Event 9 Recap

2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
$350 Pot Limit Omaha/8 (Re-Entry)

August 5, 2015

Total Entries:  111
Total Prize Pool:  $33,300

Event 9 Champion Robert Wachtel
Event 9 Champion
Robert Wachtel


What was shaping to be a fairly typical mixed game final table turned into a wild affair including what may turn out to be the most unusual hand of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open leading to Robert Wachtel winning the Event 9 Championship.

The third final table of Wednesday evening started off innocently enough as James Sandbrand had come in as the shortest stack on the table and fell at the hands of Brad Ruben in 10th place.  Chip leader Jeff Crookson then just edged out Andrew Donovan in 9th place followed by Garrett Dukes talking out Natasha Goureau in 8th.

With the field now down to seven and the chips fairly even among the remaining players, the clock was stopped for a sustained period of time to work out a potential deal.  The chips were counted, the numbers were calculated and a long discussion took place trying to pull a chop together.  But it was eventually turned down by Qui Van who ended up playing a prominent role in what was to come later on this final table.

After the elimination of Errol Massey in 7th place, the standout hand of the series took place.  After 30,000 chips ended up in the pot pre-flop between Van and Robert Wachtel, the flop was laid out. Van said all-in but had much more back than what would have been a pot-sized bet which Wachtel called.

Van then flipped his cards up and Wachtel did the same.  But since Wachtel had just called, there was no raise possible and action would continue with both players having their cards exposed.

After the turn and Wachtel being ahead on both the high and low, he bet his last 40,000 and Van still decided to call.  Wachtel won the hand leaving Van as the short stack on the table.

Van was eliminated shortly afterward by Crookson and Lonnie Heimowitz in 6th place.  The remaining players then went back to working out a deal as the 3 AM deadline closed in.  To wrap it up, the players decided to play one more hand.  Once it was completed, Robert Wachtel was the chip leader just getting by Garrett Dukes and Jeff Crookson to be declared the winner of Event 9.

Watchel discussed his perspective on the hand that had the table buzzing.  “I had the nut flush draw and he goes all-in and I didn’t realize he couldn’t go all-in.  So I said I call and he put his cards down and like a reaction put my cards down even though I shouldn’t have.  But once we put the cards down I saw I was ahead all the way and after the next card I went all-in and he called.  Afterward I just went and enjoyed a cigar.  I was just happy I won the hand.”

He also opened up as to why he insisted on winning the championshp in the deal.  “Last year I gave up the trophy to a guy from out of town who said he wanted it so badly and that was stupid.  So I said I’m never going to give up the trophy again.  Money is money but the trophy is kinda cool.  It comes full circle.  I feel great.”

Wachtel was very happy with his experience here at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.  “Everyone was very professional especially the floor people – they were very nice.  I’m always happy with the people here.  I love playing in this room.”

Congratulations to our Event 9 Champion – Robert Wachtel!

1st: Robert Wachtel (Boca Raton, FL) – $5,578
2nd: Garrett Dukes (Marietta, GA) – $5,531
3rd: Jeff Cookson (Weston, FL) – $5,467
4th: Lonnie Heimowitz (Garden Grove, CA) – $4,719
5th: Brad Ruben (Hernando, FL) – $4,331
6th: Qui Van (Pembroke Pines, FL) – $1,875
7th: Errol Massey (Miami, FL) – $1,567
8th: Natasha Goureau (Bal Harbour, FL)$1,249
9th: Andrew Donovan (Manteo, NC) – $939
10th: Jared Sandbrand (Coral Springs, FL) – $683