2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$1,100 Six-Max No Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $110,580
March 19-20, 2017
Six-Max no limit hold’em was popularized by the advent of online poker and therefore loved by many of the younger players. But 52-year-old Jean LeBlond showed that the older players can still compete when it comes to short-handed poker.
LeBlond bested a field of 114 entries to earn $32,621, a seat into a freeroll with a $10,000 WPT finale seat at stake, and his first Hard Rock trophy.
There were some discussions about a chop during heads-up play with David Jackson, but LeBlond turned down the numbers because he wanted to finish it out, earn the win, and get a seat into the freeroll.
“My only objective was to win because I wanted the trophy and the satellite seat,” said LeBlond. “If we made a deal, then the chip leader was the winner and he had just a little more than I did. So, I didn’t want to do a deal. And I kind of felt that he was going on tilt because I got lucky a couple times. So I used it to my advantage and I ended up winning it.”
The score is LeBlond’s first outright tournament win and his biggest career score. With the lack of an extensive tournament resume, LeBlond didn’t have much experience with heads-up poker before Monday evening.
“I hadn’t done heads-up that often,” said LeBlond. “I had done it once before at the PCA in the Bahamas, but it’s not something you really get to do. I was kind of learning as I was going along. He was pretty aggressive, but I found a few reads on him, so that kind of helped.”
The real estate agent from New Brunswick, Canada has made his way down to South Florida for the last 20 years as a place to vacation and escape at least part of the Canadian winter. He’s been playing lots of poker along the way, but it wasn’t until recently that he started taking shots at the tournament series here at the Hard Rock.
The tournament was smooth sailing for LeBlond. He took the chip lead into the final table and only extended it from there. It wasn’t until he got heads-up against Jackson that he ran into some trouble.
“I kind of grinded the whole way during the last two tables,” said LeBlond. “But I was chip leader during the last two tables. Then I got lucky heads-up. I got very lucky a couple times. Everything was good.”
LeBlond still has three weeks left on his vacation with family and friends. With his win on Monday, he expects to keep the ball rolling and use this as momentum for the rest of the series.
“I’m going to be playing the $3,500 for sure now. And I’ll play the $570 this week,” said LeBlond. “I’ll cash in other events. You’ll see me again for sure.”
Here is a look at the results:
1st: Jean LeBlond – $32,621 + Freeroll seat
2nd: David Jackson – $20,181
3rd: Andrew Blake – $12,053
4th: Stephen Diamantas – $7,741
5th: Michael Goldfarb – $5,861
6th: Nizzim Gozlan – $4,866
7th: Josh Hillock – $4,202
8th: John DePersio – $3,704
9th: Haibi Lu – $2,875
10th: Brett Bader – $2,875
11th: James Gilbert – $2,875
12th: Staffan Lind – $2,875
13th: Tom Allen – $2,488
14th: Arthur Morris – $2,488
15th: Francois Tosques – $2,488