2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$360 No Limit Hold’em Turbo
Prize Pool: $30,000
November 26, 2017
Poker players face adversity every time they sit at the table. Whether it’s a cold streak of cards, an unlucky river card or being short stacked and on the brink of bubbling a tournament. By nature, they learn to deal with the curveballs that the poker gods throw at them.
Having been diagnosed with ALS six years ago, Jeffrey Fogel is no stranger to dealing with less than ideal situations.
On Sunday, things went Fogel’s way. He defeated a 77-entry field in the $360 no limit turbo to win his first Hard Rock trophy. As part of a six-way deal, the 46-year-old poker player from Miami won $3,939 for the win.
“It’s a great feeling to come in first,” said Fogel after his win.
It’s the second time this series that Fogel was a part of a six-way deal. In the $570 deep stack no limit hold’em re-entry event, Fogel finished fourth in a six-way deal for $30,019.
“I’m blessed that I’m having a good series,” said Fogel. “I chopped the $570 six ways and I did not play the main. I didn’t want to. It’s just a blessing.”
Blessed was a word that Fogel used frequently after his win. Living with advanced stages of ALS, he has a couple of friends that are with him around the clock to help take care of him both medically and at the poker table. He just feels lucky to have those guys around.
“Pierre, right here, is my nurse,” said Fogel. “He drives me. He takes care of me. I’m blessed to have him in my life.”
In order for Fogel to talk after his win, Pierre needed to detach him from his ventilator. The ventilator is a machine that ran down his throat via a tracheostomy tube that helps him breathe.
He’s unable to speak when he’s attached to the machine and when he’s not, he can’t talk for long. Pierre is there to make sure all of his medical needs are met.
At the poker table, however, his friend Miguel helps him out. Miguel met Fogel through a mutual friend and they’ve known each other for seven or eight years.
Miguel peels Fogel’s cards, he places the bets, moves the chips and physically makes the action that Jeff wants.
“It’s a blessing that they have been with me for so long,” said Fogel about the team of people that surround them.
Living in the area, Fogel spends a lot of time grinding tournaments at the Hard Rock, but he’s succeeded on bigger stages as well. In 2015, he finished 158th out of 22,374 entries in the Colossus at the World Series of Poker. He cashed for $8,155.
“I learned a lot at the World Series of Poker,” said Fogel. “It’s amazing. It was like a kid in a candy store.”
To cash in the Colossus, Fogel needed to grind for dozens of hours over several days. This being a turbo event, Fogel only needed about seven hours to earn his money.
He preferred the faster structure.
“I love it,” said Fogel. “I love the turbos. I get in and out.”
This is Fogel’s third career live tournament win. All of which came at Hard Rock properties in South Florida. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I just enjoy playing poker a lot,” said Fogel. “The Hard Rock. This is my home.”
1st: Jeffrey Fogel – $3,939*
2nd: Cangir Elcin – $3,939*
3rd: Jason Walker – $3,939*
4th: Leon Benmargui – $3,939*
5th: Larry Hirschfield – $3,939*
6th: Richard Arno – $3,939*
7th: Jeronimo Abalos – $1,193
8th: Frank Gil – $1,035
9th: Georges Boyadjian – $915
10th: Aaron Friedman – $825
11th: Robert Campbell – $825
12th: Luis Mantilla – $825
13th: Konstantin Tourevski – $750
*Indicates adjusted payout to reflect the final deal
- Download: Final Results (PDF)