2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
Championship (Event #18)
$3,500 No Limit Hold’em
Total Entries: 1,222
Prize Pool: $3,910,400
April 15-20, 2016
Justin Young claimed the second-largest score of his poker career Wednesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood. The Henderson, Nev. pro proved to be unbeatable in the property’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship, a $3,500 buy-in $2,000,000 guaranteed event. For his efforts, he was rewarded handsomely with a $654,161 first prize and a $15,000 seat in the first-ever WPT Tournament of Champions.
The Championship was ran as one of four headliners in the SHRP/WPT co-branded series. The seven-figure guarantee was but a blip on the radar as the 1,222-entry field amassed a $3,910,400 prize pool marking the sixth-largest tournament in WPT Main Tour history.
“It was great,” Young said of the tournament. “Every player I dealt with was really cordial and nice. The floor was amazing. It was run really well all the way through. [Staff] listened to the players. I really appreciated that.”
World Champions, WPT title holders and cash game pros alike turned out for their shot at a South Florida victory. The tournament played out over six days with a two-day break for the final 10 players. Young came to the final day of play sixth and remained toward the middle of the counts following the first break. Young’s first notable hand came with eight players left when he picked up kings to double through Andrey Plotnikov’s queens and jump toward the top of the counts. Plotnikov was next out finishing 8th for $87,880.
By second break, Young was neck-and-neck for the chip lead with Hyoung Chae. The pair but heads in a pot that saw Chae check-fold to Young’s 1,575,000-chip bet on the river. A bit later, Matthew Haugen check-folded to a 2,600,000-chip bet of Young. It was then that he took command of the tournament claiming 12,565,000 chips. From there, Young remained toward the top of the counts and got the best of Matthew Haugen busting him 4th. Chae was next to go in 3rd, also at the hands of Young. Finally, runner up Garrett Greer had to face off against the eventual champion. Young was at a disadvantage to start, but doubled early when his two over-cards outdrew the under-pair of Greer. He took the lead in the duel and never looked backed busting Greer a few hands later. Greer earned $458,722 for the 2nd place finish.
In addition to the six-figure score, Young secured a berth in the WPT’s $15,000 buy-in TOC. The event is reserved for WPT Champions Club members only and begins this Friday at the Seminole Hard Rock.
“It’s going to be a tough field, which I’m looking forward to,” Young said of the event. “I feel like I always play better against tough fields. Going back and seeing all the past Champions of the WPTs and reliving their championships, since mine’s so fresh it’s going to be a nice moment for me.”
Young is a 36-year-old professional poker player. His Wednesday night win marks the second-largest score of his career and moves him over $4,300,000 in career earnings.
In addition to the Championship and the TOC, the SHRP Showdown was headlined by the $25,500 High Roller and the $10,000 WPT Finale.
Championship final table results:
1st: Justin Young – $654,161 + $15,000 TOC Seat
2nd: Garrett Greer – $458,722
3rd: Hyoung Chae – $297,336
4th: Matthew Haugen – $220,207
5th: Tim Reilly – $164,113
6th: Ben Tarzia – $132,560
7th: Sam Soverel – $110,357
8th: Andrey Plotnikov – $87,880
9th: Cate Hall – $65,404