2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Wraps

2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown


The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The 30-tournament series ran March 31-April 24 and saw more than $15,000,000 in prize money earned by its loyal players.

Headlining the action were the $3,500 Championship and $25,500 High Roller along with the $10,000 WPT Finale and the $15,000 Tournament of Champions. The first of event of its kind, Farid Yachou claimed the title in the TOC good for $381,600. Joining him in the winner’s Circle were Justin Young (Championship, $669,161), David Malka (High Roller, $658,000) and Chino Rheem (Finale, $705,885).

Here’s a look at each of the series’ 30 champions:

Next up at the Seminole Hard Rock is the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. That series runs July 28-August 17 and is headlined by the $5,250 buy-in, $5,000,000 Championship as well as the return of the Big 4.

Full SHRPO Schedule

Farid Yachou Wins World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions and $381,600 at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood

2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
WPT Tournament of Champions (Event #30)
$15,000 No Limit Hold’em
Total Entries: 64
Prize Pool: $1,060,000
April 22-24, 2016

Farid Yachou

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown concludes with the crowning of the game’s Champion of Champions in first-time event.

Hollywood, Fla. (April 24, 2016) – The World Poker Tour along with the Seminole Hard Rock Casino crowned a champion in the first-ever WPT Tournament of Champions Sunday night in Hollywood, Fla. The unique event, open only to members of the WPT Champions Club, saw 64 players put up the $15,000 entry fee creating a total prize pool of $1,060,000. Over the course of three days, the field narrowed to just one remaining – 36-year-old Farid Yachou of Holland.

Yachou earned the top prize of $381,600 as well as a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. In addition to the car, the WPT added a slew of prizes to first place that included:

  • Hublot King Power Unico Titanium watch
  • Aurae® Solid Gold MasterCard
  • Gold Monster® 24K Headphones
  • Custom poker table from BBO Poker Tables
  • A seat in Tiger Woods’ Poker Night Presented by the WPT
  • Golf with WPT Executive Tournament Director Matt Savage

“The car is something amazing,” Yachou said. “I’ve never seen a tournament give a car away.”

Inexperienced given the context of his competition, Yachou earned his eligibility into the event this past May in the WPT Amsterdam at the Holland Casino. That victory marked his first time ever playing a live tournament and allowed him the option to buy into the TOC for $15,000. He ran hot on Day 1 to bag the chip lead, but relinquished it during Day 2. He eventually began the Day 3 televised final table fifth of six in the counts, but six hours later he was the champion of champions in the WPT’s inaugural event.

“It’s something I cannot believe,” Yachou told the WPT’s Richard Ryan. “I am sitting with only champions. I said to myself, ‘I will be glad finishing 30th or 35th.’ Then, slowly, day by day, hand by hand, it all came together. Everything came to me.”

Yachou’s path to the winner’s circle went through Florida’s own Michael Mizrachi (third), Jonathan Jaffe (fourth), Noah Schwartz (fifth) and others. The TOC was the last of 30 events on the 2016 SHRP Showdown schedule. The 25-day series was headlined by the $3,500 Championship. The tournament drew a 1,222-entry field creating a $3,910,400 prize pool that bested the $2,000,000 guarantee comfortably. Justin Young claimed the title, $654,161 and a $15,000 TOC seat.

Other notable events on the Showdown schedule included a $25,500 High Roller that drew 94 entries as well as the $10,000 Finale, a WPT Main Tour freeze-out that drew 342 players good for a $3,249,000 prize pool. The TOC marked the finale of finales and didn’t disappoint. The event began Friday and narrowed to 31 remaining players following 10 levels of action. Yachou lead the way with Mizrachi second, Young third, Ravi Raghavan fourth and Keven Stammen fifth. Day 2 kicked off Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock’s Paradise Live and numerous notables hit the rail over the next 11 hours. Joe Hachem, Ryan Van Sanford, Anthony Zinno, Griffin Paul and Matt Salsberg were among those to bust shy of the money. Raghavan went on to be the tournament’s bubble boy busting ninth late in the day. From there, Yevgeniy Timoshenko busted eighth for $38,160 and Andy Frankenberger narrowly missed the televised final table being eliminated seventh earning $47,400.

The third and final session began Sunday evening in Hard Rock Live under the bright lights of the WPT set and in front of dozens of television production cameras. Jaffe lead the final six but action was slow to start. The tournament stretched deep into the structure shallowing the stacks and leveling the playing field. It wasn’t until nearly three hours into the day Darren Elias busted sixth. He was followed by Schwartz fifth, and start-of-day leader Jaffe fourth. The crowd favorite, Mizrachi was next to go in third leaving Yachou and Vlad Davie to battle it out for the tournament’s $381,600 top prize. Yachou held a slight edge to start and needed just 11 hands to best Davie. Davie earned $224,190 for his runner-up finish.

Final results:

1st: Farid Yachou – $381,600* + 2016 Chevrolet Corvette
2nd: Vlad Davie – $224,190
3rd: Michael Mizrachi – $140,450
4th: Jonathan Jaffe – $95,400
5th: Noah Schwartz – $74,200
6th: Darren Elias – $58,300
7th: Andy Frankenberger – $47,400
8th: Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $38,160

*Includes $15,000 seat in 2017 TOC

With the SHRP Showdown in the books, next up at the Seminole Hard Rock is the SHRPO which kicks off July 28. That full tournament schedule is available at SHRPO.com.

WPT TOC: Farid Yachou Wins Inaugural WPT Tournament of Champions ($381,600)

WPT Tournament of Champions
Level 22: 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 64

Farid Yachou
Farid Yachou

Vlad Darie raised to 50,000 on the button and Farid Yachou defended his big blind.

The flop was 8h2h2c and Yachou checked. Darie bet 50,000 and Yachou check-raised to 250,000. Darie tanked for almost his entire 30 second time bank before calling.

The turn was the Tc and Yachou bet 200,000. Darie called and the river was the 8d.

Yachou moved all in for 1,585,000, which was much more than what Darie had remaining. Darie thought for a good chunk of his time clock and then called.

Yachou showed As2d, good for deuces full and Darie tabled Kc7d, giving him the two pair on the board with a king kicker. Darie was eliminated in second place and Yachou won the title.

Darie took home $224,190 for his second place finish and Yachou  netted $381,600 for his win. Yachou also took home a brand new corvette for the title.

Vlad Darie
Vlad Darie

Farid Yachou – 2016 WPT Tournament of Champions Winner
Vlad Darie – Eliminated in 2nd Place