MMA Fighter Colby Covington Proves Himself a Multi-Faceted Competitor By Winning His First Poker Trophy

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 22
$1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Entries:  84
Prize Pool:  $81,480
August 2-3, 2022

Colby Covington

Two days ago, MMA fighter Colby Covington final tabled SHRPO Event 1, which broke the record for the largest poker tournament in Florida history with 7,703 entries. Covington finished seventh to earn $48,298, but he wasn’t satisfied.

“I wanted to come back and prove that wasn’t just a fluke,” said Covington, “and show that I could play with the best players in the world.”

Covington did exactly that, winning Event 22 ($1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha-8) against a tough field to win the title, the trophy, and $25,875.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Covington after his victory. “It’s been a long journey to finally get a trophy here at Seminole Hard Rock. This is my home casino, and I love playing here.”

Covington’s two deep runs came in two completely different events. Event 22 was PLO-8 instead of the standard hold’em of Event 1, and while this one had a smaller field, it was filled with much tougher, more experienced players.

One of those players was Phil Hui, fresh off a victory last night in $600 H.O.R.S.E. Hui has three WSOP bracelets, five Seminole Hard Rock trophies, and more than $3.6 million in career tournament earnings.

“I was staying away from Phil Hui early on,” said Covington. “He’s a great player, one of the greatest players in the game today. I know he’s a specialist in high-low, so I wanted to navigate around him and wait to pick really good spots where I felt comfortable with getting the high and the low.”

Covington’s strategy paid off, and he never gave up the chip lead at the final table. Covington knocked out five of his eight final table opponents on his way to victory.

Hui was down to three big blinds when he got it all in against Covington, who scooped the pot to knock out Hui in fourth place. (Click here for details.)

A short while later, Salvatore Pipitone got it all in against Covington after a flop of Kc8d6d. Pipitone had pocket aces with no draws, while Covington had flopped a set of sixes with the nut low draw. Covington’s hand held up to scoop the pot and eliminate Pipitone in third place. (Click here for details.)

That left Covington heads-up against David Shmuel, a five-time trophy winner here at Seminole Hard Rock, with three of them coming in Omaha events.

Even with such an accomplished player between him and victory, Covington remained focused and relaxed.

“Luckily for me, I’ve fought at the highest levels on pay-per-view, and in front of sold-out areas like Madison Square Garden,” said Covington. “I’m used to the nerves and I know how to channel them and use them the right way. I don’t ever get emotional when playing cards or fighting, and I just play my best game every time I come out.”

The final two players eventually got it all in on a board showing 7d6c5sAd on the turn. Shmuel had a nine-high straight, and a higher flush draw, while Covington had a set of fives and a made low. (Click here for more details.)

The river card was — the 5c. Covington won his first poker title and trophy with quad fives.

Covington was very appreciative after his victory.

“I started playing at the sister property, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek,” said Covington. “I’ve got to give a big shout out to them and Kelly Mautner (Director of Poker Operations for Seminole Coconut Creek). Without them, I wouldn’t be here today winning this title.”

“I also want to give a big thank you to everybody at Seminole Hard Rock Casino,” said Covington. “Tony Burns and the team, you guys do a great job. You run such good tournaments here. I’m very thankful that you guys do what you guys do.”

Final Results:

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Amount