Bruce Freedman Earns First Title of 2018 SHRPO With Seniors Victory

2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 

Hollywood, FL
Event 2
$300 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors 
Entries: 177 
Prize Pool: $43,135
April 5, 2018 

Bruce Freedman wins $300 Seniors Event

In the early hours of Friday morning, Bruce Freedman took home the first trophy of the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. The recently retired lawyer from nearby Plantation defeated a field of 177 entries and earned the trophy in a heads-up chop with Jeff Kessler to take home $9,768.

Freedman is a regular at the Seminole Hard Rock, but doesn’t always make an appearance in the tournament area. He reserves most of his time playing tournaments for some of the larger buy-in events.

“I’m pretty much a cash player,” said Freedman after his win. “I come here almost every day. I play in a lot of the bigger events, not the smaller ones. This one, I just had the day off. For $300, you come out and have a good time.”

Even though he’s used to playing against some of the best competition South Florida has to offer in high-stakes tournaments, he finds the smaller stakes challenging in a different way.

“I actually think it’s much harder playing in these smaller events because you have no idea what anybody has,” said Freedman.

Freedman came into the final table in the middle of the pack, but lasted long enough to get down to three-handed play as the short stack. He doubled up once and then cracked Zoltan Czinkota’s aces to send him home in third place and take the chip lead for good.

“I cracked aces near the end. He slowplayed his aces. Never do that,” joked Freedman.

Freedman is no stranger to success at the Seminole Hard Rock, having won several trophies earlier in his career. His most recent came at the 2012 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, taking down the $300 Pot-Limit Omaha for $7,373.

Freedman got down to heads-up play against Kessler with a big chip lead. Kessler made a good river call to double up and put himself right back in the match. With the clock ticking later into the night and both wanting to take shots at tomorrow’s flights of the $570 no-limit hold’em, the two agreed to a deal.

Final Results:

1st: Bruce Freedman – $9,768*
2nd: Jeff Kessler – $9,767*
3rd: Zoltan Czinkota – $4,626
4th: James Kirvin – $2,814
5th: Jacobo Fernandez – $2,173
6th: Greg McCann – $1,801
7th: Dennis Johnson – $1,535
8th: Steven Harmell – $1,350
9th: Boyd Rose – $1,169
10th: John Selix – $993
11th: Howard Talesnick – $993
12th: Charles Reed – $993
13th: Mark Nahama – $835
14th: Michael Turcol – $835
15th: Edwin Decarbo – $835
16th: Michael Preston – $700
17th: Scott Robbins – $700
18th: Donald Lehn – $700
19th: Allan Carmel – $564
20th: Luiz Sa – $564
21st: Peter Bloom – $564
22nd: Sandy Matza – $428
23rd: Ismail Patel – $428

Seniors: Bruce Freedman Wins Seniors Event in Heads-Up Chop

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 24: 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 177

Bruce Freedman

After Zoltan Czinkota was eliminated in third place, Bruce Freedman started heads-up play with a large chip lead against Jeff Kessler.

Kessler doubled through Freedman once and the stacks were relatively close again. After a little time passed, the two agreed to chop up the remaining prize pool.

Since Freedman held a slight chip lead, he gets credit for the win. He’ll earn $9,768 for the title and Kessler leaves with $9,767 for his runner-up finish.

Jeff Kessler

Seniors: Zoltan Czinkota – 3rd Place ($4,626)

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 23: 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 177

Zoltan Czinkota

Zoltan Czinkota got all in on the turn for about 250,000 with the board reading [Jd][Jc][5h][4c] against Bruce Freedman.

Freedman showed [Ks][Jh] and had Czinkota’s [Ac][As] drawing to one of two outs in the deck.

The river was the [4s] and Freedman extended his chip lead and will go heads-up for the title against Jeff Kessler. Czinkota took home $4,626 for his third place finish.

Bruce Freedman – 1,150,000
Zoltan Czinkota – Eliminated 

Seniors: Bruce Freedman Doubles Through Jeff Kessler

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 23: 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 177

Jeff Kessler raised from the small blind and Bruce Freedman moved all in for 376,000 out of the big blind. Kessler called.

It’s a race for Freedman’s tournament life with his [Qh][Jd] up against Kessler’s [Td][Ts].

The flop is [As][Kc][2d,] keeping Kessler in the lead, but the [Qs] came on the turn to put Freedman in first place. The river was the [9c] and Freedman doubled into the chip lead.

Bruce Freedman – 761,000
Jeff Kessler – 615,000

Seniors: James Kirvin – 4th Place ($2,814)

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 22: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 177

James Kirvin

Jeff Kessler raised from under the gun and James Kirvin moved all in for 130,000 from the cutoff (with a dead button). Action folded back to Kessler, who called.

Kessler was dominated with his [Ad][Qh] against Kirvin’s [Ah][Kc].

That all changed on a flop of [Qd][4s][3s], moving Kessler into the lead. The turn was the [Tc], giving Kirvin some more equity with a straight draw, but the river is the [As].

Kessler wins the pot with two pair and Kirvin was eliminated in fourth place.

Jeff Kessler – 1,040,000
James Kirvin – Eliminated 

Seniors: Jacobo Fernandez – 5th Place ($2,173)

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 22: 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 177

Jacobo Fernandez

Jacobo Fernandez moved all in for about 210,000 from the small blind and Bruce Freedman called out of the big blind.

Fernandez was in bad shape with his [Kc][9h] against Freedman’s [Tc][Th].

The board ran out [Ad][6h][4h][Ac][Jd] and Freedman’s pair holds up to eliminate Fernandez in fifth place for $2,173.

Bruce Freedman – 480,000
Jacobo Fernandez – Eliminated 

Seniors: Jeff Kessler Doubles Through Zoltan Czinkota

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 21: 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 177

It was a battle of the blinds between Zoltan Czinkota in the small blind and Jeff Kessler in the big blind. After several raises, Kessler moved all in for 415,000 and Czinkota tanked for a couple minutes before calling.

“If somebody looked at my cards, they would think I am stupid,” said Czinkota while he was in the tank.

Czinkota tabled [Kd][Kc] and was on the wrong side of a cold deck against Kessler’s [Ad][Ah].

The board ran out clean as it came [5h][4c][3d][Tc][3h] and Kessler’s rockets held up to double up and take a sizable chip lead over the other four players.

Jeff Kessler – 836,000
Zoltan Czinkota – 215,000

 

Seniors: Bruce Freedman Doubles Through Dennis Johnson

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 20: 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 177

Dennis Johnson moved all in from the cutoff for 131,000 and Bruce Freedman called from the big blind and was all in for 119,000.

Freedman shows [As][Ks] and has Johnson’s [Ac][6s] dominated.

The board came [9d][5d][3d][3c][3h] and Freedman doubled up, leaving Johnson with about a big blind.

Bruce Freedman – 250,000
Dennis Johnson – 11,000

Seniors: Jacob Fernandez Doubles Through Dennis Johnson

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 20: 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 177

Dennis Johnson raises on the button and Jacobo Fernandez moves all in for 77,000. Johnson calls and it’s off to the races with Fernandez’s [Th][Td] up against Johnson’s [Kc][Js].

The board runs out [Kh][Ts][6h][Qc][Qh] and Fernandez doubles up with a full house.

Jacobo Fernandez – 160,000
Dennis Johnson – 131,000

Seniors: Steve Harmell – 8th Place ($1,350)

$300 Seniors Event (Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 20: 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante
Players Remaining: 7 of 177

Steve Harmell

On a flop of [Ah][Jc][2h], Dennis Johnson checks from the small blind and James Kirvin checks from the big blind. Steve Harmell moves all in for 36,000 from the hijack and Jeff Kessler calls on the button.

Both blinds fold and the cards are tabled. Harmell shows [Kh][4h] and needs a heart to stay alive against Kessler’s [Ad][7h].

The turn is the [8c] and the river is the [Kc]. Kessler wins the pot and Harmell hits the rail in eighth place for $1,350.

Jeff Kessler – 305,000
Steve Harmell – Eliminated