Two years ago, the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, set the poker world ablaze by announcing their Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event, a tournament that attracted 2,384 entrants and crushed the guarantee by creating a prize pool of $11.92 million. In that event, Blair Hinkle defeated Justin Bonomo in heads-up play to win a $1,745,245 first-place prize.
SHRPO established itself as a big event on the poker schedule, but the attempt at a second massive $10 million guarantee fell short when last year's version came with a $2.5 million overlay. Nevertheless, organizers are back at it, tweaking the event a bit and trying something new.
The 2015 SHRPO will take place from July 30 to August 19, and while the schedule hasn't been released yet, tournament officials did announce that the $5,250 buy-in Main Event will boast a $5 million guarantee and be a freezeout, meaning reentries will not be offered. In addition, there will only be one starting flight.
The series, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network in early 2016, will also feature their first-ever four-event finale, meaning the final tables from four different events — the Main Event, $25,000 High Roller, $2,500 side event, and $1,100 side event — will be live streamed simultaneously on Tuesday, August 18. Phil Hellmuth will host and provide commentary for all four final tables.
"The 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open will elevate the poker experience to a new level," said General Manager of Poker Operations for Seminole Gaming, Larry Frank. "The Championship single-entry structure will provide a unique opportunity for players to compete for their share of the $5 million guarantee. Plus, the chance to be part of the finale that showcases four final tables at the same time heightens the energy and excitement of this year's series."
Matt Savage, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open tournament consultant, added, "This year's Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship is an event not to be missed. With no reentry, the format becomes a level playing field for poker pros, satellite winners, and recreational players alike. The post-lim events carrying massive guarantees ensure that even if a player busts out of the Championship event, there are more ways to make a huge score."
Last year, Dan Colman topped a field of 1,499 entrants to win the SHRPO Main Event for $1,446,710. Read that story by clicking here.
On-site registration for the $5 Million Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open will open in July, and in the meantime satellite events and promotions will take place at five Seminole Gaming properties — Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Seminole Casino Brighton and Seminole Casino Immokalee.
Finally, the series will see the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) return to SHRPO for the second year in a row. A $300 buy-in charity event will benefit Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity of Broward charity. Half of each $300 buy-in will be donated to both charities, while the other half of the buy-in will be placed in the tournament prize pool.