An $80 Slot Machine Ticket Lead to a $37,505 Six-Max Victory for Justin Zaki

2020 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 22
$1,100 Six-Max NLH (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  160
Prize Pool:  $155,200
January 19, 2020

Event 22 Champion Justin Zaki
Event 22 Champion Justin Zaki

When Justin Zaki busted out of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open on Sunday afternoon, he got in his car to drive home to Tampa, about three-and-a-half hours away. He got as far as a gas station before he remembered something.

“I realized I had a slot machine ticket that I never cashed out,” said Zaki. “So I returned to cash the ticket. Then I figured ‘Whatever, I guess I’ll play.’ ”

Zaki entered the $1,100 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em event, but his first entry didn’t go well — he was eliminated early in one of the most annoying ways possible when his ace-king lost against ace-king.

As frustrating as his day had been to that point, Zaki fired one more bullet, and his day finally turned around for the better. Zaki went on to win the event outright, defeating Ryan Jones heads-up for the title and the trophy.

Zaki has won more than $700,000 at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, but this is his first trophy here.

“It feels good,” said Zaki. “I’ve gotten close so many times, and I just never catch any breaks at the end. But I ran pretty good today.”

Zaki ran so well that he turned a bustout from the main event and an $80 slot machine ticket into $37,505 and his first Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood trophy.


Final Table Results:

1st:  Justin Zaki  –  $37,505
2nd:  Ryan Jones  –  $25,000
3rd:  Tim Vance  –  $17,060
4th:  Gregory Back  –  $11,925
5th:  Hector Pacheco  –  $8,545
6th:  Aleksandr Gofman  –  $6,285
7th:  Gaurav Krishan  –  $4,740

Event 22: Justin Zaki Wins ($37,505); Ryan Jones Finishes as Runner-Up ($25,000)

$1,100 Six-Max NLH (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 22:  10,000/20,000 with a 20,000 ante
Players Remaining:  1 of 160

Justin Zaki
Justin Zaki

After about 10 minutes of heads-up play, Ryan Jones got it all in from the button for 335,000 with AcQc, and he needed his hand to hold to stay alive against Justin Zaki’s Kh10c.

The board came 8d7h4c2h8c, and Jones won the pot with his ace to double up in chips.

Ryan Jones  –  690,000  (35 bb)
Justin Zaki  –  1,710,000  (86 bb)

About five minutes later, Jones got it all in again, this time with 2h2c, but he was dominated by Zaki’s 6s6h.

The board came 8s8h7d3cAd, and the pocket sixes held up for Zaki to win the pot — and the tournament — with two pair, eights and sixes.

Stay tuned for a recap, which will be posted later tonight.

1st:  Justin Zaki  –  $37,505
2nd:  Ryan Jones  –  $25,000
3rd:  Tim Vance  –  $17,060
4th:  Gregory Back  –  $11,925
5th:  Hector Pacheco  –  $8,545
6th:  Aleksandr Gofman  –  $6,285
7th:  Gaurav Krishan  –  $4,740

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones

Event 22: Tim Vance – 3rd Place ($17,060)

$1,100 Six-Max NLH (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 22:  10,000/20,000 with a 20,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 160

Tim Vance
Tim Vance

Tim Vance got it all in from the button for about 600,000 with AsKh, and he needed to improve to stay alive against the QsQd of Justin Zaki in the big blind.

The board came 4s4c3d8h2h, and the pocket queens held up for Zaki to win the pot and eliminate Vance in third place.

Tim Vance  –  Eliminated in 3rd Place  ($17,060)

Heads-up play is underway, and these were their chip counts after Vance’s eliminations:

Justin Zaki  –  1,720,000  (86 bb)
Ryan Jones  –  680,000  (34 bb)

1st:  $37,505
2nd:  $25,000

Event 22: Gregory Back – 4th Place ($11,925)

$1,100 Six-Max NLH (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 21:  10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 160

Gregory Back
Gregory Back

With the board showing AcJc8h10c on the turn, Gregory Back got it all in from the small blind for about 200,000 with 10s10h for a turned set of tens.

But Ryan Jones turned over AsAd on the button for a flopped set of aces, and Back needed to catch the case ten on the river to stay alive.

The river card was the Qh, and Jones won the pot with his higher set to eliminate Back in fourth place.

Gregory Back  –  Eliminated in 4th Place  ($11,925)

Seat 1.  Tim Vance  –  500,000  (33 bb)
Seat 2.  Ryan Jones  –  900,000  (60 bb)
Seat 3.  Justin Zaki  –  1,000,000  (67 bb)

Event 22: Justin Zaki Leads the Final Four

$1,100 Six-Max NLH (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 21:  10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 ante
Players Remaining:  4 of 160

Justin Zaki
Justin Zaki

They are down to the final four players in the six-max tournament, and here are their approximate chip counts:

Seat 1.  Tim Vance  –  600,000  (40 bb)
Seat 2.  Ryan Jones  –  475,000  (32 bb)
Seat 3.  Gregory Back  –  225,000  (15 bb)
Seat 4.  Justin Zaki  –  1,050,000  (70 bb)

And here are the final table payouts:

1st:  $37,505
2nd:  $25,000
3rd:  $17,060
4th:  $11,925

5th:  Hector Pacheco  –  $8,545
6th:  Aleksandr Gofman  –  $6,285
7th:  Gaurav Krishan  –  $4,740

We will be providing live updates for the rest of the night until they reach a winner.