Florida Pro Darryll Fish Wins First WPT Title and $511,604 in Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship

2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guarantee

Entries: 911
Prize Pool: $2,915,200
January 19-24, 2018

The two-week 2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open closed out the series at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with the $2 Million guaranteed World Poker Tour Championship and a final table played out in front of live stream cameras. After a long heads-up battle, Darryll Fish defeated Aleksandr Shevelev to capture his first career WPT title for more than $500,000.

The win moved Fish, a Florida local, over $3,730,000 in career earnings. Impressively, it marked his third final table appearance and fourth cash in the property’s last five majors. He previously finished runner-up in the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship for $453,185, 33rd in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event for $6,034, third in last November’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Championship for $168,920 and, of course, first in yesterday’s LHPO Championship for $511,604. In all, he’s earned $1,139,743 at the Seminole Hard Rock dating back to April of 2017.

The $3,500 buy-in LHPO Championship had two starting flights and drew 911 entries to nearly hit a $3,000,000 prize pool. The last 114 players earned a piece of that money but first, they needed to survive the first flight.

Of those 911 starters, there were still 343 players around for Day 2 including chip leader Joey Couden, three-time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, 2017 RRPO Champ Michael Newman, and three-time WPT Champion Darren Elias.

Day 2 played down into the money after the dinner break and it ended after a strong run from Ben Yu. The two-time WSOP winner was down to 80,000 in the last level of the day but ran it up over 1.3 million in 60 minutes.

That run was good enough for the Day 3 chip lead and it carried Yu to a 16th place finish. The Championship reached the final table six and Shevelev brought his lead over to the last day. Ness Reilly booked her seat at a live-streamed final table for the second time in a week; her first occurred during the opening WPTDeepStacks event.

The final table action was fast at the beginning with Alan Krockey and Brett Bader going out in the first level followed shortly by Reilly. WPT Champions Club member Andy Frankenberger began the final table with the shortest stack but battled back, including three double-ups, but had to exit in third place.

The heads-up match had Shevelev holding the lead over Fish but the advantage switched soon after the match kicked off. They continued to trade the lead over 122 hands before the match was settled.

Schevelev earned $331,116 for his runner-up finish while Fish banked $511,604 inclusive of a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. After winning titles around the world, Fish can now call himself a World Poker Tour champion.

“It’s a relief. I’ve said before that I don’t play for the title but it doesn’t mean I don’t want one and doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.” Fish said about his WPT title run. “It’s been a lot of years playing the WPT so it feels really really good.”

Fish spends a lot of time playing at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and considers it his home.

“It feels like home. Every poker player has their home casino and the one they feel most comfortable playing in.” Fish said. “From the chips to the tables to the dealers, everything kind of adds to that to make it feel more comfortable. It felt like the natural progression to winning one here.”

“I’ve played poker here since I was 18 years old. (Tournament Director) Tony Burns is a long time friend of mine,” he continued. “For him to get a job here and me to win a tournament, just feels like it came full circle. For it to happen here more than anywhere is extra special for sure.”

Congratulations to Darryll on a great run and his first WPT title.

Final table results:

1st: Darryll Fish – $511,604 *
2nd: Aleksandr Shevelev – $331,116
3rd: Andy Frankenberger – $244,342
4th: Ness Reilly – $182,249
5th: Brett Bader – $137,440
6th: Alan Krockey – $104,784
* – Includes WPT Tournament of Champions seat

Darryll Fish
Aleksandr Shevelev
Andy Frankenberger
Ness Reilly
Brett Bader
Alan Krockey