MMA Fighter Colby Covington Proves Himself a Multi-Faceted Competitor By Winning His First Poker Trophy

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 22
$1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Entries:  84
Prize Pool:  $81,480
August 2-3, 2022

Colby Covington

Two days ago, MMA fighter Colby Covington final tabled SHRPO Event 1, which broke the record for the largest poker tournament in Florida history with 7,703 entries. Covington finished seventh to earn $48,298, but he wasn’t satisfied.

“I wanted to come back and prove that wasn’t just a fluke,” said Covington, “and show that I could play with the best players in the world.”

Covington did exactly that, winning Event 22 ($1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha-8) against a tough field to win the title, the trophy, and $25,875.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Covington after his victory. “It’s been a long journey to finally get a trophy here at Seminole Hard Rock. This is my home casino, and I love playing here.”

Covington’s two deep runs came in two completely different events. Event 22 was PLO-8 instead of the standard hold’em of Event 1, and while this one had a smaller field, it was filled with much tougher, more experienced players.

One of those players was Phil Hui, fresh off a victory last night in $600 H.O.R.S.E. Hui has three WSOP bracelets, five Seminole Hard Rock trophies, and more than $3.6 million in career tournament earnings.

“I was staying away from Phil Hui early on,” said Covington. “He’s a great player, one of the greatest players in the game today. I know he’s a specialist in high-low, so I wanted to navigate around him and wait to pick really good spots where I felt comfortable with getting the high and the low.”

Covington’s strategy paid off, and he never gave up the chip lead at the final table. Covington knocked out five of his eight final table opponents on his way to victory.

Hui was down to three big blinds when he got it all in against Covington, who scooped the pot to knock out Hui in fourth place. (Click here for details.)

A short while later, Salvatore Pipitone got it all in against Covington after a flop of Kc8d6d. Pipitone had pocket aces with no draws, while Covington had flopped a set of sixes with the nut low draw. Covington’s hand held up to scoop the pot and eliminate Pipitone in third place. (Click here for details.)

That left Covington heads-up against David Shmuel, a five-time trophy winner here at Seminole Hard Rock, with three of them coming in Omaha events.

Even with such an accomplished player between him and victory, Covington remained focused and relaxed.

“Luckily for me, I’ve fought at the highest levels on pay-per-view, and in front of sold-out areas like Madison Square Garden,” said Covington. “I’m used to the nerves and I know how to channel them and use them the right way. I don’t ever get emotional when playing cards or fighting, and I just play my best game every time I come out.”

The final two players eventually got it all in on a board showing 7d6c5sAd on the turn. Shmuel had a nine-high straight, and a higher flush draw, while Covington had a set of fives and a made low. (Click here for more details.)

The river card was — the 5c. Covington won his first poker title and trophy with quad fives.

Covington was very appreciative after his victory.

“I started playing at the sister property, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek,” said Covington. “I’ve got to give a big shout out to them and Kelly Mautner (Director of Poker Operations for Seminole Coconut Creek). Without them, I wouldn’t be here today winning this title.”

“I also want to give a big thank you to everybody at Seminole Hard Rock Casino,” said Covington. “Tony Burns and the team, you guys do a great job. You run such good tournaments here. I’m very thankful that you guys do what you guys do.”


Final Results:

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Amount
1stColbyCovington$25,875
2ndDavidShmuel$15,890
3rdSalvatorePipitone$9,985
4thPhilHui$6,680
5thTonyCousineau$5,095
6thAaronSchaff$4,075
7thErrolMassey$3,380
8thDamjanRadanov$2,850
9thJakeLiebeskind$2,625
10thSeanRemz$2,625
11thMarkDickstein$2,400

Event 22: Colby Covington Wins the Title Outright ($25,875); David Shmuel Finishes as Runner-Up ($15,890)

$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 22:  15,000/25,000
Players Remaining:  1 of 84

Colby Covington

David Shmuel limped from the button for 25,000, and Colby Covington checked his option.

The flop came 7d6c5s, Covington checked, Shmuel bet 40,000, and Covington called.

The turn card was the Ad, and they quickly got it all in for Shmuel’s last 180,000.

Colby Covington:  Qs8d5d5h  (set of fives, eight-high flush draw, 8-7 low)
David Shmuel:  Kd10h9d8h  (nine-high straight, king-high flush draw, no low draw)

Shmuel needed his hand to hold to win half the pot and stay alive, but the river card was the 5c. Colby Covington won the pot — and the title, the trophy, and $25,875 — with quad fives.

Congratulations to Colby Covington!

1st:  Colby Covington  –  $25,875 + SHRPO Trophy
2nd:  David Shmuel  –  $15,890
3rd:  Salvatore Pipitone  –  $9,985
4th:  Phil Hui  –  $6,680
5th:  Tony Cousineau  –  $5,095
6th:  Aaron Schaff  –  $4,075
7th:  Errol Massey  –  $3,380
8th:  Damjan Radanov  –  $2,850
9th:  Jake Liebeskind  –  $2,625

Stay tuned for a recap from this event, which will be posted later this evening.

Event 22: Salvatore Pipitone – 3rd Place ($9,985)

$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 22:  15,000/25,000
Players Remaining:  2 of 84

Salvatore Pipitone

David Shmuel opened to 75,000 from the button and Colby Covington called. Salvatore Pipitone asked how much Shmuel was playing, he said around 300K, and Pipitone raised to 300,000 from the big leaving 60,000 behind. Shmuel thought for a moment, folded, and Covington called.

As soon as the Kc8d6d flop hit the board, Covington tossed out 60K out front, and Pipitone called all in at risk.

Covington: Ac6s6h2c (set of sixes, nut low draw)
Pipitone: AhAdTc9s (pair of aces, no low)

Covington had a huge lead and held as the board finished with the 8c turn and 4d river.

Salvatore Pipitone – Eliminated in 3rd Place ($9,985)

Colby Covington – 1,460,000 (58 bb)
David Shmuel – 220,000 (9 bb)

Event 22: Phil Hui – 4th Place ($6,680)

$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 21:  10,000/20,000
Players Remaining:  3 of 84

Phil Hui
Phil Hui won the fifth Seminole Hard Rock trophy of his career yesterday in $600 H.O.R.S.E, and came within a few spots of going back-to-back today.

Phil Hui moved all in from UTG/cutoff for 60,000, and Colby Covington called from the button.

Colby Covington:  AhKs10d3h
Phil Hui:  KcJd10s9d

The board came As7h4s2c10c, and Hui finished with nothing but a pair of tens. Covington scooped the pot with two pair, aces and tens, along with a 7-4 low, to eliminate Hui in fourth place.

Phil Hui  –  Eliminated in 4th Place  ($6,680)

Here are the official chip counts for the final three players:

Seat 1. Colby Covington  –  895,000  (45 bb)
Seat 2. Salvatore Pipitone  –  405,000  (20 bb)
Seat 3. David Shmuel  –  380,000  (19 bb)

With three players remaining from a field of 84 entries, the average chip stack is around 560,000 (28 big blinds). The remaining players are all guaranteed at least $9,985 each.

Event 22: Tony Cousineau – 5th Place ($5,095)

$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Structure | Payouts
Level 21:  10,000/20,000
Players Remaining:  4 of 84

Tony Cousineau
Tony Cousineau

After a flop of Jd9h4s, Tony Cousineau got it all in from the small blind for 50,000 against Colby Covington in the big blind.

Colby Covington:  Ac10h6h6s  (pair of sixes)
Tony Cousineau:  Ad10s6d2h  (ace high)

Cousineau needed to improve to stay alive, and he was drawing thin.

The turn card was the Qh, the river card was the 8h, and with no possible lows, Covington won the pot with a ten-high heart flush to eliminate Cousineau in fifth place.

Colby Covington  –  840,000  (42 bb)
Tony Cousineau  –  Eliminated in 5th Place  ($5,095)

With four players remaining from a field of 84 entries, the average chip stack is around 420,000 (21 big blinds). The remaining players are all guaranteed at least $6,680 each.