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Daniel Piela Takes Opening Event of Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $144,294

Daniel Peila

On Monday, the first event of the current Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown came to a close with the conclusion of Event 1: $1 Million Guaranteed $560 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold'em. With 1,966 entries in the field, the tournament was no doubt a massive affair. For Daniel Piela of Wheaton, Illinois, though, things were massive in another sense as he walked away with the top prize of $144,294.

Final Table Payouts

1Daniel PielaWheaton, IL$144,294*
2Michael OrtizHialeah, FL$113,515*
3Bryan GreenMiami, FL$101,012*
4Ngoc "Angel" VuSouth Daytona, FL$62,622
5Chad BrownFayetteville, NC$52,185
6Irwin BlockPembroke Pines, FL$42,245
7Robert Hodson IIIJupiter, FL$32,802
8Darryll FishCape Coral, FL$23,856
9Jonathan GaviaoGainesville, TX$17,395

*Denotes three-handed deal.

Prior to this score, Piela's largest cash on record was one worth $4,997 from the summer of 2012 out in Las Vegas in a Rio Daily Deepstack event. In fact, the 42-year-old Piela had just under $8,200 in total live cashes coming into this event. According to what Piela told reporters following his win, the original plan was to dabble in a couple of events while visiting friends on a trip to Florida.

"I thought I would stay through the $350," he said. "I might stay for the Main Event now. Give it a shot, right?"

Jonathan Gaviao was the first player to bust from the final table, taking home just over $17,000 for his ninth-place finish. He was followed out the door by poker professional Darryll Fish in eighth place. According to the Seminole Hard Rock poker updates, Fish moved all in for 3.95 million from the big blind over the top of a raise to 475,000 from Ngoc "Angel" Vu out of the small blind. Vu tanked for a couple of minutes and then called with the {A-Clubs}{6-Hearts}. Fish was at risk, but held the best hand with a dominating {A-Spades}{J-Hearts}. Despite having the lead going into the hand, Fish finished second best after the board ran out {K-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} to leave with $23,856 in prize money.

Robert Hodson III then busted in seventh place, Irwin Block finished in sixth place, and Chad Brown went out in fifth place. Vu's run was ended when she took fourth place, prompting a deal to be struck by the final three players.

Per terms of the deal, Piela earned the top prize of $144,294, while Michael Ortiz took $113,515 and Bryan Green won $101,012. The final hand then resulted in a double elimination that saw Piela take the title.

On the last hand, Ortiz moved all in for about 4.5 million, Piela called from the small blind, and Green reraised all in for roughly 11 million. Piela called with the {A-Spades}{A-Clubs} and had both players covered. Ortiz had the {Q-Clubs}{5-Spades}, and Green had the {K-Spades}{K-Clubs}. The flop, turn, and river ran out {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}, and Piela took it all down.

"It was a great experience," added Piela about the event itself. "I had a lot of fun, people are really friendly here, and I just had a really good time."

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*Photo and data courtesy of the Seminole Hard Rock blog.

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