Showdown

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Features Two Season XIV World Poker Tour Events

So very pretty

The $3,500 buy-in, $2 Million Guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Championship and $10,000 buy-in, $2 Million Guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale headline along with the Seminole Hard Rock Poker High Roller and the WPT Tournament of Champions.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2016) – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, has announced the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (SHRP Showdown) slated for Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 24, 2016 that will feature two Season XIV World Poker Tour® events. The $3,500 WPT® Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship and the $10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale will end the year-long tour along with the WPT Tournament of Champions.

“We’re excited to run some of the highest profile events in the world here in South Florida,” said Jason Newman, director of poker marketing for Seminole Gaming. “The addition of the $10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale allowed us to take the series one step further and offer a $25,500 High Roller with a $1 Million Guarantee catering to some of the game’s best pros and wealthiest amateurs.”

Highlight events include:

  • $3,500 buy-in, $2 Million Guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship, April 15 – 20 with 25,000 starting stack and one starting flight with unlimited re-entry
  • $10,000 buy-in, $2 Million Guaranteed WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, April 17 – 21
  • $25,500 buy-in, $1 Million Guaranteed Seminole hard Rock Poker High Roller, April 19 – 21
  • $15,000 buy-in WPT Tournament of Champions, reserved for Season XIV Champions and WPT Champions Club™ members only, April 22 – 24

The SHRP Showdown is headlined by $350 buy-in, $500,000 Guaranteed and $570 buy-in $1 Million Guaranteed preliminary events. On Wednesday, April 13, a $300 charity poker tournament presented by Seminole Hard Rock and the WPT Foundation, will benefit the Jason Taylor Foundation. Half of each buy-in will be donated to help the pro football legend’s non-profit organization support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.

Final tables for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Championship and WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale will take place in Paradise Live and be live streamed on www.WPT.com, while Hard Rock Live will be home to the WPT Tournament of Champions final table. The WPT Tournament Champions will be televised on Fox Sports Network, as well as live streamed on www.WPT.com.

SHRP Showdown series satellites will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood starting Feb. 21, 2016. Visit http://shrpo.com/WinASeatShowdown to enter to win a seat in the Championship.

Registration will open in February. To participate, players must obtain a Wild Card at the Player’s Club or in the poker room free of charge. More information, schedule and contest rules can be found at www.SHRPO.com

Media contact:

Yaffa Mizrachi, PR Manager, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
O: 954-327-7504 | C: 954-895-6480
E: yaffa.mizrachi@seminolehardrock.com

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, located minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s world-famous beach, features a AAA Four Diamond resort with 469 luxury rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, high-energy nightlife, a lagoon-style pool and Beach Club, a Hard Rock-inspired spa, and premium meeting and convention space. As South Florida’s premier entertainment destination, Seminole Hard Rock hosts top-name acts at its 5,500–seat Hard Rock Live concert arena and offers more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slots and a stand-alone poker room. Fine dining options include Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, the resort’s signature steakhouse, and Kuro, a luxe and socially vibrant restaurant offering new-style Japanese cuisine. The resort also features contemporary and casual eateries, including Blue Plate, the hotel’s 24-hour diner-inspired restaurant; Constant Grind, a gourmet coffee and pastry shop; and the ever-famous Hard Rock Cafe – Hollywood, part of Hard Rock’s 155 globally recognized rock ‘n’ roll restaurants.

For more information, call 954-327-ROCK or 800-937-0010, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com, or follow us on Facebook: @SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly

2016 Poker Showdown Schedule

MAIN EVENT SCHEDULE

EventDayDateTimeBuy-InTournament DescriptionStructure
1AThu3/3111A$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1A - $500,000 GTD
1BThu3/316P$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1B - $500,000 GTD
1CFri4/111A$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1C - $500,000 GTD
1DFri4/16P$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1D - $500,000 GTD
1ESat4/211A$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1E - $500,000 GTD
1FSat4/26P$350Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 1F - $500,000 GTD
Day 2Sun4/31P
2Fri4/112P$250Omaha 8 or Better (Single Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event
3Sun4/312P$250Deep Stack Turbo No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $25,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
4Sun4/33P$1,100 Six Max No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $75,000 GTD
5AMon4/411A$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5A - $150,000 GTD
5BMon4/43P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5B - $150,000 GTD
5CMon4/47P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5C - $150,000 GTD
5DTue4/511A$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5D - $150,000 GTD
5ETue4/53P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5E - $150,000 GTD
5FTue4/57P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) Day 5F - $150,000 GTD
Day 2Wed4/61P
6Mon4/412P$350Black Chip Bounty No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $30,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
7Wed4/612P$350Six Max No Limit Hold'em (Freeze-Out) - $30,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
8Wed4/66P$250Ladies No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,050 WPT Finale Mega Satellite Seat Added to 1st
9AThu4/711A$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
9BThu4/76P$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
9CFri4/811A$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
9DFri4/86P$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
9ESat4/911A$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
9FSat4/96P$570Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
Day 2Sun4/101P
10Thu4/712P$250Seniors 50+ No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event
11Sun4/1012P$350No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
12Sun4/103P$1,650 Purple Chip Bounty No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $100,000 GTD
13Mon4/1112P$570Double Black Chip Bounty No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
14Tue4/1212P$570Six Max No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
15Wed4/1312P$1,100 No Limit Hold'em (Freeze-Out) - $100,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
16Wed4/137P$300Jason Taylor/WPT Foundation Charity Event (Re-Entry)
17Thu4/1412P$2,200 Eight Handed No Limit Hold'em (Freeze-Out) - $200,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
18Fri4/1512P$3,500 WPT Showdown Championship (Re-Entry) - $2,000,000 GTD
Day 2Sat4/1612P
Day 3Sun4/1712P
Day 4Wed4/2012PFinal Table Live Streamed from Paradise Live
19Sat4/1612P$250No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event
20Sat4/165P$570No Limit Hold'em Turbo (Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event - $50,000 GTD
21Sun4/1712P$350No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $30,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
22Sun4/172P$10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Finale (No Re-Entry) - $2,000,000 GTD
Day 2Mon4/1812P
Day 3Tue4/1912P
Day 4Thu4/2112PFinal Table Live Streamed from Paradise Live
23Mon4/1812P$570Big Stack No Limit Hold'em (Single Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event
24Mon4/185P$1,100 No Limit Hold'em Turbo (Re-Entry) - 1 Day Event
25AMon4/185P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD
25BTue4/195P$150No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD
Day 2Wed4/202P
26Tue4/1912P$350No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
27Tue4/192P$25,500 High-Roller No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD
Day 2Wed4/2012P
28Tue4/195P$2,200 PLO (Re-Entry)
Day 2Wed4/202P
29Wed4/2012P$250No Limit Hold'em Turbo (Re-Entry) - $25,000 GTD - 1 Day Event
30Fri4/2212P$15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions
Day 2Sat4/2312P
Day 3Sun4/244PLive Streamed and Filmed for TV inside Hard Rock Live

2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship Recap

2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
$5,000,000 Guarantee

April 16 – 22nd, 2015

Total Entries:  1,476
Total Prize Pool:  $5,000,000

Ralph Notaro04222015SHRPOShowdownFinal172 Griffin Paul champion

Recap:
The 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship kicked off on April 16 with a $5,000,000 prize pool and a week later we saw one player walk away with $1,000,000. After three starting flights and six total days of action, Griffin Paul was the last player standing to capture the title along with the seven-digit payday.

The showcase Championship event of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown series had a $3,500 buy-in and drew 1,476 total entrants. They made it through more than 12 hours on the first day for a chance to play on Day 2 and make it into the money.

There was a wide range of poker professionals, champions, and Seminole Hard Rock Poker regulars in action for the big event. Four WSOP Main Event Champions took their shot at the title but none were able to make it deep in the tournament. Ryan Riess (2013), Jonathan Duhamel (2010), Jamie Gold (2006), and Carlos Mortensen (2001) were the world champions in attendance and they played alongside some of our local grinders including Ory Hen, Nigel Murray, Angel Vu, and Gregory Marcus.

The last 150 players in the tournament earned a piece of the $5 million prize pool and it was local professional Darryll “DFish” Fish eliminated in 151st spot to put the rest in the money. Some of the top names to cash in the tournament were Jason Mercier, Faraz Jaka, Brian Hastings, Jared Jaffee, Darren Elias, and Esther Taylor-Brady. Vince Van Patten was another player everyone was watching as the WPT commentator picked up his first career cash in a WPT event.

Day 4 saw the return of 18 players vying for the title including top pros Mohsin Chanaria, Dan Heimiller, Cornel Cimpan, and David Peters.  South Florida poker fans were cheering for local Eli Levy who began the day with the lead, but he was unable to sustain his momentum and was eliminated short of the final table. The pace was quick and it did not take long for Joe Ebanks, Griffin Paul, Brian Green, Shawn Nguyen, Andre Crooks, and Ryan Rivers to book their seat at the nationally televised WPT final table in Hard Rock Live.

Six-handed play lasted for two hours before play heated up. Rivers was the first player sent off the final table when he lost to Ebanks and Green followed at the hands of Paul. Two local favorites were the next to exit and silence the enthusiastic crowd. Nguyen had the biggest group of supports and their cheers could probably be heard across the property when he doubled early. He lasted another hour but was also eliminated by Paul in 4th place.

Crooks had his share of fans and family in the stands and it took a bad beat to send him out. He was ahead with pocket Kings against Ebanks’ pocket Nines but a Nine on the flop ended his day. His knockout set up a heads up battle between Ebanks and Paul for the title.

Ebanks began heads up play with a 2-to-1 advantage but Paul quickly doubled to take away the advantage. He never gave up the lead and it took just 23 more hands for him to become our latest champion along with $1,000,000 for the effort. Ebanks played great throughout the tournament and picked up the well-earned $615,000 prize for his runner-up finish.

This was easily Paul’s biggest poker success. He only had seven career tournament cashes, including a $25,000 payout at this summer’s WSOP series, but this one tops them all.

“It’s like a dream, I’m speechless.” Paul said. “It was a really tough table. I fought some amazing players and here I am.”

“I stayed here last night for the first time. It’s an amazing property.” Paul commented when asked about his experience this week. “Really nice. Beautiful. The staff here is great.”

That concludes the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, thank you to all the players for making this a great series and congratulations to Griffin Paul on his Championship title.

Final table results:
1st: Griffin Paul (Northridge, CA) – $1,000,000
2nd: Joe Ebanks (Kent, OH) – $615,000
3rd: Andre Crooks (Lake Worth, FL) – $383,000
4th: Shawn Nguyen (West Palm Beach, FL) – $323,500
5th: Brian Green (Decatur, TX) – $269,000
6th: Ryan Rivers (Niagara Falls, ON) – $217,500

Ralph Notaro04222015SHRPOShowdownFinal171 Griffin Paul Champion

Championship: Griffin Paul Wins Championship ($1,000,000), Joe Ebanks Second ($615,000)

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 35: 200,000/400,000/50,000 Ante

Let the celebration begin.  There’s a new name going on the WPT Champions Cup here at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood.  His name is Griffin Paul.

On the final hand, Paul called Joe Ebanks big blind but Ebanks was not standing still raising to 1,500,000 and Paul made the call.

The flop came out 4hKdJc and Ebanks led out for one million.  Paul went all-in and Ebanks decided it was time to try to double up and made the call.

Unfortunately for Ebanks, his AdJh had hit second pair but Paul held Kc9d for top pair and was two cards away from the title.

After a 4d on the turn, Paul’s rail began to raise the volume in Hard Rock Live as he was one card from the title.  As the tension built, the 6s came on the turn and the 22-year old Griffin Paul was a WPT champion and a millionaire as well.  His family and friends were ecstatic screaming and celebrating all over the set.  All Paul could say that the win “unbelievable” and we won’t give the exact quote when he was asked what it was like to have won a million dollars but let’s just say he thought it was “pretty cool”.

Joe Ebanks also has reason to celebrate his second place finish as he brings home $615,000 for his efforts over the past five days.

Congratulations to the Seminole Hard Rock WPT Poker Showdown Champion and newest poker millionaire – Griffin Paul!

Championship Event Champion Griffin Paul
Championship Event Champion
Griffin Paul
Joe Ebanks - 2nd Place ($615,000)
Joe Ebanks – 2nd Place ($615,000)

Championship: Paul Wins Race To Grab Chip Lead

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 34: 150,000/300,000/50,000 Ante

Joe Ebanks started things off with a raise to 600,000 and Griffin Paul re-raised to 1.8 million. Ebanks put in another raise, making it 3.5 million. As has been his custom, Paul had his mouth covered with his jacket, using his hand to hold it up. He peeked back at his cards and then announced that he was all in. Ebanks quickly called and turned over 6h6d. He would pump his fists as he stood up when he saw Paul was behind with his AcJs.

The crowd started yelling out different cards depending on who they were rooting for. Some were yelling for an ace or a jack, obviously that was the Paul contingent. Others yelled for any card but an ace or a jack — the Ebanks crowd.

It would be Paul’s rail that would get their wishes fulfilled as the flop came AhQd9d. Screaming and screeching ensued as their man was one step closer to taking the chip lead. He would do precisely that when the turn was the 8s and the river was the 2c.

Paul, who had been pacing the stage nervously, pumped his fists, having doubled up to nearly 31 million and taking control of the heads up match with a more than 2:1 chip lead.

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 30,950,000 (103 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 13,275,000 (44 bb)

Joe Ebanks awaits his fate
Joe Ebanks awaits his fate

Championship: First Hand, First Blood To Ebanks

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 34: 150,000/300,000/50,000 Ante

The first hand of heads-up turned out to be a big one to kick things off.  Joe Ebanks fired out 600,000 and Griffin Paul made the call.

The flop came out AdTc2d and both player checked.  Then the Td hit the turn.  Paul checked to open the action and Ebanks bet 700,000.  Paul decided to make the call and take the hand to the river.

After the 3h hit the river, Paul checked one more time but Ebanks was unrelenting betting 3,500,000.  Paul took some to ponder his decision and ended up making the call.

Ebanks turned over  Td7h for trip tens and Paul mucked.  Ebanks extended his lead on the hand taking his stack to 30,325,000 to Paul’s 13,900,000.

Championship: Andre Crooks – 3rd Place ($383,000)

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

Chips were flying pre-flop and it all started with Joe Ebanks raising to 550,000. Andre Crooks made it 1.1 million to go and the action was back on Ebanks who put in another raise – this time to 2.35 million total.

Crooks wasn’t done yet though as he put in yet another raise, for 4.8 million which was nearly half of his remaining stack. Ebanks didn’t think long before moving all in and he was immediately called by Crooks who had the second best starting hand in poker with his KcKs. Ebanks had a pair of his own, nines again, as he held 9h9d.

To say nines have been treating Ebanks well today would be an understatement as the flop came AsJh9c causing the crowd to let out some “ooooohhhhhs” and “aaaaaahhhhhs” as Ebanks had seized control of the hand with his set.

Someone on the rail yelled “deuce” as the dealer put out the 4d. “Deuce,” came the yell again as they paused the action for dramatic effect. Finally, they burned and flipped over the river card.

It was the Th and that was the end of Andre Crooks tournament life who could at least take some consolation in getting it in with the best hand and the $383,000 payday he took home for his third place finish.

They are taking a brief break to set up for the money presentation. Here are the chip counts as we enter heads up action:

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 17,750,000 (89 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 26,475,000 (132 bb)

Ralph Notaro04222015SHRPOShowdownFinal158 Andre CrooksAndre Crooks – 3rd place

 

Championship: Shawn Nguyen – 4th Place ($323,500)

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

As this final table, the players had split into two groups: three big stacks and three short stacks.  And the final one of the short stacks was just knocked out as Shawn Nguyen has fallen to the dismay of his large group of fans.

Before the flop, Joe Ebanks bet 450,000.   Shawn Nguyen then raised to 1,100,000 million.  Ebanks did not back down and re-raised to 2,150,000.  And now with a choice of letting it go or playing for his tournament life, Nguyen pushed the remainder of his chips in the middle and saw he was in a race to stay alive.

Ebanks: 9c9s
Nguyen: AdTs

With a raucous crowed cheering for Nguyen, the flop didn’t go their way as the cards came out 3cJs6h. Every possible chant for ace Nguyen’s fan base could come up with was shouted but the 4c showed up on the turn. Ebanks then got a chance to celebrate as the 4h came out on the river giving him the hand and the elimination.

Shawn Nguyen’s tournament was over and he finishes in 4th place for $323,500.

Here are the chip counts for the remaining three players:

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 16,725,000 (84 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 18,400,000 (92 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks 9,100,000 (46 bb)

Shawn Nguyen - 4th Place ($323,500)
Shawn Nguyen – 4th Place ($323,500)

 

Championship: Nguyening Without A Showdown

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

Shawn Nguyen opened to 475,000 and Andre Crooks called out of the small blind. The flop came  AcKs9d and both players checked. The turn was the 7c and Crooks bet 650,000. Nguyen made the call.

The river was the Jd and Crooks made another bet, this time for 1.375 million. Nguyen thought for a bit and then made the call. Crooks mucked his hand which meant Nguyen did not have to show his hand. He slid his cards to the dealer and once again his rail let out a load roar of approval.

Championship: Brian Green – 5th Place ($269,000)

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

The second of the three short stacks has been eliminated from our championship event.

Griffin Paul bet 400,000 pre-flop and Brian Green went over the top for his remaining 1,950,000. Green couldn’t have timed it much worse as Paul was sitting on a big hand.

Paul: JdJs
Green: AsTc

The flop ran out 4s7cQh leaving Green hoping to pull off the miracle. He got no help on the 4c turn and with 5d coming out on the river, Brian Green’s outstanding run through this tournament was ended.

Green finishes in 5th place for $269,000.

Here are the chip counts for the final four players:

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 15,475,000 (77 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 12,775,000 (64 bb)
Seat 4: Shawn Nguyen 4,000,000 (20 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks 11,975,000 (60 bb)

Brian Green - 5th Place ($269,000)
Brian Green – 5th Place ($269,000)

Championship: Griffin Paul Moves Back Into The Chip Lead

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

Griffin Paul opened to 400,000 and Shawn Nguyen  called out of the blinds. The flop came Qd9c8s and Nguyen check-called a bet of 425,000 from Paul.

The turn was the 3s and Nguyen again check-called a bet from Paul, this time for 975,000. The dealer put out the Qh on the river and Nguyen checked a third time. Paul moved all in for an effective 4.15 million and Nguyen would tank for two minutes before letting his hand go.

Championship: Ryan Rivers – 6th Place ($217,500)

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 32: 75,000/150,000/25,000 Ante

With three players light on chips, it was a matter of time before someone finally was dropped from this final table and Ryan Rivers was the first to fall.

Rivers fired out his stack of 1,525,000 and was called by Joe Ebanks. And when the cards were turned over, Rivers was in dominated and in big trouble.

Rivers: Kc8c
Ebanks: Ac8d

After a flop of 3h8sTc, the crowd sensed the first elimination of the day could be coming. And when the cards ran out 5d2d, Ryan Rivers dream of a WPT Championship had gone up in the red glow of the WPT set.

Rivers finishes our championship event in 6th place for $217,500.

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 12,900,000 (86 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 13,350,000 (89 bb)
Seat 4: Shawn Nguyen 4,975,000 (33 bb)
Seat 5: Brian Green 2,500,000 (33 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks 10,500,000 (17 bb)

Ryan Rivers - 6th Place ($217,500)
Ryan Rivers – 6th Place ($217,500)

Championship: Nguyen Doubles

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 32: 75,000/150,000/25,000 Ante

It’s been a quiet level thus far but we finally had a hand worthy of talking about. Joe Ebanks opened to 300,000 and Shawn Nguyen moved all in for 2.025 million. Ebanks thought for a moment and then made the call with JsTc. Nguyen was in the lead with his Ac3s and his contingent of fans, easily the largest and most vocal in the room all rose to their feet in anticipation.

The flop kept their hero in the lead as it came 7d3h2h but he wasn’t safe yet. The turn would change that as it was the 3c to give him trip threes and a lock on the hand. His rail roared, whooping it up, hands in the air, excited to know that their friend was safe and very much alive.

The river was meaningless but the dealer put it out anyway… the 7s. Chip counts after the double up by Nguyen:

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 13,550,000 (90 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 10,175,000 (68 bb)
Seat 3: Ryan Rivers 1,775,000 ((12 bb)
Seat 4: Shawn Nguyen 4,425,000 (30 bb)
Seat 5: Brian Green 2,500,000 (17 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks 11,800,000 (79 bb)

Shawn Nguyen celebrates his double up
Shawn Nguyen celebrates his double up

Championship: Break Time And Chip Counts

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 31: 60,000/120,000/20,000 Ante

It’s been fairly slow action here on Level 31.  Both Griffin Paul and Shawn Nguyen went all-in late in the level but no one bit.

It’ll be good for the room every time Nguyen wins a pot as by the sound of it he’s got the loudest cheering section on the set. With the action being somewhat restrained so far, the room can always use pepping up a little bit.

In the meantime, the players have reached the break and here are the updated chip counts:

Griffin Paul – 13,650,000
Joe Ebanks – 11,300,000
Andre Crooks – 10,675,000
Shawn Nguyen – 3,275,000
Ryan Rivers – 2,675,000
Brian Green – 2,650,000

Championship: Ebanks Makes The Tough Call

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 31: 60,000/120,000/20,000 Ante

Andre Crooks opened pre-flop for 250,000 and Joe Ebanks called from the small blind. The flop was Ah5d4s and both players checked.

The turn was the 6c and Ebanks checked again. Crooks bet 475,000 and Ebanks made a quick call.

The river was the 7s and Ebanks checked with no hesitation. Crooks made a large bet of 1,450,000. Ebanks shifted uncomfortably in chair and then tanked for several minutes, often with a perplexed look on his face. Eventually he made the call, tabling Ac9c for a pair of aces. That was good enough as Crooks mucked his hand.

Championship: Crooks Takes Charge

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 31: 60,000/120,000/20,000 Ante

Early in Level 31, Andre Crooks and Joe Ebanks have locked horns.

Pre-flop, Crooks raised 260,000 and Joe made the call.  After a flop of 3cAdJd Joe checked and Andre fired out 380,00 with Joe making the check-call.

Then the chips started flying on the Ks turn.  Joe checked again and Crooks put in 705,000.  The time, Ebanks put Crooks to the test re-raising to 1,7000,000.  Crooks did not hesitate and made the call.

The action slowed after the Kc showing up on the river as both players check.  Andre turned over AhTc for top pair and Ebanks mucked his hand.

With that hand, Andre Crooks took over the chip lead going to 13,275,000 and will lead the race for the WPT Champions Cup.

Seat 1: Griffin Paul 12,875,000 (107 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks 7,930,000 (66 bb)
Seat 3: Ryan Rivers 2,775,000 (23 bb)
Seat 4: Shawn Nguyen 2,560,000 (21 bb)
Seat 5: Brian Green 4,780,000 (40 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks 13,275,000 (111 bb)

Championship: Ebanks Draws First Blood

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 31: 60,000/120,000/20,000 Ante

Griffin Paul opened to 240,000 and one spot to his left, Joe Ebanks made it 625,000 to go. It was folded back around to Paul whose mouth was covered by his shirt as his hand held it tightly to his face. He peeked back at his cards and then removed his mouth long enough to verbalize another raise to 1.5 million total.

Ebanks thought for about thirty seconds before announcing that he was all in. Paul quickly folded to give Ebanks the pot.

Championship: Televised Final Table Ready to Go

$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Level 30: 50,000/100,000/15,000 Ante

Ralph Notaro04222015SHRPOShowdownFinal103

The final day of the 2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship is about to get underway with just six players left with a chance to take home the top $1,000,000 prize.

The Championship started on April 16 and drew 1,476 entrants competing for the $5,000,000 prize pool. That number was whittled down until we have our final table set to go. Griffin Paul will start the final day with the chip lead with Andre Crooks his nearest competitor. Joe Ebanks, Brian Green, Ryan Rivers, and Shawn Nguyen round out the rest of the final table.

The average stack is 74 big blinds and it will be a long grind for the table with the added pressure of a live audience and the WPT cameras. Cards are scheduled to be in the air at 4pm and we’ll be here all day with live updates.

Final table mini-bios

Final table lineup:
Seat 1: Griffin Paul – 14,290,000 (143 bb)
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks – 6,585,000 (66 bb)
Seat 3: Ryan Rivers – 4,170,000 (42 bb)
Seat 4: Shawn Nguyen – 3,615,000 (36 bb)
Seat 5: Brian Green – 5,205,000 (52 bb)
Seat 6: Andre Crooks -10,350,000 (104 bb)

Final table payouts:
1st: $1,000,000
2nd: $615,000
3rd: $383,000
4th: $323,500
5th: $269,000
6th: $217,500

Tournament Series