2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
WPT Poker Showdown Championship
$3,500 No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $4,188,800
April 13-18, 2018
Nearly two weeks of tournaments in the new Hard Rock Event Center led the way toward the headline event on the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown schedule. The $3 Million Guarantee WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship started on April 13 and, after six days of play, the UK’s Scott Margereson defeated Faraz Jaka in a lengthy heads-up battled for the title and $696,640 win.
“I’ve run incredible this year,” Margereson said of his victory. “It feels a little ridiculous to win this much money, but it’s huge.”
The Championship was another huge success with the 1,309 entries making it the fifth biggest field in the World Poker Tour’s 16 years of operation. The great turnout pushed the prize pool to nearly $4.2 million by the time registration closed.
Those 1,309 entries were whittled down to 480 players returning for Day 2. They made the money late in the day with 164 spots taking home some cash. Former WSOP November Niner Joseph Cheong was the chip leader of the 81 players who advanced to Day 3.
That lead helped Cheong make it deep in Day 4 but he went out in 11th place, short of the final table. Margereson moved to the top of the counts late in the day but it was Brian Hasting holding the lead when only six players remained for the WPT televised final table.
Besides Hastings and Margereson, the final table lineup included two-time WPTDeepStacks champ Jeff Fielder, local favorite Joey Couden, popular pro Matt Stout, and former WPT Player of the Year Jaka.
The structure was slow and the 82 big blind average stack meant they had plenty of room to make their move at the final table and it was destined to be a long day.
Fielder was the first eliminated from the final table when his flush ran into a full house and Stout followed shortly after when his pockets tens lost to the quad queens of Jaka. Couden booked a $250,000 payout when he ran into Jaka’s king as the former WPT POY extended his lead.
After a long stretch of three-handed play, Hastings was eliminated by Margereson when he made a flush on the river. Margereson held nearly a three-to-one chip lead to begin heads-up play.
The two battled for nearly three hours before Margereson was able to eliminate his tough opponent. This was the second WPT runner-up finish for Jaka and he took home $454,496. Margereson earned $696,740 for his first WPT title and the biggest tournament cash of his career. In addition, he punched his ticket into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions set to take place next month in Las Vegas.
“When there were four left, we were all guaranteed huge sums of money,” Margereson said. “I try not to focus on it and I’m very, very fortunate to have won the poker tournament.”
“I ran really good all week and I feel like I played pretty good, too.”
Congratulations to Scott on the win and thank you to our players for another great Championship.
Final table results:
1st: Scott Margereson – $696,740*
2nd: Faraz Jaka – $454,496
3rd: Brian Hastings – $336,466
4th: Joey Couden – $251,523
5th: Matt Stout – $189,880
6th: Jeff Fielder – $144,775
* – Includes $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions seat