2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Prize Pool: $13,515
November 28, 2017
If there is a mixed games event at the Hard Rock, Phil Hui is usually in the field and favorite to take the whole thing down. In one of the last events of the 2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, he did just that.
Hui defeated a 53-entry field to win the $300 HORSE event. In a four-way deal, Hui got nearly original first place money. What was scheduled to be a $5,000 first place payout was still $4,782 in the deal.
“I just ran pure when the levels were high,” said Hui. “Just stayed patient and not waste any bets and try to get it in good. And I ran good.”
Hui made his mark on the poker world when he broke through for a bracelet at the 2014 World Series of Poker in the $3,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Since then, he’s been regarded as one of the better mixed game players around.
Living in Florida, it can be tough to find a mixed game. Most of the games in the state are big bet games, but he still finds a way to stay sharp.
“If I want to play [mix], I’ll fly up to Philly and play cash at Parx,” said Hui. “Other than that, I just play these small tournaments during the series.”
Before becoming a full-time poker pro, Hui made his living as a professional golfer. Golfers tend to gamble quite a bit and it was on the tour where he got hooked on poker.
Unlike most pros his age, he didn’t get his start playing no limit hold’em.
“That’s how I learned how to play poker,” said Hui. “PLO8 was the first game I learned. And badugi before no limit hold’em.”
After getting a grasp of the game with his fellow golfers, he decided to leave the tour and play poker full time. He met a few other poker players who gave him some more in-depth strategy advice on no limit hold’em.
“In 2010, I met Rob Salaburu and some internet guys that taught me how to raise and three-bet,” joked Hui.
While he’s been a highly successful poker pro, the urge to get back out on the golf course and play on the PGA tour is in the back of his mind. A transition back to golf, would mean no time on the felt for Hui.
“It’s still up in the air,” said Hui. “I really do want to go back and give it one more shot. It would be 100% commitment to golf and no poker.”
While he never reached the PGA tour, he was quite successful on the tours just below it. If there wasn’t a change in the procedure, we might have seen Hui on television battling it out with the game’s best golfers instead of battling poker’s best players on the felt.
“I was pretty good,” said Hui about his time on the ‘mini tours.’ “I was top five on our money list. I almost got my card, but they changed the structure as to how you get your card, so it was a two-year process instead of one. So, I just decided to turn to poker.”
1st: Phil Hui – $4,782*
2nd: Carey Pickus – $2,300*
3rd: Georges Boyadjian – $2,000*
4th: Wally Maddah – $2,000*
5th: Harold Klein – $1,014
6th: Dennis O’Connor – $811
7th: Ricardo Quintero – $608
*Indicates adjusted payouts per the four-way deal