2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$2,200 Eight-Max No-Limit Hold’em
Prize Pool: $340,000
April 12, 2018
Justin Young is a poker pro from Las Vegas, but he’s put up some impressive results on his trips to South Florida.
Two years ago, he won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $669,161 and he won the $2,200 eight-max no-limit in the early hours of Friday morning, less than 10 hours before the kickoff of the same event he won two years ago.
Young defeated Matthew Yorra heads-up to best a field of 170 entries and take home $81,795. Young defeated a very talented final table that also featured Zachary Smiley, Barry Hutter, Nadya Magnus and Dylan Wilkerson. This was Yorra’s second final table of the series after his win in the $570 six-max no-limit hold’em earlier in the series.
Despite the stakes and the immense amount of talent at the final table, the atmosphere felt closer to that of a home game. Drinks were flowing and laughs were being shared throughout.
“I would like to think this is like a normal final table for me,” said Young. “But no, it was pretty special because there was a handful of guys here drinking and having a good time. It was great.”
The win is just the latest on an extensive poker resume for the North Carolina native. His latest win was the 11th outright win of his career and moved his career earnings over $4.9 million.
His resume is one of the deepest you’ll find in poker with scores all over the country. With his win here in 2016, arguably his first major title, the Seminole Hard Rock holds a special place in his heart. It’s almost his home away from home.
“It does feel that way,” said Young after his win. “I saw the pictures flashing of me winning my title a couple years ago and you know, I wouldn’t say motivation, but it felt nice to have a reminder I suppose.”
This was the last event before the kickoff of that same WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown main event on Friday morning. With Young just getting into town and starting off the series with a ‘W,’ he’s coming into Friday’s action feeling strong.
“It’s absolutely a real thing,” said Young when asked about the concept of momentum in poker. “Not just because I won, but momentum carries into confidence and having confidence in poker tournaments is absolutely imperative. It’s a real thing and I believe in it.”
The overall field was one of the toughest of the series thus far, with plenty of top pros getting into town just before the main event and taking a shot at another high-stakes tournament.
Young’s win wraps up the final day of preliminary events. Cards get back in the air on Friday at 11 a.m. for Day 1A of the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown main event.
The top 22 spots made the money and here is a look at the results:
1st: Justin Young – $81,795
2nd: Matthew Yorra – $54,531
3rd: Pablo Fernandez – $39,724
4th: Zachary Smiley – $29,371
5th: Barry Hutter – $22,047
6th: Nadya Magnus – $16,805
7th: Ted McNamara – $13,011
8th: Dylan Wilkerson – $10,234
9th: Jorge Cuesta – $8,180
10th: Jason James – $8,180
11th: Daniel Quick – $6,646
12th: Art Peacock – $6,646
13th: Evan Teitelbaum – $5,490
14th: Paul Fisher – $5,490
15th: Peter Vitantonio – $4,612
16th: Marc MacDonnell – $4,612
17th: Matthew Lambrecht – $3,942
18th: Zachary Donovan – $3,942
19th: Jeremy Ausmus – $3,942
20th: Dylan Linde – $3,942
21st: Victor Figueroa – $3,429
22nd: John Dolan – $3,429