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  1. [caption width="640"] Jason Koon, Marvin Rettenmaier, Bradley Snider and Ruslan Dykshteyn all took down SHRPO Big 4 events on Tuesday[/caption] The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open was 28 total events but on Tuesday the focus was on the “Big 4” as four final tables, packed with some of the best tournament players in the world, played down to four different winners including Jason Koon and Marvin Rettenmaier. Jason Koon Wins Main Event for Largest Career Cash Jason Koon beat Seth Davies heads-up to win the $5,250 main event and the $1,000,000 first place prize. “I feel fantastic. I mean, it’s a great result, it’s a lot of money, and I got to play heads-up with my buddy. It’s a special moment,” said Koon. The million dollar score is the first seven-figure of Koon’s career and is his second straight first place finish following his win in a $25,000 Bellagio High Roller in July. The main event had 847 entrants which put the event 153 players short of making the $5,000,000 guarantee. The final table also included Tim Burt, Joe Serock, Ryan Fair and Zo Karim. Final Table Payouts Jason Koon - $1,000,000
 Seth Davies - $575,000 
Tim Burt - $310,000 
Roman Valerstein - $220,000 
Tom Midena - $180,000
 Joe Serock - $150,000
 Paul Balzano - $125,000
 Ryan Fair - $100,000
 Zo Karim - $75,000 Marvin Rettenmaier Tops Star-Studded High Roller Final Table Marvin Rettenmaier topped the 105 entries in the $25,500 High Roller event to win $787,497. He beat out Daniel Colman for the title, the $787,497 first place prize money and his first tournament win since September 2013. Colman started heads-up play with a 4-3 lead over Rettenmaier but over the three hours of heads-up play the pair traded the lead back and forth. The final hand saw all the money go in pre-flop with Colman holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="9s"] and dominating Rettenmaier’s [poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"]. The [k4][poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"] flop however changed everything and the turn and river failed to give Colman a full house, eliminating him in second place and giving Rettenmaier the title. "I ran very well on the final table. Three-handed I get queens to jacks and aces to kings,' Rettenmaier said afterwards. The event had 105 entries for a total prize pool of $2,625,000. As is the case with most high roller events, the final table was filled with some of the best players in the world. Along with Rettenmaier and Colman, Nick Petrangelo, Daniel Strelitz, Barry Hutter, Rainer Kempe and Andjelko Andrejevic also found final table success. High Roller Final Table Payouts Marvin Rettenmaier - $787,497 Daniel Colman - $485,625 Ray Qartomy - $291,375 Nick Petrangelo - $190,313 Daniel Strelitz - $147,000 Barry Hutter - $120,750 Rainer Kempe - $102,375 Andjelko Andrejevic - $89,250 Francisco Picasso - $78,750 Ivey Leaguer Bradley Snider Wins $2,650 No Limit Hold’em Event Bradley Snider is a 21-year-old Princeton student who hasn’t had much time to play poker over the last few years as he’s been focused on his education. He made up for lost time on Tuesday taking down the $2,650 No Limit Hold’em event for $246,400. Not only is that the largest cash of his career, it’s his only career cash. Snider only began playing the game recently and learned a lot of from a now very familiar source. "Me and my brother started watching poker on Twitch," said Snider. "And that’s what really got us into it. I wanted to play more and learn the game and study." Snider beat out a final table that included Irish pro Dermot Blain, Koray Aldemir, Dan Heimiller and November Niner Jerry Wong but he’s not ready to declare himself a pro just yet. 'I think poker will continue to just be a serious hobby for me," he said. "I really enjoy playing casually and thinking about the game. And this will let me play a lot more poker in the future.' Final Table Payouts Bradley Snider - $246,400 Dermot Blain - $147,800 Nicholas Immekus - $88,400 Koray Aldemir - $73,900 Jeffrey Chang - $61,600 Alex Wilson - $49,300 Dan Heimiller - $37,000 James Gilbert - $30,800 Jerry Wong - $25,575 Ruslan Dykshteyn Beats Phillip Hui for $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Win It might have had the smallest buy-in of the Big 4 but that didn’t matter to Florida local Rusland Dykshteyn. He beat out Phillip Hui after the two agreed to a nearly even chop for the first live win of his career. Dykshteyn is originally from New York City but moved to Florida after a rude introduction to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open a few years ago. “I have a little home field advantage. I moved out here three years ago from New York,” said Dykshteyn. “I came here to play the $5,000 event three years ago. Put seven bullets into it but didn’t make Day 2. I had a couple of friends here and just decided to change my scenery.” Aaron Massey and Daniel Buzgon also made the final table, earning $22,700 and $15,500 respectively. Final Table Payouts Ruslan Dykshteyn - $151,100 Phillip Hui - $87,600
 Marsha Wolak - $52,900 
Jordan Joeckel - $45,300 
Guy Smith - $37,800 
Adam Krach - $30,200
 Aaron Massey - $22,700
 George Boyadjian - $18,900
 Daniel Buzgon - $15,500
  2. [caption width="680"] Martin Kozlov navigated a 13-hour final table to win the SHRPO Championship. (SHRPO photo)[/caption] Australian Martin Kozlov made a name for himself in the United States last summer when he made multiple final tables at the World Series of Poker, capped off by his win in the $10,000 Six Max Championship event. On Tuesday, Kozlov made his way through a field of 887 to make it to the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship final table as part of the SHRPO Big 4. Following a marathon 13-hour session, Kozlov walked away with the title and $754,083 first place prize. The first player ousted was Joe Kuether, who was playing with history on his side. Kuether became the first player in the three-year history of the Big 4 to make multiple final tables, as he was also in the $1,100 lineup. Kuether started the final table as the short stack and was out on the 22nd hand of play. Kuether was all in for 1,120,000 and was in the middle of a major cooler with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"] against the [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"] of Dylan Drazen. There was no help on the board for Kuether and he exited the final table. Kuether finished in eighth place in the $1,100 event and earned a combined $91,000 for his two cashes. The final table played deep throughout and it took another 34 hands before Luke Breretonwas eliminated next. Yi Chi Li opened to 150,000 and Brereton shoved for 1,180,000. Li called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"] and had to hit against the [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] of Brereton. A jack hit the flop and that was it for Brereton. Following the cooler of an elimination for Joe Kuether, Adam Levy experienced a similar fate against Michael Aron. Aaron Mermelstein opened under the gun to 175,000 and Aron three-bet to 475,000 on the button. Levy ripped it in for 2,650,000 from the small blind and only Aron called, showing down [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. Levy’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] was dominated and he headed to collect his $126,305 consolation prize once a king hit the flop. Mermelstein started the final table as the chip leader but wound up finishing sixth with Matt Berkey the one to send him packing. Berkey limped under the gun and Li did the same from one seat over. Dylan Drazen raised to 500,000 in the cutoff and Mermelstein shoved for 2,350,000 in the big blind. Berkey called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"] and showed the bad news to Mermelstein’s [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] after the table folded. Once the board ran dry, Berkey was in control of the chip lead. It took three hours for the next elimination to take place and then the field was down to two in only 30 hands. With the blinds at 75,000/150,000, Aron shoved the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"] for 3,900,000 and Berkey called with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"] from the big blind. The board was no help to Aron and he took home fifth place. Kozlov was able to gain control of the chip lead from Berkey shortly after the elimination of Aron. Kozlov opened to 300,000 under the gun and Berkey three-bet to 800,000 on the button. Kozlov shoved for 6,000,000 and Berkey called with [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"]. Kozlov’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] was in the lead and he held through the nine-high board to double up. A severely short-stacked Li busted in fourth. All in for only three big blinds, Li was up against Drazen and Berkey. On a board of [poker card="jh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"], Drazen bet out Berkey and showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"] against the [poker card="qd"][poker card="5h"] of Li. A queen did not come on the river and Li left to collect $252,481. Berkey was on the ropes not long after and met his end in Hand 208. Kozlov opened to 300,000 on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] and called the 3,900,000 shove from Berkey, who held [poker card="ad"][poker card="5s"]. Kozlov flopped trip queens and would enter heads up play with 16,325,000 chips to the 10,325,000 of Drazen. The heads up match lasted 37 hands with Kozlov never relinquishing the lead and ending the long final table. With the blinds at 125,000/250,000, Kozlov opened the button to 600,000 and Drazen called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"] flop was check-called for 400,000 by Drazen. Drazen checked the [poker card="4s"] turn and Kozlov bet 2,600,000. Drazen called and then checked the [poker card="2h"] river. Kozlov moved all in for effectively 6,000,000. Drazen thought it over and called with [poker card="jh"][poker card="8d"] but Kozlov’s set of kings [poker card="kh"][poker card="kc"] would seal him the victory. Final Table Payouts Martin Kozlov – $754,083 Dylan Drazen – $528,322 Matt Berkey – $341,618 Yi Chi Li – $252,481 Michael Aron – $191,437 Aaron Mermelstein – $152,547 Adam Levy – $126,305 Luke Brererton – $100,408 Joe Kuether – $75,413
  3. [caption width="640"] Jason Koon won last year's SHRPO Championship as part of The Big 4. (Card Player photo)[/caption] Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL is one of the premier poker destinations in the United States and its largest series of the year is currently underway. The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) is firmly established as can’t-miss for any player, whether recreational or professional. In 2015, The Big 4 premiered at SHRPO to great fanfare and is back for the third straight year this series. The Big 4 is four tournaments of different buy ins and structures that will have their respective final table live streamed over Twitch simultaneously on Tuesday, August 15. The tournaments are as follows in order of buy in size: $1,100 entry, $500,000 guaranteed $2,650 entry, $1,000,000 guaranteed $5,250 entry, $3,000,000 guaranteed (SHRPO Championship) $25,500 entry, $2,000,000 guaranteed (SHRPO High Roller) The buy-ins are the same from the previous two years but feature a few structure adjustments, with the SHRPO Championship seeing the biggest facelift. The $1,100 event starts on Wednesday, August 9 and will reach the final table in one day. All levels on Day 1 are 30 minutes with players starting with 15,000 chips. All final table levels are 90 minutes, with the exception of heads up play, where the levels are reduced to 60 minutes. The former SHRPO Championship that was once a freezeout, is now re-entry for this year. The $5,250 buy in that has had guarantees of $5,000,000 and $10,000,000 in previous years is now $3,000,000. The main event of the SHRPO series has a starting flight on Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12. The SHRPO Championship is a four-day event and Day 3 will be played until the nine-handed final table is reached. At the price point of $2,650, the $1,000,000 guaranteed event is the only freezeout on the 2017 schedule. The three-day event starts on Sunday, August 13 and will play out over consecutive days to the Big 4 final table. Finally, the $25,500 High Roller is the second-highest buy in of SHRPO, behind the two-day $50,000 Super High Roller on August 8-9. The High Roller is also two days with Day 1 starting on August 14. The SHRPO Championship has crowned high profile winners in recent years with Dan Colman and Jason Koon taking down the title in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Seminole Hard Rock is on every list of great tournament series and the 2017 edition of SHRPO should put together another elite grouping of final tables that will play out at once for the whole world to see.
  4. [caption width="639"] John Andress took home just over 0,000 for winning the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller (SHRPO photo)[/caption] 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 [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] while Panzica showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="6s"][poker card="9c"] 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 [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"] and found himself up against Andress’ [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2s"] flop kept Andress ahead and neither the [poker card="5h"] turn or [poker card="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 [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] and Zakay showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] flop put Adams ahead and he stayed there through the [poker card="7d"] turn and [poker card="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 [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"], Hunichen showed [poker card="as"][poker card="js"] while Leah showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"][poker card="6d"] 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 [poker card="3d"] turn ended all of those scenarios though as Leah completed a flush. The meaningless river was the [poker card="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 [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="4c"] flop, Leah bet 250,000 and Adams called. The turn was the [poker card="2c"] and Leah bet 500,000 and Adams called again. The [poker card="7d"] hit the river, Leah moved all in for 2,000,000 and Adams called. Leah showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="3c"] fo turned flush and all Adams could do was muck his [poker card="ah"][poker card="7s"] 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 [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"] and found himself racing against Andress’ [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"]. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="kc"][poker card="4s"] to eliminate Leah in second place and give Andress the victory and $801,450. Final Table Payouts John Andress - $801,450 Mike Leah - $561,600 Brandon Adams - $351,000 Chris Hunichen - $242,775 Tom Marchese - $155,025 Omar Zakay - $114,075 Chance Kornuth - $93,600 Sam Panzica - $78,975
  5. South Florida has been the hot spot for poker over the past few weeks with the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open attracting some of the best players in the world and an impressive amount of local players. All of that action wrapped up on Tuesday with the Big 4 final tables all streamed live on Twitch thanks to Poker Night in America. Brandon Eisen Takes Down Championship Event Brandon Eisen topped the 914 entries in the $5,250 Championship event to win $771,444 and his first live win since taking down a $200 Deep Stack Extravaganza event in February 2013. He beat out a final table that included Joseph Cheong, Jared Griener, Ryan D'Angelo and eventual runner-up Jeremy Ausmus. $5,250 Championship Event Final Table Payouts Brandon Eisen - $771,444 Jeremy Ausmus - $540,459 Stoyan Obreshkov - $349,889 Ryan D’Angelo - $258,615 Adam Adler - $195,491 Ido Ashkenazi - $156,215 Jared Griener - $129,308 Joseph Cheong - $102,843 Marcos Exterkotter - $77,132 Alex Foxen Defends $2,650 NLHE Title One of the hottest tournament players on the planet, Alex Foxen, successfully defended his title in the $2,650 No Limit Hold'em event by beating Blair Hinkle heads-up. Along with Hinkle, the final table included Jake Schwartz, Brandon Hall and Michael Esposito. The win earned Foxen $208,452 - just $3,852 more than he earned for winning the same event last August. In 2018 alone, Foxen has now picked up four wins and just over $2.3 million in earnings. $2,650 No Limit Hold’em Final Table Payouts Alex Foxen – $208,452 Blair Hinkle – $146,042 Jake Schwartz – $93,892 Tom Nguyen – $62,936 Brandon Hall – $48,404 Matthew Kuba – $40,115 Rick Alvarado – $33,668 Matt O’Donnell – $27,242 Michael Esposito – $20,846 Marc MacDonnell Picks Up Second Career Title Marc MacDonnell beat Joey Coudon heads-up to win the smallest buy-in event of the Big 4, the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em event, earning $119,465 in the process. The event drew 640 players including Maria Ho, Chance Kornuth, Marvin Rettenmaier, former #1-ranked Kevin Saul, Phillip Hui and Mike Leah. $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Final Table Payouts Marc MacDonnell – $119,465 Joey Couden – $83,750 Michael Graffeo – $53,939 James Salmon – $39.008 Paul Balzano– $29,933 Dennis Rodriguez – $24,045 Maria Ho – $19,981 Adam Zeltser – $15,923 Jake Schindler Denies Shaun Deeb in High Roller The biggest winner of the day was Jake Schindler. The Pennsylvania poker pro picked up $800,758 for beating Shaun Deeb heads-up in the $25,500 High Roller event. There were 123 entries in the event and among the 16 players who made it into the money were Ryan Riess, Darren Elias, Chris Hunichen, David Peters and Tom Marchese. Schindler’s win is his seventh of 2018 and moved him within past Sam Trickett for 17th on poker’s all-time earnings list. Deeb meanwhile crossed the $3,000,000 earnings mark for the year after bringing home $534,989 for his second-place result. $25,500 High Roller Final Table Payouts Jake Schindler – $800,758 Shaun Deeb – $534,989 Tom Marchese – $371,183 Omar Zazay – $265,311 Mark Fisher – $195,570 Barry Hutter – $148,769 Ory Hen – $116,942 Paul Hofer – $95,110
  6. When one thinks of the greatest years in poker history perhaps Erik Seidel in 2011 comes to mind. Maybe it’s Fedor Holz' campaign in 2016. Most recently, Justin Bonomo's legendary 2018. All of their high-rolling victories resulted in millions of dollars won and a prominent place in poker history. However, for true grinders hoping to make the poker dream come to life, the last 12 months that Alex Foxen has put together might be the most inspiring of them all. From his victory in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $2,650 event in August 2017 up until his amazing repeat of the same event just a few weeks ago, Foxen’s meteoric rise as a poker superstar has been nothing short of amazing. Prior to his 2017 SHRPO victory, Foxen had built a solid reputation and posted impressive results. However, it is his tournament timeline over the past year that truly displays the poker dream manifested. Early Results When one takes a look at Foxen’s early results it’s his very first recorded cash that jumps out at you. After turning 21 in February of 2012, New York’s Foxen traveled to New Orleans to participate in a World Series of Poker-Circuit Event. The result was a victory in the Six Max event for his first (and currently only) WSOP Circuit ring and over $22,000. It was over three years before Foxen recorded another five-figure result. In 2015, Foxen made his way out to Las Vegas to participate in the WSOP. He cashed in three events that year, the highlight being his ninth-place finish in the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed event for over $40,000. After that Foxen began recording a number of those five-figure cashes including results on the European Poker Tour. Foxen was grinding throughout 2016. He played on both coasts of the United States, returned to the WSOP, attended the 2016 SHRPO, and played on the World Poker Tour. In the summer of 2017, Foxen really began to heat up. During the 2017 WSOP, he cashed in 14 different bracelet events, including a third-place finish (out of 1,413 runners) in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event for just under $100,000. His successful summer brought him some recognition and placed him in the top five of the WSOP Player of the Year race. He wasn't able to wrestle that title away from Chris Ferguson, however, Foxen wouldn’t have to wait much longer to take the next step in his career. 2017 SHRPO In August 2017, Foxen finally broke through the six-figure cash barrier when he bested the field of 395 players to take down the $2,650 Event at the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. The final table included tournament savant Faraz Jaka and regular high roller, Jason Koon. Foxen took home over $204,000 for what was, at the time, the largest tournament score of his career. "The 2017 SHRPO was definitely a big breakthrough for me," said Foxen. "I had some close calls fall the wrong way for me prior to that and both for my bankroll and my psyche it felt really sweet to get a win." From there Foxen was off, traveling the world playing poker: Barcelona, Rozvadov, Canada and the Caribbean were all on the flight manifest. His next stop would prove to his next level up. 2017 World Poker Tour Five Diamond Less than four months after Foxen earned his first six-figure score, he achieved what very few players even have the opportunity to do: win a million dollars in a tournament. At the World Poker Tour Five Diamond in December 2017, Foxen finished runner-up to eventual winner Ryan Tosoc in the $10,400 Main Event. His prize was for more than his entire career up until that point in time, earning $1,134,000. The performance helped him get a nomination at the 4th Annual American Poker Awards for 2017 Breakout Player of the Year. "The Five Diamond second-place finish was very bittersweet. I really wanted to win but having a score like that really changed my financial situation and allowed me a level of comfort that I think helped me play better and play bigger," Foxen said. "I had been confident that I could play at the highest level prior to that but that score allowed me to play higher from a financial standpoint and also helped me be able to sell action more easily to high rollers." Foxen was seemingly off and running after the WPT Five Diamond flying to Prague for the PokerStars Championship Prague as well as the 2018 Aussie Millions. 2018 WPT Los Angeles Poker Classic Foxen’s next major victory was another step in his evolution. In February, during the 2018 WPT Los Angeles Poker Classic, Foxen won the first High Roller tournament he ever cashed in, defeating the 50 elite runners of the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for $424,625. "The LAPC $25K was probably the third or fourth $25K I had played. I bubbled or nearly bubbled all of the prior $25K's," Foxen said. The final table of the tournament included some of the most notable names in the game including three-time WPT champion Darren Elias, Isaac Baron, Sam Panzica, Maria Ho and regular high-roller Nick Petrangelo. "I felt confident that I could do well in those fields, but to have a breakthrough and win that felt awesome." The victory in the LAPC High Roller was just the beginning of a string of results in high buy-in events with the toughest fields the game has to offer. 2018 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Less than a month after his high roller victory, Foxen was ready to visit Macau, one of the richest poker destinations in the world. During one of the largest events of the APPT, the HK$400,000 buy-in (~$50,000 USD), Foxen rose to the top yet again. This time, in order to take home the victory, he wouldn't have to just beat elite players, he’d have to outplay some of the best players to ever play the game. Isaac Haxton, Christoph Vogelsang, Brian Rast, Rainer Kempe, Sam Greenwood and Patrik Antonius all had a seat at the final table and made the money. It was Foxen who took home the title and $963,880. The score remains the second best of his career. "This $50K is probably the tournament I'm most proud of. The field, and especially the final table, was really tough and to come out with an outright win was surreal," Foxen said. "To add to things my girlfriend, Kristen Bicknell, had won the $10K high roller the day before. We both ended up winning with Ace-Six, probably the craziest thing I've been a part of in my poker career. The positive energy and poker insight we give each other has been a major element of my recent success." That positive energy between Foxen and Bicknell also helped the pair to finish one-two In June 2018 during the MSPT Venetian Deepstack Championship Poker Series. Foxen ended up taking home the win for $239,000. 2018 SHRPO On August 14, Foxen was back to where his eventful year started. He found himself, once again, at the final table of the $2,650 event of the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. A couple of things were different in 2018 as there were a few more runners and the prize pool beat the guarantee. The outcome though was the same. Foxen took it down for $208,452 accomplishing one of the most difficult achievements in poker - defending a tournament title. "The recent SHRPO had been a frustrating series for me following a somewhat disappoints summer, so to win that one again felt extra sweet. I ran so good in all of these tournaments but this one mean extra to be to be able to win back to back," Foxen recalled. "The long heads-up battle with Blair [Hinkle] made it feel even better." From title to title Foxen managed to record a cash in 23 different events for a total of over $3.7 million. Eight of his cashes resulted in six-figure (or more) scores and had him reach as high as #2 on the Global Poker Index. "I plan on continuing to grind tournaments really hard and I'm aiming to reach #1 in the GPI rankings," Foxen said when asked about what is next for him. "So all in all not much different than prior, just bigger tournaments and even more focus on getting better every day."
  7. It’s about to get even hotter in South Florida as the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event gets underway this week. Beginning on Friday, August 10, the popular Hollywood, Florida poker stop will kick off its Championship Event - a $5,250 buy-in tournament with a $3 million guarantee. Take A Shot The Main Event is a four-day affair and the structure is solid. Players will receive a 40,000 chip starting stack (400bb) and 60-minute levels to work with. When play reaches 27 players, the levels will extend to 90 minutes. The tournament has two starting flights for players to choose from and a single re-entry for those who are unable to find their way into Day 2 on their first bullet. The single re-entry is not on a per day basis though, it’s one re-entry per player total. So, a player can fire Day 1A or Day 1B, bust and re-enter the same day or enter once on Day 1A and then on Day 1B. Every day has a noon start (with the exception of the final table) and, much to the delight of most players, play features the big blind ante. The Big Four The final table, which kicks off at 1 pm on August 14, is part of SHRPO’s The Big 4. This is the fourth annual Big 4, where four different tournaments all play to a final table, all of which are filmed for broadcast at the same time. This year The Big 4 tournaments include the Main Event, a $25,000 High Roller with $2 million guaranteed, a $1,100 $500K GTD NLHE tournament and a single re-entry $2,650 $1 million GTD NLHE tournament. Each of the tournament has their own starting days and structures. But on August 14 players from all four final tables will take their seats at the same time and those following along will be able to keep tabs on all simultaneously. The Stars Come Out The history of the SHRPO Main Event has included some of the biggest names in the poker world performing in top form. Back in 2014, tournament organizers got aggressive and put a $10 million guarantee on the Main Event - one they missed by over $2 million. The bulk of that overlay was picked up by high stakes phenom Daniel Coleman who won $1,446,716 when he defeated Canadian superstar Mike Leah heads up for the title. The next year, SHRPO scaled back a bit, offering a $5 million guarantee. Daniel Colman went deep once again, finishing in third of the 907 runners. However, it was Texas' Omar Zazay that took home the $1 million first-place prize for his career-best score. In 2016, it was a battle of high rolling regulars as Jason Koon bested Seth Davies for the $1,000,000 victory. Then, just last year, Australia’s Martin Kozlov bested a field of 887 runners, and a final table that included Matt Berkey, Adam Levy, and Joe Kuether, for over $750,000. Added Value Not only does SHRPO offer million dollar prize pools, this year they are offering up one of PokerStars’ coveted Platinum Passes. Players that enter any SHRPO event, including all of the pre and post-lims, will be entered in a drawing. The winner which will win themselves a Platinum Pass. The pass is valued at $30,000 which includes the $25,000 entry into PokerStars PSPC, which takes place in the Bahamas in January, as well as $5,000 in expenses. Satellites to the Main Event are running all week prior to the Main Event in the Seminole Hard Rock poker room. There are over 80 guaranteed seats into the Championship available over the course of the week, most of which come at a $570 buy-in. Day 1A of the SHRPO $5,250 Main Event kicks off on August 10 at 12:00 noon ET. SHRPO Schedule of Events Event # Day Date Time Buy-In Event 7 Mon 6-Aug 11:00AM $300.00 Seniors 50+ (Re-Entry) - One-Day Event 8 Mon 6-Aug 12:00PM $360.00 Big Stack Black Chip Bounty NLH (Re-Entry) - $30K GTD - One Day Event 9 Mon 6-Aug 3:00PM $360.00 PLO (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 10 Mon 6-Aug 6:00PM $150.00 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry) - $20K GTD - $5,250 Championship Seat Added 11 Tue 7-Aug 11:00AM $570.00 Six-Max NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $50K GTD - One Day Event 12 Tue 7-Aug 3:00PM $360.00 Big O (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 13 Tue 7-Aug 5:00PM $1,100.00 Eight-Handed Turbo NLH (Freeze-Out) - One Day Event 14 Wed 8-Aug 12:00PM $50,000.00 Super High Roller NLH (Re-Entry) - $1M GTD - Held In Salon East 14 Thu 9-Aug 12:00PM -- Day 2 15 Wed 8-Aug 12:00PM $1,100.00 Six-Max Big Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $100K GTD - One Day Event 16 Wed 8-Aug 3:00PM $360.00 Six-Max PLO (Single Re-Entry) - One Day Event 17 Thu 9-Aug 12:00PM $2,200.00 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $200K GTD - One Day Event 18 Thu 9-Aug 7:00PM $300.00 Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic Presented By CSOP 19A Fri 10-Aug 12:00PM $5,250.00 SHRPO Championship Day 1A (Single Re-Entry) - $3M GTD 19B Sat 11-Aug 12:00PM $5,250.00 SHRPO Championship Day 1B (Single Re-Entry) - $3M GTD 19 Sun 12-Aug 12:00PM -- Day 2 19 Mon 13-Aug 12:00PM -- Day 3 19 Tue 14-Aug 1:00PM -- Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of Big 4 20 Sun 12-Aug 2:00PM $2,650.00 NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $1M GTD 20 Mon 13-Aug 12:00PM -- Day 2 20 Tue 14-Aug 1:00PM -- Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of Big 4 21 Mon 13-Aug 11:00AM $1,100.00 NLH (Re-Entry) - $500K GTD 21 Tue 14-Aug 1:00PM -- Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of Big 4 22 Mon 13-Aug 12:00PM $25,500.00 High Roller (Re-Entry) - $2M GTD - Held In Salon East 22 Tue 14-Aug 1:00PM -- Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of Big 4 23A Sun 12-Aug 5:00PM $150.00 NLH Day 1A (Re-Entry) - $50K GTD 23B Mon 13-Aug 5:00PM $150.00 NLH Day 1B (Re-Entry) - $50K GTD 23 Tue 14-Aug 5:00PM -- Day 2 - Held In The Poker Room 24 Mon 13-Aug 6:00PM $2,650.00 PLO (Re-Entry) 24 Tue 14-Aug 3:00PM -- Day 2 - Held In The Poker Room 25 Tue 14-Aug 11:00AM $10,000.00 NLH (Re-Entry) - $500K GTD - Held In Salon East - One Day Event 26 Tue 14-Aug 12:00PM $300.00 Deep Stack Turbo (Re-Entry) - $25K GTD - Held In Salon East - One Day Event
  8. Almost one year to the day since his last recorded live tournament cash, Jason Mercier topped a field of 41 entries in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $50,000 Super High Roller to win $715,860. Mercier defeated Franklin Fok in heads-up play, with Fok taking home a second-place prize o $457,355. On the final hand, Mercier held the [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] against Fok’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Js"]. The money went in preflop with Mercier shoving all in after Fok limped the button. Fok called but couldn’t hit on the [poker card="Td"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="8h"] run out, according to reports from SHRPO.com. SHRPO $50,000 Super High Roller Results 1st: Jason Mercier - $715,860 2nd: Franklin Fok - $457,355 3rd: Tom Boivin - $288,330 4th: Giuseppe Iadisernia - $198,850 5th: Manig Loeser - $139,195 6th: Sam Sweilem - $109,370 7th: Albert Daher - $79,540 For Mercier, the score was the seventh largest of his live tournament career and pushed him to more than $19.5 million in career live tournament earnings. Mercier took a commanding chip lead into the final day of the tournament with seven players left. He had 2.635 million in chips to start and the next closest stack was Giuseppe Iadisernia's 550,000. Mercier busted Dan Shak on the bubble the night before to win a huge pot to secure such a large lead. On the hand against Shak, Mercier had opened to 40,000 from the cutoff position with the blinds at 10,000-20,000 with a 20,000 big blind ante. Shak reraised to 150,000 out of the small blind, and Mercier called to see the [poker card="As"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2c"] flop. Shak moved all in for 740,000. Mercier thought about the decision for a little bit, then called with the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Jh"]. Shak had the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"]. No help for Shak came on the turn or river and he was out the door in eighth place on the money bubble. At the final table, Mercier eliminated Albert Daher in seventh and Manig Loeser in fifth en route to getting heads up with Fok. Fok busted Tom Boivin in third place, but he only entered heads-up play with 645,000 in chips to Mercier’s 4.48 million. Mercier made quick work of Fok from there, finishing off heads-up play in less than 10 hands.
  9. The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 'Big 4' crowned its winners on Tuesday. Sean Winter won the SHRPO $5,250 Championship, Keith Brennan won the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em, Jessica Dawley won the $2,650 No Limit Hold’em, and Shaun Deeb won the $25,500 High Roller. Together, the four events awarded more than $8.3 million in prize money. Sean Winter Wins $5,250 Championship for $698,175 [caption id="attachment_626088" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Sean Winter captures first place in the SHRPO $5,250 Championship for $698,175 (photo: SHRPO)[/caption] Buy-In: $5,250 Entries: 809 Prize Pool: $3,923,650 Sean Winter topped the 809-entry field in the SHRPO $5,250 Championship, scoring a first-place prize of $698,175. The score was the fourth largest of Winter’s career and pushed him to more than $13.6 million in live tournament earnings. 1st: Sean Winter - $698,175 2nd: Shalom Elharrar - $487,695 3rd: Jerry Robinson - $314,230 4th: Jordan Fisch – $232,065 5th: Giuliano Lentini - $176,350 6th: Ben Farrell - $139,705 7th: Joseph Cheong - $115,300 8th: Brandon Carl - $91,365 9th: Nick Schwarmann - $69,800 Winter entered the final table in the $5,250 Championship with a chip-leading stack of 9.49 million. At the time, Joseph Cheong’s stack of 6.595 million was the next largest, but even he was 48 big blinds behind. Cheong lost a big pot early when Jordan Fisch doubled through him, and then Nick Schwarmann also doubled through Cheong shortly thereafter. Despite that double by Schwarmann, he was the first player eliminated at the final table, and it was Winter who sent him packing. Winter then knocked out Brandon Carl in eighth place before Cheong’s run came to an end in seventh. On Cheong’s elimination, Fisch had raised from the under-the-gun position to 275,000 with the blinds at 75,000-125,000 with a 125,000 big blind ante. Cheong, who had just lost the majority of his chips when Giuliano Lentini doubled through him, called all in for 150,000 from the next seat. Shalom Elharrar then called from the cutoff seat. Fisch and Elharrar checked down the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"][poker card="4d"] board before all three players revealed their holdings. Fisch had the [poker card="Td"][poker card="Tc"], Elharrar showed the [poker card="Js"][poker card="Th"], and Cheong turned up the [poker card="Ts"][poker card="9s"]. With his pair of jacks, Elharrar scooped the pot and Cheong was eliminated. After Ben Farrell went out sixth and Lentini busted fifth, Winter took out Fisch in fourth place with pocket tens holding up against the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="8c"]. Three-handed play only saw the continuation of the Sean Winter show. He continued to increase his lead and then busted Jerry Robinson in third place, again holding pocket tens. Robinson had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kc"] and couldn’t win the flip. Heads-up play lasted nearly 50 hands as Elharrar battled hard. Ultimately, Winter and his enormous stack of chips were too much to overcome. On the final hand, Winter’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Td"] dominated Elharrar’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Th"] and that was all she wrote. For the win, Winter took home $698,175. Elharrar scored $487,695 for his second-place result. Keith Brennan Wins $1,100 No Limit Hold’em for $104,035 [caption id="attachment_626087" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Ireland's Keith Brennan won the $1,100 No Limit Hold'em for $104,035 (photo: SHRPO)[/caption] Buy-In: $1,100 Entries: 537 Prize Pool: $537,000 Keith Brennan from Ashbourne, Ireland, served up a victory in the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em event to the tune of $104,035. He topped a field of 537 entries to get the win and secured the largest payday of his live tournament career. 1st: Keith Brennan - $104,035 2nd: Cangir Elcin - $72,285 3rd: John Michalak - $46,400 4th: Gary Leibovitz - $32,550 5th: Jack Duong - $24,935 6th: Mario De La Puente - $20,540 7th: Brock Wilson - $17,030 8th: Corey Hochman - $13,545 9th: David Castranovas - $10,350 This tournament looked as though it was going to end up with Cangir Elcin in the winner’s circle. He was the big chip leader with five players left after knocking out Mario De La Puente in sixth place. Brennan was able to get a boost to his stack by busting Jack Duong in fifth place, but he still had less than half the chips that Elcin did. Elcin continued to dominate by busting Gary Leibovitz in fourth place, then he won a big one off of John Michalak to gather even more chips. But then, Brennan doubled through him to take a chunk of chips back. Eventually, Brennan moved into the lead and began to pull away. Although Elcin knocked out Michalak in third place, he was still down more than 4-1 in chips to Brennan entering heads-up play. Brennan made quick work of his opponent, Elcin, but it wasn’t without a dramatic final hand. The money went in with Brennan holding the [poker card="As"][poker card="Jd"] to Elcin’s [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"]. The flop was [poker card="Jc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"] to give Elcin a set of nines, but the [poker card="Ac"] on the turn gave Brennan some outs going to the river. The river was the [poker card="Ad"], just what Brennan needed, and his full house topped Elcin’s to give him the victory. Jessica Dawley Wins $2,650 No Limit Hold’em for $204,610 [caption id="attachment_626086" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Jessica Dawley took first place in the $2,650 No Limit Hold'em, defeating Faraz Jaka in heads-up play to win $204,610 (photo: SHRPO)[/caption] Buy-In: $2,650 Entries: 385 Prize Pool: $1,000,000 Jessica Dawley earned the largest score of her live tournament career when she topped the 385-entry field in the SHRPO $2,650 No Limit Hold’em event. Dawley defeated Faraz Jaka in heads-up play and took home $204,610. 1st: Jessica Dawley - $204,610 2nd: Faraz Jaka - $142,880 3rd: Nicholas Zautra - $91,690 4th: Philip Rigby - $61,090 5th: Raj Vohra - $46,890 6th: Justin Zaki - $38,790 7th: Jordan Cristos - $32,490 8th: Jake Daniels - $26,240 9th: Thai Ha - $20,460 En route to victory, Dawley knocked out Jake Daniels in eighth place and Raj Vohra in fifth place, but it was the elimination of Vohra that could’ve changed a lot had Dawley not come from behind in miraculous fashion. Vohra was all in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"] to Dawley’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Jh"]. Vohra was in a dominating position to double and he looked pretty good on the [poker card="9c"][poker card="7h"][poker card="2h"] flop and [poker card="Th"] turn. But, the [poker card="8s"] on the river gave Dawley a straight to the jack and sent Vohra to the rail. Dawley was ever so slightly behind Jaka entering heads-up play, and Jaka even extended his lead to start the duel. Dawley fought back and eventually doubled into the lead. That’s where she stayed for the remainder of the match. On the final hand, Dawley’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="2h"] beat Jaka’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8c"] to win it all. Dawley flopped an ace after the money went in preflop and held up from there. Shaun Deeb Wins $25,500 High Roller for $778,300 [caption id="attachment_626089" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Shaun Deeb earned $778,300 for winning the $25,500 High Roller (photo: SHRPO)[/caption] Buy-In: $25,500 Entries: 115 Prize Pool: $2,840,500 Shaun Deeb proved once again he is one of the greatest tournament players we’ve ever seen, winning the SHRPO $25,500 High Roller for $778,300. Deeb topped a field of 115 entries to take top honors and improve to more than $7.5 million in career live tournament winnings. 1st: Shaun Deeb - $778,300 2nd: Albert Daher - $545,375 3rd: Olivier Busquet - $340,860 4th: Andy Andrejevic - $235,760 5th: TK Miles - $150,545 6th: Josh Ray - $110,780 7th: Jake Schwartz - $90,895 8th: Matthew Wantman - $76,695 Deeb came into the final day second in chips behind Andy Andrejevic, but he quickly moved his way into the top spot bu busting Matthew Wantman in eighth place. Deeb would then bust Josh Ray in sixth place and TK Miles in fifth place. Andrejevic went out in fourth, falling to the hands of Olivier Busquet when his dominated [poker card="Ac"][poker card="4d"] couldn’t come from behind against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"]. Although Busquet and Albert Daher both doubled through Deeb during three-handed play, Deeb kept pushing forward and eventually knocked out Busquet in third place to set up the heads-up match with Daher. In blind-versus-blind action, Deeb limped in from the small blind and Busquet checked from the big blind. The dealer revealed the [poker card="8c"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2s"] flop and Deeb check-raised Busquet’s bet of 125,000 to 400,000. Busquet called, the dealer placed the [poker card="Jd"] on the board on the turn, and Deeb moved all in. Busquet made a big call for his tournament life and he had the [poker card="8s"][poker card="6d"]. Deeb had the [poker card="Qs"][poker card="8d"]. The river was the [poker card="2c"] and Busquet was eliminated. Deeb entered heads-up play against Daher with 7.39 million in chips to Daher’s 4.12 million. He increased his lead to start and then finished Daher off with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qh"] to Daher’s pocket sevens.

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