2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
$300 No Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $46,920
April 1, 2017
Michael Luong earned his first career title on Saturday night by defeating a field of 184 entries to win $12,157 in the $300 no limit hold’em.
After a long, 15-hour day of poker, the 25-year-old professional poker player was humble in nature and short on words.
“I just played it the way it was and I got it,” said Luong after his win.
Luong came into the final table near the top of the chip counts, but it took nearly five hours before he had amassed all of the chips in play. This is mostly due to the good structure and the high talent level of the final nine players.
“Surprisingly, at the very beginning of the final table, the blinds weren’t too big,” said Luong. “Everybody had a decent stack and it was fun. Everybody was playing pretty well. There were several people at the table that was playing amazingly well. I just had to wait, get a couple hands and made it happen.”
As a professional poker player living in Georgia, Luong doesn’t have the luxury of having casinos in the area. Most of Luong’s poker experience comes in underground games.
“It’s more underground games,” said Luong about where he’s forced to play in Georgia. “I travel to Vegas often too. So, I do a little of both.”
He currently plays in these games to make a living, but before he was playing these games, he was dealing them to pay for his computer information science degree at Georgia State University.
It was when he was in the box pitching cards that he learned the ins and outs of the game before jumping into playing full time.
“I used to deal at these games,” said Luong. “I learned the game and started liking it a lot. I just got used to it and started playing a lot and I like it a lot.”
Luong spends most of his time in cash games, but every so often, he’ll take a shot at a tournament.
“Cash is mainly my focus, but tournaments, I’ll jump in one every now and then just to see how I do,” said Luong.
He did pretty well on Saturday.
1st: Michael Luong – 12,157
2nd: Richard Little – $8,152
3rd: Ashley Sleeth – $4,809
4th: Steven Bennett – $2,925
5th: Tobias Peters – $2,259
6th: Francis Garcia – $1,872
7th: Marc Duquette – $1,595
8th: Aaron Scott – $1,403
9th: Roberto Bendeck – $1,216
10th: Preston Michael – $1,032
11th: Thomas Jackson – $1,032
12th: Rudijanto Soetkino – $1,032
13th: Dominick Amore – $868
14th: Frank Folino – $868
15th: Hamid Izadi – $868
16th: Andrew Grose – $727
17th: David Ring – $727
18th: Thomas Curtis – $727
19th: Alan Rosenbaum – $587
20th: Robert Mantin – $587
21st: Nader Bahhur – $587
22nd: Josias Santos – $445
23rd: Willie Wiggins – $445