Event 12: Igor Merda Scores First Official Tournament Win After Three-Handed Deal

2017 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Event 12
$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) 
Total Entries: 129
Prize Pool: $135,500
January 23-24, 2017

Hollywood, Fla. (January 24, 2017) – Event 12 of the 2017 Lucky Hearts Poker Open, a $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) , drew 129 entries and generated a prize pool of $135,500. The event lasted two days, and 15 players came back on Tuesday to battle it out for a first-place prize of nearly $40,000. When the dust settled, a deal was agreed upon by the final three players and Igor Merda earned the victory as the chip leader.

The 30-year old husband and father was born and raised in Croatia. He moved to Germany at the age of 13 and after traveling for a while, he settled down with his wife and child in Miami a few years ago.

“I’ve been playing poker professionally since 2010, mostly cash games locally,” said Merda. “This is the first tournament I’ve won, and I’m very happy about it. That’s why I was so willing to do the deal. Just having the feeling of winning a tournament.”

Despite his success playing cash games, Merda plans to transition into tournament poker.

“I played tournaments every so often over the years, but I plan to play a lot more this year and really focus on it. I think I played maybe 15 at the Seminole Hard Rock last year, but I’ll be playing more this year, especially after getting this win.”

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Money
1IgorMerda$33,361*
2FrankSilverstein$23,218*
3StewartNewman$19,301*
4JoeyWeissman$10,840
5StanleyLee$8,130
6LarryBaxter$6,775
7DmitrySavelyev$5,420
8MikeComisso$4,065
9JeffManders$3,049
10GilbertDiaz$2,710
11ErikChristensen$2,710
12JackDuong$2,710
13JosephZelnick$2,371
14GriffinAbel$2,371
15RichardRice$2,371
16CraigFeldman$2,033
17BarryPevner$2,033
18JoshuaCranfill$2,033

*denotes three-handed deal

Event 12: Igor Merda Gets the Victory After Three-Handed Deal

$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) 
Level 24: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 129

The remaining three players ran the numbers and agreed to a deal. Here were the chip counts at the time, and the resulting payouts.


1st: Igor Merda (pictured above) – 875,000 (54 bb) – $33,361

2nd: Frank Silverstein (pictured above) – 427,000 (26 bb) – $23,218

3rd: Stewart Newman (pictured above) – 254,000 (15 bb) – $19,301

Event 12: Joey Weissman – 4th Place ($10,840)

$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) 
Level 24: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 129
Average Stack: 516,000 (32 bb)

Joey Weissman (pictured) raised all in from under the gun for 129,000 and Frank Silverstein called from the small blind.

Weissman: 6c6d
Silverstein: Ah7h

The board came down 10c2h2s10h7c, giving Silverstein tens and sevens to eliminate Weissman in fourth  place.

Frank Silverstein – 380,000 (23 bb)
Joey Weissman – Eliminated in 4th Place ($10,840)

Event 12: Frank Silverstein Doubles Through Igor Merda

$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) 
Level 24: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 129
Average Stack: 387,000 (24 bb)

Igor Merda raised to 33,000 from under the gun, Frank Silverstein reraised all in from the button for 159,000, and Merda called.

Merda: Ks10s
Silverstein: KcKh

The board came down AsAd4c6c7h, safe for Silverstein to double up.

Frank Silverstein – 350,000 (21 bb)
Igor Merda – 585,000 (36 bb)