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