Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘N Roll Poker Open attracted a huge, record-breaking field of 5,018 entries. The number surprised players and organizers alike, as they’ve managed to break their own record from earlier this year, when 4,075 players took to the felt in the Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
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$360 SHR Poker Open guarantees a cool million
The interest with players was generated primarily by the fact the opening event of the Florida’s SHR Poker Open featured a $360 buy-in and a guaranteed prize pool of a $1,000,000. The affordable buy-in combined with the general popularity of SHR events created a buzz in the community that we don’t get to see often these days.
Eight starting flights
To accommodate all those who wanted to be a part of this huge event, SHR Poker Open organizers held eight starting flights for the opening event of the festival. As players kept coming in, the prize pool kept swelling, eventually surpassing $1.5 million.
It goes without saying that $1,500,000 is a huge prize pool for an event with such a small buy-in and all players who made it through to Day 2 had an additional incentive to put forth their best performances in an attempt to reach the final table. A winner was set to take home $233,321, nearly a quarter of a million, for a $360 initial investment.
— SHRPO (@shrpo) November 20, 2016
Record-Breaking SHR Poker Open pays 500 players
When the registration was finally over, SHR Poker Open organizers announced a total of 500 players would be taking home some money for their efforts. The minimum cash waws $625, while those making the top twelve would be earning at least a five-figure amount.
However, it was the top three spots that everyone was focused on, as remaining as one of the last three players standing would guarantee a six-figure payday. That’s at least what tournament officials had in mind, but players had their own ideas about the money distribution.
Surprising 9-way chop at the final table
We are used to seeing multi-way chops in big online tournaments but they are not as common in the live setting (or at least we don’t hear about them as much). However, a huge prize pool and really steep pay jumps made players particularly cautious once the final table of the SHR Poker Open Event #1 was reached.
Ninth place finisher would take home just $17,222 according to the payout sheet, while there was $233,321 awaiting the winner. This is a huge discrepancy and anything can happen in poker. Short stacks double up several times, chip leaders are grinded into nothing within a span of just a few hands.
That’s why the nine SHR Poker Open finalists cut a deal, securing everyone takes home a minimum of $43k for their efforts.
— The Poker Room (@SHRThePokerRoom) November 20, 2016
Rafael Reis the official SHR Poker Open winner
At the time the deal was struck, it was Rafael Reis sitting with most chips in front of him. This gave him a significant leverage in the deal negotiations and he managed to secure a lion’s share of the prize pool to the tune of $155,642. He is also the official SHR Poker Open opening event winner, with his live winnings swelling to over $460,000.
Other two six-figure cashes went to Rodrigo Diaz and Allan Beilar, who took home $113k and $105k respectively.
Other final table players were probably not disappointed either, as Michael Johnson and Alejandro Armas cashed just below six figures, while Cohen, Provan, Rolnitzky, and Sanchez all banked between $40,000 and $60,000.
The SHR Poker Open Event #1 has demonstrated once again that there is no lack of interest for poker. What we may be lacking are interesting events featuring attractive prize pools, as these always attract huge numbers. The WSOP Colossus and SHR Poker Open are all the proof you need.