2019 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$3,500 WPT RRPO Championship (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $3,161,600
November 29 – December 4, 2019
(Hollywood, FL) — The WPT Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship headlined a successful series and capped off a great two weeks. It drew the biggest field in RRPO history and Milen Stefanov dominated the final table to outlast them all, taking home the title along with nearly $550,000.
“It feels amazing, it’s almost like it’s catching me off guard,” Stefanov said after his win. “The emotions are running rampant, like even more than when I was playing.”
“To be a champion finally of the WPT, it feels amazing. It’s an understatement.”
The $3,500 buy-in tournament had 988 entries over the two starting flights to easily surpass the $2,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. They combined to put $3,161,600 up for grabs with a $545,070 top prize which included a $15,000 seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions.
There were still 720 players around for Day 2 with 124 set to make the money. The bubble burst late in the day with WSOPC Coco ring winner Roberto Bendeck going out one place short of the money.
Only 65 players advanced to Day 3 and that number was culled down to 17 for Day 4. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker Room regular Cesar Fuentes held the chip lead for portions of Day 4 and was among the six players who moved on to the WPT Final Table after a long day.
Francis Anderson was an early elimination from the final table and the five remaining players settled into a groove. It took two more hour-long levels before Fuentes was eliminated in fifth place for $146,760, the biggest cash of his career.
Roman Korenev was eliminated in fourth place after he ran into Stefanov’s aces and David Novosel’s knockout in third place set the heads-up battle for the title. Stefanov had a huge lead over Fabian Gumz but Gumz came back to take a small lead after two doubles. Stefanov quickly moved back ahead and finished it off after a few close calls.
Gumz earned $353,380 for his runner-up finish while Stefanov took home $530,070 plus the WPT TOC seat, the biggest cash of his career by far. The Varna, Bulgaria native will now have his name on the WPT Champions Cup as the 2019 WPT RRPO Champion.
“I wanted to experience the U.S., it’s my first time coming here for poker, so this is my first WPT festival in America,” Stefanov said. “I love it. Pretty much everything.”
“The organization about the tournament and everything from this to the weather to the life here, it’s amazing,” he continued. “I’ll definitely be back. I have to defend the title.”
Final table results:
1st: Milen Stefanov – $545,070 + RRPO Trophy *
2nd: Fabian Gumz – $353,380
3rd: David Novosel – $260,845
4th: Roman Korenev – $194,605
5th: Cesar Fuentes – $146,760
6th: Francis Anderson – $111,895
* – includes WPT TOC seat