Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open”
$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
November 28 – December 3, 2014
Total Entries: 601
Total Prize Pool: $2,000,000
The showcase event of the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” kicked off on November 28. The $3,500 buy-in Championship Event drew 601 entrants and Chris Bolek outlasted all 600 players to earn the title plus the $480,200 that goes along with the honor.
The Championship featured two starting flights and included world champions, local regulars, and top professionals. A few of the WSOP bracelet winners in the house included Vanessa Selbst, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Jason Mercier, Tristan Wade, Brian Hastings, Mike Leah, Marsha Wolak, and 2001 Main Event Champion Carlos Mortensen along with former November Niners John Dolan and Dennis Phillips. Matt Glantz, Ari Engel, Matt Affleck, Mike Leah, and Chance Kornuth were just some of the other professionals taking a seat.
Day 2 saw only 224 players return for a chance at the title with 63 of them getting a piece of the $2,000,000 prize pool. It took nearly an hour to lose one player on the money bubble and it was local “Sheddy” Siddiqui going out in 65th against eventual 4th place finisher Jeff Chang to put the rest of the field in the money.
Day 2 ended with exactly four tables remaining and Chang in the lead. It was a quick Day 3 as they just needed to eliminate 18 of the 36 players to call it a night. It was over when WSOP and WPT champion Eli Elezra was knocked out in 19th.
The Championship final table was set when Jebhar Patterson was eliminated in 11th place on Day 4 but there was still some work to do. They were scheduled to play down to the last six players to move on to the live-streamed final table stage in the Paradise Live Theater.
After a quick dinner break and despite a comeback attempt, Mohammed Jaafar went out in 7th place to send the remaining players to Day 5.
Professional Faraz Jaka was the first to be sent out on the final day when his Big Slick could not out race the pocket Jacks of Sean Winter. Steven McKoy quickly followed suit to start a long four-handed battle.
Former chip leader Jeff Chang had little luck under the lights and was knocked out by new leader Sean Winter. Andy Andrejevic spent a lot of the last two days on top of the chip counts but his Championship came to an end in 3rd when he moved all-in against Bolek and his couldn’t catch versus .
The heads up match between Bolek and Winter started relatively even but Bolek took most of the major pots. With a dwindling stack, Winter took a shot with but was no good against to send him out in runner-up position.
Bolek was short stacked several times at the final table but won a critical come-from-behind hand against Sean Winter and never looked back. He fought hard, played a patient game, and battled back to win the championship.
Bolek is recently off a runner-up finish at WPT Bestbet less than one month ago and now has the biggest victory of his career. He also moved over $1,000,000 in career tournament earnings with the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship.
“This is my home,” Bolek said simply when asked about his run. “I’m a South Florida player and I come here a lot. Their structure are great, competitive with anything else in the country.”
“I’m just going to enjoy this moment for awhile,” he said when asked what was next.
1st: Chris Bolek – $480,200
2nd: Sean Winter – $270,000
3rd: Andy Andrejevic – $170,000
4th: Jeff Chang – $138,000
5th: Steven McKoy – $110,000
6th: Faraz Jaka – $91,000
7th: Mohammed Jaafar – $73,000
8th: Jacobo Fernandez – $55,000
9th: Mike Dentale – $38,000