Salomon Ponte Wins Seminole Lucky Hearts WPT DeepStacks Main Event for $341,420
The Seminole Lucky Hearts World Poker Tour DeepStacks $1,100 Main Event attracted a massive 1,684 entrants to the Seminole Hard Rock in South Florida, and after three days of play, Salomon Ponte, a 26-year-old year old CPA from Toronto, Ontario, emerged victorious to capture the $341,420 first-place prize plus the WPTDeepStacks Championship package.
According to HendonMob, Ponte had just three cashes for $19,465 prior to the win, with his largest being $16,623 for an 18th-place finish in the 2014 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event.
Final Table Results
According to updates from the event, Ponte began the final day as chip leader, and it didn't take long for him to notch his first final table elimination. It happened when the short stack, Paul Balzano, three-bet jammed for 750,000 after Ponte had opened. Action folded back to Ponte, who made the call.
It was a flip, but not after the flop delivered Ponte a pair of aces. Neither the turn nor river helped Balzano, and he was out in ninth place for $27,390.
Not long after, Ponte eliminated local player Zack Goodman in eighth place – the result of Goodman shoving with queen-ten only to run into Ponte's pocket kings – and then Ryan D'Angelo, one of the most accomplished players at the final table, fell in seventh after coming in third in a huge three-way all in, one that also resulted in Ed Mallon doubling through Ponte.
After Michael Larocca and Kenneth Watson fell in sixth and fifth place respectively, 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champ Harrison Gimbel followed them out the door in fourth. It happened in Level 37 (250,000/500,000/75,000) when Gimbel shoved for 4.8 million in the small blind holding the and Ponte called from the big with the . The board ran out a clean and Gimbel made his way to the payout desk to collect $93,915.
Thong Ho's elimination in third place set up a heads-up match between Ponte and Mallon, with the former holding a more than 2-1 chip lead. Still, it proved to be a back-and-forth battle that saw both players out in front. In what would be the final hand of the tournament, which took place in Level 38 (300,000/600,000/100,000), Mallon limped and then called off when Ponte shoved.
Mallon was behind, but he was drawing to two live cards. He paired one on the flop, but unfortunately for him Ponte also paired his king. The turn meant Mallon needed a nine on the river to stay alive, but it wasn't in the cards as the blanked. Mallon took home $192,885 for his runner-up finish.
For more on Ponte's win, check out his winner interview below:
*Data courtesy of seminolehardrockpokeropen.com. Photo courtesy of WPT.