Florida Pro Darryll Fish Wins First WPT Title and $511,604 in Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship

2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guarantee

Entries: 911
Prize Pool: $2,915,200
January 19-24, 2018

The two-week 2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open closed out the series at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with the $2 Million guaranteed World Poker Tour Championship and a final table played out in front of live stream cameras. After a long heads-up battle, Darryll Fish defeated Aleksandr Shevelev to capture his first career WPT title for more than $500,000.

The win moved Fish, a Florida local, over $3,730,000 in career earnings. Impressively, it marked his third final table appearance and fourth cash in the property’s last five majors. He previously finished runner-up in the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship for $453,185, 33rd in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event for $6,034, third in last November’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Championship for $168,920 and, of course, first in yesterday’s LHPO Championship for $511,604. In all, he’s earned $1,139,743 at the Seminole Hard Rock dating back to April of 2017.

The $3,500 buy-in LHPO Championship had two starting flights and drew 911 entries to nearly hit a $3,000,000 prize pool. The last 114 players earned a piece of that money but first, they needed to survive the first flight.

Of those 911 starters, there were still 343 players around for Day 2 including chip leader Joey Couden, three-time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, 2017 RRPO Champ Michael Newman, and three-time WPT Champion Darren Elias.

Day 2 played down into the money after the dinner break and it ended after a strong run from Ben Yu. The two-time WSOP winner was down to 80,000 in the last level of the day but ran it up over 1.3 million in 60 minutes.

That run was good enough for the Day 3 chip lead and it carried Yu to a 16th place finish. The Championship reached the final table six and Shevelev brought his lead over to the last day. Ness Reilly booked her seat at a live-streamed final table for the second time in a week; her first occurred during the opening WPTDeepStacks event.

The final table action was fast at the beginning with Alan Krockey and Brett Bader going out in the first level followed shortly by Reilly. WPT Champions Club member Andy Frankenberger began the final table with the shortest stack but battled back, including three double-ups, but had to exit in third place.

The heads-up match had Shevelev holding the lead over Fish but the advantage switched soon after the match kicked off. They continued to trade the lead over 122 hands before the match was settled.

Schevelev earned $331,116 for his runner-up finish while Fish banked $511,604 inclusive of a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. After winning titles around the world, Fish can now call himself a World Poker Tour champion.

“It’s a relief. I’ve said before that I don’t play for the title but it doesn’t mean I don’t want one and doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.” Fish said about his WPT title run. “It’s been a lot of years playing the WPT so it feels really really good.”

Fish spends a lot of time playing at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and considers it his home.

“It feels like home. Every poker player has their home casino and the one they feel most comfortable playing in.” Fish said. “From the chips to the tables to the dealers, everything kind of adds to that to make it feel more comfortable. It felt like the natural progression to winning one here.”

“I’ve played poker here since I was 18 years old. (Tournament Director) Tony Burns is a long time friend of mine,” he continued. “For him to get a job here and me to win a tournament, just feels like it came full circle. For it to happen here more than anywhere is extra special for sure.”

Congratulations to Darryll on a great run and his first WPT title.

Final table results:

1st: Darryll Fish – $511,604 *
2nd: Aleksandr Shevelev – $331,116
3rd: Andy Frankenberger – $244,342
4th: Ness Reilly – $182,249
5th: Brett Bader – $137,440
6th: Alan Krockey – $104,784
* – Includes WPT Tournament of Champions seat

Darryll Fish
Aleksandr Shevelev
Andy Frankenberger
Ness Reilly
Brett Bader
Alan Krockey

Championship: Darryll Fish Wins WPT Title and $511,604; Aleksandr Shevelev — 2nd Place ($331,116)

$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 911

Aleksandr Shevelev open-shoved 4,450,000 from the button. Darryll Fish called and had Shevelev at risk. Fish was behind, but live.

Darryll Fish (left) and Aleksandr Shevelev

Shevelev: AcTh
Fish: KdJs

The flop fell Qc9d8d. Shevelev retained the lead, but Fish picked up outs to the straight.

The turn fell the Kc pairing Fish’s high card and giving him the lead in the hand. Shevelev still had outs to Broadway.

Fifth street fell the Td officially earning Fish the pot, the title and $511,604. Shevelev scored $331,116 for his runner-up finish.

1st: Darryll Fish — $511,604*
2nd: Aleksandr Shevelev – $331,116
*Prize includes $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions entry

A full tournament report will be posted shortly.

Championship: Darryll Fish Doubles Back

$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 911

Darryll Fish limped the button, Aleksandr Shevelev moved all in, and Fish instantly called all in for 10,550,000 to put himself at risk.

Fish: 9c9h
Shevelev: 3c3d

The board ran out Kc7h4cJdAh, and Fish doubled back into the chip lead.

Darryll Fish – 21,250,000 (35 bb)
Aleksandr Shevelev – 6,075,000 (10 bb)

Championship: Aleksandr Shevelev Doubles Up

$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 38: 300,000/600,000 with a 100,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 911

Aleksandr Shevelev moved all in for 8,325,000 on the button, and Darryll Fish called to put him at risk.

Shevelev: Ac4h
Fish: 4c4d

The rails for both players pressed in against the set as the flop came 8h3s2c — pretty safe for Fish. The 3h on the turn didn’t change anything. Shevelev needed to river an ace or a five to stay alive, and he did just that. The 5h completed the board, giving Shevlev a wheel and a double-up.

Fish was one card from a WPT title, but he’ll have to sit back down and try to mount a comeback once again.

Aleksandr Shevelev – 16,800,000 (28 bb)
Darryll Fish – 10,525,000 (18 bb)

Championship: Back and Forth

$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Live Stream | Payouts
Level 37: 250,000/500,000 with a 75,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 911

Darryll Fish

The action is back-and-forth between the two finalists, and so far, the stacks aren’t moving much. Most of the pots are small, and showdowns are few and far between.

Even the small pots represent the potential for significant swings, though, with less than 60 total big blinds on the table.

In a recent hand. Fish opened the button with a raise to 1,100,000, and Aleksandr Shevelev defended his big blind. Shevelev check-called a bet of 900,000 after a Tc9h4c flop, and they both checked through the 6s turn. The river was the Qc, and Shevelev check-folded to a bet of 1,600,000.

Fish won the pot, and the two continue to hover around even in chips.

Darryll Fish – 13,200,000 (26 bb)
Aleksandr Shevelev – 14,125,000 (28 bb)

Aleksandr Shevelev