Event 5: Former Poker Dealer Hiep Doan Chops His Way to Trophy, $27,502 in Cash

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Fla.
Event 5
$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Entries: 1,937
Prize Pool: $236,760
March 23, 2017

Hiep Doan

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

Event 5: Hiep Doan Wins in Seven-Way Deal

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 33: 100,000/200,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 1,973

Hiep Doan

With just 14 big blinds in the average stack, the final seven players have agreed to a deal. Former poker dealer Hiep Doan had the biggest stack, so he’ll take the lion’s share of the prize pool, the trophy, and the win, officially.

Here’s how the deal broke down for the final seven:

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

A more in-depth story about Doan and his big win will be published shortly.

Event 5: Kevin Ho Doubles Again

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 33: 100,000/200,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 1,973

Kevin Ho is fighting for his tournament life. Having been worked back down to 635,000 chips, Ho three-bet shoved from the button behind a Daniel Mijac cutoff open. Mijac had raised to 400,000, and he called the remainder to put Ho at risk, flipping for the knockout.

Mijac: 8s8h
Ho: QcTd

The board ran out KsQd9c7s4h, and Ho won the race to double up with a pair of queens.

Kevin Ho – 1,745,000 (9 bb)
Daniel Mijac – 2,825,00014 bb)

Event 5: Kevin Ho Doubles Through Hiep Doan

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 32: 75,000/150,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 1,973

Kevin Ho had seen his stack whittled down to just 915,000 chips when he took the opportunity to get them all in under the gun. Hiep Doan called on the button, the blinds folded, and Ho was heads-up, at risk, and dominated.

Ho: Qh9h
Doan: KsQc

There was a nine in the window, and the 9c5c2s flop gave Ho a big lead with two to come. The turn was the 9s to improve him to trips, locking up the pot one card early. Doan was already paying off the debt as the meaningless 5h hit the river, and Ho doubled up with nines full.

Kevin Ho – 2,230,000 (15 bb)
Hiep Doan – 3,125,000 (21 bb)

Event 5: Marcus Stein Doubles Through Kevin Ho (Again)

$150 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 32: 75,000/150,000 with a 20,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 1,973

Kevin Ho opened the cutoff to 350,000, and Marcus Stein three-bet shoved for 1,140,000 on the button. Ho waited for the count, then called to put Stein at risk.

Ho: Td4c
Stein: 9s9h

The board ran out AdAh2h9d6h, and Stein turned nines full to lock up the pot one card early. He doubled up, putting another dent in Ho’s once-mighty stack in the process.

Marcus Stein – 2,680,000 (18 bb)
Kevin Ho – 1,965,000 (13 bb)