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2013 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Day 1a: 205 Enter; Nicholson Leads

Mike Sexton and the Royal Flush Girls

South Florida was the place to be on Thursday as Day 1a of the 2013 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown kicked off at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The $5,000 Main Event attracted 205 runners in the first of two starting flights, which allows for re-entry. After 10 levels of play, Donald Nicholson led the approximate 75 players that advanced with 355,100 in chips.

Top 10 Day 1a Counts

1Donald Nicholson355,100
2Danny Shiff229,200
3Ben Tarzia213,100
4John McEwen184,600
5Faraz Jaka181,900
6Jerry Wong180,000
7Danny Suied140,000
8Kevin Eyster137,500
9Richard Leger134,500
10Andy Hwang124,700

Nicholson caught fire late in the evening and was the first to cross the 200,000-chip mark. According to the WPT Live Blog, it happened in Level 10 (500/1,000/100) when a player in middle position opened and Nicholson three-bet to 5,000 from the button. The small blind then four-bet to 13,500, the original raiser folded, and Nicholson five-bet to 24,000. The small blind ended up six-bet shoving for roughly 70,000 with what turned out to be the {7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}, and Nicholson called with {A-}{A-}. The pocket rockets held, and Nicholson chipped up to 245,000.

Not long after, a short-stacked player was all in from the small blind and Joe Kuether and Nicholson created a side pot. When the flop fell {k-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{4-Spades}, Kuether check-called a bet of 11,500 and then checked the {3-Diamonds} turn. Nicholson kept the pressure on with a bet of 24,000, but Kuether called before checking the {8-Clubs} river. Nicholson then fired out a healthy 90,000 and Kuether called off for approximately 60,000 with the {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}. Unfortunately for him, Nicholson held the {K-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}.

It was also in Level 10 that Vanessa Selbst hit the rail courtesy of Tony Ruberto. It happened when Selbst opened for 3,000 from under the gun and received a call from the player on the button. Ruberto then three-bet to 13,000 from the big blind, and Selbst shoved. The button folded, and Ruberto called.

Ruberto: {K-Diamonds}{10-Spades}
Selbst: {A-Diamonds}{8-Spades}

Selbst got it in good, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator she had a 57.21% chance of doubling on the hand. The {q-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{4-Hearts} flop kept the Team PokerStars Pro in the lead as a 59.60% favorite, while the {4-Clubs} bumped that up to 77.27%. Selbst just need to dodge either a king, jack or ten on the river to stay alive, but she couldn’t do it as the {J-Diamonds} spiked.

Others to hit the rail on Day 1a were Darryll Fish, David “Doc” Sands, Jonathan Aguiar, John Dibella, Ben Hamnett, Carlos Mortensen, Scotty Nguyen, Shaun Deeb, Shawn Cunix, Tom Marchese, Will “The Thrill” Failla and Matt Salsberg, just to name a few.

On the flip side, a number of notables were able to punch their ticket to Day 2 including David “Bakes” Baker (55,200), Allen Kessler (65,600), AP Phahurat (66,500), Jonathan Little (73,400), Joe Serock (85,400), Jonathan Roy (91,400), Aaron Massey (97,200), Erick Lindgren (98,600) and Jason Mercier (115,700).

Day 1b is set to kick off at noon EST on Friday. Of course, PokerNews will bring you a full recap upon the completion of play, so be sure to check back then. In the meantime, check out the WPT Hard Rock welcome video.

Data and photo courtesy of

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