Event 25: Javier Zarco Wins His First Guitar Pick Trophy at Seminole Hard Rock

2024 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 25
$2,200 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$200,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  163
Prize Pool:  $326,000
January 17-18, 2024

Javier Zarco

Javier Zarco has had a nice run of success here at the lineup of Seminole Hard Rock tournament series over the years, but he was happy to pick up his first guitar pick trophy by winning Event 25 at the 2024 Lucky Hearts Poker Open. He adds it to a trophy case that also holds a World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring, and he bumped his career earnings over $3.4 million.

We caught up with him post-victory for the winner’s interview, and here is what he had to say right after getting handed that trophy. “It feels very good, it’s actually my first win in this casino, I haven’t always run too good here even though I’ve been coming here over all of these years. I think my best finish before was a fourth place, so it feels amazing to finally close one out, it feels good.”

This was the fifth tournament that Zarco has won overall, so we asked him about how that previous experience making other deep runs at final tables was able to help him here today. “It definitely helps, but in the past couple years I haven’t been able to close out a couple final tables that I made. I almost final tabled a milly maker this year and I fell short, so I try to take away those lessons from the final tables that I couldn’t close, and put them to use here. I made a couple of crazy folds here, and they ended up working out,” said Zarco.

The final table played fast this afternoon with stacks seeing wild swings while the blind structure whittled down the remaining big blinds in play. Zarco opened up about his adjustments to those swings with this response. “It was crazy, because with the last four we pretty much all had the same stacks at 1 million with the big blinds at 50k. We were all 20 big blinds deep and we were playing for a lot of money. It was a matter of not making big mistakes, and just letting them make the mistakes, and not me. And obviously the cards held, so that worked out,” said Zarco.

Zarco had some of his good friends on the rail today throughout his run at the final table, and they were even cheering him on when we asked how it felt to have that support as he won the title. Zarco responded, “It’s good, in poker we’re almost always losing, so when you actually win you want to really enjoy it and celebrate it with your friends. We lose more than we win, so it’s important to celebrate the wins.”

It also sounded like his plans to celebrate will take place here at Seminole Hard Rock both tonight and through the next couple of days remaining in the tournament series. “I don’t know, we’re probably going to go have dinner, and then I kind of want to play in the $1k, but they’re probably not going to let me [laughs]. I will be in the main this weekend, so hopefully I can keep the momentum going for that,” said Zarco.

Zarco is a citizen of the world who is originally from Spain and has lived in England in addition to attending Lindenwood University here in St. Charles, Missouri to get his higher education. So to close out the interview we asked how he uses that unique background in his approach to poker.

“I think the landscape of poker is very different in Europe than it is in the U.S. You have to adjust to different styles, it’s definitely different strategies if you’re playing in Europe compared to here. I’ve played most of my life in the U.S. since I went to university here, so I grew up playing this type of meta, which actually helps you know where people are. Most people who come over from Europe they’re obviously good at poker, but sometimes they don’t know how to adjust to American meta. I think it helps me that I know everybody and I’ve played for so long that I have a lot of information from the people I’ve played. When I see a table, I know everybody, so that’s the information that’s really helpful,” said Zarco.

Here is a look at the final results for the tournament:

PlaceFirst NameLast NamesPrize Amount