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2018 RRPO Recap with Record-Setting Championship Field

2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker was among the 2018 RRPO trophy winners

The World Poker Tour made its first appearance at our November Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” series and the Championship headlined a great two weeks of tournaments.

Seven of the 19 primary events were non-hold’em tournaments and the response from the poker community was strong. Chris Moneymaker, 2003 WSOP Main Event champion, won an event on the first day of the series and Raminder Singh won yet another SHRP trophy. Poker pro David Peters won the $5,000 one-day No Limit Hold’em tournament for the second straight year and Trung Pham won the massive opening event defeating over 4,558 entries.

2018 RRPO champion Pavel Plesuv

But the highlight of the series was the record-setting Championship. The 858 entries in the tournament marked the largest RRPO Championship field in our history and it attracted players from around the world. Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv went wire-to-wire at the WPT live-streamed final table to put his name on the WPT Champions Cup.

You can find complete coverage on all 19 primary events below:

It was another great series and we can’t wait to see everyone back for the 2019 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open January 10 which will feature the $1,000,000 Guarantee WPTDeepStacks Main Event.

Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv Wins WPT RRPO Championship for $504K

2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
Event 12

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed

Entries: 898
Prize Pool: $2,873,600
November 23-28, 2018 

Pavel Plesuv, WPT RRPO Champion

The World Poker Tour came to South Florida this weekend for the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship, a first time for this November series. The Championship had a $2 Million Guarantee which was easily surpassed and the top prize was over $500,000.

After two starting flights, three play down days, and a tough final table, the Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv defeated Jim Gilbert heads-up to put his name on the WPT Champions Cup.

The $3,500 buy-in tournament drew 898 entries for the biggest RRPO Championship field in Seminole Hard Rock history. They created a prize pool worth $2,873,600 and the last 113 spots were paid when they hit the money late on Day 2. Five of our former RRPO champions made it through to Day 2 including defending champ Michael Newman.

We had 52 players move on to Day 3 and Plesuv was not among the leaders. That would change as they progressed and he was fourth of 14 returning for Day 4 to play down to the WPT live-streamed final table. When the dust settled, Plesuv took his seat on the last day with the biggest stack.

The final table had an international flavor with two coming from Europe and another from South Korea. Ravi Raghavan was the only member with his name on the WPT Champions Cup but he was unable to run up his short stack. Chris Kennedy followed shortly after in fifth place and the last four settled in for a long grind.

Austria’s Marius Gierse went out in fourth place and Jeremy Joseph’s exit in third set the heads-up battle. Gilbert faced nearly a six-to-one deficit, doubled up twice, but he was unable to come back.

Jim Gilbert (left) versus Pavel Plesuv (right)

Gilbert, a Philadephia-based pro, earned $326,565 for his runner-up finish and Plesuv took home $504,820 for the win plus a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions.

This win pushed Plesuv’s career earnings over $4,000,000 with half of it coming in 2018. He earned $925,000 for a second place finish at the partypoker Millions in Germany and another $640,000 for a win in the MSPT Las Vegas Main Event this summer. Also, this was not the first time Plesuv was heads-up for a WPT title with the lead.

“I was heads-up in WPT Prague three years ago with a big chip lead,” Plesuv said. “I lost. So I’m really excited to come back and win.”

This was Plesuv’s first trek to South Florida for our series but it will not be the last.

“The tournament was great,” Plesuv said. “I really liked the structure, the field was big and it had great organization. The property is great too.”

Congratulations to Pavel on his WPT RRPO Championship win and a huge thanks to our players for another successful series.

Final table results:

1st: Pavel Plesuv – $504,820
2nd: Jim Gilbert – $326,565
3rd: Jeremy Joseph – $240,945
4th: Marius Gierse – $179,710
5th: Chris Kennedy – $135,505
6th: Ravi Raghavan – $103,310

Championship: Heads-Up Counts

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 31: 75,000/150,000 with a 150,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 898

Heads-up play is underway to determine the 2017 WPT RRPO Champion. Pavel Plesuv holds nearly a six-to-one advantage but Gilbert has enough chips to play back.

They will play 30-minute levels under we have a winner.

Seat 2: Jim Gilbert – 5,225,000 (35 bb)
Seat 3: Pavel Plesuv – 30,700,000 (205 bb)

Remaining payouts:

1st: $504,820
2nd: $326,565

Championship: Jeremy Joseph – 3rd Place ($240,945)

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 30: 75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 898

Jeremy Joseph

On the last hand before break, Pavel Plesuv opened to 400,000 from the small blind and Jeremy Joseph called in the big blind to the th7c6s flop. Plesuv bet 550,000 and Joseph called before the 3h turn.

Plesuv bet 1,300,000 and Joseph raised to 3,500,000. Plesuv put Joseph all in for his last 6,050,000 and he called.

Plesuv: kdks
Joseph: qh9h

Plesuv was ahead with the monster and Joseph needed a heart or eight to double up. The river was ac and Joseph was eliminated in third place to set up the heads-up battle for the title.

The final table went on break before returning to 30-minute levels.

Pavel Plesuv – 30,700,000 (246 bb)
Jeremy Joseph – Eliminated in 3rd place ($240,945)

Championship: Marius Gierse – 4th Place ($179,710)

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 30: 75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 898

Marius Gierse

Jim Gilbert opened to 250,000 from under the gun and Pavel Plesuv called from the button. Marius Gierse moved all in for 4,950,000 from the big blind to get a fold from Gilbert and called from Plesuv.

Gierse: acqc
Plesuv: 9h9d

It was a race that Gierse needed to win to stay in the Championship but the board ran all low 7c6s3d3s6d to send him out in fourth place.

The hand pushed Plesuv further into the lead with a two-to-one advantage over the other two combined.

Seat 2: Jim Gilbert – 6,575,000 (53 bb)
Seat 3: Pavel Plesuv – 24,375,000 (195 bb)
Seat 4: Jeremy Joseph – 4,975,000 (40 bb)
Marius Gierse – Eliminated in 4th place ($179,710)

Championship: Pavel Plesuv Versus Jeremy Joseph

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 30: 75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 898

Pavel Plesuv opened to 400,000 from the small blind and Jeremy Joseph called in the big to the 8d7c3h flop. Plesuv checked, Joseph bet 300,000 and Plesuv check-raised to 1,700,000.

Joseph called, the turn was the 9c and both players checked. The river was 5c and Plesuv bet 3,000,000.

Joseph took his time to consider all the information, used four of his 30-second time chips, and called. Plesuv tabled th6c for the ten-high straight and Joseph mucked.

Pavel Plesuv – 18,975,000 (152 bb)
Jeremy Joseph – 5,050,000 (40 bb)

Championship: Chris Kennedy – 5th Place ($135,505)

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 29: 50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 898

Jeremy Joseph opened to 225,000 from under the gun, Chris Kennedy called on the button, and Pavel Plesuv called from the big blind to see the 9s8c7s flop.

Plesuv checked, Joseph bet another 225,000 and Kennedy moved all in for 2,625,000. Plesuv folded and Joseph called.

Joseph: kskd
Kennedy: jd9d

Joseph’s monster over pair was ahead of Kennedy’s flopped top pair/gutshot draw and he could not improve on the 4h turn or kc river to exit in fifth place.

Jeremy Joseph – 9,475,000 (95 bb)
Chris Kennedy – Eliminated in 5th place ($135,505)

Championship: Updated Counts

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 29: 50,000/100,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 898

After the abbreviated Level 28 came to an end, the five remaining players took a ten-minute break to color off the 5K chips and introduce the 500K plaques.

Seat 1: Christopher Kennedy – 3,275,000 (33 bb)
Seat 2: Jim Gilbert – 8,450,000 (85 bb)
Seat 3: Pavel Plesuv – 10,350,000 (104 bb)
Seat 4: Jeremy Joseph – 6,550,000 (66 bb)
Seat 6: Marius Gierse – 7,300,000 (73 bb)

Remaining payouts:

1st: $504,820
2nd: $326,565
3rd: $240,945
4th: $179,710
5th: $135,505

Championship: Jeremy Joseph Versus Pavel Plesuv

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 898

In a battle of the blinds, Pavel Plesuv opened to 280,000 from the small and Jeremy Joseph called in the big blind to the 7d5s2d flop. Plesuv bet 425,000 and Joseph called before the turn came 6s.

Plesuv checked, Joseph bet 525,000 and Plesuv called to the 4h river. Another check from Plesuv and a big 2,000,000 bet from Joseph forced a fold.

Jeremy Joseph – 6,755,000 (84 bb)
Pavel Plesuv – 8,425,000 (105 bb)

Championship: Chop it Up

$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | WPT Live Stream
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 with a 80,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 898

Marius Gierse opened to 180,000 from the button and Chris Kennedy three-bet to 350,000 from the small blind. Jim Gilbert took his time to think it out from the big blind, used one of his eight time chips, and four-bet to 875,000.

Gierse folded and it was Kennedy’s turn to use a time chip. Before the clock ticked down, he moved all in for 3,640,000 and Gilbert tossed in another time chip. He called and the hands were tabled.

Kennedy: acqc
Gilbert: adqd

They were each freerolling some flushes but the more likely chop happened after the qh9s5sjc3h board.

Christopher Kennedy – 3,770,000 (47 bb)
Jim Gilbert – 8,705,000 (109 bb)