The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open continued its annual tradition of hosting one of the busiest days of the year. In a partnership with Poker Night in America, Seminole Hard Rock produced the Big 4 final tables on Aug. 14.
Four final tables of varying buy-in levels played out simultaneously in the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. On the Poker Night in America channel on Twitch, viewers had the option of watching one final table at a time, or all four together.
The $25,500 High Roller, $1,100, $2,650, and $5,250 Championship featured phenomenal final table lineups and the action did not disappoint.
Back to back with a vengeance
Two players entered the Big 4 in search of some history to go along with potential hardware. Alex Foxen collected the $2,650 title in 2017 and started this year’s edition as the chip leader at the final table. Meanwhile, adjacent to Foxen sat Marc MacDonnell, who took home the bronze medal in the $1,100 event last year and was in position to go back-to-back in 2018.
Foxen topped 395 entrants to win $204,600 in 2017 and had to beat 422 this time around. Blair Hinkle and Foxen traded heads up blows for about five hours before Foxen emerged with the win. Hinkle won the first SHRPO Championship in 2013 for $1.7 million.
The final table lacked soft spots all-around as Jake Schwartz, Rick Alvarado, and Michael Esposito stood in Foxen’s way.
MacDonnell defeated 2018 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Joey Couden heads up to win the title in the $1,100 event for $119,465. A total of 640 entrants played to a final table in one day and MacDonnell started the day in seventh place out of eight competitors.
A double-up with ace-king against the pocket sevens of Couden midway through the final table action propelled MacDonnell to victory. Other notable players who reached the final table were Maria Ho, Michael Graffeo, and Paul Balzano.
Another High Roller win for Jake Schindler
The most consistent American player in $25,000 buy-in events struck gold again in Florida. Jake Schindler’s career is more impressive with every month and he added $800,758 to his over $20 million in earnings.
Schindler conquered Shaun Deeb heads up to wear the SHRPO High Roller crown. Deeb entered the final table as the chip leader and lost in a scenario many other opponents have done so before him, heads up to Schindler.
Tom Marchese (3rd), 2015 SHRPO Championship winner Omar Zazay (4th), Barry Hutter (6th), and Paul Hofer (8th) all made the final table but fell shy of their ultimate goal.
The win is Schindler’s 11th in an event with a $25,000 buy-in during his career.
SHRPO Championship goes to Brandon Eisen
The crown jewel of the SHRPO series blew away the $3 million guarantee. A total of 914 entrants generated $4.432 million in the prize pool.
Brandon Eisen emerged with the lion’s share of the total. Eisen had the chip lead when the final table began and he took down the $771,444 first-place prize in a lengthy heads up duel versus Jeremy Ausmus.
Ausmus and Eisen competed for 83 hands before Eisen took the final chips away from the 2012 November Niner. The $540,459 consolation prize is the largest score earned by Ausmus since his Main Event final table fifth-place finish.
The final table included Ryan D’Angelo, WPT Gardens Poker Festival final tablist Jared Griener, and Joseph Cheong.