2023 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$600 Seniors 50+ (Re-Entry)
Prize Pool: $77,175
April 13, 2023
Emerson Ward is a high school English teacher here in South Florida, and on Thursday night he won the first trophy of the 2023 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown by winning the $600 buy-in Seniors Event.
“It feels great,” said Ward. “I left work early to play this, and I told myself ‘I’m going to make it count today.’ So I’m pretty happy.”
Ward started the final table second in chips with 58 big blinds in his stack, but he was still less than half of massive chipleader William Riveron, who had 119 big blinds.
Ward said, “I was kind of happy to see [Riveron] on my right, because I really didn’t want to wrestle with him too much. But then I got a really good hand against him.”
Shortly after the final table started, Ward flopped a set of queens against Riveron, on a rainbow board of . Ward raised all in when the hit the turn, taking a pot worth 538,000. Ward showed his flopped set to the table as he took the chip lead.
Ward would eventually eliminate Riveron in fourth place after Riveron flopped top pair and turned top two pair. That’s when they got it all in, but Ward had, once again, flopped a set, and it held up.
After Ward won a dramatic race to knock out A.J. Kelsall in third place, he held a nearly 4-to-1 chip lead over Mitch Garshofsky. They played heads-up for a few minutes before they agreed to an ICM deal to split the remaining prizepool. As chipleader, Ward received the title, the trophy, and the most money.
It’s the first trophy of Ward’s poker career, but he vows it won’t be his last. He plans to play at least six more events this series, and he’s feeling very confident.
“This won’t be the last conversation we have.”
|Place||First Name||Last Name||Prize Amount|
* Indicates a heads-up deal.