2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$360 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Prize Pool: $26,700
November 19, 2018
Shawn Nguyen came into the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood events center on Monday afternoon with one goal in mind. Win the $360 pot-limit Omaha hi-lo event.
He did exactly that. And did so in dominant fashion. He ran over the final table and put on the most dominating performance of the series thus far. He went wire-to-wire with the chip lead at the final table to defeat the 89-entry field and earn $8,471.
Before he took his seat, he did his best Joe Namath impression to the Hard Rock’s tournament director.
“It was pretty great,” said Nguyen about his dominant performance. “I told Tony [Burns] that I was going to win it and I won it.”
Nguyen came into the final table with a monster chip lead, and it was never anything less than gigantic. Of the nine eliminations from the unofficial final table down to one, Nguyen scored six of them.
With six players left, Nguyen already had accumulated about half the chips in play. By the time he reached heads-up play against Walter Buss, he had 730,000 of the 890,000 in play.
He disposed of Buss in just a few minutes after flopping a set, rivering a full house, and cracking aces with a low draw. Buss picked up $5,073 for his second-place finish.
Nguyen is a high-stakes regular at the Hard Rock and he takes the trophy in a game he plays a ton.
“I play a lot of PLO8,” said Nguyen. “I play mixed games also, but not too much. Mostly PLO8.”
Nguyen wouldn’t call himself a professional poker player, but he did admit that it’s his only source of income.
“I got no jobs,” said Nguyen with a hearty laguh. “I am looking for a job, but nobody wants to hire me. So I got o play poker, right? Until I get hired, maybe I’ll find a job. But until then, I got to keep playing. If I had a job as good as Tony’s [Burns], maybe I won’t have to play poker. Until then, I’ll just keep trying my luck.”
Just two days after finishing second in a heads-up chop with Michael Barry in the $360 Big O, Leif Force made another final table in a nearly identical game. He finished ninth and earned $847. The top 12 spots finished in the money and here are the results:
1st: Shawn Nguyen – $8,471
2nd: Walter Buss – $5,073
3rd: Barak Zaken – $3,204
4th: Alexander Lakhov – $2,069
5th: Mitchell Menes – $1,602
6th: Jason Reep – $1,268
7th: Matthew Bianchini – $1,068
8th: Mitchell Smith – $935
9th: Leif Force – $847
10th: Jeff Gershowitz – $774
11th: Donald Maloney Jr. – $721
12th: Robert Wachtel – $668