taking the title and $13,317 in prize monies.
Chizik’s series run included a 7th place finish in the Omaha H/L (Event 6), 3rd place as part of a chop in the 8 Game Mix (Event 14), and a second place finish in PLO 8B (Event 17), before winning this event.
$200 Buy-in No Limit Hold’em ($50K Guaranteed) Blind Level 21: 6K/12K/ 2K ante Total entries: 362 Places Paid: 36 Players left: 12 Average Stack: 259K (22bbs)
Right before players went on their 15 minute break, Jordan Chizick (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) faced a couple of raises pre-flop before shoving his stack. He was called by David Albertson (Coral Springs, FL).
Albertson: 77 Chizick: KK
The board was dealt 10 K 10 2 A and Chizick locked up the pot right on the flop with Kings full of 10s. The huge pot gave Chizick his current chip lead of 720K (60bbs) and crippled Albertson to 119K (10bbs).
Chizick says if he makes it to the final table, which it looks like he might, it will be his 4th final table in a row in this series.
Place – Name – Hometown 19 Mark Gaudino (Davie, FL) 20 Jose Chapui (Pembroke Pines, FL) 21 Steven Lipkins (Boca Raton, FL) 22 Yigal Hen (Cooper City, FL) 23 Abbey Daniels (Coral Springs, FL) 24 David Solomon (Hollywood, FL) 25 Ignat Slepokourov (Royal Palm Beach, FL) 26 Daniel Piela (Wheaton, IL) 27 John Mayers (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)