Mark Smith Misses Money in Opening Event, Scores Win in $300 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo

2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, FL 
Event 5
$300 Deep Stack Turbo (Re-Entry)
$25,000 Guaranteed

Entries: 203
Prize Pool: $51,765
August 5, 2018 

Mark Smith

Mark Smith came back to the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood on Sunday afternoon with hopes of a victory in the $570 no-limit hold’em. He busted shy of the money and his dreams of a six-figure scores were squashed.

He missed out on a six-figure score, but the he still left with a victory. The Naples resident hopped in the $300 no-limit hold’em turbo event and walked away with a trophy and $12,734. Smith defeated a field of 203 entries and bested Timothy Hand heads-up to take home the title.

“It feels awesome,” said the native of South Carolina. “I’ve been playing really good cards. I went deep in event #1 and I knew I was due. I missed [the][money] by about 70 place and that’s the reason I hopped into this one. This is the equivalent of cashing in event #1.”

Coming into the final table, Smith was bunched in between a bunch of the short stacks, while it was local player Jorge Gomez with a massive chip lead.

Gomez’s chip lead didn’t last long as he ended up busting in fifth for $2,492. Smith took a couple of pots off Gomez which helped propel him to the top of the counts and eventually to the win.

“He was stacked,” said Smith of Gomez. “He had a couple of bad beats and then I hit him twice. Jorge is a good player. I was surprised that he went down as fast as he went.”

Smith doesn’t truly consider himself a poker pro, but poker is his main source of income. And he’s won enough to earn the right to be called one.

“Everything that I have on, I won,” said Smith, pointing to a plethora of wrist jewelry. “I play in a league over in Naples, I’ve played out at the [World] Series [of][Poker]. I didn’t get to play this year, but the year before I got to play in eight tournaments and cashed in five. I do travel and I came down here specifically for [the][$5][million][guaranteed][championship][event].”

Smith plans on heading back to the other side of the state to regroup and then come back for the Seniors event, as well as some of the bigger tournaments that are set to kick off near the end of the series.

The 56-year-old has been playing poker long enough to understand the swings. Even after busting out of the $570 no-limit hold’em, he stayed calm and let the cards fall where they may en route to his victory.

“At the beginning of the tournament, I wasn’t running good,” said Smith. “I had to be patient and let the game come to me. That’s just how it was. Some people start out fast and some people start out slow.”

The 203-entry field paid out the top 26 players. Here is a look at the results:

1st: Mark Smith – $12,734
2nd: Timothy Hand – $8,838
3rd: William McKown – $5,306
4th: Jill Fiorentino – $3,228
5th: Jorge Gomez – $2,492
6th: Aaron Speer – $2,065
7th: Israel de la Cerda – $1,760
8th: Dwight Cool – $1,517
9th: Michael Harley – $1,273
10th: Chad Freedman – $1,108
11th: Paul Domb – $1,108
12th: Allen Levine – $1,108
13th: Carlo Rodriguez – $942
14th: Rene Martinez – $942
15th: Michael Seago – $942
16th: Vladimir Kovalchuk – $776
17th: Michael Rodriguez – $776
18th: Ronnie Tate – $776
19th: Franke Velasquez Soto – $621
20th: Joseph Duchman – $621
21st: Marc Levy – $621
22nd: Daniel Wilson – $479
23rd: Paul Alvarez – $479
24th: Steven Weintraub – $479
25th: Bobby Bryant – $387
26th: Raminder Singh – $387

Event 5: Jorge Gomez Leads Unofficial Final Table

$300 Deep Stack Turbo No-Limit
Level 25: 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante
Structure | Payouts
Players Remaining: 10 of 203

With just a few minutes remaining in level 25, the 203-entry field was trimmed down to the final 10 and they have redrawn for seats at the unofficial final table.

With one more elimination, the final nine players will be credited with making the official final table.

Here is a look at the seating arrangement and chip counts of the final 10 players:

Seat 1: Michael Harley – 200,000
Seat 2: Aaron Speer – 125,000
Seat 3: Timothy Hand – 455,000
Seat 4: Dwight Cool – 350,000
Seat 5: Jorge Gomez – 1,160,000
Seat 6: Bill McKown – 525,000
Seat 7: Jill Fiorentino – 475,000
Seat 8: Israel de la Cerda – 250,000
Seat 9: Chad Freedman – 205,000
Seat 10: Mark Smith – 350,000

Event 5: Registration Closed in the One-Day Turbo

$300 Deep Stack Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)
$25,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 17: 2,500/5,000 with a 500 Ante
Players Remaining: 54 of 203

Today’s 12pm one-day Turbo easily passed its $25,000 guarantee ultimately more than doubling the targeted figured. With 203 entries, the prize pool hit $51,765 and will pay the top 26 finishers at least $387. Payouts escalate from there before topping out in the form of a $12,734 top prize.

Full payouts:

2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event #5
$300 Deep Stack Turbo No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$25,000 Guarantee

Entries: 203
Prize Pool: $51,765
August 5, 2018

1st – $12,734
2nd – $8,838
3rd – $5,306
4th – $3,228
5th – $2,492
6th – $2,065
7th – $1,760
8th – $1,517
9th – $1,273
10th-12th – $1,108
13th-15th -$942
16th-18th -$776
19th-21st – $621
22nd-24th – $479
25th-26th – $387

While previous Seminole Hard Rock Poker Player of the Year David Prociak recently hit the felt, there’s another David looking to add a trophy to his extensive Seminole resume — David Shmuel.

David Shmuel

Shmuel owns three titles at this property including two during last November’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open.

Much of the live reporting efforts this evening will be concentrated on the big, 3,000-entry $1M guarantee, but we’ll provide a Turbo update when they reach the 10-handed final table, then post the final results along with a winner report and winner photo after it concludes.

Good luck, turbo players!

Event 5: No Sleep for Joel Harwood

$300 Deep Stack Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)
$25,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 2: 75/150
Total Entries: 81

Joel Harwood

The Sunday Turbo event is moving along quickly, as expected, and they are close to hitting the $25,000 guaranteed prize pool before the first hour is complete.

Joel Harwood is back in the Hard Rock Event Center, wasting no time getting back in the action. He’s having a fine start to his series with a final table in the Limit Omaha/8 game and he followed that up with a win in the Pot Limit Omaha/8 game early this morning.

Other familiar faces in the Turbo crowd include Bill McKown, Jacquelyn Scott, and Jorge Gomez.

Bill McKown

Event 5: Turbo Time

$300 Deep Stack Turbo NLH (Re-Entry)
$25,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 1: 50/100

If you, unfortunately, missed out on the Event 1 Day 2 action, we have two new tournaments on the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open schedule with something for everyone.

The first new event of the day is a $300 Deep Stack Turbo tournament with a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool that kicks off at noon. It will be a fast, fun tournament on a Sunday afternoon.

Players sit down to 20,000 deep starting stacks and the tournament plays peppy 15-minute levels from start to finish. Late registration and unlimited re-entries are available until the start of Level 15 at 4pm.

This is a one-day tournament and will award a SHRPO trophy before the night is through.

  • $25,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
  • Players begin with 20,000 in chips and 15-minute levels
  • Late registration/re-entry available until start of Level 15
  • This is a one-day tournament and plays until completion
  • Event 5 Structure Sheet