John Andress Beats Mike Leah to Win SHRPO High Roller


John Andress took home just over 0,000 for winning the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller (SHRPO photo)

On Monday, on the bubble of the $25,000 High Roller event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, John Andress found himself as the center of attention with less than half of a big blind. While others waited for him to bust, Andress managed to survive the bubble and rebuild his stack and found himself with a middle of the pack stack at Tuesday’s final table.

On Tuesday, he again was the center of attention, this time as he posed for winner’s photos after beating Mike Leah heads-up to win just over $800,000. The event was one of four final tables at SHRPO that were streamed on Poker Night in America Twitch channel.

The first elimination of the day saw two of the shorter stacks going to battle. Sam Panzica, who started the day with the shortest stack, moved all in from the button with his last 415,000. Tom Marchese called from the small blind and tabled As2h while Panzica showed Ks8s. The board ran out 9s7h3h6s9c to eliminate Panzica in eighth place.

The very next hand a familiar feel to it and saw yet another elimination. Chance Kornuth shoved his button for 205,000 and Andress called from the small blind. Kornuth turned over KhQs and found himself up against Andress’ As2h. The 9d7c2s flop kept Andress ahead and neither the 5h turn or 9s river were enough to save Kornuth from a seventh place finish.

While the first two eliminations happened quickly, the remaining six players played for two more hours before another player was sent packing. From UTG, Brandon Adams raised to 180,000 before Omar Zakay moved all in for his last 570,000 from the small blind. Adams called and turned over KsQs and Zakay showed TcTh. The Kd3d2c flop put Adams ahead and he stayed there through the 7d turn and 9d river to eliminate Zakay in sixth.

Just 30 minutes later two players were shown the door in successive fashion. Marchese moved all in from UTG for 1,280,000 before former #1-ranked PocketFiver Chris Hunichen moved all in over the top for 2,050,000 from the button. Mike Leah, in the big blind, tanked for a minute before eventually calling all in for 1,720,000. Marchese was ahead with 8c8d, Hunichen showed AsJs while Leah showed AhKd. The AdTd6d flop moved Leah ahead, left Marchese hoping for one of two remaining eights or runner-runner straight, while Hunichen was looking for either the jack of hearts or clubs. The 3d turn ended all of those scenarios though as Leah completed a flush. The meaningless river was the Jc and Marchese was eliminated in fifth, while Hunichen was left short-stacked and was eliminated by Adams just minutes later.

Adams’ run lasted just another 30 minutes though. Andress folded his button, Leah raised to 350,000 from the small blind and Adams called. After the AcQd4c flop, Leah bet 250,000 and Adams called. The turn was the 2c and Leah bet 500,000 and Adams called again. The 7d hit the river, Leah moved all in for 2,000,000 and Adams called. Leah showed Tc3c fo turned flush and all Adams could do was muck his Ah7s and was eliminated in third place.

When heads-up play started, Leah had a 3-1 chip lead over Andress, but over the course of the next three hours Andress overcame Leah and eventually eliminated him. Andress raised to 300,000, Leah re-raised to 1,000,000 and Andress bet enough to force Leah to a decision for his tournament life. Leah called with AhJc and found himself racing against Andress’ 8c8h. The board ran out 9c9h3dKc4s to eliminate Leah in second place and give Andress the victory and $801,450.

Final Table Payouts

  1. John Andress – $801,450
  2. Mike Leah – $561,600
  3. Brandon Adams – $351,000
  4. Chris Hunichen – $242,775
  5. Tom Marchese – $155,025
  6. Omar Zakay – $114,075
  7. Chance Kornuth – $93,600
  8. Sam Panzica – $78,975