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$2,650/$1M: Jessica Dawley Earns Title In Epic Heads-Up Battle

2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
Event 21
$2,650 No-Limit Hold’em 
$1,000,000 Guaranteed 
Entries: 385 
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 
August 11-13, 2019

Jessica Dawley won the $2,650 no-limit hold’em

(Hollywood, Florida) — Jessica Dawley hit the $1,000,000 mark in career earnings in style with a Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Big 4 Trophy. The South Florida poker pro and Air Force veteran won the $2,650 no-limit hold’em single re-entry Tuesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. After a nearly five-hour heads-up battle with Faraz Jaka, Dawley emerged victorious from the 385-entry field, taking home the trophy and $204,610. Jaka earned $142,610 for his runner-up finish.

The score was Dawley’s biggest of her career, besting her $130,230 win from the 2018 ladies event at the World Series of Poker. She not only posted a personal best but now has seven-figures in earnings, a benchmark she knew she was close to coming into the final table.

“Actually, going into the series, a buddy of mine and me were neck-and-neck in total earnings, and I was like ‘I just need a $200K score and then I’ll be over the $1 million-mark and I’ll pass you,'” said Dawley after the tournament. “So that was definitely my goal, for sure.”

Dawley came into the final table third in chips but was struggling to stay alive on Day 2. She was down to just five big blinds during the tournament’s penultimate day before hitting a rush of cards before the money and finishing with piles of chips.

“So many people, when they get short, let’s say five to seven big blinds, they think it’s game over and will punt it in,” said Dawley. “But the thing is, is that it’s all relative to what the other stack sizes are. If you have five big blinds and someone else has 95, of course, you are going to feel defeated. But if the other stack is like 20 bigs, then calling off five bigs is a lot for them. That’s kind of what happened yesterday. I just picked my spots and built my stack up.”

The rungood carried into Day 3 for Dawley. She chipped up early, knocked out Jake Daniels in eighth-place, and was the chip leader with five players left.

“Today, it was like the dream scenario,” said Dawley. “I had the cards at the right times and when I had bluffs, I wasn’t getting picked off. So I was real happy with how everything turned out.”

Dawley and Jaka dominated the early portions of a talented final table that featured Raj Vohra, Justin Zaki, and Jordan Cristos. The two pulled away from the pack and were heads-up just four hours into the day.

That’s when the battle really began. The two traded blows for nearly five levels. Jaka held the experience edge, but the cards went Dawley’s way. She pulled ahead early and despite Jaka putting a few dents in her stack, she never relinquished the lead.

“He definitely has more experience over the course of his career playing heads-up in these high-equity spots,” said Dawley. “But I don’t really get nervous at all, so for me, I just told myself don’t bloat any pots and don’t get out of line.”

Eventually, Dawley’s ace-two outflopped Jaka’s pocket eights and she won her first Hard Rock trophy.

Final Table Results:

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

$2,650/$1M: Jessica Dawley Wins ($204,610), Faraz Jaka Eliminated In 2nd ($142,880)

$2,650 SHRPO Big 4 Event 21 (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 30:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining:  1 of 385

Jessica Dawley

Faraz Jaka raised on the button and Jessica Dawley moved all in out of the big blind. Jaka called and was all in for about 1,600,000.

Jaka showed 8h8c and was in good shape against Dawley’s Ac2h.

The flop was Ad9s4d and Dawley moved into the lead by spiking a three-outer. Jaka needed an eight to keep the tournament going, but the Kd on the turn and the Js on the river secured Dawley’s victory.

Dawley earned $204,610 for her win and Jaka netted $142,880 for his runner-up finish.

Jessica Dawley – $2,650 No-Limit Hold’em Champion
Faraz Jaka – Eliminated 

Faraz Jaka

$2,650/$1M: Faraz Jaka Doubles Up

$2,650 SHRPO Big 4 Event 21 (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 30:  50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 385

Faraz Jaka moved all in on the button for 815,000 and Jessica Dawley called out of the big blind.

Jaka showed Ah7d and was in the lead against Dawley’s Kd4h.

The board ran out 9c3h2sAc10s and the heads-up match continues.

Faraz Jaka – 1,730,000
Jessica Dawley – 7,900,000

$2,650/$1M: Jessica Dawley Pulling Away Again

$2,650 SHRPO Big 4 Event 21 (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 29:  40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 385

On the turn with the board reading 10s7h6cQd, Faraz Jaka checked and Jessica Dawley bet 200,000. Jaka called and there was about 800,000 in the middle heading to the 10c river card.

Jaka checked and Dawley bet about 500,000. Jaka quickly folded and is under 20 big blinds for the second time this heads-up match.

Jessica Dawley – 8,100,000
Faraz Jaka – 1,525,000

$2,650/$1M: Faraz Jaka Chops With A Straight On The Board

$2,650 SHRPO Big 4 Event 21 (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 29:  40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 385

Faraz Jaka raised on the button and Jessica Dawley defended her big blind.

The flop was 9c7s5d and Dawley checked. Jaka bet about 200,000 and Dawley called.

The turn was the 8d and both players checked to the 6s river. Dawley bet 200,000 and Jaka called.

Dawley showed 9s6c and chopped the pot with Jaka’s Js3h. Both players played the straight on the board, but Dawley turned it with the six in her hand.

Jessica Dawley – 6,700,000
Faraz Jaka – 2,900,000