Event 1: Henry Meacham Banks Big

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, FL
Event 1
$360 No Limit Hold’em
Entries: 3,107
Prize Pool: $932,100
March 16-20, 2017

Henry Meacham, Event 1 Champion

The opening events are always big during Seminole Hard Rock Poker series and this one was no different. Event 1 drew more than 3,000 entries and it was Henry Meacham outlasting them all to take home more than $120,000 after a three-way deal was made at the final table.

The $360 buy-in tournament featured a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool and six starting flights to give players plenty of chances to get in the game. Each flight saw one milestone surpassed after another until Event 1 hit 3,017 entries late on Saturday to push that $500,000 guarantee to over $900,000.

The last 300 players were set to earn a piece of the money with more than 600 players returning on Sunday for Day 2 trying to get some of it. The return saw players exit at a quick pace and the field was on the money bubble after three hours of play.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Mukul Pahuja went out on the bubble to put the rest of the field in the money. Fellow SHRP team member Darryll Fish was part of the last 300 but went out soon after.

Play was halted for Event 2 in the early morning hours with 13 players remaining and more than $550,000 still up for grabs. Among those 13 were Florida poker legend Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, another former November Niner in Neil Blumenfield, SHRP Big 4 $1,100 champion Ruslan Dykshteyn, 2015 WTPDeepStacks Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open winner Lawrence Whyte, and local favorite Steven Bennett.

It took less than 30 minutes to drop from 13 down to the final table ten. Blumenfield and Mizrachi were early casualties, the latter via a river bad beat, and action stalled with the deeper stacks.

Dyskshteyn, Whyte, and Bennett succumbed to the bigger stacks and cash game regular Ben Sriqui battled hard before exiting in fourth place.

With a lot of money on the line and relatively even stacks between the top two, the three remaining players agreed to a deal to chop up the rest of the prize pool. Meacham and former chip leader Martin Culotta each banked six-digit scores while James Rustemoglu laddered his way up to a $92,831 payday.

Meacham had a big rail following his progress including his brother Jeremy who won a WPTDeepStacks title a few weeks ago in Jacksonville.

“We’ve been having a dream run,” Meacham said. “We’ve been traveling and playing for about six months and doing really well.”

A bit of an understatement when you combine both recent titles. Meacham adds $122,467 to his bankroll along with the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown trophy, custom-framed winner’s photo courtesy of IMPDI, and a seat in the $10,000 WPT Finale/$3,500 WPT Showdown Championship freeroll.

Final table results:

1st: Henry Meacham – $122,467
2nd: Martin Culotta – $117,976
3rd: James Rustomoglu – $92,831
4th: Ben Sriqui – $57,557
5th: Steven Bennett – $46,838
6th: Lawrency Whyte – $36,818
7th: Ruslan Dykshteyn – $27,031
8th: Michael Mizrachi – $18,176
9th: Neil Blumenfield – $13,049

Complete Event 1 Payouts

Event 1: Meacham Takes the Title in Three-Way Deal

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 3,107

After Ben Sriqui was eliminated in fourth place, the three remaining players quickly worked out a deal to divide up the remaining prize pool. Henry Meacham earned the title courtesy of the bigger stack, Martin Culotta grabbed a nice chunk for second, and James Rustomoglu was very happy with his third place money.

1st: Henry Meacham – $122,467
2nd: Martin Culotta – $117,976
3rd: James Rustomoglu – $92,831

More details to come.

Event 1: Ben Sriqui – 4th Place ($57,557)

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 3,107

Ben Sriqui

Ben Sriqui moved all-in with his short stack and found a caller in Martin Culotta from the big blind with a non-typical race.

Culotta: 4d4h
Sriqui: Jh9h

Sriqui had two suited over cards but missed the entire board as it ran Kh7c2d3dQs to knock Sriqui out in fourth place.

Martin Culotta – 25,675,000 (43 bb)
Ben Sriqui – Eliminated in 4th place ($57,557)

Event 1: Meacham Moves Higher

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 3,107

Ben Sriqui opened to 1,500,000 from the button and Henry Meacham called in the big blind to see the Qs4h2d flop.

Meacham checked, Sriqui bet 1,800,000 and Meacham moved all-in. Sriqui had ~7,500,000 behind and released his hand after a long tank.

The hand didn’t make it to showdown (or even the turn) but it solidified Meacham’s hold on the lead.

Henry Meacham – 26,000,000 (43 bb)
Ben Sriqui – 7,500,000 (13 bb)

Event 1: Steven Bennett – 5th Place ($46,838)

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 37: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 3,107

Steven Bennett

Martin Culotta opened to 1,200,000 from under the gun and Henry Meacham three-bet to 3,100,000 from the small blind. Steven Bennett quickly moved all-in from the big blind for ~7,000,000 and Meacham called before getting a count.

Meacham: AhJs
Bennett: AsKd

Exactly how Michael Mizrachi was eliminated, Bennett was dominating with the bigger ace but he was undone immediately on the JhTs7h flop. The 7h turn was no help and former SHRP champ was eliminated on the 5s river.

Henry Meacham – 22,000,000 (44 bb)
Steven Bennett – Eliminated in 5th place ($46,838)

Event 1: Lawrence Whyte – 6th Place ($36,818)

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 37: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 3,107

Lawrence Whyte

Former WPTDeepStacks Lucky Hearts Poker Open champ Lawrence Whyte moved all-in for ~5,500,000 after Martin Culotta opened. The shove was quickly called and Whyte was dominated.

Culotta: AsKc
Whyte: AhJc

Whyte was drawing thin and blanked the entire Ts9s5c6c6h board to exit in sixth place. The hand also elevated Culotta back into the lead but things are moving quickly now.

Martin Culotta – 17,000,000 (34 bb)
Lawrence Whyte – Eliminated in 6th place ($36,818)

Event 1: Ruslan Dykshteyn – 7th Place ($27,031)

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 37: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 3,107

Ruslan Dykshteyn

Steven Bennett came back from break and shoved the first two hands but found no callers. Soon after it was Ruslan Dykshteyn’s turn to move in with his short stack for 4,525,000 and Ben Sriqui called after a moment’s thought.

Sriqui: Ah9c
Dykshteyn: Ac2h

Dykshteyn was in trouble then added small wheel gutshot draw on the Th5s4c flop. Sriqui paired the 9h turn and Dykshteyn, the 2016 SHRPO $1,100 Big 4 champ, was eliminated after the 5c river.

Ben Sriqui – 11,400,000 (23 bb)
Ruslan Dykshteyn – Eliminated in 7th place ($27,031)

Event 1: Break Time Counts

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 37: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 3,107

The seven remaining players cruised through an entire level with no major hands, few showdowns, and most pots captured with a pre-flop raise. Henry Meacham took over the lead with some aggression with Martin Culotta still sitting comfortably in second.

Seat 1: — Empty —
Seat 2: Ruslan Dykshteyn – 5,900,000 (12 bb)
Seat 3: Steven Bennett – 4,250,000 (9 bb)
Seat 4: Martin Culotta – 12,800,000 (26 bb)
Seat 5: Ben Sriqui – 7,300,000 (15 bb)
Seat 6: James Rustomoglu – 8,950,000 (18 bb)
Seat 7: Henry Meacham – 15,700,000 (31 bb)
Seat 8: Lawrence Whyte – 7,050,000 (14 bb)
Seat 9: — Empty —

Henry Meacham – 15,700,000 (31 bb)
Martin Culotta – 12,800,000 (26 bb)
James Rustomoglu – 8,950,000 (18 bb)
Ben Sriqui – 7,300,000 (15 bb)
Lawrence Whyte – 7,050,000 (14 bb)
Ruslan Dykshteyn – 5,900,000 (12 bb)
Steven Bennett – 4,250,000 (9 bb)

Event 1: Michael Mizrachi – 8th Place ($18,176)

$360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 35: 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 3,107

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi

Michael Mizrachi needed to pick a spot to get his short stack in the middle and found it. He moved all-in from UTG+1 for 2,150,000 and Ben Sriqui called from the button. The blinds released and they tabled their hands to see “The Grinder” in good shape to double.

Mizrachi: AhKd
Sriqui: AdJs

The Th9d6d flop was not unkind, the 2c turn did no harm, but the Jd river was unfortunate for the three-time WSOP bracelet winner to send him out in eighth place.

Ben Sriqui – 12,700,000 (42 bb)
Michael Mizrachi – Eliminated in 8th place ($18,176)