Event 11: Abdel Bouanani’s “Lucky Night” Nets Him a Trophy, $15,862 in Cash

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino 
Hollywood, Fla.
$360 No Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)
Entries: 300
Prizepool: $90,000
March 26, 2017

Abdel Bouanani

Abdel Bouanani is the newest winner at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Bouanani took down the $360 one-day event, outlasting a field of 300 entries to claim the trophy and the top prize of $15,862 in a five-way deal. As part of the win, he also earned a seat in the special freeroll, with seats to the $10,000 WPT Finale and the $3,500 WPT Showdown up for grabs.

Bouanani is a 30-year-old recreational player from Tampa. By day, he’s the Director of Operations for Nike Camps, where he teaches kids between from ages eight to 18 to excel in sports of all sorts. “It’s what I do,” he said proudly. “Internationally, we see about 3,000 athletes every summer.”

Fully committed to his day job, poker is nothing more than a part-time distraction for the Bouanani. “I play poker casually,” he said. “It’s a hobby; nothing really serious.” He’s been playing the game on the side for about 10 years, but only on the side. “Nothing serious,” he repeated.

The champ nursed a short stack for the majority of the long day, but the momentum started to swing in his direction as the field shrank down to the final couple tables.

“I was really low in chips for the whole day, to be honest,” he said. “I finally started picking up hands and… it just works out sometimes.” Bouanani cracked pocket kings with pocket queens in a life-saving pot late in the day, and by the time the final 10 players combined around the final table, he was third in chips.

With nine players left, Bouanani played the largest pot of the tournament, a pot in which he tried to isolate himself against the short-stacked Richard Chouinard, who had shoved with ace-queen of clubs. Bouanani re-shoved behind him with pocket fours, but Henry Meacham put both players at risk with the larger stack and the best hand — pocket jacks. Bouanani found another four on the turn, though, and he ended up winning the huge pot with a full house to soar into the overall chip lead.

That lead would only increase over the next few hands. Just a moment after that knockout, Bouanani eliminated Max Le in eighth place, then Meacham in seventh, reducing the field to six players in short order.

When Brandon Shields was eliminated in sixth place, the final five players took a quick break to look at the numbers. They quickly agreed to a straight ICM chop, and Bouanani’s big stack earned him the lion’s share of the prize pool, the trophy, and the title.

“This is… you could call it my lucky night,” he said as he admired his haul. Call it what you will, this result is a fine one for Bouanani. The five-figure payout is the largest of his part-time poker career and more than the sum of his previous tournament results combined.

Final Table Results:

1st: Abdel Bouanani – $15,862*
2nd: Carlos Hostos Musso – $11,661*
3rd: Steve Yagudaev – $8,902*
4th: Howard Mash – $8,854*
5th: Charlie Riley – $7,198*
6th: Brandon Shields – $3,578
7th: Henry Meacham – $3,006
8th: Max Le – $2,471
9th: Richard Chouinard – $1,977

*Denotes five-way deal

Event 11: Abdel Bouanani Wins in Five-Way Deal

$360 No Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)
Level 24: 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 300

Abdel Bouanani

The final five players took a break to look at the numbers, and they quickly agreed to a straight ICM chop. Abdel Bouanani had a huge chip lead when the deal was made, so he collects the most money, the trophy, the freeroll seat, and the victory, officially.

Here are the results for the final five after the agreement:

1st: Abdel Bouanani – $15,862
2nd: Carlos Hostos Musso – $11,661
3rd: Steve Yagudaev – $8,902
4th: Howard Mash – $8,854
5th: Charlie Riley – $7,198

A more in-depth account of Bouanani’s win will be published shortly.

Event 11: Brandon Shields Eliminated in 6th Place ($3,578)

$360 No Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)
Level 24: 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 300

Brandon Shields17 S

Brandon Shields moved all in for 137,000 on the button, and Steve Yagudaev called in the big blind to put Shields at risk.

Shields: KsQc
Yagudaev: Ah3h

The board ran out Ac4c4sQsKh, and Yagudaev won the pot with aces up to send Shields to the cashier in sixth place.

Steve Yagudaev – 395,000 (16 bb)
Brandon Shields – Eliminated in 6th place ($3,578)

Event 11: Henry Meacham Eliminated in 7th Place ($3,006)

$360 No Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)
Level 23: 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 300

Henry Meacham

Abdel Bouanani opened the button with a raise, and Henry Meacham got his last 128,000 chips into the middle from the big blind to put himself at risk.

Bouanani: Kd9d
Meacham: 5h8h

The board ran out Ac7s3sTs7d, and Bouanani earned his third-consecutive knockout, this one with just high cards. Meacham was eliminated in seventh place.

Abdel Bouanani – 1,700,000 (85 bb)
Henry Meacham – Eliminated in 7th place ($3,006)

Event 11: Max Le Eliminated in 8th Place ($2,471)

$360 No Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)
Level 23: 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante
Players Remaining: 8 of 300

Max Le

Max Le got his last 250,000 chips into the middle preflop against Abdel Bouanani.

Le: 5c5h
Bouanani: 6c6d

The board ran out AdJd3d6s7h, and Bouanani won the pot with a set of sixes, sending Le to the payout desk in eighth place.

Abdel Bouanani – 1,405,000 (70 bb)
Max Le – Eliminated in 8th place ($2,471)