Florida Tournament Draws State Record 4,075 Entries
The Lucky Hearts Poker Open (LHPO) shattered a Florida state record for number of entries in a poker tournament by drawing 4,075 for their $350 Ultimate Reentry No-Limit Hold'em tournament, Event #1 of 15 that are on the schedule for the series at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. The number smashed the old record of 3,391 set by the very same event in 2014.
The tournament featured eight starting flights and a $1,085,000 prize pool — after $137,500 was paid out in $2,500 bonuses to those bagging more than one stack — and Philadelphia-based pro Thai Ha took it down for $230,422. The win roughly doubled his lifetime tournament cashes, which now stand at $472,896.
Final Table Results
The promise of a huge prize pool of $500,000, which was surpassed by far with the massive turnout, drew some notable names to the tournament. Mark Johnson Jr. (12th), TJ Shulman (16th), and Matt Affleck (17th) all made deep runs but fell just short of the final table, which was reached early on Day 3.
Ha went to the final table holding a huge chip lead with more than 13.8 million at blinds of 60,000/120,000/15,000, according to the live updates. He soon rocketed to north of 22 million, building an absurd lead that was nearly triple the second-place stack.
After a few eliminations saw the field pull a little closer to Ha, he scored an elimination to regain his edge. He knocked out Jordan Meltzer in seventh with against .
Evgeniy Catane then went out sixth, followed by David Prociak in fifth.
Then, the same flip Ha won earlier went his way again. This time, he held the nines against the of Richard Hutchings, who shoved about 26 big blinds over a Ha open and a David Shaw call. Ha called, while Shaw folded, and the board rolled out and it was down to three. Ha had over 25 million with blinds at 150,000/300,000/50,000 while both Shaw and Raminder Singh had about 16 million.
Ha slipped to third place but yet another flip saw him get his feet back under him as his sixes held against the of Shaw, who busted shortly thereafter.
Singh had a slight chip edge over Ha when heads-up play began, but Ha held the lead when the two got it in on a board of with Ha holding for top pair and a flush draw. He was well behind Singh's , good for a straight, though. The river delivered exactly what Ha needed though, giving him the pot and the tournament.
The LHPO continues through Jan. 20, featuring a World Poker Tour DeepStacks $1,100 Main Event that starts Jan. 14.
*Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock.
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