2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
$350 Big Stack Black Chip Bounty No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$30,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
August 9, 2015
Total Entries: 276
Total Prize Pool: $55,200
Without a doubt there was a collision coming at some point between the two overwhelming chip leaders this evening but no one could have expected it to go down quite like it did. That battle resulted in Robert Melo cruising to the Event 11 title.
With two tables to go, Jorge Gomez was the clear chip leader sending player after player to the payout window. But with Gomez seemingly on cruise control, Robert Melo had also managed to put together the second largest stack in the room. And when Melo was moved off his table and to the right of Gomez, it formed a wall that destroyed most of the competition at their table and it looked like the two of them were headed for an epic showdown for the tournament championship.
Gomez continued his torrid pace of eliminations taking out Antonio Velazquez in 10th place and was appearing to be nearly unstoppable. But then came the hand of the night between him and Melo. Melo bet out 35,000 followed by a raise from Gomez to 100,000. Melo then fired back raising to 350,000 and Gomez went all-in. Melo quickly called and turned over and Gomez showed . With over 2,600,000 chips and the tournament essentially on the line with everyone else so far behind, Melo’s kings held up and left Gomez as the short stack in the tournament.
Gomez managed to triple up back to 101,000 but Frank DeGeorge took almost of them leaving him with only 5,000 chips. DeGeorge then finished him off with a set of aces and Gomez was out in 9th place. Mark Gaudino then took John Utley then out in 8th place but even with the eliminations by Gaudino and DeGeorge no was within shouting distance of Melo’s enormous chip stack.
Realizing the situation with Melo holding 2,800,000 of the 4,100,000 in play, the remaining players decided a chop was in everyone’s best interest and the tournament ended with Robert Melo winning the title and the other six players splitting the remaining prize money.
Melo talked about the situation that was brewing with Gomez. “Before I was moved I thought I was the chip leader and when I sat down and saw he had me covered I said what does the one guy with chips than me have to be to my left? So I knew I had to just tighten up and not get out of line. When we got moved to one table he still had position on me but it was a little better.”
He then talked about the hand that put the tournament into his control. “I was shocked that he shoved. He doesn’t have to do that and he gave up so much equity. When he shoved I wasn’t going to fold kings. I don’t want to go out on a limb and say I was going to win after that but I was a heavy favorite by a lot of horse lengths.”
Melo had a humble reaction to winning the title. “I’m not too full of myself. This is just a warm-up for next week. If I could do that next week, that’s life-changing money. It’s encouraging, it’s nice and it’s great for my confidence but it’s all about next week.”
He also had some great things to say about Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the team here. “Excellent, wonderful. Obviously the Hard Rock has taken control of tournament poker in Florida. No one puts on better tournaments or Opens so it’s exciting.”
Congratulations to our Event 11 Champion – Robert Melo!
1st: Robert Melo (Howard Beach, NY) – $15,000
2nd: Frank DeGeorge (Las Vegas, NV) – $4,556
3rd: Nahra Habib (Awkar, Lebanon) – $4,556
4th: Mark Gaudino (Plantation, FL) – $4,556
5th: Yousri Ali (Chicago, IL) – $4,556
6th: Wally Maddah (Palm Harbor, FL) – $4,556
7th: Sanjid Acharya (Tampa, FL) – $4,556
8th: John Utley (Morganfield, KY) – $1,656
9th: Jorge Gomez (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)- $1,104
10th: Antonio Velazquez (Toa Baja, PR) – $718