2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $236,760
March 23, 2017
Hiep Doan is the newest winner at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, taking the Event 5 title and the top payout of $27,502 after a seven-way deal.
Doan is a 56-year-old professional poker player from New Orleans, Louisiana by way of Vietnam. He’s been in the United States since 1992, jumping straight into a career as a poker dealer to make a living while splashing around as a part-time player on the side.
His job at a Harrah’s property meant that Doan was not permitted to play at the World Series of Poker, and that just wasn’t going to work for him. He eventually saved up enough of a bankroll to take the plunge and transition to the other side of the table as a full-time poker player.
That was less than four years ago, and Doan has made the best of his new career, so far. This result brings his total earnings to nearly $200,000, with a big chunk of that coming courtesy of a long-awaited WSOP Main Event cash in his first attempt last year. His 2017 campaign is off to a hot start, too. This result comes just a couple months removed from a career-best payday of $42,868 for his fourth-place finish in a big $345 event in Biloxi.
Doan is married with two children, and he said they’re the primary motivation behind his poker success. “I helped my son and my daughter to get into college,” he said with a big smile. “All my money I give back to them and to my wife.” He was even able to buy a house with his winnings.
The champ advanced through the final starting flight, Day 1F, returning for Day 2 with 147,500 chips — good enough for 37th place of the 191 survivors. He was fourth in chips by the time the final 10 players combined around the final table late in the evening, and he did not put a foot wrong for the rest of the night.
Doan was responsible for the elimination of Fariborz Zojaji in ninth place, and despite taking a bad beat to double-up Kevin Ho, he was the chip leader when the final seven players stopped to have a look at the numbers. Doan was the last holdout, but he eventually agreed to the deal, locking up the win to earn a photo session with his new trophy.
Event 5 was a $150 re-entry event with six starting flights, drawing a total field of 1,937 entries. That turnout generated a prize pool worth $236,760 which was shared by the final 117 players. The final table was reached around 9 p.m., with the final 10 players guaranteed at least $2,273. After a couple attempts at it earlier in the night, the seven-way deal was finally reached right around midnight local time as the calendar ticked over to the morning of March 23.
Final Table Results:
1st: Hiep Doan – $27,502*
2nd: Mike Ben-Shoaff – $20,778*
3rd: Daniel Mijac – $20,660*
4th: Robert Williams – $20,243*
5th: Alfredo Ratmiroff – $18,977*
6th: Marcus Stein – $18,479*
7th: Kevin Ho – $18,125*
8th: Charlemagne Benjamin – $4,427
9th: Fariborz Zojaji – $3,173
*Denotes seven-way deal