After a Two-Year Break From Poker, Vendel Johnson Wins the Second Trophy of His Career

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 7
$200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$150,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  1,462
Prize Pool:  $233,920
March 28-30, 2022

Vendel Johnson
Vendel Johnson

Event #7 attracted 1,462 entries across six starting flights, and 149 players survived the Money Bubble to reach Day 2. But it all came to an end Wednesday night when the final five players agreed to a deal, and chipleader Vendel Johnson won the title, the trophy, and $26,497.

“This was a big payday for me,” said Johnson, a native Floridian who works full time at Port Everglades. “This is the second trophy of my poker career. The last one was probably ten years ago, because I don’t play that much.”

It was an up-and-down day for Johnson, but his key hand came with 10 players remaining, when he got it all in with ace-king against Kelly Alonso’s ace-queen. The best hand held up for Johnson to win the pot and catapult into the chip lead. Johnson was never short after that.

“Those guys were tough, especially Andre,” said Johnson, referring to second-place finisher Andre Bryan. “You’ve got to be careful and pick your spots, and the cards fell for me.”

Johnson hadn’t played poker for two years due to the pandemic, but when he was ready to play, he knew where to go.

“I’ve always played at the Hard Rock,” said Johnson. “We’ve been straddled to the house for the past two years since COVID, but when things kind of loosened up, this was the obvious place. I love the Hard Rock. Best place in the world.”

Final Results:

1Vendel Johnson$26,497*
2Andre Bryan$22,912*
3Kelly Alonso$21,170*
4Ayed Shweihat$18,282*
5Alexandru Predincea$17,389*
6Gus Vazquez$8,085
7Sagi Zommer$6,675
8Arturo Trujillo$5,290
9Leonardo Rendon$3,930
10Crystal Utley$3,930
11Al Klager$3,005
12Jonathan Livingston$3,005
13Ory Hen$2,350
14Leonid Zhivelev$2,350
15Richard Alati$2,350
16Adam Zeltser$1,905
17Charles Harrison$1,905
18Altabal Mohamed$1,905
19German Ramos$1,555
20Jeremy Becker$1,555
21Larry Kiang$1,555
22Pasquale Caiazza$1,280
23Syed Shah$1,280
24Jugal Daterao$1,280
25Richard Buxman$1,120
26David Cujas$1,120
27Alfredo Vaz Reed$1,120
28Eric Feldman$975
29Thanhlong Nguyen$975
30Srinath Vadluri$975
31Fabio Baduy$975
32Attila Kocsis$975
33Alberto Niebla$975
34Mahmoud Hamed$975
35Dayanna Ciabaton$975
36David Metz$975
37Mariano Szlaifer$835
38Eriberuto Uehara$835
39James Tomblin II$835
40Lance Foster$835
41Artur Nazarenko$835
42Albert Dagro$835
43Eric Phan$835
44Dejan Petkovic$835
45Casey Crews$835
46Tamara Goldshteyn$740
47Wilmer Chavira$740
48Garrett Fleetwood$740
49Michael McCauley$740
50Jonathan Lasko$740
51Reinaldo Vicentini Aldrey$740
52Min Zhang$740
53Antonio Arencibia Monduy$740
55Lunique Petiote$665
56Igor Korkhin$665
57Osmany Saldanas$665
58Henry Billete$665
59Vinicius Monteiro$665
60Brian Krinsky$665
61Walid Maddah$665
62Alain Boucher$665
63Michael Gullifo$665
64Dylan Malcomson$620
65Charles Conner$620
66Joseph Petrolino$620
67Yigal Hen$620
68Sergio Gamarra$620
69Geroges Boyadjian$620
70Jennifer David$620
71Anatoly Zharnitsky$620
72Brian Barros$620
73Benjamin Boston$575
74Joseph Hernon$575
75Adam Wiatrowski$575
76Joshua Gerzog$575
77Orlando Maldonado Jr$575
78Henry Miller$575
79Eric Piderit$575
80Mark Gaudino$575
81Lester Rainey$575
82Haralambos Sideris Sansiviero$535
83Ethan Blauner$535
84Edward Grinko$535
85Garrick Young$535
86Rainulfo Ricardo Perez$535
87Jared Kranz$535
88Archibald Barrant$535
89Billie Bowman$535
90Jeffrey Keiser$535
91Jon Peterson$500
92Frank Martin$500
93Peter Shapiro$500
94Jason Nieves$500
95Lawrence Whyte$500
96Christian Fleagle$500
97Steven McKoy$500
98Alan Katsnelson$500
99Jeffrey Morrison$500
100Phong Nguyen$465
101Elisa Greenwood$465
102Mignaelalexand Stratos$465
103Carlos Garcia$465
104Brett Streicher$465
105Henry Fermin$465
106Igor Evseev$465
107John Valevich$465
108Kanj Chehade$465
109Andrew Jones$430
110Barrington Bowen$430
111Steve Zhang$430
112Wongduan Nannong$430
113Kevin Naim$430
114Joseph Duchman$430
115Nicholas Velentzas$430
116Douglas Miranda$430
117Mark Hur$430
118Eduardo Chri$400
119Edward Corlett$400
120Kyle Rignola$400
121John Nguyen$400
122Philip Toister$400
123Earl Gallegos$400
124Pierre Armster Jr$400
125Brian Goodman$400
126Christopher Thompson$400
127Farell Lapi$380
128Rickey Welch$380
129Robert Brown$380
130John Malvasio$380
131Antonio Colon$380
132Tyler Mitchell$380
133Fred DaBus$380
134Alex Santoni$380
135Conner Benson$380
136Raminder Singh$360
137Gregory Hopkins$360
138Erik De Souza$360
139John McDonald$360
140Salvador Ramos$360
141Stella Davila$360
142Austin Zahn$360
143Jeram Capinpin$360
144Alik Sitnyakorsky$360
145Vladimir Florent$360
146Michael Cavanaugh$360
147Phillip Stuttman$360
148Tania Arana$360
149Andrew Badal$360

* Indicates the results of a five-way deal.

Event 7:  Vendel Johnson Wins in a Five-Way ICM Deal

$200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$150,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 33:  125,000/250,000 with a 250,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 1,462

Vendel Johnson
Vendel Johnson

As Level 32 was coming to an end, and Level 33 beginning with increased blinds of 125,000-250,000, the final five players agreed to an ICM chop for the remaining prizepool.

These were the official chip counts:

1.  Vendel Johnson  –  7,675,000  (31 bb)
2.  Andre Bryan  –  5,050,000  (20 bb)
3.  Kelly Alonso  –  4,075,000  (16 bb)
4.  Ayed Shweihat  –  2,750,000  (11 bb)
5.  Alexandru Predincea  –  2,400,000  (10 bb)

And these were the payouts they agreed to:

1st:  Vendel Johnson  –  $26,497 + Showdown trophy
2nd:  Andre Bryan  –  $22,912
3rd:  Kelly Alonso  –  $21,170
4th:  Ayed Shweihat  –  $18,282
5th:  Alexandru Predincea  –  $17,389

As chipleader, Vendel Johnson was declared the winner, receiving the title and the trophy.

Stay tuned for a recap from this event to be posted later tonight.

Event 7:  Guz Vazquez – 6th Place ($8,085)

$200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$150,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante
Players Remaining:  5 of 1,462

Gus Vazquez
Gus Vazquez

Gus Vazquez moved all in under the gun for 1,700,000, and Vendel Johnson called from the cutoff with 7s7h.

Vazquez turned over Kh10d, and needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Ac4c2hJhAs — Vazquez turned a gutshot straight draw, but improved no further. Johnson won the pot with his pocket sevens to eliminate Vazquez in sixth place.

Vendel Johnson  –  7,375,000  (37 bb)
Gus Vazquez  –  Eliminated in 6th Place  ($8,085)

With five players remaining, the average stack is around 4,375,000 (22 big blinds). The remaining players are guaranteed at least $10,000 each.

Event 7:  Sagi Zommer – 7th Place ($6,675)

$200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$150,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante
Players Remaining:  6 of 1,462

Sagi Zommer
Sagi Zommer

Sagi Zommer moved all in under the gun for 575,000, and Andre Bryan called from the small blind with AcQs.

Zommer turned over 10s4h, and needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came Jc9c2s2hJd, and Bryan won the pot with his ace to eliminate Zommer in seventh place.

Andre Bryan  –  5,500,000  (28 bb)
Sagi Zommer  –  Eliminated in 7th Place  ($6,675)

With six players remaining, the average stack is around 3,650,000 (18 big blinds). The remaining players are guaranteed at least $8,085 each.

Event 7:  Alexandru Predincea Doubles Thru Sagi Zommer

$200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
$150,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 32:  100,000/200,000 with a 200,000 ante
Players Remaining:  7 of 1,462

Alexandru Predincea
Alexandru Predincea

Alexandru Predincea got it all in from the small blind for 1,150,000 with KsJc, and needed it to hold to stay alive against the Kd10s of Sagi Zommer on the button.

The board came AsKhQc6h4c — both players flopped a pair with a gutshot straight draw, and improved no further. Predincea won the pot with a pair of kings and his jack kicker to double up in chips.

Alexandru Predincea  –  2,700,000  (14 bb)
Sagi Zommer  –  575,000  (3 bb)

With seven players remaining, the average stack is around 3,135,000 (16 big blinds). The remaining players are guaranteed at least $6,675 each.