After hitting the pause button for a year, big tournament poker series returned to South Florida with the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open. A chance for players to compete for big money in a safe environment designed to protect them while they took their shot.
And they came out to play. We had record-setting fields beating numbers that have been around for nearly a decade and the 26 primary events combined to create prize pools of nearly $11 million.
The series was headlined by the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship, a $3,500 buy-in tournament drew 1,573 entries to create the third biggest field in World Poker Tour history.
The Championship had a $1,000,000 guarantee, which was topped before the first hand was dealt, and players ended up with a prize pool that topped $5,000,000.
Ilyas Muradi of Fort Wayne, IN pictured above and below) outlasted a tough final table for an emotional win, taking the title along with $620,000. In local news, Poker Room regular Francis Margaglione had our regulars behind him as he went on to finish in fourth place for $293,510.
It was a fantastic series by any measure. We thank our old friends and new for trusting us to run it with their safety in mind and look forward to seeing everyone again in April.
Lucky Hearts Poker Open by the numbers:
Primary Events: 26 Total Entries: 10,954 Total Guarantees: $2,160,000 Total Prize Pools: $10,919,235 Players Cashing $100K or More: 15
Here are the results and updates from all primary events:
2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida Event 24 $150 No-Limit Hold’em (Double Re-Entry per Day) $50,000 Guarantee Entries: 770 Prize Pool: $92,400 January 25-27, 2021
Event 24 of the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open, a $150 No-Limit Hold’em (Double Re-Entry per Day), drew 770 entries over two starting flights and created a prize pool of $92,400, nearly doubling the $50,000 guarantee.
There were 97 players who cashed, returning to the Poker Room on Day 2 to play to a winner. New Hamshire native Kevin Rines began the day 19th in chips and navigated his way to the final table. Coming in third in chips of the final seven players, Rines was on the winning side of a set over set cooler to take the chip lead into heads-up play, before ultimately sealing the deal with a win.
“I’m down here on vacation with my family,” Rines said afterward. “I satellited into the Main and did horribly, and then I figured I’d just go into this one. Feels good to get a trophy.”