Memories from 50 Series

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker celebrated a milestone with the 2024 Poker Showdown. It was the 50th major series we hosted, starting with the Poker Showdown in 2011, and includes the four major series each year plus that one time the WSOP Circuit came to town.

We put tournaments in ballrooms and Event Centers and set up final tables in the massive original Hard Rock Live arena and the cozier Paradise Theater. We even had arena seating for a few years.

Have a look at the raw numbers and wrap your head around them –

Series: 50
Events: 1,483
Entries: 550,269
Guarantees: $264,503,500
Prize Pools: $516,885,576

Half a billion dollars (with a b) in prize money.

Over a decade of huge events, more than 500,000 entries came through the door, and we paid out more than $500 million in prize money.

We’ve seen things, memorable things, and a lot of happy moments.

Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

2013 SHRPO Championship – $11,920,000 Prize Pool

We have to start with the tournament that put us on the map.

In 2013, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker announced we were running a $5,300 buy-in event with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool. The poker world was different back then, and many people were a little shocked at our audacity or shrugged it off as a gimmick. But they also showed up in South Florida in mass to create a huge prize pool worth $11,920,000.

Blair Hinkle outlasted the 2,384-entry field to take the top prize of $1,745,245, still the record for the biggest single payout in our history.

Blair Hinkle
Blair Hinkle, 2013 SHRPO champ
Brian Altman, 2015 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Champion

Brian Altman Wins it Twice

It’s not easy to win a WPT title, and it’s really not easy to win the same WPT title twice. It’s so tough that it’s only been done once and happened right here.

Brian Altman won the 2015 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship, topping the 1,027-entry field for $723,008 and his first WPT title.

“This is my first time here. I was very impressed with the venue, the staff, the dealers, and this beautiful casino,” Altman said after that win. “I was really impressed. It’s nice to check out new casinos with nice facilities.”

Five years later, Altman was back in position at the 2020 LHPO Championship final table and made WPT history by winning the same event for a second time.

In addition to those two titles, Altman won five other Hollywood titles, including a $25K High Roller and a $1,100 Big 4 event.

Brian Altman, 2020 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Champion

Wins Stacked on Wins

With seven major Hollywood trophies, Altman sits in our top ten for all-time wins with some serious company.

Leading that list, as he has for many years, is our local legend, Raminder Singh. He’s been a model of consistency and success almost as far back as we’ve been tracking results. Singh won three titles in 2015 (two during that year’s RRPO series) and his fourth in 2018.

Since then, Singh has captured at least one new trophy every calendar year from 2018 to the present, and that streak continued with his 12th in the recent Poker Showdown.

Michael Newman is always in the neighborhood trying to catch Singh and picked up his 11th to stay one behind in second place with Yuval Bronshtein, David Shmuel and Matt Bretzfield in the top five. They are followed by more great players and a string of some of the best non-Hold’em players in the game.

Top 10 all-time wins:

Raminder Singh –  12 wins
Michael Newman –  11 wins
Yuval Bronshtein  –  10 wins
David Shmuel  –  9 wins
Matt Bretzfield  –  9 wins
John Holley  –  8 wins
Brian Altman  –  7 wins
David Prociak  –  7 wins
Gabriel Ramos  –  7 wins
Phil Hui  –  7 wins

Reaching further down the wins list, we have an incredible 33 players who have won at least four major titles and another 45 sitting one back at three wins.

Setting Records; Breaking Records

We’ve come a long way since the first event of the first series when we drew 1,000 entries for the opener in 2011.

The fields were trending up consistently until we went really big during the 2016 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open. We added two flights, changed the guarantee from $500,000 to $1 million, and then created the biggest tournament field in Florida state history.

Event 1 of that series drew a record crowd of 5,018 entries, and we continued to grow to the point where that field isn’t even in the top five anymore.

Biggest tournament fields in state history:

2022 SHRPO  –  7,703 entries
2023 RRPO  –  7,532 entries
2023 SHRPO  –  6,253 entries
2021 RRPO  –  6,196 entries
2022 RRPO  –  6,134 entries

We topped that record by more than a thousand in 2021 and, in 2022, set the bar so high we might never catch it again (but it will be fun trying). The opening event of the 2022 SHRPO had an incredible 7,703 entries on the opening weekend, and the count snowballed each day.

That’s a lot of people in one game and it was a great time.

Come see us if you want to play in huge multi-flight, top-money tournaments.

Click here for the high-res version

50 Championships

When you have 50 series, you have 50 championships and 50 champions.

Or, in our case, 49 trophies were handed out to 48 players (thanks to Brian Altman’s double win), and we still have one waiting to be awarded in Vegas at the end of May.

Starting with Taylor von Kriegenbergh as our first WPT Champ in 2011 up to reigning LHPO winner Raminder Singh, we’ve had some first-rate players take the title in our headliner each series. We’ve had WSOP bracelet winners, multiple WPT champs, high rollers, and local grinders take the top spot. All worthy of the champion title.

Of the half-billion dollars in prize money we’ve paid out, more than $195 million was earned in our Championship/Main Events. We noted Blair Hinkle has the biggest Championship payout in our history, but we’ve had ten players bank $1 million or more with the win.

The complete Champions list is too long to fit here, so we have a running list at the link below.

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker Champs

So Many Friends to Thank

All the money stats are fun and amazing and something to see, but we are nothing without our amazing, loyal players.

We love seeing our local poker room regulars sitting beside old and new friends from around the world. It’s hard to fathom that we had players walk up to the registration desk more than 500,000 times, even more when you include satellites and secondary events.

Thank you to all the players who turned out for the first 50 series and made them memorable; we look forward to what we see over the next 50.