2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
$570 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Total Entries: 2,724
Total Prizepool: $1,362,000
In the early hours of Monday monring, Travis Hart took home the biggest score of the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open thus far. Hart came out on top of a nine-way deal to best a field of 2,724 players and take home $159,708 in the $570 No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event.
“It’s been a long time coming, you know,” said Hart after his win with a big smile on his face. “I’ve been in poker for about 12 years now since I was 20. I just feel like taking down a big win like this has been a long time coming.”
Hart doesn’t play poker professionally, but spends most of his time around the game. The 32-year-old Atlanta native runs the Atlanta Poker Club and spends most of his time running poker tournaments.
“I’ve been running that for about 10 years,” said Hart. “I’m around the game every day.”
Spending that much time around the game paid off for Hart in a big way. He was able to consistently chip up throughout the day and eventually make his way to the final table as one of the biggest stacks.
He started the unofficial final table second in chips, but he was able to pick up aces and eliminate Timothy Myers in 10th place with about a minute left in the night. That pot was enough to just barely edge out Ido Ashkenazi for the chip lead when play was scheduled to stop.
The final nine players were scheduled to come back on Monday afternoon to play down to a winner. But at the end of the night, they decided to take a look at the numbers for a chip chop. They all agreed upon a chop and thanks to the last minute elimination of Myers, Hart took credit for the win and gets the trophy.
Hart credited his simple style of play for his ability to accumulate chips and ultimately, his win.
“I basically just simplified the game,” said Hart. “I tried to make every decision as easy as possible and put the other person to the test. That’s kind of how I like to play. Don’t get myself in trouble and don’t make the mistake.”
Hart and a few of his friends came down to South Florida from the Atlanta area with the intention of playing a few tournaments. They were scheduled to leave on Wednesday, but they are thinking about changing their plans after taking down his first title.
For most players, a change of plans after this score would mean they are going to stay longer and take a shot some of the bigger buy-in events that kick off later in the series. Hart and his buddies might just head off to a different country for a visit.
“We might go to Cuba,” said Hart with a laugh. “Me and my buddies, we love Cuba. We might try and buy an island.”
Here is a look at the final table results:
1st: Travis Hart – $159,708
2nd: Ido Ashkenazi – $158,304
3rd: Butch Mitchell – $89,788
4th: Paul Balzano – $83,330
5th: Marty Robbins – $79,960
6th: Thien Doan – $68,728
7th: Eon Grant – $56,654
8th: Andi Chang Huang – $56,373
9th: John Miller – $42,613