2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
$2,650 No Limit Hold’em Freeze-Out
Total Entries: 529
Total Prizepool: $1,282,825
August 14-16, 2016
Most 21-year-old college students spend their summers working minimum wage jobs to save up just enough money to go out and have fun during the school year.
Bradley Snider took a different approach to his summer vacation and will head back to Princeton University in the fall with more than just some spare change. On Tuesday evening, in what was his first-ever recorded tournament cash, Snider bested a field of 529 in a $2,650 freeze-out tournament to earn his first-ever tournament score and $246,400.
Snider grew up playing poker for fun with his family before heading to Princeton and beginning to take the game more seriously. According to Snider, December of his freshman year was when he really started dedicating some time to the game.
“Me and my brother started watching poker on Twitch,” said Snider. “And that’s what really got us into it. I wanted to play more and learn the game and study.”
Snider’s busy schedule as a math major in an Ivy League school doesn’t allow him much spare time to travel and play live poker tournaments. Most of his time with poker has been spent studying and learning the game. But in his limited experience, he hasn’t had the best results before his win at the Seminole Hard Rock.
“I’ve been running pretty bad at them up until now,” said the 21-year-old Fort Lauderdale native. “So it feels good to kind of get rewarded.”
Snider’s hard work and study got him the chip lead heading into Tuesday’s final table. He had a massive chip lead, but was the youngest player at the table and was facing some seasoned competition. All while being under the bright lights of The Big 4 and a televised final table.
None of those thing shook Snider’s mindset. He was able to keep his nerves about him even with all of the other action going on around him.
“I think I sort of just felt like I was freerolling,” said Snider. “It was already such an amazing run to be in this spot and to come in as the chip leader. So I didn’t really feel much pressure.
“There were times when we were three-handed when I was put to some really tough decisions. But other than that, I was able to stay calm and not really let the pressure of playing in The Big 4 get to me.”
Snider’s calm demeanor allowed him to outlast a final table that featured two-time WSOP bracelet winner Dan Heimiller, 2016 November Niner Jerry Wong, Koray Aldemir, and well-known online grinder Nicholas Immekus.
He defeated Irish pro Dermot Blain to take home the title, his first cash, and an extra $246,600 to his name.
“It was a really great experience,” said Snider of The Big 4. “I think it’s a really cool thing about tournament poker. Everything sort of builds up to a final table and here, it builds up to something bigger.”
Most 21-year-olds that earn a score this size begin to look at poker as more of a career path and put their education on the back burner. Snider plans to keep poker as a recreational activity and has no plans on skipping out on his education.
“I think poker will continue to just be a serious hobby for me,” he said. “I really enjoy playing casually and thinking about the game. And this will let me play a lot more poker in the future.”
Here is a look at the final table results:
1st: Bradley Snider – $246,400
2nd: Dermot Blain – $147,800
3rd: Nicholas Immekus – $88,400
4th: Koray Aldemir – $73,900
5th: Jeffrey Chang – $61,600
6th: Alex Wilson – $49,300
7th: Dan Heimiller – $37,000
8th: James Gilbert – $30,800
9th: Jerry Wong – $25,575