High Roller: Ben Tollerene Conquers Tough Field

2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Hollywood, FL
$50,000 High Roller
Entries: 21
Prize Pool: $1,043,700
November 22, 2016


(Hollywood, FL) – The $50,000 High Roller event was a late edition to the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” schedule but it drew a nice group of top players. It had bracelet winners and high roller experts that all battled it out with online specialist Ben “Ben86” Tollerene outlasting them all to earn the title along with $495,228 for one day’s work.

The tournament began with two tables in action, one in the ballroom and one in front of the Poker Night in America cameras for a live stream viewed around the world. The initial feature table lineup had a tough draw that included Jason Mercier, Chance Kornuth, Jason Koon, and Isaac Haxton.

Mercier was the first player eliminated from the tournament when his nut flush draw was no good against Koon’s flopped full house. He took a short breather before jumping back into the action.

Registration closed after the dinner break and the High Roller officially drew 21 entrants to create a prize pool over $1 million with the last four getting paid. There were 12 players remaining when they returned and quickly played down to the final table nine.

It was slow going at the start of the final table but the turbo format soon forced the action for quick eliminations. Mercier dropped out in the sixth place followed by eight-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel on the money bubble.

Jason Koon followed Seidel out of the door but was able to pick up a cash worth $125,244. UK pro Stephen Chidwick, second on the all-time English cash list, made a stand but fell in third place for $187,866. Sean Winter began the final table with only three big blinds but was able to push his stack higher until he was heads-up for the title.

Tollorene was the dominant force in the late stages of the final table and went into heads-up play with better than a 5-to-1 advantage. The match lasted more than 30 minutes before Winter’s night was through in second place. This was Winter’s second big RRPO score following his $270,000 cash in the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship.

Tollorene was the well-deserved High Roller champion after overcoming an incredibly tough field, taking home $495,228 plus the Seminole Hard Rock Poker trophy.

High Roller results:

1st: Ben Tollorene – $459,228 + Trophy
2nd: Sean Winter – $271,362
3rd: Stephen Chidwick – $187,866
4th: Jason Koon – $125,244

High Roller: Ben Tollerene Defeats Sean Winter to Win High Roller ($459,228)

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 17: 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 21

Ben Tollerene
Ben Tollerene

Sean Winter limped in from the button, and Ben Tollerene checked his option in the big blind.

The flop was Qc8h6c. Tollerene checked, Winter bet 20,000, and Tollerene called. The turn was the 9d, and Tollerene check-called another 65,000. The river was the Kh, and Tollerene checked for a third time. Winter moved all in for 291,000, and Tollerene considered for a long while before calling to put Winter at risk.

Winter showed As7s for a miss, and Tollerene tabled Qd5h to win the pot and the tournament with a pair of queens. He earned the title of Champion, the trophy, and the top prize of nearly $460,000.

Winter was eliminated as the runner-up, earning $271,362 for his day of work.

Sean Winter
Sean Winter

High Roller: Stephen Chidwick – 3rd Place ($187,866)

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 16: 10,000/20,000 with a 2,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 21

Stephen Chidwick
Stephen Chidwick

Sean Winter folded his button and Stephen Chidwick moved all-in from the small blind for 334,000. Monster chip leader Ben Tollerene thought for a few minutes before he called to put Chidwick at risk.

Tollerene: Ad6c
Chidwick: KdTc

There was a brief glimpse of hope for Chidwick with a ten on the flop but it was followed by an ace as it came AcTd4s. The Qh turn gave Chidwick some gutshot outs but he blanked the Ah river to drop out in 3rd place.

Heads up counts:

Ben Tollerene – 1,759,000 (88 bb)
Sean Winter – 342,000 (17 bb)

High Roller: Jason Koon – 4th Place ($125,244)

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 16: 10,000/20,000 with a 2,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 21

Jason Koon
Jason Koon

Jason Koon moved all-in for 350,000 from under the gun and action folded around to Ben Tollerene in the big blind. He quickly called with AhKh and Koon needed to catch with QcJc.

Tollerene never had a sweat as the dealer spread 9h5s3s7s4d to send Koon out in fourth place for $125,244.

High Roller: Erik Seidel Bubbles

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 16: 10,000/20,000 with a 2,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 21

Erik Seidel
Erik Seidel

Erik Seidel open/shoved for 248,000 from the button with Qd2d and Sean Winter called in the small blind with 6s6d. The 8-time WSOP winner needed help to avoid the bubble but missed as the board ran Jc5s2h3h3d.

The remaining four players are guaranteed at least $125,244.

1st: $459,228
2nd: $271,362
3rd: $187,866
4th: $125,244

High Roller: Jason Mercier Eliminated by Jason Koon

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 15: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 21

Jason Mercier
Jason Mercier

On the next hand after Mustapha Kanit was knocked out, Jason Mercier open/shoved for 255,000 from the button and Jason Koon called from the big blind.

Koon: JdJh
Mercier: Ah8s

Bad luck for Mercier running into a pair in the blinds and he never caught up on the Kd4c3s4d8d to send the newlywed out in sixth place.

High Roller: Mustapha Kanit Eliminated by Eric Seidel

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 15: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 21

Mustapha Kanit
Mustapha Kanit

Erik Seidel open/shoved for 256,000 and action folded around to Mustapha Kanit on the button. He called with AdKc and had to dodge the live cards JdTc of Seidel.

That bad news came right on the Ts7s7d flop and he couldn’t come back as the board finished QcQd to send Kanit out in seventh place.

High Roller: Isaac Haxton Eliminated by Ben Tollerene

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 13: 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 21

Isaac Haxton
Isaac Haxton

Isaac Haxton opened to 25,000 and Ben Tollerene moved all-in. Haxton quickly called with QdQs and was flipping against Tollerene’s AsKd.

The dealer put the Ah in the window of the AhJd4s flop and Haxton could not come back on the 5c turn or Jh river to get the High Roller one step closer to the money.

Ben Tollerene – 572,000 (57 bb)
Isaac Haxton – Eliminated

High Roller: Behbehani Eliminated by Tollerene

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 12: 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 8 of 21

Salman Behbehani
Salman Behbehani

Salman Behbehani took a shot for a double up and was all-in with JdJc against Ben Tollerene’s AsKd.

He needed his jacks to hold but Tollerene took the lead on the Ad9c6c flop. The Kh turn left him with two outs and he was eliminated after the 9d river.

Ben Tollerene – 410,000 (51 bb)
Salman Behbehani – Eliminated

High Roller: Final Table Redraw

$50,000 High Roller Turbo (Re-Entry)
Level 12: 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 21


With the elimination of Paul Domb on the feature table, the High Roller is down to the final table nine.

Seat 1: Sean Winger – 64,000 (8 bb)
Seat 2: Stephen Chidwick – 261,000 (33 bb)
Seat 3: Salman Behbehani – 203,000 (25 bb)
Seat 4: Mustapha Kanit – 193,000 (24 bb)
Seat 5: Isaac Haxton – 117,000 (15 bb)
Seat 6: Jason Mercier – 258,000 (32 bb)
Seat 7: Ben Tollerene – 345,000 (43 bb)
Seat 8: Jason Koon – 342,000 (43 bb)
Seat 9: Erik Seidel – 318,000 (40 bb)