2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
$570 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
August 6–10, 2015
Total Entries: 2,928
Total Prize Pool: $1,464,000
Event 10 was the tentpole event for the second weekend of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, and it didn’t disappoint. The prizepool was guaranteed at $1 million, but with 2,928 entries, the prizepool cleared $1.4 million.
The player who took the largest piece of that prizepool was Mike Ortiz of Miami Lakes, Florida, who earned $184,730 for his first-place finish.
The event attracted some of the top players who are arriving early before the Big Four tournaments that kick off at the end of this week, including Victor Figueroa (2012 Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Main Event champion), reigning Seminole Hard Rock Player of the Year Angel Vu, WPT winner Ryan Van Sanford, WPT Players of the Year Mukul Pahuja and Joe Serock, and recent WSOP bracelet winners Barry Hutter and Cord Garcia. Some non-professional poker players in the field include poker media hero Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers, NBA champion Earl Barron, and NFL champion Richard Seymour.
After six starting flights, there 552 players who made it to Day 2, and the early standout was Cord Garcia, who outlasted the largest WSOP field in history when he won the WSOP’s Colossus event. Garcia was the first big chipleader, with 2 1/2 times as many chips as anyone else near the Money Bubble. Garcia was among the 14 players who would return for Day 3.
The big moment early on Day 3 was when Edgar Varas rivered a Royal Flush to eliminate Kevin Butler in 11th place. Last woman standing Nancy Birnbaum went home in 9th place, and Garcia followed a short while later in 6th place.
The final four players battled it out for a while, and when short-stack Michael Lewin doubled up by catching a three-outer on the river, they started talking about making a deal. It took a little negotiation, but they came to an agreement that everyone was happy with. Mike Ortiz had a sizable chip lead at that point, so he took home the title, the trophy, and he’ll also receive a custom-framed winner’s photo from IMPDI.
Ortiz is a local player from Miami Lakes, Florida, and he considers the Seminole Hard Rock to be his home casino; he’s been playing here since the days when they only offered sit-n-go tournaments. Ortiz has had success here before, as his only other six-figure cash came here a little over a year ago when he finished second in Event 1 of the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $113,515.
In addition to the money, Ortiz said the title is meaningful because it’s a confirmation of how much work he has put into improving his game. He was thankful for his friends, many of whom were here on the rail to cheer him on, saying, “They’ve always been there for me. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Congratulations to Mike Ortiz!
Final Table Results:
1st: Mike Ortiz (Miami Lakes, FL) $184,730
2nd: Eric Becks (Plantation, FL) $154,966
3rd: Peter Walsworth (Sarasota, FL) $154,975
4th: Michael Lewin (Delray Beach, FL) $125,211
5th: Jason Appel (Deer Park, NY) $76,274
6th: Cord Garcia (Katy, TX) $60,756
7th: Ivan Barbuto (Monaco) $45,384
8th: Edgar Varas (Miami, FL) $30,744
9th: Nancy Birnbaum (Fort Lauderdale, FL) $21,960