Event 10: Brian Altman Wins First Leg of the Big 4, Scores $118,157

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino 
Hollywood, FL
Event #10 | The Big 4
$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Entries: 633
Prize Pool: $633,000
August 9-15, 2017

Champion Brian Altman

There was a total of 633 entries in this first leg of the Big 4, a $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry tournament. The starting field contained plenty of the usual suspects, including Seminole Hard Rock Poker team members Darryll Fish, Sheddy Siddiqui, Jessica Dawley, Faraz Jaka, Stewart Newman, and Matt Affleck. In the end, it was Massachusetts pro Brian Altman who bested them all earning $118,157.

Sean Perry who was the long standing chip leader on Day 2 took his massive advantage into the 10-handed final table. He played two huge hands with Altman that culminated in Perry’s exit in 10th place. From there, the event wrapped and returne for a third and final day of play Tuesday in Hard Rock Live where it was live streamed and filmed for later airing by Poker Night in America.

Altman took Perry’s chips and put them to good use as he entered the final playing session in first place. Marc MacDonnell was the only other player to have a seven-figure stack. Joe Kuether who came into the final table with the third biggest stack ended up finishing in eigth place ($15,749). Kuether was multi-tabling between the other Big 4 final table he made, the $5,250 SHRPO Championship event where he went on to finish ninth.

“My plan wasn’t to get in as many big pots as I did,” Altman said. “I was chipping away at first. I got involved in some all-in pots. I won some I lost some.”

Altman started off by doubling up Nick Chiappetta and Nigel Murray early on. He went on to take Murray out in sixth place ($23,782) when he hit his open-ended straight draw. Next on his hit list was Jewook Oh in fifth place ($29,605) when Altman hit a pair of sevens with 7s6s against Oh’s Ad5d.

Altman proved he’s willing to take a risk when he called for his tournament life three-handed, even though Phong Nguyen begged him not to.

“I got in a really huge spot with a gutter and a flush draw and I ended up going with it and was lucky enough to hit it on the river,” Altman said of the hand.

The action moved rather quickly after that. Altman won a flip with pocket tens against MacDonnell’s ace-queen to knock him out in third place ($53,349).

Heads up only lasted one hand, at the commencement Phong Nguyen had only 570,000 to Altman’s 9,000,000. Phong alluded to the fact it was Altman’s tournament to lose. Altman laughed and then they got it all in with Altman’s jh7h against Nguyen’s kd6h. It was time for Altman to get lucky again when he spiked a jack on the flop.

Altman said, “I’ve always loved coming down here to Seminole Hard Rock. I’ve had success here in the past and the Big 4 set up in really cool. There’s electricity in the air, it’s cool to be apart of.”

Altman won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship in 2015 scoring $723,008. He’s since went on to have three more final table showings and Seminole Hard Rock Poker events including today’s win.

Here’s a look at the final table results:

1st:  Brian Altman  –  $118,157
2nd: Phong Nguyen  –  $82,834
3rd: Marc MacDonnell  –  $53,349
4th: Nigel Murray  –  $38,581
5th: Jewook  Oh  –  $29,605
6th: Nick Ahmadi  –  $23,782
7th: Nick Chiappetta –  $19,762
8th: Joe Kuether  –  $15,749
9th: Phil Rigby  –  $11,818

Event 10: Brian Altman Wins ($118,157); Phong Nguyen Eliminated in 2nd place ($82,834)

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 29: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 633

Brian Altman (left) Phong Nguyen (right)

At the start of heads up Brian Altman had 9,000,000 to Phong Nguyen’s 570,000. Nguyen goes “If you don’t win this Brian, you suck.”

Heads up lasted one hand. Nguyen moved all in from the button with kd6h and Altman called with jh7h.

The board ran out jc5h2c3d10h and Altman paired his jack eliminating Nguyen and winning himself the trophy and first place prize.

Brian Altman –  Winner ($118,157)
Phong Nguyen  –  Eliminated in 2nd place ($82,834)


Event 10: Marc MacDonnell Eliminated in 3rd Place ($53,349)

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 29: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 633

Marc MacDonnell

Marc MacDonnell opened to 160,000 from the button, and Brian Altman three-bet to 510,000 from the small blind. MacDonnell moved all in for 2,000,000 and Altman called.

Brian Altman: 10s10d  win 56.8%  tie  0.39%
Marc MacDonnell:  asqh  win 42.8%  tie 0.39%

The board came js9d8d3s5s and Altman’s pocket tens held to eliminated Marc MacDonnell in third place.

Brian Altman: 9,000,000  (113 bb)
Marc MacDonnell: Eliminated in 3rd place ($53,349)

Event 10: Brian Altman “What a Spot”

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 633

Brian Altman

It went three ways to the ad8h6d flop, Marc MacDonnell checked from the small blind, Brian Altman checked from the big blind, and Phong Nguyen bet 205,000 from the button.

MacDonnell called, Altman three-bet to 700,000, and Nguyen four-bet shoved 2,400,000 more. MacDonnell got out of the way and Altman started his tank by saying “I have a big draw”. Phong responded with “Don’t do it man”.

It was Altman’s tournament life on the line as he only had 2,160,000 in front of him. He thought about it for a long time before eventually deciding it was worth the risk. He called and turned over 9d5d and needed to get lucky against Nguyen’s ah10d.

The jc came on the turn, then the lucky 4d hit the river rewarding Altman’s gamble.

Brian Altman  –  6,700,000  (112 bb)
Marc MacDonnell  –  2,125,000  (35 bb)
Phong Nguyen –  650,000  (11 bb)

Event 10: Nick Ahmadi Eliminated in 4th place ($38,581)

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 633

Nick Ahmadi

Nick Ahmadi moved all in from the button for 300,000, Brian Altman called from the small blind and so did Phong Nguyen from the big blind.

Both players checked down the 5d4d4c5s9s board and Nguyen turned over 10h9c to eliminate Nick Ahmadi who had kdqs.

Phong Nguyen  –  3,200,000  (53 bb)
Brian Altman  –  3,500,000  (58 bb)
Nick Ahmadi  –  Eliminated in 4th place ($38,581)

Event 10: Phong Nguyen Doubles Through Nick Ahmadi

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 633

Phong Nguyen moved all in from the button for 1,310,000 with kdqc and Nick Ahmadi called with ahas.

The board came adjh6d10h8h running out a broadway straight for Nguyen to crack Ahmadi’s pocket aces.

Phong Nguyen  –  3,000,000  (50 bb)
Nick Ahmadi  –  350,000 (6 bb)

Event 10: Jewook Oh Eliminated in 5th Place ($29,605)

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 633

Jewook Oh

Jewook Oh moved all in from the cutoff for 215,000 with ad5d and Brian Altman called from the big blind with 7s6s.

The board came qc7d2h9c4h and Altman paired his seven to eliminated Oh in 5th place.

Brian Altman  –  3,600,000  (60 bb)
Jewook Oh  –  Eliminated in 5th place  ($29,605)

Event 10: Nigel Murray Eliminated in 6th Place ($24,782)

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 633

Nigel Murray

Brian Altman opened to 130,000 from the button and Nigel Murray called from the small blind. The flop came jd10h8c, Murray checked and Altman moved all in.

Murray called all in with kc10s for a pair of tens against Altman’s Ad9s open ended straight draw. The qd hit the turn, giving Altman his straight and a meaningless 5d fell on the river eliminating Murray in 6th place.

Brian Altman  –  3,000,000  (50 bb)
Nigel Murray  –  Eliminated in 6th place ($23,782)

Event 10: Marc MacDonnell Doubles through Jewook Oh

$1,100 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 633

Marc MacDonnell

Jewook Oh opened to 160,000 and Marc MacDonnell three-bet shoved 1,145,000 and Oh called. MacDonnell turned over jdjh and was racing against Oh’s acqs.

The board came 4d3h2d2c10d and MacDonnell’s pocket jacks held keeping him alive.

Marc MacDonnell –  2,300,000  (38 bb)
Jewook Oh  –  525,000  (9 bb)