Robert Garcia Gets Hot at Just the Right Time to Win the Seniors Event

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 2
$400 Seniors 50+ No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Entries:  272
Prize Pool:  $91,120
July 27, 2022

Event 2 Champion Robert Garcia
Seniors Event Champion Robert Garcia

The 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open kicked off on Wednesday, and the first trophy was awarded in the one-day Seniors Event when Robert Garcia came out on top of a field of 272 players — the third largest field for a seniors event in Seminole Hard Rock history.

Garcia lives nearly two hours away in Okeechobee, Florida, and he and some friends drive down to the Seminole Hard Rock about once a series, usually to play in the Seniors Event.

“I’ve cashed a couple and made some deep runs,” said Garcia, “but I’ve never come that close, so this feels great.”

Why does Garcia prefer seniors events over other events?

“Seniors are a lot friendlier,” said Garcia. “The young kids are more aggressive, with more big pots. Seniors want to see more flops and play a little bit more. It’s more of an old school type of poker.”

Garcia was fourth in chips at the dinner break, and improved to chipleader when they reached the final two tables. But then he went card dead for a while.

“I wasn’t getting any cards when we were at two tables,” said Garcia. “But once we got to the final table, I got some great cards in the right spots.”

The key hand for Garcia came with seven players left, when he played a big pot against another big stack, Hector Pacheco.

“I got lucky in one hand where I flopped top pair with a king, and [Pacheco] had king-three for two pair,” said Garcia. “But I hit my second pair on the river, and then we went all in, and that was a really big pot. That was probably the deciding hand of the match.” (Click here to read about that hand in more detail.)

Pacheco was eliminated in that hand as Garcia catapulted to a big chip lead, and kept his momentum by knocking out the next two players (Tamara Goldshteyn in sixth, and Stacy Matin in fifth) before the final four agreed to an ICM deal. As chipleader, Garcia was declared the winner, receiving the title and the trophy.

Garcia really enjoys the tournaments here, but he and his friends are also fans of the many other amenities available at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood.

“If my buddies get knocked out early, they can go gamble or do something else besides wait for me the whole time,” said Garcia. “Right now they’re out getting drunk at the bar, so I’m going to meet them there and celebrate.”

Final Results:

1Robert Garcia$15,364
2Amir Baron$13,042
3Lisa Teebagy$11,273
4Mark Fersaci$10,051
5Stacy Matin$4,385
6Tamara Goldshteyn$3,635
7Hector Pacheco$3,060
8Amie Martini$2,555
9Shurland George$2,055
10Mark Bernstein$2,055
11Eduardo Moucherek Cecchinato$1,730
12Nancy Thomas$1,730
13Michael Preston$1,480
14Mohan Navani$1,480
15Anthony Hobbs$1,480
16Jeffrey Bidelman$1,240
17Richard Hill$1,240
18Anthony Velasquez$1,240
19Rado Boltryk$1,025
20Guillermo Garcia$1,025
21Jacque Doucette$1,025
22David Guiffreda$820
23Alan Reichstein$820
24Michael Fess$820
25Blair Miller$705
26Tuan Nguyen$705
27Charles Gudaitis$705
28Peter Lombardo$625
29Valery Litvak$625
30Christopher Canzano$625
31Laura Matthew$625
32Philip Consolo$625
33Ronald Katz$625
34Arthur Sarkisian$625

* Indicates the results of a four-way deal.