2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$360 No Limit Hold’em
Total Prize Pool: $1,071,000
Multi-Stack Payouts: 38 @ $2,500 = $95,000
Day 2 Prize Pool: $976,000
November 15-20, 2017
The opening event of the 2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood was a big one and required an extra day of play to find a champion. There were 3,570 entries in the Ultimate Re-Entry event and South Florida amateur player Francois Zayas walked away with the title plus more than $100,000.
The Ultimate Re-Entry tournament ran eight starting flights over four days to put up huge numbers into the field. The event had a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool that was easily surpassed and they combined to create a prize pool worth more than $1 million.
The unique event also featured a twist that allowed players to enter as many flights as they wished and they could advance multiple stacks forward to Day 2. If players were able to survive more than one flight, they would play their biggest stack on Day 2 and receive a $2,500 Multi-stack award for their other stacks.
Nicholas Cookendorfer was the big winner in the Multi-stack award category after he was able to survive in four of the eight flights to cash out $7,500 before playing on Day 2.
The 314 players who made it through the opening flights returned for Day 2 on Sunday and they were already in the money. That meant the action was fast from the restart and the field was cut in half before the first break.
Only 55 players remained when they went on dinner break and they continued shrinking the field until the clock was paused at 3am. There were still 13 players alive and they were set to return on Monday for a bonus day of poker with Daniel Taylor leading the pack.
Three quick eliminations on Day 3 sent the Ultimate Re-Entry down to the final table with Taylor and Zayas neck-and-neck for the chip lead. Zayas took command early and pulled the lead directly from Taylor.
Tracy Potter was the shortest at the final table and hit the exit in tenth place followed by 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $1,100 Big 4 champ Ruslan Dykshteyn. Sam Wynder was eliminated in eighth place and the seven remaining players decided to work out a deal to divide up the remaining prize pool.
Zayas was declared the champion courtesy of his chip lead and he officially took home $107,973 for his efforts with Taylor, Song O, Benjamin Miner, Brandon Ageloff, Richard Treppenssee, and Pasquale Caiazza rounding out the top seven spots.
Zayas made the most of his chances and took the title with only a single entry in the tournament. His one shot came Saturday afternoon and he was able to bag a top twenty stack for his Day 2 return.
“It was awesome,” Zayas commented when asked about his tournament. “I ran good since Day 1 and today I ran like a god.”
Zayas also had a little family good luck on his side. When he jumped in his car to return for the final day, there was a secret good luck note waiting for him from his children.
“It was the cutest thing,” Zayas beamed. “They snuck it in the car and it said ‘good luck, have a good game, I hope you do great, win the trophy’ and I didn’t know until I got in the car. That was great.”
It was another successful running of the Ultimate Re-Entry format, bringing in huge numbers, and paying out another seven-digit prize pool. Congratulations to Francois and everyone else who made some money.
Final table results:
1st: Francois Zayas – $107,973 + Trophy*
2nd: Daniel Taylor – $85,481*
3rd: Song O – $85,146*
4th: Benjamin Miner – $75,070*
5th: Brandon Ageloff – $70,133*
6th: Richard Treppenssee – $57,735*
7th: Pasquale Caiazza – $52,661*
8th: Sam Wynder – $15,818
9th: Ruslan Dykshteyn – $11,205
10th: Tracy Potter – $7,250
* – denotes results of a seven-way deal
- Download: Final Results (PDF)