The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $5000 Main Event is in the books and officials are elated. For the first time in a few years, there will be no overlay in the tournament, with the players crushing the $3 million guarantee with ease. Afte3r the carnage of Day 1B concluded on Saturday, there was a new overall leader in D’Antonio Brown and an exciting run to “The Big 4” play coming this Tuesday.

If You Build It…

By getting 419 entries in for Day 1A on Friday, officials with the Seminole Indian tribe felt they were going to be OK with making their $3 million guarantee on the event. With over $2 million already in the kitty from Friday, all they needed were a couple hundred entries to pass the guarantee on Saturday. They would get that and more.

By the time the late registration period ended on Saturday, a total of 495 entries had been received for Saturday’s play. Added together with the 419 that were gathered on Friday, a field of 914 entries were registered for the 2018 SHRPO. That set a prize pool of $4,432,900, besting the $3 million guarantee with ease, topping last year’s 887-entry and $4.3 million prize pool and bringing a great deal of relief to Seminole officials. The players were more interested in other numbers, such as the 115 players who will take a minimum payday of $7758 and the prize on top of $771,444.

Just Wasn’t Their Tournament

With everyone looking to get in good position for the Day Two festivities on Sunday, the chips were flying on Saturday. The usual result of such action is that a wealth of talented players aren’t going to be around with a shot of winning the tournament. Local favorite and three-time Poker Players’ Championship victor Michael Mizrachi took advantage of every entry opportunity (if a player busted on Day 1A, they could rebuy once; they also had the same option on Day 1B) but was unable to turn it into a stack he could carry forward.

Mizrachi’s situation was a particularly ugly one. After a player moved all in, Mizrachi moved his 50K in chips to the center to isolate from the small blind. Unfortunately, the big blind, who covered both Mizrachi and the original raiser, also came along for the ride. Once the cards were up, the hands explained themselves:

Original raiser – A-10 off suit
Mizrachi – pocket eights
Big Blind – pocket Queens

With a 60K pot that the original raiser could win and an equal pot on the side between Mizrachi and the big blind (with Mizrachi at risk), the A-9-4 rainbow flop hit squarely for the original raiser. The Jack on the turn and the river King didn’t change anything as the original raiser tripled up, the big blind scooped up about 60K in chips himself and Mizrachi reluctantly hit the rail.

There was plenty of company for him there. Ray Qartomy, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, former World Champion Scott Blumstein, Tom Marchese and Ankush Mandavia will no longer be a part of the Main Event. They will have to find solace in some other events still on the SHRPO schedule.

What Can Brown Do for You?

D’Antonio Brown was a dominant force through the play of the day. His work was entirely necessary, however, as Scott Vener kept pace with him throughout the day on Day 1B. These two men were able to eclipse Day 1A chip leader Nick Pupillo to have the overall lead in the 2018 SHRPO as it heads to Day Two:

1. D’Antonio Brown, 489,500
2. Scott Vener, 450,000
3. Nick Pupillo, 445,500*
4. Scott Wright, 392,000
5. Brian Green, 363,000
6. Kenneth O’Donnell, 358,500
7. Carlos Rodriguez Rojas, 355,500*
8. John Dolan, 342,500
9. Kenneth Fishman, 341,000*
10. Tanner Millen, 313,000*

(* – Day 1A player)

Bubbling under the Top Ten are such playe3rs as Phillip Hui (310,500, 11th place), Joseph Cheong (304,500, 15th place), Chris Hunichen (277,500, 16th place), Jeremy Ausmus (251,000, 24th place) and Loni Harwood (250,500, 25th place).

There are 310 players remaining from the 914 entries that were generated for the tournament, meaning that it is possible that the money bubble may pop on Sunday. It is all leading up to “The Big 4” on Tuesday, when the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open will crown four champions in a day-long festival of poker. Right now, Brown has the inside track on the Main Event title, but there is a long way to go until Tuesday.

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