Event 1: Fernando Rodriguez Wins Opening LHPO Trophy

2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 1
$600 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry Per Flight)
$300,000 Guaranteed
Entries: 3,004
Prize Pool:  $1,577,100
January 14-17, 2021

Fernando Rodriguez, Event 1 champion

The much-anticipated return of a big poker series to South Florida began on January 14 and the opening tournament of the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open was everything we hoped it would be. Event 1 drew more than 3,000 entries and Tampa regular Fernando Rodriguez outlasted them all to book a $205,000 win.

Players were eager to come out and play live poker in a safe and sound environment. The $600 buy-in Deep Stack tournament had six starting flights that combined to put 3,004 entries in the field. The $300,000 guarantee was bested before Flight B even started and they pushed the prize pool up to $1,577,100 by the time registration closed Saturday evening.

Rodriguez came into Day 2 with the third biggest stack among the 375 returners and only had a few problems along the way.

“I lost a couple bad hands but I got moved to a new table.” Rodriguez said of his run. “They didn’t know me and I didn’t tilt or make bad plays. It was good from then.”

Rodriguez had a clear lead at the end of Day 2 when nine players advanced to a bonus day of poker. He was joined by fellow Tampa Poker regular Peter Walsworth and Fabian Foster with the biggest stacks and all three would be there at the end.

Walsworth was in control to start the final table and quickly amassed a huge stack. But those chips did not last after a series of tough hands while Scott Blackman built a stack and Jason Johnson stayed alive with a handful of nice doubles.

Rodriguez regained the lead in a big way when he sent both Walsworth and Johnson out within a few minutes. Those two hands left only three players in the tournament and Rodriguez holding the lion’s share of the chips. They worked out a deal to divide up the remaining prize pool with Foster earning $143,355 for third place, Blackman $200,000 for second, and Rodriguez took home $205,000 along with the LHPO trophy.

“It feels really great,” Rodriguez said. “I said I’d be back here and here I am.”

This is the first Hollywood win for Rodriguez and the biggest score of his career. He is a familiar face in our sister room in Tampa and his previous best cash was a fourth-place finish in the 2020 Tampa Winter Poker Open Main Event in December.

“I’m going to play everything,” Rodriguez laughed when asked about his plans for the series. “I want to play everything I can.”

Final table results:

1st: Fernando Rodriguez – $205,000 + LHPO Trophy *
2nd: Scott Blackman – $200,000 *
3rd: Fabian Foster – $143,366 *
4th: Jason Johnson – $86,047
5th: Peter Walsworth – $63,762
6th: Jesse Lott – $46,877
7th: Brandon Navarrete – $34,557

Event 1: We Have a Deal!

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry Per Flight)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 36: 250,000/500,000 with a 500,000 ante

Fabian Foster (left), Fernando Rodriguez (enter), and Scott Blackman (right)

The three remaining players were sent on a break and they never played another hand. They looked at numbers and came up with a deal to divide up the remaining prize pool.

Fernando Rodiguez held more than half of the chips in play to take home $205,000 while second-place Scott Blackman earned $200,000 followed by Fabian Foster’s $143,366.

Fernando Rodriguez – 32,500,000
Scott Blackman – 19,750,000
Fabian Foster – 7,750,000

1st: Fernando Rodriguez – $205,000
2nd: Scott Blackman – $200,000
3rd: Fabian Foster – $143,366

Event 1: Jason Johnson – 4th Place ($86,047)

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry Per Flight)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 3,004

Jason Johnson

Fernando Rodriguez raised from the button, Jason Johnson moved all in from the big blind for about 9.2 million, and Rodriguez called with Qd10d.

Johnson turned over JhJd, and needed his hand to hold to stay alive.

The board came Qh9d2sAc8c, and Rodriguez paired his queen on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Johnson in fourth place.

Fernando Rodriguez  –  31,700,000  (79 bb)
Jason Johnson  –  Eliminated in 4th Place  ($86,047)

Event 1: Peter Walsworth – 5th Place ($63,762)

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry Per Flight)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 3,004

Peter Walsworth

Peter Walsworth opened to 825,000 and Fernando Rodriguez shipped all in from the small blind. Fabian Foster folded his big blind and Walsworth called at risk for 4,600,000.

Rodriguez: AsKd
Walsworth: TcTs

It was a race, Walsworth was ahead with his tens, but Rodriguez paired his ace on the Ad9c8h flop to take the lead. The 3s turn and 5d river finished the board to send Walsworth out in fifth place.

Fernando Rodriguez – 22,900,000 (57 bb)
Peter Walsworth – Eliminated in 5th Place ($63,762)

Event 1: Blinds Up

$600 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry Per Flight)
$300,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 35: 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 3,004

Blinds are up for the five remaining players. They are now playing 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 ante and the average stack is 12,000,000 (30 bb).

Seat 2: Peter Walsworth – 6,800,000 (17 bb)
Seat 3: Jason Johnson – 9,500,000 (24 bb)
Seat 4: Scott Blackman – 22,100,000 (55 bb)
Seat 5: Fernando Rodriguez – 14,200,000 (36 bb)
Seat 7: Fabian Foster – 7,550,000 (19 bb)

Remaining payouts:

1st: $253,417 + LHPO Trophy
2nd: $178,181
3rd: $116,768
4th: $86,047
5th: $63,762