Event 1: Recap

2015 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ’n’ Roll Poker Open”
$350 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guarantee

November 19th-22nd, 2015

Total Entries:  3,022
Total Prizepool:  $906,600

Ivan Freitez
Ivan Freitez, Event 1 Champion


Event 1 was scheduled as a two-day event (with six starting flights) and a $500,000 guarantee. But a massive turnout of 3,022 entries pushed it to a three-day event with a prizepool worth $906,600. After a hard-fought battle at the final table, it was Ivan Freitez who won the title, the Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open” trophy, and a custom-framed winner’s photo courtesy of Image Masters.

With the massive prizepool, there was sporadic talk of making a deal at the final table, but Freitez himself was the most reluctant to chop, pointing out that when he won the 2011 EPT Grand Final, he didn’t make a deal even though first prize was worth more than $2 million. He even said the line, “I chop with my wife. I chop with my children. Other than that, I don’t chop.”

Ultimately, the final three players did come to a deal, and it wrapped up the other big storyline from this event — T.J. Shulman’s comeback from a literal chip-and-a-chair with 12 players remaining. Shulman was down to a single ante before mounting his comeback, and went on to outlast the next players to bust to finish in the top three, bumping his payday from $8,159 to $97,366 in the process.

This is the third title for Freitez in his live tournament career, and each of them has been for at least six figures, making him the winningest player in Venezuelan history.

Congratulations to Ivan Freitez!

Final Table Results:

1st:  Ivan Freitez  (Grand Caracas, Venezuela)  $117,366
2nd:  Taylor Fortini  (Vero Beach, FL)  $109,366
3rd:  T.J. Shulman  (Jackson, GA)  $97,366
4th:  Thomas Collazo  (Davie, FL)  $55,983
5th:  Jake Melen  (Cedarhurst, NY)  $45,557
6th:  Jack Rolnitzky  (Commerce Township, MI)  $35,811
7th:  Marcus Stein  (Pembroke Pines, FL)  $26,291
8th:  Mike Chiappetta  (Boca Raton, FL)  $17,679
9th:  Pedro Palacio  (Delray Beach, FL)  $12,692