2017 Trends Continue In 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Super High Roller

January 20, 2018
2017 Trends Continue In 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Super High Roller


Two major poker trends from 2017 continued to kick off the 2018 South Florida poker calendar at the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open Super High Roller this week.

A German player won a high roller event. Plus, the Spanish player who earned 2017 Global Poker Index Player of the Year honors booked another big score.

The Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open $50,000 Super High Roller drew just 25 entries on Jan. 17, 2018 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. However, that was just enough to clear the event’s $1 million guarantee and create a $1,232,500 prize pool that paid the top five spots.

In the end, German high roller Stefan Schillhabel beat 2017 GPI Player of the Year Adrian Mateos heads up to win the biggest buy-in tournament on the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open schedule and the $493,000 first-place prize that came with it. Mateos was forced to settle for a second-place haul of $308,125.

Five made the high roller money

The event’s first day was supposed to end after 14 levels. However, six players remained when Level 14 finished. As a result, a decision was made to play until one more player was eliminated and the money bubble burst. Texas online high-stakes legend Ben Tollerene ultimately bubbled and the final five players bagged up chips. They returned to finish things up Jan. 18, already in the money with Virginia’s Justin Bonomo leading.

Coming off the deepest run of any US poker player in the PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure $10,300 Main Event at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas last week, Ohio native David Peters finished fifth for $98,600. Peters won GPI Player of the Year honors in 2016.

Peters got it in with a suited ace, but Mateos had a stronger one and held onto that dominating position to bust him. Incidentally, Mateos finished fourth to Peters’ 11th at the PCA last week.

Massachusetts’ Nick Petrangelo then busted fourth for $135,575. He lost a coin flip versus Bonomo, allowing Bonomo to add to his lead. Schillhabel doubled through Bonomo at that point, and Bonomo was suddenly on the bottom of the counts. Eventually, he took third and heads-up play began with Mateos leading.

All-euro high roller heads up

Heads-up play lasted more than two hours with the European high-stakes pros trading the lead back and forth several times. Eventually, Schillhabel took the lead, turned rags into two pair, and called and held when Mateos shoved top pair.

The win moves Schillhabel into the top ten on Germany’s tournament poker all-time money list. He now sits just ahead of running mate Koray Aldemir with more than $8.6 million.

The two are part of a group of German players that has been dominating the high roller tournament scene in the US and across the globe for the past couple of years. The group also includes inaugural Poker Masters purple jacket winner Steffen Sontheimer and 2016 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe.

Of course, Schillhabel’s other close friend Fedor Holz has completely dominated high roller events since 2016. He now tops the country’s top tournament earner’s list with an incredible $26,701,373 in career tournament winnings.

Schillhabel’s largest career score remains the $2,400,000 he earned finishing third in the 2017 $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mateos’ $308,125 score puts him close to the $13 million mark in career tournament earnings. The former World Series of Poker Europe Main Event and European Poker Tour Grand Final champion earned $5,881,229 while capturing the GPI Player of the Year crown in 2017.

So far in 2018, he is off to another great start, having collected close to $700,000 in tournament earnings already.

The Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open continues with $3,500 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship running Jan 19. to 24.

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