One year ago, the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida made waves in the poker world with a $10 million guaranteed tournament. The $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open easily surpassed the guarantee by nearly $2 million, and champion Blair Hinkle walked away with nearly $1.75 million after besting Justin Bonomo in an epic heads-up match.
The success in the first go-around at Seminole drove tournament organizers to bring the $10 million guarantee back this year, but the event didn't go as hoped. After three Day 1 flights the prize pool fell well short of the $10 million guarantee as 1,499 entrants of the generated a prize pool of $7,495,000, creating an overlay of more than $2.5 million.
A total of 478 players survived Day 1 and will return Sunday to play into the money. The top 300 spots will pay out a minimum of $7,483, and the top two finishers will each walk away millionaires. The eventual winner will take home $1,446,710.
Going into Day 2 with the chip lead is recent World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jared Jaffee, who bagged 462,800 in chips on Day 1a. Jaffee, along with Day 1b chip leader Sujay Dalal and Day 1c leader Oleg Titov, received a $5,000 bonus for bagging the biggest stack in their respective flights.
Day 1a complete... Started with 30k.. Bagged 463k for the chip lead and the 5k bonus #allllllskilllllFollow @jaredjaffee21
Among the notables taking healthy stacks into Day 2 include David Farber (364,100), Ben Lamb (292,900), David Williams (276,600), John Dolan (272,900), Joe Kuether (262,200), Marvin Rettenmaier (265,600), Dan Weinman (231,000), and Mike Leah (213,600).
Other notables returning on Sunday include John Racener, Jason Mercier, Josh Arieh, Joe Cada, Mohsin Charania, Chris Moorman and Amanda Musumeci.
The action resumes at noon ET on Sunday, and PokerNews will provide daily recaps of the tournament until a champion is crowned next week.
Photo courtesy of the WPT