2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$360 No Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $932,100
March 16-20, 2017
The opening events are always big during Seminole Hard Rock Poker series and this one was no different. Event 1 drew more than 3,000 entries and it was Henry Meacham outlasting them all to take home more than $120,000 after a three-way deal was made at the final table.
The $360 buy-in tournament featured a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool and six starting flights to give players plenty of chances to get in the game. Each flight saw one milestone surpassed after another until Event 1 hit 3,017 entries late on Saturday to push that $500,000 guarantee to over $900,000.
The last 300 players were set to earn a piece of the money with more than 600 players returning on Sunday for Day 2 trying to get some of it. The return saw players exit at a quick pace and the field was on the money bubble after three hours of play.
Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Mukul Pahuja went out on the bubble to put the rest of the field in the money. Fellow SHRP team member Darryll Fish was part of the last 300 but went out soon after.
Play was halted for Event 2 in the early morning hours with 13 players remaining and more than $550,000 still up for grabs. Among those 13 were Florida poker legend Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, another former November Niner in Neil Blumenfield, SHRP Big 4 $1,100 champion Ruslan Dykshteyn, 2015 WTPDeepStacks Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open winner Lawrence Whyte, and local favorite Steven Bennett.
It took less than 30 minutes to drop from 13 down to the final table ten. Blumenfield and Mizrachi were early casualties, the latter via a river bad beat, and action stalled with the deeper stacks.
Dyskshteyn, Whyte, and Bennett succumbed to the bigger stacks and cash game regular Ben Sriqui battled hard before exiting in fourth place.
With a lot of money on the line and relatively even stacks between the top two, the three remaining players agreed to a deal to chop up the rest of the prize pool. Meacham and former chip leader Martin Culotta each banked six-digit scores while James Rustemoglu laddered his way up to a $92,831 payday.
Meacham had a big rail following his progress including his brother Jeremy who won a WPTDeepStacks title a few weeks ago in Jacksonville.
“We’ve been having a dream run,” Meacham said. “We’ve been traveling and playing for about six months and doing really well.”
A bit of an understatement when you combine both recent titles. Meacham adds $122,467 to his bankroll along with the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown trophy, custom-framed winner’s photo courtesy of IMPDI, and a seat in the $10,000 WPT Finale/$3,500 WPT Showdown Championship freeroll.
Final table results:
1st: Henry Meacham – $122,467
2nd: Martin Culotta – $117,976
3rd: James Rustomoglu – $92,831
4th: Ben Sriqui – $57,557
5th: Steven Bennett – $46,838
6th: Lawrency Whyte – $36,818
7th: Ruslan Dykshteyn – $27,031
8th: Michael Mizrachi – $18,176
9th: Neil Blumenfield – $13,049