Players are back in their seats after a quick bite, drink, and/or rest. They come back to Level 23 with blinds at 10k/20k/2k ante and average stack of 41,000. After a quick search of the room, the clear chipleader is Brett Bader with 1,400,000 sitting in front and the nearest player showing 850,000.
Level 6 has just ended. We needed 125 players to hit the $15,000 guarantee and we’re just short of that number with 30 minutes left to register as 123 are signed up thus far. We should easily exceed that number, however, by the time registration closes. It is a re-entry event so if you bust out, you can buy back in before Level 9 begins. It is also a one day event with a fast structure that should end in the early morning. We’ll be here covering it until it is done.
The second event of the Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open” is underway. Event 2 is a $150 buy-in NLH Double Stack Turbo tournament with a $15,000 guaranteed prizepool. They kicked things off downstairs in The Poker Room at Seminole Hard Rock and there are two hours of late registration or re-entry.
Crystal Utley is one of two players who used a tournament rule to her advantage and she is now deep in Event 1. Not only were players given the option of re-entering the tournament if they busted in the first four levels of any Day 1, they could also play multiple flights and surrender the smaller stack if making Day 2 more than once.
Utley finished Day 1D with just 5,400 but came back and managed to make it through with 80,400 chip on Day 1H. The first 5,400 came out of play and she recently tripled up.
“It was the last hand of the day and I had a pocket pair,” she commented, “I had a pocket pair and knew my husband had to come back the next day. I had 60k and figured 120k would be better or take another shot.”
Utley lost the hand and bagged that handful of chips but found a way to get back in the game with a bigger stack. She recently tripled up winning pocket Aces against AK and KQ to get near 400,000.
Level 21 is underway with blinds at 6k/12k/1k ante.
Luck and poker go hand in hand sometimes no matter the math. Vicki Holmes as all-in with two other players and needing a lot of help with up against and another player taking one of her outs with . The board ran out nice and low for Big Slick until the river popped a two-out to more than double her stack and knocking out a tough opponent.
Unfortunately Holmes gave back half of those chips while still stacking the previous hand by calling down against her new opponent’s straight but she is still alive for the big payouts.
The tournament area is emptying at a steady pace with Garren James and Nicholas Mahabee among the most recent bustouts. Only 89 players remain mid-way through Level 20.
Table 37 is seeing a lot of action with Juliet Yarina using her stack to bully a newly seated opponent but also an interesting hand with Lou White with a mis-read hand.
White was facing a raise on a board and ended up just calling to see the on the river. White and his opponent checked the river and White said he had a straight and tabled and was actually playing the board. His opponent showed a Ten for the baby boat which would have been best in any case. “I swore I had ,” said White after the hand.
The field is into double digits with just 10 tables remaining as they are about to head off on their second break of the day after coloring off the 100 chips.
The post-money parade to the rail has begun and Aces continue buck the math with two more players getting them with their tournament life on the line only to have them cracked. Table 37 saw one hero get a call from and asked the dealer for a second while he crossed himself. Asking for help from the Almighty did not help when the dealer pealed a deuce right off the top. Elsewhere on Table 33 we saw Aces got down to the mighty and a flopped full house.
All downstairs tables have broken which means the final 117 players are now in the upstairs tournament area. Among those in the money and moving forward are former ?Seminole Hard Rock winner Juliet Yarina, electronic poker innovator Lou White, former chipleader Luis Santoni, and Garren James from the show Gigolos.
Players are now in Level 19 with blinds at 4k/8k/500 ante and average stack of ~180,000.
It took exactly one hand on the bubble to get the field in the money. Tournament staff announced hand-for-hand play was about to get underway when a downstairs tables produced two eliminations to get down to 126 without a major pause in play.
The happy short-stack players will start shoving to double or hit the cage while the top stacks will look to move their way up the pay ladder with an eye at the $45,121 first place prize.