$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry) $1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure Level 1: 500/1,000 with a 1,000 ante
We are one day away from the SHRPO Championship which means it’s time to roll out the biggest buy-in tournament on the schedule to get things ready. The $50,000 Super High Roller runs the day before the Championship each year and we will see some of the best players in the world at our tables heading into Big 4 weekend.
We have a great list of players in town for this game and we will introduce you to them as they make their way to the private setup in the Salon East room.
They will sit down to 125,000 starting stacks and all levels will last 40 minutes until they increase to 60 at the final table. Late registration is open until the start of Level 10 at 8:30 pm after they enjoy an hour-long dinner break. The two-day tournament will come to an after Level 15 and survivors will return on Friday to play it out.
It will be an exciting two days with some great poker and a whole lot of money on the line.
$1,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
Players begin with 125,000 in chips
Levels last 40 minutes; Final table levels last 60 minutes
Late registration/re-entry available until start of Level 10
Day 1 will end after Level 15 or Tournament Director discretion
2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida Event #18 Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker Entries: 382 Prize Pool: $30,000 in cash and prizes August 9, 2018
The seventh annual Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic broke records before it even got started, as the 312 players who were in their seats for shuffle up and deal already surpassed last year’s record field of 307 — and there were still two hours of registration and rebuys.
When registration finally closed after the first break, the total field had reached 382 entries, good for $106,960 going to the Conine Clubhouse at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. (More on the charity in a minute.) But that’s just the start of the charitable donations.
A couple of local businesses made $10,000 donations, which were presented in the form of giant checks shortly before play began. There was also a silent auction that began during the pre-tournament cocktail party and continued during the tournament itself, as well as a live auction during the first break that raised an additional $9,300. We don’t have the official number yet, but the total amount raised this year for the Conine Clubhouse should easily surpass last year’s total, which was around $130K.
Conine Clubhouse, named in honor of World Series champion Jeff Conine and his family, opened in May 1997 to serve as a “home away from home” for families of children receiving medical care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Families can stay free of charge (based on availability) in a comfortable and nurturing environment.
Before we get to the action on the felt, check out this short video with a look at the cocktail party and a preview of the tournament as Maria Ho interviews Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) founder Matt Stout, and charity headliner Jeff Conine:
The field was a good mix of poker pros, recreational players, sports celebrities, and amateurs just looking to have a good time and donate to charity.
Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo was in the field, and survived to the final six tables, while retired Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark “Super” Duper went even deeper than that. Charity headliner Jeff Conine was in the field, of course, as a two-time MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion. (That’s the original World Series. You know, baseball.)
Speaking of the World Series, the last two WSOP Main Event champions were in the field — Scott Blumstein and John Cynn, along with this year’s runner-up, Tony Miles. There were plenty of other poker pros in the field, including Sheddy Siddiqui, Joseph Cheong, Jeff Fielder, and reigning WSOP Ladies Event champion Jessica Dawley.
There were a few fun bonus prizes awarded at the first break, with $1,000 going to the first-break chipleader, and another $1,000 going to the player with the most entries in this re-entry event. The dubious honor of most entries was split between poker pros Mike Leah and Chance Kornuth, who both bought in four times each, and they each received $500 to reduce their investment a bit.
Poker pro Tim Reilly was briefly announced as the first-break chipleader with 83,500, but then poker pro Maria Ho spoke up to pull the rug out from under Reilly — Ho had 85,000 in her stack, which was good enough to be the overall chipleader. (Though Reilly was unintentionally slow-rolled a bit here, he’d get his redemption by making it to the final table.)
Class act that she is, Ho immediately donated the $1,000 chipleader bonus back to the Conine Clubhouse charity.
At the first break, there were about 160 players remaining, but charity events are known for two things — the play is fun, and the play is fast. By the second break (after four hours of poker), the field was already down to the final 25 players. There would not be a third break.
It took less than half an hour to drop from 25 players to the final 10, and they were in the money as they combined to a single table to play down to a winner. These were the approximate chip counts as the final table began:
Even at the final table, the atmosphere stayed fun and friendly between the players, taking their chances without any particular regard for which prize packages went to which finishing spots — except for first prize, of course.
When Marlo McCloskey busted in 3rd place, it began the heads-up battle between Randall Fernandez and Johnny Pham. They cautiously battled each other preflop for 10 hands before they got it all in on Hand #11, with for Fernandez and for Pham.
The board came . Pham paired his jack on the river, but the same card gave Fernandez a club flush — and the victory.
Fernandez began the final table as chipleader, and it gave him more room to strategize than the shorter stacks. Fernandez said, “I knew it was going to be an all-in game there toward the end. I kind of laid back and let a few people knock themselves out, while I was just trying to pick my spots with the best hand, and it worked out.”
Fernandez was born and raised right here in the Hollywood area, and got to see the South Florida poker boom first hand. He saw the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino being built, and he really enjoys playing here.
“It’s awesome. Everything, the whole setup, their structures. Everything is great here,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez is self-employed, and though he plays poker seriously, he still considers himself a recreational player.
“I came here to have fun and support the charity, but I still tried to play good poker.”
As part of his first prize package, Fernandez received a $5,250 seat in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, which begins tomorrow (Friday) at 12:00 noon. Fernandez hasn’t decided whether he’ll play on Day 1A or 1B, but we’ll keep an eye out for him to see if he can parlay this victory in the charity event into a deep run in the SHRPO Championship.
Of course the real winner in this event was the charity, the Conine Clubhouse, and the families that it helps in their most desperate times. Thanks to everyone who participated in the event, as well as all the companies that donated money, resources, and prizes.
Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker Structure Level 22: 125,000/250,000 with an 250,000 big-blind ante Players Remaining: 1 of 382
Down to the final two players in the Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic, and both players knew it was a shove-or-fold situation with the blinds so high. The first 10 hands of heads-up play were decided preflop, and Hand #11 saw the first all-in-and-a-call situation.
Randall Fernandez moved all in from the button, and Johnny Pham called all in from the big blind for about 750,000 with .
Fernandez turned over , and Pham would need to improve to stay alive.
The board came — Pham paired his jack on the river, but that same card gave Fernandez a club flush to win the tournament.
Randall Fernandez – Winner! ($5,000 + $5,250 SHRPO Championship seat) Johnny Pham – Eliminated in 2nd Place ($2,000 + Hard Rock Atlantic City Vacation Package)
Runner-up Johnny Pham is a tournament director at the bestbet Casino in Jacksonville, Florida. Pham also co-hosts the bestbet Poker Show on 1010XL AM radio, where they discuss poker tips, strategies, and everything trending in the world of poker.
The winner of the Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic is Randall Fernandez, a 39-year-old self-employed recreational player from right here in Hollywood, Florida. Stay tuned for a recap of this event with more about Fernandez.
Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker Structure Level 21: 100,000/200,000 with an 200,000 big-blind ante Players Remaining: 2 of 382
Randall Fernandez moved all in from the button for about 850,000, and Marlo McCloskey called all in from the big blind for about 250,000 with .
Fernandez turned over , and McCloskey needed to improve to stay alive.
The board came , and Fernandez paired his ace on the flop and his jack on the turn to win the pot with two pair and eliminate McCloskey in third place.
Randall Fernandez – 1,700,000 (9 bb) Marlo McCloskey – Eliminated in 3rd Place ($1,500 + Party Like a Rock Star Package)
Marlo McCloskey of Santa Cruz, California, was one of the least experienced people at the final table, and as she wrote on her bio sheet, she plays “just for fun.” True to her word, she was having a great time at the final table, win or lose, and her friends supporting her on the rail (some of whom are experienced poker players) were much more stressed than McCloskey, who took everything in stride with a smile.