Super High Roller: Going Big

$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 1: 500/1,000 with a 1,000 ante

Chips and Plaques

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
  • Super High Roller Structure Sheet

Event 18: Randall Fernandez Outlasts a Record-Breaking Field to Win the Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic!

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

Event 18 Champion Randall Fernandez poses with Jeff Conine, Matt Stout, Tony Burns, and Matt Savage.
Event 18 Champion Randall Fernandez poses with Jeff Conine, Matt Stout, Tony Burns, and Matt Savage.

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 record-breaking field for the seventh annual Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic
A record-breaking field for the seventh annual Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic

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.

As for the charity itself, the best description of the Conine Clubhouse comes from their own website:

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.)

Jessica Dawley and NHL Player Roberto Luongo
Reigning WSOP Ladies Event Champion Jessica Dawley (left) and Florida Panthers Goalie Roberto Luongo (right)

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.

Maria Ho and Chance Kornuth high-five each other after winning different prizes during the first break.
Maria Ho and Chance Kornuth high-five each other after winning different prizes during the first break.

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.

Event 18: CSOP Final 10 Players
Event 18: CSOP Final 10 Players

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:

Seat 1.  Julio Marines  –  125,000  (3 bb)
Seat 2.  Wilson Dondo  –  140,000  (4 bb)
Seat 3.  Lexy Gavin  –  175,000  (4 bb)
Seat 4.  Tim Reilly  –  453,000  (11 bb)
Seat 5.  Marlo McCloskey  –  640,000  (16 bb)
Seat 6.  Brittney Barnes  –  524,000  (13 bb)
Seat 7.  Randall Fernandez  –  782,000  (20 bb)
Seat 8.  Peter Shapiro  –  250,000  (6 bb)
Seat 9.  Johnny Pham  –  470,000  (12 bb)
Seat 10.  Lisa Costello  –  230,000  (6 bb)

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.

Marlo McCloskey and Brittney Barnes
Marlo McCloskey (left) and Brittney Barnes were two of the four women at the final table.

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 Ks9c for Fernandez and Jd10h for Pham.

The board came Qc5c3c3dJc. Pham paired his jack on the river, but the same card gave Fernandez a club flush — and the victory.

Randall Fernandez (left) and Johnny Pham in the final hand. Pham recorded video of the final moments on his phone.
Randall Fernandez (left) and Johnny Pham in the final hand. Pham recorded video of the final moments on his phone.

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.”

Event 18 Champion Randall Fernandez
Event 18 Champion Randall Fernandez

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.

Conine Clubhouse Trophy
The Conine Clubhouse Trophy is inscribed with the names of each year’s champion, and the trophy itself is kept on display at Conine Clubhouse as a reminder of the charitable funds raised. (Don’t worry, the winner receives a SHRPO trophy that they get to keep.)

Final Table Results:

1st:  Randall Fernandez  –  $5,000 plus $5,250 SHRPO Championship seat
2nd:  Johnny Pham  –  $2,000 plus Hard Rock Atlantic City Vacation Package
3rd:  Marlo McCloskey  –  $1,500 plus Party Like a Rock Star Package
4th:  Peter Shapiro  –  $1,150 plus WSOP Circuit Coco Main Event Seat
5th:  Brittney Barnes  –  $950 plus $1,100 SHRPO Big 4 seat
6th:  Tim Reilly  –  $850 plus Party Like a Rock Star Package
7th:  Lisa Costello  –  $750 plus Stay Like a Rock Star Vacation Package
8th:  Lexy Gavin  –  $700 plus Stay Like a Rock Star Vacation Package
9th:  Julio Marines  –  $650 plus Rock Spa Package
10th:  Wilson Dondo  –  $600 plus Rock Spa Package

Note:  To see the final hand for each of the final 10 players, click on their name in the results above.

Event 18: Randall Fernandez Wins the Jeff Conine Poker Classic; Johnny Pham Finishes 2nd

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

TD Tony Burns and MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion Jeff Conine watch the heads-up battle between Randall Fernandez and Johnny Pham.
Tournament Director Tony Burns and MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion Jeff Conine watch the heads-up battle between Randall Fernandez and Johnny Pham.

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 Jd10h.

Fernandez turned over Ks9c, and Pham would need to improve to stay alive.

The board came Qc5c3c3dJc — 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)

2nd Place: Johnny Pham
2nd Place: Johnny Pham

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.

Jeff Conine and Randall Fernandez
Charity Headliner Jeff Conine (left) and Event 18 champion Randall Fernandez

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.

Event 18: Marlo McCloskey Eliminated in 3rd Place

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

3rd Place: Marlo McCloskey
3rd Place: Marlo McCloskey

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 10d3s.

Fernandez turned over AhJd, and McCloskey needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Ad7c4dJhQd, 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.

Event 18: Johnny Pham Doubles Thru Marlo McCloskey

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: 3 of 382

Johnny Pham
Johnny Pham

Johnny Pham moved all in from the small blind for 900,000, and Marlo McCloskey called from the big blind with 7h7d.

Pham turned over Ac4s, and he needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Ad10s6c8hKc — Pham paired his ace on the flop, McCloskey picked up a gutshot straight draw on the turn, and the river card was a blank. Pham won the pot with a pair of aces to double up in chips.

Johnny Pham  –  2,000,000  (10 bb)
Marlo McCloskey  –  850,000  (4 bb)

Event 18: Peter Shapiro Eliminated in 4th Place

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: 3 of 382

4th Place: Peter Shapiro
CSOP 4th Place: Peter Shapiro

Marlo McCloskey moved all in from the button for about 950,000, and Peter Shapiro called all in from the big blind for about 500,000 with 4s3d.

McCloskey turned over Ac10c, and Shapiro needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came 8s7d6sAsKs — Shapiro flopped a gutshot straight draw, but McCloskey paired her ace on the turn to win the pot and eliminate Shapiro in fourth place.

Marlo McCloskey  –  1,700,000  (9 bb)
Peter Shapiro  –  Eliminated in 4th Place  ($1,150 + WSOP Circuit Coco Main Event Seat)

Peter Shapiro is an attorney from Weston, Florida, and, according to his bio sheet, his most notable poker accomplishment is playing in Jeff Conine’s monthly game.

Event 18: Marlo McCloskey Doubles Thru Randall 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: 4 of 382

Final Four Players
Final Four Players

Randall Fernandez moved all in under the gun for about 1,450,000, and Marlo McCloskey called all in from the big blind for 450,000 with 9d5d.

Fernandez turned over QsJs, and McCloskey needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Ah4s3s2c3c, and McCloskey turned a five-high straight to win the pot and double up in chips.

Marlo McCloskey  –  1,200,000  (6 bb)
Randall Fernandez  –  1,000,000  (5 bb)

Event 18: Peter Shapiro Doubles Thru Marlo McCloskey

Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker 
Structure
Level 20: 40,000/80,000 with an 80,000 big-blind ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 382

Peter Shapiro
Peter Shapiro

Marlo McCloskey limped from the button for 80,000, Randall Fernandez completed the small blind, and Peter Shapiro moved all in from the big blind for 360,000. McCloskey called, and Fernandez folded.

Shapiro turned over AsQs, and McCloskey showed Jh10d. Shapiro needed his hand to hold to stay alive.

The board came Jc5d2cQcKs — McCloskey paired her jack on the flop, but Shapiro paired his queen on the turn to win the pot and double up in chips.

Peter Shapiro  –  860,000  (11 bb)
Marlo McCloskey  –  720,000  (9 bb)

Event 18: Brittney Barnes Eliminated in 5th Place

Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker 
Structure
Level 20: 40,000/80,000 with an 80,000 big-blind ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 382

Brittney Barnes
Brittney Barnes

Brittney Barnes moved all in from the small blind, and Randall Fernandez called from the big blind with As4c.

Barnes turned over 7c3c, and she needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Ah8s2cKs2s, and Fernandez paired his ace on the flop to eliminate Barnes in fifth place.

Randall Fernandez  –  1,400,000  (18 bb)
Brittney Barnes  –  Eliminated in 5th Place  ($950 + $1,100 SHRPO Big 4 seat)

5th Place: Brittney Barnes
5th Place: Brittney Barnes

Brittney Barnes is a poker dealer from Porter, Texas, though she is likely moving to Las Vegas soon as she is having a baby with her boyfriend, Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) Founder Matt Stout. (Barnes literally wrote “???” for her marital status, though it was mostly to tease Stout, who had finished in 13th place and was watching her fill out her bio sheet.)

Event 18: Marlo McCloskey Doubles Thru Brittney Barnes

Jeff Conine Charity Poker Classic / Charity Series of Poker 
Structure
Level 20: 40,000/80,000 with an 80,000 big-blind ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 382

Marlo McCloskey and Brittney Barnes
Marlo McCloskey and Brittney Barnes

Marlo McCloskey completed the small blind to 60,000, Brittney Barnes raised from the big blind, and they got it all in.

McCloskey was all in for 465,000 with 7h5h, and Barnes turned over Ac9h. McCloskey needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came 10s5s3sJs3h, and McCloskey paired her five on the flop to win the pot and double up in chips.

Marlo McCloskey  –  1,010,000  (13 bb)
Brittney Barnes  –  390,000  (5 bb)