2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
$1,100 Turbo No Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $119,000
April 3, 2017
Sam Phillips achieved a lot in his poker career. He has a successful online tournament resume, a seven-figure live score at a European Poker Tour main event in Barcelona, and fairly long list of live cashes.
The one thing that eluded Phillips was a live tournament win. Phillips earned his first trophy on Monday evening by defeating a field of 119 entries to win $35,102 in the $1,100 turbo no limit hold’em.
“It feels great to take one down,” said Phillips. “I’ve wanted a trophy so bad. I’ve even played some smaller events just to try and get one. Now, I’ve got something to put on the mantle.”
The 28-year-old professional poker player left the United States after Black Friday to continue his online poker career in Mexico. Phillips lives with a bunch of friends in Playa Del Carmen where they spend most of their time grinding online tournaments for a living.
He feels his online background gave him an edge in the turbo format.
“I feel so comfortable in turbos,” said Phillips. “I’ve played so many of them. Probably thousands of them where I’m in short-stacked scenarios all the time. My online background definitely gave me an advantage in that aspect of the game.”
Over the last two years, however, Phillips has gotten away from the virtual felt and inside brick and mortar rooms more often. He’s started traveling a little more to play some bigger live tournament series.
“I just travel to some of the bigger events,” said Phillips. “Usually just the WPTs and WSOP Circuits and stuff like that. It’s mostly online, but probably about half and half now.”
With a 5 p.m. start time for the event and the $10,000 WPT Finale event running alongside the one-day turbo event, it drew some of game’s best players that were busting out of the event and taking another shot in the turbo.
That kind of competition didn’t faze Phillips. He stayed focused, played his game and used a little bit of luck to outlast the competition.
“I probably came in like two out of nine and then lost a big flip with jacks versus ace-king early,” said Phillips. “Then from there, I just ran good from then out out. And I just coolered the guy heads-up with trip fives against trip fives and I had a better kicker.”
As soon as the final card was dealt, one of his friends on the rail jokingly said he won the satellite to the $25,000 buy-in on Tuesday. Phillips said he won’t partake in that, but he does have plans for the money.
“I got to go buy my rail a bunch of drinks, so we’ll see how that goes.”
1st: Sam Phillips – $35,102
2nd: Alexander Haber – $21,718
3rd: Upeshka De Silva – $12,971
4th: Santiago Nadal Sordo – $8,330
5th: Nick Pupillo – $6,307
6th: Gregory Baird – $5,236
7th: Sameer Aljanedi – $4,522
8th: Arkadiy Tsinis – $3,987
9th: Harry Cullen – $3,511
10th: Tim Reilly – $3,094
11th: Benjamin Ector – $3,094
12th: Adrian Matoes – $3,094
13th: Diego Sanchez Serrano – $2,678
14th: Rodrigo Rishmauge – $2,678
15th: Sorel Mizzi – $2,678