2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship
Prize Pool: $3,862,400
March 31 – April 5, 2017
The 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown ran two full weeks of big tournaments and all were heading toward the last big set of three World Poker Tour events, kicking off with the $2,000,000 guaranteed Championship. After three long days and a tough final table, Tony Sinishtaj walked away with the WPT title, a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions, a seat in the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, and $661,283.
The $3,500 buy-in tournament drew 1,207 entries in one starting day to push the prize pool up to $3,862,400. Only 476 players were able to advance a stack to Day 2 with Alejandro Duque leading the way.
The Day 2 field had a lot of work to do before making some money. The last 151 players earned part of the huge prize pool and it took most of the day to get them down that far. They hit the money late in the day and packed up for Day 3 with 27 players remaining.
Those 27 players showed off their skill as they tried to make it to the six-handed final table. It took until the early morning hours but the table was set when Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Matt Affleck was eliminated in seventh place.
The WPT live-streamed final table included six players with combined tournament earnings of nearly $40,000,000. The three biggest names left in the game were World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop winner Dan Colman, four-time WSOP champ Robert Mizrachi, and Seminole Hard Rock Poker team member Darryll Fish.
Simeon Naydenov and Eric Beller were quick casualties at the final table and the four remaining players settled in to a long battle that saw the lead change several times.
Colman began the day with the chip lead and held it again during four-handed play but was the victim of a tough beat by Sinishtaj to send him out in fourth place.
“It was a tough field right down the stretch, but I got the right cards, got lucky a little bit, got unlucky a little bit,” Sinishtaj said later. “And at the end of the day it happened the way it was supposed to happen I guess and I came out on top.”
Crowd favorite Mizrachi followed him out shortly after to set up the heads-up match between Fish and Sinishtaj.
Fish erased an early deficit but Sinishtaj soon regained the lead for good when he doubled with sevens against deuces. A few hands later, Fish was all-in and at risk before Sinishtaj turned a flush to knock the the SHRP team member out in second place. Fish picked up $453,185 for his runner-up finish while Sinishtaj earned $661,283 for his efforts.
“It feels amazing,” Sinishtaj said. “I can’t wait, I just want to keep playing, it’s awesome.”
Sinishtaj won’t have to wait long to play again. His win today also earns him a seat in the $15,000 buy-in WPT Tournament of Champions that kicks off on Friday.
“I love playing here. It’s been a few years since I’ve been here, but I feel like I run great.” Sinishtaj said when asked about his experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “It’s a great place to play, [they] do an amazing job with the tournament.”
“The structure, the series, everything is great. The dealers are amazing, the staff, the floor, everything, I love the place.” He continued. “I should definitely be playing here more often, and I definitely will.”
Welcome back to Tony Sinishtaj and congratulations on the big World Poker Tour win.
Final table results:
1st: Tony Sinishtaj – $661,283* + $5,250 SHRPO Seat
2nd: Darryl Fish – $453,185
3rd: Rob Mizrachi – $293,864
4th: Dan Colman – $217,686
5th: Eric Beller – $164,438
6th: Simeon Naydenov – $132,889
* – Includes $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions seat