2019 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $149,760
December 2-4, 2019
When the final table of the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Championship came to an end Wednesday night, there was still one event waiting to award a trophy — Event 21, $150 No-Limit Hold’em.
This is the kind of event that usually ends in a deal, with a very low buy-in but big prize money and large pay jumps for the final few spots. But there was no deal on this night, and Juan Endara defeated Daniel Le after a lengthy heads-up battle.
“It feels incredible,” said Endara. “I’ve made maybe six final tables, and the best I’ve finished is third place. I’ve gotten sixth a couple times. But this is my first win, and I’m very happy.”
There was a great turnout for this final event, with 1,258 entries in six starting flights over the previous three days, and they created a prizepool worth $149,760. There were 138 players who survived those starting flights to reach Day 2, but only 72 of them would finish in the money.
“It’s a small tournament, a $150 tournament, but you know what? A win is a win,” said Endara. “And it’s nice money. First place is a fantastic return on my money.”
Nice money indeed. Endara won $37,828, which is a 252x return on his $150 buy-in.
When the field got down to five players, there were murmurs about a possible deal, but they died quickly, and then they came up again when it was down to the final three players. But eventual runner-up Daniel Le wanted to keep playing. So they kept playing.
“I know sometimes it makes sense to chop,” said Endara, “and I was considering it, because we were very evenly stacked, and there was high variance. But honestly, I wanted to play.”
Endara was thrilled to win his first trophy in a poker tournament, and was particularly proud that he won it outright, with no deal. And it was his first time playing heads-up in a live tournament.
“I’ve played heads-up online,” said Endara, “but it’s not the same. I think I played well. I made two mistakes — I’m sure I made a lot more, but two that I know of for sure — but I think I played well overall.”
Endara lives in Miami, and has been coming to Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood for about eight years.
“I love the staff,” said Endara. “Honestly, they’re the best around the country. I’ve played up in Atlantic City, I’ve played in Vegas, I’ve played in L.A., and these guys are top notch. Everything about the Seminole Hard Rock is just the best.”
Final Table Results:
1st: Juan Endara – $37,828 + RRPO Trophy
2nd: Daniel Le – $21,940
3rd: William Jennings – $14,377
4th: Salvatore Sollecito – $9,660
5th: Ross Lebo – $6,739
6th: Michael Tait – $5,242
7th: Jose Avila – $4,044
8th: Brooks Long – $2,995
9th: Alcides Gomez – $2,097