2015 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship Recap

Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$3,000,000 Guarantee

February 5th-11th, 2015

Total Entries: 1,027
Total Prize Pool: $3,286,400

Brian Altman WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Champions
Brian Altman – 2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Champions

The 2015 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship kicked off on February 5 after more than two weeks of events leading up to the start. The tournament drew a huge field but in the end it was Brian Altman holding all the chips for the title and huge $723,008 first place payout.

The Championship had a $3,500 buy-in and featured a $3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. Three starting flights drew 1,027 entrants to easily surpass the guarantee to generate a $3,286,400 prize pool and the last seven players set to have a six-digit payday. Local players mixed it up with top professionals in the biggest event of the series and they held their own.

Some of those Seminole Hard Rock Poker regular grinders included Ory Hen, Robert Campbell, Scott Efron, Nigel Murray, Adam Rouse, and reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year Angel Vu. Several major event winners were also in attendance with Jason Mercier, Faraz Jaka, Ryan Van Sanford, Will Failla, Allen Kessler, Shannon Shorr, and Darryll Fish seen throughout the first starting flights. Former WSOP Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel made his first trip to Florida to play in the Championship but he was unable to make it past Day 2. Former NFL defensive star Richard Seymour was also in the field but he also fell short of the money.

The last 100 players were set to earn a piece of the big prize pool and the money bubble burst late on Day 2 when two-time WSOP bracelet winner Josh Arieh went out in the 101st spot. Plenty of top players returned for Day 3 when they played down from the 78 players to the last two tables. Mark Dube and Brian Altman ended the day with the two biggest stacks with professionals Jared Jaffee and Justin Zaki not far behind. They quickly made it down to the final table but neither of those top players made it to the live-streamed WPT table of six hosted at the Paradise Live Theater.

Altman and Dube had 23 of the 30 million chips in play to start the last day and Jon Graham, Sanjay Gehi, and Greg Rosen were quickly eliminated. Kelly Minkin was the last female standing in the tournament but the Arizona-based attorney had to settle for a 3rd place finish and $262,912. Her knockout set up a huge heads-up battle between the players who dominated the previous two days of action. There were 260 big blinds between them when they started with Dube holding a slight lead.

Altman quickly took command of the match after just a few hands but the two Massachusetts natives were in for a long battle. It took 55 hands to settle the matter when Altman’s flopped flush topped Dube’s set of Aces.

“I stayed patient. I tried to keep pots small against him [Dube]. I don’t think I raised a single small blind all final table.” Altman commented afterwards. “I kind of played small ball and just played a lot of post-flop poker. Things were going my way, today was just my day.”

“It’s certainly nice, it’s pretty amazing that things materialized the way they did. It’s just a nice bonus to get away from the winter snow up north.” he continued.

“This is my first time here. I was very impressed with the venue, the staff, the dealers, and this beautiful casino. I was really impressed, it’s nice to check out new casinos with nice facilities.”

Final table results: 
1st: Brian Altman (Longmeadow, MA) – $723,008
2nd: Mark Dube (Newbuyport, MA) – $434,462
3rd: Kelly Minkin (Phoenix, AZ) – $262,912
4th: Greg Rosen (Coral Springs, FL) – $220,189
5th: Sanjay Gehi (Atlanta, GA) – $180,752
6th: Jon Graham (Longwood, FL) – $146,245

Ralph Notaro02112015LHPO Winner106 Brian Altman Champion

Championship: Brian Altman Wins ($723,008), Mark Dube – 2nd Place ($434,467)

$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 35: 200,000/400,000/50,000 Ante

Brian Altman
Brian Altman

Mark Dube raised to 900,000 preflop and Brian Altman called. The flop was dealt As5s3s and Altman checked. Dube bet 1.1 million and Altman raised to 2.6 million. Dube then reraised all in for 9.6 million. Altman called and they flipped over their cards.

Altman: Ks8s
Dube: AhAd

Turn and River: 4c8h

Dube busted in second place, good for $434,467, after a deep tournament run. Altman wins the WPT Championship event at the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open and takes home the top prize worth $723,008 for defeating a field of 1,027 players. He also took home the Seminole Hard Rock guitar pick trophy.

Ralph Notaro02112015Final Table Players104 Mark Dube

Championship: Brian Altman Doubles Through Mark Dube

$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 33: 100,000/200,000/25,000 Ante

Brian Altman
Brian Altman

Brian Altman raised to 450,000 preflop and Mark Dube reraised to 1.3 million. Altman called and the first three cards were dealt Qs8c6c. Dube bet 1.55 million and Altman called.

The turn fell 4s and Dube moved all in. Altman tanked for a minute before calling all in. The two players then revealed their cards.

Altman: 7d5d
Dube: 8d8h

River: 7c

Altman won the hand to double up to 20.65 million and now holds a 2-1 chip lead over Dube, who was left with 10.15 million.

Championship: Kelly Minkin – 3rd Place ($262,912)

$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 30: 50,000/100,000/15,000 Ante

Ralph Notaro02112015Final Table Players105 Kelly Minkin

Kelly Minkin moved all in preflop for 1,780,000 from the small blind and Brian Altman called. The two players then tabled their hands.

Altman: 4h4d
Minkin: 9s9c

Board: 6c5h3h9h7c

Minkin was eliminated in third place, good for $262,912 in prize money. Altman stacked up just over 13 million after the hand.

Championship: Greg Rosen – 4th Place ($220,189)

$3,500 Championship No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 30: 50,000/100,000/15,000 Ante

Ralph Notaro02112015Final Table Players127 Rosen Doubles Again
Greg Rosen

Kelly Minkin raised to 300,000 under the gun preflop and Greg Rosen called on the button. Mark Dube and Brian Altman both called from the blinds so we had a family pot between the final four players.

The flop was dealt Qs8s6d and Rosen moved all in for 1.72 million. Altman called but the two other players folded. Rosen flipped over Ah6h and he would need help against the QdJd of Altman.

The turn and river were dealt 4cJd and Rosen was eliminated in fourth place. He took home $220,189 in prize money. Altman stacked up 10.13 million after the hand.

Ralph Notaro02112015Final Table Players132 Rosen Eliminated