2017 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$360 Ultimate Re-Entry No Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $1,426,800
January 12 – 17, 2016
The 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open kicked off the schedule with a huge multi-day tournament that drew one of the biggest fields in state history. The event saw 4,756 entries get in the game and they all dropped to the side as local favorite, 2016 WSOP November Niner Jerry Wong outlasted them all to collect the title along with $250,000.
In 2016, the inaugural run of the Ultimate Re-Entry tournament drew 4,075 entries to create the biggest tournament field in Florida poker history. That record was surpassed during the first 2016 Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” event and the 2017 Ultimate Re-Entry is now the second biggest.
The $360 buy-in tournament had a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool and the huge turnout pushed the prize money over $1.4 million when registration was officially closed with more than $250,000 reserved to the top spot.
The unique format of this tournament allowed players to enter as many opening flights as they wished and collect a multi-stack payout if they were able to advance more than one stack on to Day 2. The smallest stacks would be paid $2,500 with the biggest stack going into play. Each of the eight opening flights played down to 10% of the field to put everyone in the money at the start of Day 2.
Zack Milchman was the biggest winner in the multi-stack payout category. He managed to make the money in an incredible five of eight flights to put $10,000 in his pocket before playing a hand on Day 2. All told, 88 multi-stack payouts were awarded and 387 players returned for Day 2 on Monday.
Casey Carroll was the chip leader at the start of Day 2 but he did not play a role in the latter parts of the tournament. Since everyone was already in the money, the action moved along at a brisk clip and the field dropped under 100 before their dinner break.
A full day of action wasn’t enough to determine a champion on Monday and 22 players returned on Tuesday for some bonus poker with Fabio Pereira leading the way against a talented group that included Wong, Jake Schwartz, Victor Figueroa, Evan Teitelbaum, Nancy Thomas, Marcus Stein, Steven McKoy, and Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Michael Laake.
The stacks were deep and it took three hours to whittle those 22 players down to the final table. Figueroa and Laake were the two big stacks at the start of the final table but that is when Wong began his great run.
Players dropped left and right while Wong continued to pile up the chips. After Christopher Arcidiacono was eliminated in fifth place, Wong held 42 of the 66 million chips in play and the last four players decided to divide up the remaining prize money with the lion’s share going to Wong as the champion.
“Everyone did what was in their best financial interest, and we reached a deal,” Wong stated afterward.
This is the third biggest score for Wong. He earned $1.1 million for his eighth place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event and $725,000 for a third place results in the 2013 PCA Main Event.
“After the (WSOP) Main Event, this is the largest field I’ve been deep in,” Wong said.
“I didn’t win that one, but it feels good to win this one,” he continued. “I played with some pretty tough players and had a nice run of cards, especially after the dinner break.”
Final table results:
1st: Jerry Wong – $250,000
2nd: Nancy Thomas – $104,113
3rd: Victor Figueroa – $103,826
4th: Steven McKoy – $91,241
5th: Christopher Arcidiacono – $45,765
6th: Michael Laake – $34,830
7th: Fabio Pereira – $26,730
8th: Jose De La Cruz – $19,440
9th: Gal Erlichman – $13,770
- Download: Complete Tournament Results (PDF)