2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Event 7: $360 Pot Limit Omaha/8 (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $22,800
November 21, 2016
Brad Ruben is the newest winner at the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open, outlasting a field of 76 entries to snag the title in Event 7. Ruben collected $5,814 and his first Seminole Hard Rock Poker trophy for about 12 hours of work today in the Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event.
The champ is a 30-year-old professional poker player originally from this area, though he now makes his home in Hernando, which is just southwest of Ocala. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters in International Business, and he initially pursued a career in professional sales.
Poker became a larger focus as time went on, though, and Ruben began to transition into the game in a more serious way. He considers himself a pro now, though he still dabbles in real estate investing on the side. In his spare time, Ruben is an avid traveler even when there aren’t poker tournaments to chase around the globe. He’s been to more than 40 countries (Croatia is his favorite), and he speaks Italian, French, and Spanish in addition to English.
Ruben entered the final table sixth in chips, but his plight improved in a hurry. “I won a big pot with top set against a guy with a big draw,” he said as he thought back on the pivotal hands along the way. That was in reference to the huge clash with then-chip-leader Daniel Li in which Li lost the majority of his stack after having his aces out-flopped and bricking a combo draw.
That pot swung the tides in favor of Ruben, and he had more than 60 percent of the chips when Li was eliminated one hand later. A few orbits thereafter, he and Lewis Gallo Jr. were heads-up and essentially dead even in chips. The two men decided to talk numbers, and Ruben offered Gallo an even chop on the condition he could have the trophy. Gallo accepted, and handshakes were exchanged before Ruben sat down to pose for winner’s photos with his new hardware.
1st: Brad Ruben – $5,814 + trophy
2nd: Lewis Gallo Jr. – $5,814
3rd: Harry Eisenberg – $3,078
4th: Brian Kicklighter – $2,280
5th: Daniel Li – $1,710
6th: Oren Maimon – $1,368
7th: Carey Pickus – $1,140
8th: David Shmuel – $912
9th: Kevin Love – $684