Main Event: Michael Graffeo wins WPTDeepStacks Title

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, FL
WPTDeepStacks $1 Million Guarantee Main Event
$1,100 No Limit Hold’em
Entries: 1,509
Prize Pool: $1,463,730
January 19 – 24, 2016

Michael Graffeo, 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts WPTDeepStacks Champion

The spotlight tournament on the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open was the $1 Million Guarantee WPTDeepStacks Main Event and the popular tour drew a big group of players. After three opening flights and three play down days, Michael Graffeo outlasted more than 1,500 entries to earn the trophy, the title, and more than $290,000.

The tournament had a $1,100 buy-in and the three opening flights combined to put 1,509 entries into the game. That huge turnout created a prize pool worth $1,463,730 and the last 151 players earned a some of that money. But all eyes were on the huge $290,687 top prize plus a $5,250 seat in the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship and a $3,000 package to the WPTDeepStacks Championship.

Of those 1,509 starters, only 264 were still around to join together for Day 2 and they quickly played down to the money bubble soon after the first break. The Main Event field made it into the money when Damien Rios eliminated an opponent after five rounds of hand-for-hand play.

Three Seminole Hard Rock Poker team members qualified for Day 2 action but only Loni Harwood was able to make the cash after Faraz Jaka and Jessica Dawley had early exits from the Main Event.

Harwood wasn’t satisfied with only cashing in the tournament; the two-time WSOP bracelet winner set her sights higher. She continued to build up her stack as top players fell to the wayside including Mohsin Charania, Kathy Liebert, Kelly Minkin, Zo Karim, and reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year David Prociak.

Day 2 ended when former SHRP champion Ido Ashkenazi was eliminated in 28th place, closing down play with the last three tables. Those 27 players returned for Day 3 and it only took four hours to whittle them down to the final table of nine when previous chip leader Andre Rakusa was eliminated by Luis Torres.

Dantonio Brown was the chip leader at the end of his starting flight, then ended Day 2 with a big lead, and followed it all up with a nice lead to start the final table in front of the WPTDeepStacks live-stream cameras.

The final table featured players with more $7.5 million in combined tournament earnings, nine SHRP titles, and two WSOP bracelets courtesy of Harwood.

The final table had fireworks early with fan favorite Aaron Massey losing his short stack despite being dealt three big hands at the start. He was followed by Luis Torres, poker pro Timothy “TK” Miles, and Canadian transplant Timothy Banks.

Two-time SHRP champion Charlemagne Benjamin hit the rail in fifth place followed by four-time champion Marc Levy. Harwood held the chip lead with three players remaining but it slipped away while she took home $110,431 for her work.

Brown began heads-up up play with a small chip lead but Graffeo quickly reversed the advantage to take command. Brown did not go down without a fight and it took a tough beat to end his tournament as the runner-up.

Graffeo was clearly excited to finish off the WPTDeepStacks Main Event as champion and he’ll have something to show for it. He earned $290,687 for the feat along with booking himself into the $5,250 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship and WPTDeepStacks Championship.

“I ran pretty good, it was a tough table,” Graffeo told WPTDeepStacks. “I was trying to make some moves without putting my whole chip stack at risk.”

A recent transplant to South Florida, Graffeo ended a poker hiatus with new access to great games.

“I moved down here seven months ago and started playing again,” he continued. “The tournament was great. The dealers and the staff (are) unbelievable. It’s just a great place to play.”

Congratulations to Graffeo, the final table members, and everyone who made the WPTDeepStacks Main Event a success.

Final table results:

1st: Michael Graffeo – $290,687 + $5,250 SHRPO seat and $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package
2nd: Dantonio Brown – $178,209
3rd: Loni Harwood – $110,431
4th: Marc Levy – $93,049
5th: Charlemagne Benjamin – $77,127
6th: Timothy Banks – $62,081
7th: Timothy Miles – $47,766
8th: Luis Torres – $34,473
9th: Aaron Massey – $25,563

Full WPTDeepStacks payouts

Main Event: Michael Graffeo Wins LHPO Main Event ($290,687); Dantonio Brown — 2nd Place ($178,209)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 36: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 1,509

Michael Graffeo

Dantonio Brown opened the button for a raise to 1,600,000. It was on chip leader Michael Graffeo and he three-bet all in. Brown called off and had the best of it.

Brown: 8s8d
Graffeo: ac3c

The flop quickly gave Graffeo the lead coming ah7s2h. Graffeo’s pair of aces was good, but Brown had outs. The turn 2s wasn’t one of them and they went to the river with Brown needing one of the two remaining eights in the deck. It wasn’t to be as the board completed with the ad giving Graffeo trips.

Brown was eliminated in second place earning $178,209. Graffeo went home as the tournament’s champion good for $290,687, a pair of trophies, a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks package and a $5,250 seat in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.

Dantonio Brown

A full report will be posted shortly. In the meantime, here’s a look at the event’s final table results:

1st: Michael Graffeo – $290,687
2nd: Dantonio Brown – $178,209
3rd: Loni Harwood – $110,431
4th: Marc Levy – $93,049
5th: Charlemagne Benjamin – $77,127
6th: Timothy Banks – $62,081
7th: Timothy Miles – $47,766
8th: Luis Torres – $34,473
9th: Aaron Massey – $25,563

Main Event: Loni Harwood – 3rd Place ($110,431)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 36: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 1,509

Loni Harwood

Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Loni Harwood moved all-in for 6,950,000 from the small blind. Dantonio Brown called from the big blind and Harwood had a chance to double.

Harwood: as7s
Brown: kh3h

The flop fell ts6d3c giving Brown the lead in the hand with a pair of threes. The turn was the 3s giving Brown trips, but leaving Harwood with outs to the flush. The river 7d didn’t improve either player and Harwood was eliminated in third place earning $110,431.

With the elimination, players went on a short break to prepare the table for heads-up play. Updated chip counts will be posted shortly.

Loni Harwood – Eliminated in 3rd place ($110,431)

Main Event: Marc Levy — 4th Place ($93,049)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 36: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,509

Marc Levy

Marc Levy was under the gun and jammed for 3,450,000. Start-of-day chip leader Dantonio Brown was on his direct left and called. The remaining players folded and Levy needed to improve.

Brown: adqd
Levy: th8d

The dealer burned and turn a 5h2c2hjs9s runout. Brown’s ace-queen high was best and Levy was eliminated in fourth place earning $93,049.

Marc Levy – Eliminated in 4th place ($93,049)

Main Event: Charlemagne Benjamin — 5th Place ($77,127)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 1,509

Charlemagne Benjamin

Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Loni Harwood raised to 800,000 from the cutoff. Charlemagne Benjamin jammed the button for 4,275,000. It folded back to Harwood and she called. Benjamin was the at-risk player.

Benjamin: 8s8h
Harwood: ahjc

The flop came acjh4c improving Harwood to two pair and giving her the lead in the race. The turn came the td — no help to either player. Benjamin was officially eliminated in fifth place when the river was revealed to be the 3s. He earned $77,127 for the deep run.

Loni Harwood – 9,750,000 (24 bb)
Charlemagne Benjamin – Eliminated in 5th place ($77,127)

Main Event: Harwood Check-Calls Brown; Stacks Thinning

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 1,509

In a heads-up pot, Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Loni Harwood was in the big blind facing off against Dantonio Brown on the button. Harwood checked the kcjs6h flop and Brown bet 1,000,000. Harwood called.

The turn was the th and both players checked.

The river fell the qc and Harwood checked a third time. Brown bet 1,700,000. Harwood called. Brown flipped over ac4d for Broadway. She mucked and Brown took the pot.

Dantonio Brown – 10,200,000 (25 bb)
Loni Harwood – 5,200,000 (13 bb)

Main Event: Timothy Banks – 6th Place ($62,081)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 1,509

Timothy Banks

On the first hand after break, Marc Levy shoved for 2,925,000 from early position. It folded to Timothy Banks in the big blind who put his last 2,350,000 in the middle. Levy had Banks at risk, but need to improve.

Banks: 5h5d
Levy: kd9d

The flop smacked Levy, falling adqd3d and giving him the nut flush. The turn was the jd while the river fell the js. Timothy Banks was eliminated in sixth place earning $62,081.

Marc Levy – 5,905,000 (14 bb)
Timothy Banks – Eliminated in 6th ($62,081)

Main Event: Updated Chip Counts and Remaining Payouts

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Heading to Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 1,509

Seat 1: Charlemagne Benjamin – 5,425,000 (13 bb)
Seat 2: Marc Levy – 2,975,000 (7 bb)
Seat 3: TK Miles – Eliminated in 7th place ($47,766)
Seat 4: Aaron Massey – Eliminated in 9th Place ($25,563)
Seat 5: Dantonio Brown – 6,225,000 (15 bb)
Seat 6: Michael Graffeo – 10,600,000 (26 bb)
Seat 7: Luis Torres – Eliminated in 8th place ($34,473)
Seat 8: Loni Harwood – 10,100,000 (25 bb)
Seat 9: Timothy Banks – 2,400,000 (6 bb)

1st: $290,687
2nd: $178,209
3rd: $110,431
4th: $93,049
5th: $77,127
6th: $62,081

Main Event: Timothy Miles – 7th Place ($47,766)

$1,100 WPTDeepStacks Main Event
Level 33: 100,000/200,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 1,509

Timothy “TK” Miles

Timothy “TK” Miles got his last 2,775,000 in the pot preflop. It was on Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Loni Harwood and she asked for a count. The dealer broke down the bet and Harwood called putting Miles at risk.

Harwood: adth
Miles: jdtd

The flop didn’t improve either player falling 8h6c5s. The turn 6s left Miles drawing to one of the three remaining jacks. It wasn’t in the cards as the dealer completed the runout with the 3c. Miles was eliminated in seventh place earning $47,766.

This marks another deep Seminole Hard Rock Poker run for Miles who finished second in last year’s Player of the Year race.

Loni Harwood – 7,500,000 (37 bb)
Timothy “TK” Miles – Eliminated in 7th place ($47,766)

Timothy “TK” Miles