Valerie Novak Wins Event 30 of the 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Outright for $91,835

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 30
$1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  475
Prize Pool:  $460,750
April 6, 2022

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Event 30 Champion Valerie Novak

Event 30 of the 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown was a $1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry). A field of 475 entries generated a prize pool of $460,750, demolishing the $100,000 guarantee.

After about 17 hours, Valerie Novak emerged victorious, winning outright for $91,835.

“I’m overwhelmed, grateful,” said a gushing Novak afterward. “I still can’t believe that happened.”

What happened was Novak topping an absolutely loaded final table. Chance Kornuth and Kristen Bicknell boast nearly $15 million in career live tournament winnings according to the Hendon Mob poker database between them, while the rest of the final table adds another roughly $3.5 million to that. Novak, who plays recreationally, only recently got back into the game after taking a break in 2019.

“I started playing again in September, and have been putting a lot of effort into upping my game. A lot more studying, and then applying it to some smaller tournaments. I’ve watched everything that I can on PokerGO.”

At the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in January, Novak finished seventh in the $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Deep Stack for $27,215 and was determined to make a better showing out of this final table.

“I always seem to be short when I get to a final table. Always. That’s why it never seems to work out. In this case, I was sitting pretty well with chips.”

Novak began the final table second in chips with 44 big blinds and really picked up steam when she picked off a bluff from Kornuth to double up with five players left. She would eventually get heads-up with Kornuth.

“When I saw Chance at the table I thought I had no chance, as silly as that sounds.”

Chance Kornuth and Valerie Novak

Novak began heads-up play with the chip lead, and found a good spot when she check-raised all on a ten-high board with pocket kings. Kornuth called with top pair and didn’t improve, officially locking up the victory for Novak.

The win marks Novak’s largest career score on Hendon Mob, with the other two coming in the aforementioned event at the 2022 Lucky Hearts Poker Open and a 19th-place finish in the $3,500  Wynn Fall Classic Championship for $41,420 this past October. In addition to her commitment to studying the game, Novak credits family life back home in Maryland for her success.

“I have a family, a job, a grandson, so I just can play when I can. My husband is super supportive about me traveling, so I pick like three or four places throughout the year I wanna go to, and spend about two weeks there and kinda focus on the game. It’s just been working out. I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my game since September.”

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Amount
1ValerieNovak$91,835
2ChanceKornuth$61,585
3DuffCharette$41,055
4MaxxDansky$28,175
5AndrewHeckman$21,630
6JuliusThreadgill$18,030
7RobertKuhn$15,055
8KristenBicknell$12,085
9MatthewZarcadoolas$9,125
10ChadPease$9,125
11AdamHendrix$7,525
12ArianStolt$7,525
13KyleCartwright$5,945
14FemiFashakin$5,945
15JordanSemel$5,945
16DanBekavac$5,025
17SpencerAlexander$5,025
18SridharSanganngari$5,025
19VinnyPahuja$4,240
20MichaelNye$4,240
21LandonTice$4,240
22MartinhoCamara$3,550
23DavidEspindle$3,550
24RichAlati$3,550
25TarunGulati$3,065
26JamesCalderaro$3,065
27CareyPickus$3,065
28StephenCaplan$2,675
29JeremyMeacham$2,675
30AnthonyRuttler$2,675
31DavidCastranova$2,675
32KennethNicoletti$2,675
33JacobKauffman$2,675
34PeterNigh$2,675
35RonaldBell$2,675
36MichaelNewman$2,675
37ViktorKovachev$2,305
38CharlesOdenz$2,305
39PabloValdivieso$2,305
40DonFlynn$2,305
41StevenMcKoy$2,305
42TonyDunst$2,305
43AustinFarmer$2,305
44WillFailla$2,305
45JeremyBecker$2,305
46YuvalBronshtein$1,965
47DavidMzareulov$1,965
48VitorCoelho$1,965
49JesseCohen$1,965
50TimothyCapretta$1,965
51A.J.Kelsall$1,965
52CarlosBarbosa$1,965
53T.K.Miles$1,965
54DennisZollo$1,965
55AthanasiosPolychronopoulos$1,670
56BorisKolev$1,670
57ScottWeinstein$1,670
58HowardMash$1,670
59NathanSteuer$1,670
60LesOzias$1,670

Event 30: Valerie Novak Wins! ($91,835); Chance Kornuth Eliminated in 2nd Place ($61,585)

$1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 30:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  1 of 475

Valerie Novak

Chance Kornuth raised to 275,000, Valerie Novak three-bet to 625,000, and Kornuth called.

The flop was 4s10s8h, Novak checked, Kornuth bet 350,000, and Novak check-raised all in with a covering stack.

“I think my hand is too good to fold,” said Kornuth, who thought for about 30 seconds before he called all in for another 2,800,000.

Novak showed KhKs for a pair of kings, leading Kornuth’s Qd10c for a pair of tens.

The turn was the Jc, giving Kornuth a few extra outs to a straight.

The river was the 7s, safe for Novak to win the tournament outright for $91,835.

Kornuth finished runner-up for $61,585.

A recap of the event will be posted later this morning.

Chance Kornuth

Event 30: Duff Charette – 3rd Place ($41,055)

$1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 30:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 475

Duff Charette

Valerie Novak raised to 300,000 from the button, Duff Charette three-bet all in for about 1,400,000 from the small blind, and Novak called.

Novak:  JhJc
Charette:  7d7c

The board ran out 10d8hAdQc3c, no help to Charette, ending his tournament in third place.

Valerie Novak  –  5,750,000  (46 bb)
Chance Kornuth  –  3,750,000  (30 bb)
Duff Charette  –  Eliminated in 3rd Place  ($41,055)

Event 30: Five-Bet Shove from Valerie Novak

$1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 30:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 475

Valerie Novak

Chance Kornuth raised to 250,000 from the button Valerie Novak three-bet to 500,000 from the small blind, Kornuth four-bet to 900,000, Novak five-bet shoved for about 3,000,000, and Kornuth folded.

Novak showed AcJd.

Valerie Novak  –  4,100,000  (33 bb)
Chance Kornuth  –  4,150,000  (33 bb)

Event 30: Duff Charette Getting Short

$1,100 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$100,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 29:  75,000/125,000 with a 125,000 ante
Players Remaining:  3 of 475

Chance Kornuth raised to 250,000 from the button and Duff Charette called from the big blind.

The flop was Ks6hJh and Charette check-called 125,000 from Kornuth.

The turn was the 7d and both checked.

The river was the 5h, Charette checked, Kornuth moved all in for effectively 1,050,000 and Charette thought for a little while before he folded, showing the 6s.

Kornuth showed AdJs for a pair of jacks.

“You’re just going to ask me later,” laughed Kornuth.

Chance Kornuth  –  5,000,000  (40 bb)
Duff Charette  –  1,050,000  (14 bb)