WPT: James Carroll Wins Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

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James Carroll won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for his second career WPT title.

James Carroll came into the final table of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with the chip lead and something to prove. Having already won one WPT title, Carroll still had the bitter memory of a seventh place finish at the LA Poker Classic in February to overcome.

Over the course of eight hours of play, Carroll outlasted five other opponents to pick up his second WPT titles and $715,175.

“This one is actually somewhat sweeter. The first one felt good, but I’ve been through some super tough times in the last five years, this feels good,” Carroll said, after eliminating Eric Afriat on the last hand.

Carroll and Afriat were the two players at the final table to already have a WPT title to their credit. Carroll won the Bay 101 Shooting Stars event in 2014 while Afriat took down the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in 2014 and the Borgata Winter Poker Open in 2018. The final table also included Mario Ho, Jerry Wong, and Chad Eveslage.

Maria Ho raised to 500,000 from early position before Chad Eveslage moved all in for 3,400,000 from the cutoff and Ho called. Eveslage turned over [ad][jd] and found out he was racing against Ho’s [tc][td]. The board ran out [8h][7h][5h][7s][2c] to give Ho the pot and eliminate Eveslage in sixth place.

Just 15 hands later, Ami Alibay and Jerry Wong got into an all-in preflop confrontation that ended Alibay’s run. From the button, Wong raised to 700,000, Eric Afriat called from the small blind before Alibay moved all in for 3,275,000 from the big blind. Wong called before Afriat folded. Alibay got great news when he turned over [9c][9d] and Wong showed [8c][8h]. The [ah][tc][7h] flop kept Alibay ahead, but the [kh] turn gave Wong extra outs with a flush draw and the [5h] river completed it to eliminate Alibay in fifth.

Four-handed play continued for 51 hands before another player was sent to the rail after a preflop all-in battle. Afriat raised to 1,000,000 from UTG and Wong shoved all in from the big blind for 3,900,000. Afriat called and tabled [4c][4d] and Wong showed [ad][9h]. The board ran out [jc][hj][6h][3c][5d] and Afriat’s pocket fours held up to bust Wong in fourth place.

Down to just 16 big blinds, Ho moved all in from the button for 8,100,000 and Carroll called from the big blind. Ho was slightly ahead with [ac][5d] to Carroll’s [ks][qc]. The flop came [as][qh][jd] to leave Ho in front, but the [kc] turn flipped the script and left Ho drawing to any ace, jack, or five for the win. The river was the [4s] leaving Ho as the third place finisher.

Afriat started heads up play with a 2-1 advantage over Carroll but the two players traded the lead multiple times before Carroll took a formidable lead before finishing the job. Afriat raised from the button to 2,000,000 and Carroll three-bet jammed. Afriat moved all in and Carroll called and flipped over [ks][8h] while Afriat showed [6d][6h]. The [kc][kd][qc] flop gave Carroll a commanding lead. Neither the [3h] turn or [qs] river saved Afriat and he was eliminated in second place, giving Carroll the title.

“He’s very tricky. He’s won two of these before and now he’s got a second. I’d say he’s doing a whole lot of things right,” Carroll said of Afriat. “This is the first tournament I played with him. I probably played with him for three or four hours total before the final table. From what I’ve seen, he’s very good.”

Final Table Payouts

  1. James Carroll – $715,175
  2. Eric Afriat – $465,120
  3. Maria Ho – $344,960
  4. Jerry Wong – $257,815
  5. Ami Alibay – $194,610
  6. Chad Eveslage – $148,380