Event 24 Recap

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
$25,400 High Roller Event (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed

August 17th-18th, 2015

Total Entries:  83
Total Prize Pool: $2,075,000

Jason Mercier - High Roller Champion
Jason Mercier – High Roller Champion

The High Roller event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open welcomed back the final nine players today from a total field of 83. Some of the best players in poker were seated under the bright lights of the Big 4 Live Stream TV set inside the Hard Rock Live concert venue when action began at 2 p.m. ET.

David Peters kicked off the eliminations when his Q-9 fell against the A-Q of Jason Mercier on a board that missed them both. Peters took home $57,500 in ninth place, and Mercier took the chip lead a short time after the elimination.

Ian O’Hara doubled thru Ashwin Sarin in the next major confrontation, and then David Sands doubled thru Mercier. Phil Laak hit the rail in eighth place when his K-Q ran into the pocket aces of O’Hara. Laak paired his king, but it wasn’t enough to avoid elimination in eighth place ($74,400).

Mercier took out his second victim when Sarin moved all in with Q-J in the hole against him. Mercier held pocket kings and they held to send Sarin home in seventh place, which was good for $93,400. O’Hara scored his second knockout punch when his A-Q had the A-8 of Sands dominated. There was a queen on the flop, and Sands was drawing dead by the turn. He took home $116,600 for finishing in sixth place.

The remaining five players then went to dinner, and when they returned the action was fast. Barry Hutter was all in with Ah5h against the KsJs of Mercier, but a king fell on the turn to give Mercier his third elimination of the evening. Hutter was out in fifth and took home $141,900.

Just two hands later, Ankush Mandavia was all in with A-K, and he had the A-7 held by Mercier dominated. But the board had other plans. Mercier spiked a seven on the river to eliminate Mandavia in fourth place ($186,200).

Sean Winter was all-in about five minutes later with KsQs and O’Hara called him holding pocket tens. The board gave O’Hara a full house and Winter came in third place ($245,500).

O’Hara held the lead with 4,850,000 over the 3,455,000 of Mercier at the start of heads-up play. Mercier quickly took the lead in the match, but O’Hara scored a double up to take control back. O’Hara held 9s6s, and he scored trip sixes on the board to top the pair of queens that Mercier had made in the hand.

The most pivotal hand of the heads-up final took place when O’Hara raised to 100,000 preflop on the button and Mercier called. The flop was dealt AsJs6h and Mercier checked. O’Hara bet 135,000 and Mercier raised to 345,000. O’Hara called and the turn delivered the 2d. Mercier checked, O’Hara bet 435,000, and Mercier called. The 4d hit on the river, and Mercier checked again. O’Hara fired out 1,040,000. Mercier raised to 2.75 million and O’Hara called after tanking for a minute. Mercier showed 5s3s and that was enough to take a commanding 7-1 chip-lead after O’Hara mucked.

O’Hara was able to stave off elimination when he scored a double with A-Q topping the A-10 of Mercier on a 9-4-2-Q-4 board, but the next time he shoved O’Hara was not so lucky. On the final hand, O’Hara raised to 100,000 on the button and Mercier raised to 265,000. O’Hara reraised all in for 1,235,000 holding AhKc, and Mercier called with JhJc in the hole. The board was dealt KsJd2c4d7c, and O’Hara was eliminated in second place ($391,700). That made Mercier the champion and he immediately went over to the rail to celebrate with his family. Mercier was awarded $652,800, which puts his career live tournament earnings close to $16 million. He also took home the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller trophy to add to his trophy case back home. Congratulations to the SHRPO High Roller champion – Jason Mercier!

We caught up with Mercier after the conclusion of the tournament and he shared his thought about the tournament and the win.

On winning this tournament with his family in attendance: “It’s pretty awesome because for as many tournament as I’ve won, I’ve never actually had my family here. I knew this tournament series was a pretty decent opportunity to make a final table and have them come watch. Anytime there’s a series here I’m really trying so that they can come. I was just happy to still be in. My Dad got here for the start, took off some work, and it was cool to have them both of my parents here and my sister here to watch me win.”

On his great run of tournament success: “It definitely never gets old winning. Each tournament that I have won over the past seven or eight years has definitely had a unique feel to it. It’s a different experience every time. You’re playing sometimes different games, different people, different cities. Anytime you can win a poker tournament it feels good and I’m just glad I won this one.”

On the high roller event run by Seminole Hard Rock: “It was great, it was pretty cool what they did setting everything up. The rake was very low on this event and it drew a nice field. I think it was awesome that they were able to put a guarantee on a high roller event, which is a very rare thing. Them guaranteeing that they’re going to get 40 people basically for this tournament, I think drew a lot of people. Maybe some guys that wouldn’t necessarily fly here from Vegas or whatever were like, ‘Ok, well we know the high roller is going to get 40 entries or more.’ So it makes it a little easier to travel out here and plan ahead. They ended up getting twice that for this tournament so it was a really good turnout.”

Final Table Results:

1st: Jason Mercier $652,800 (Davie, FL)
2nd: Ian O’Hara – $391,700 (Boca Raton, FL)
3rd: Sean Winter – $245,500 (Jacksonville, FL)
4th: Ankush Mandavia – $186,200 (Atlanta, GA)
5th: Barry Hutter – $141,900 (Bradenton, FL)
6th: David Sands – $116,600 (Bozman, MT)
7th: Ashwin Sarin – $93,400 (Redmond, WA)
8th: Phil Laak – $74,400 (San Francisco, CA)
9th: David Peters – $57,500 (Toledo, OH)