Michael Newman Tops Stacked Final Table to Win $374,240 at Seminole
The final table of the 2017 Rock 'n' Roll Poker Open $3,500 Main Event at Seminole Hard Rock featured the likes of high roller Tom Marchese and seasoned pros like Shaun Deeb and Ari Engel. However, none of those players was able to stop 48-year-old recreational player Michael Newman, who defeated a murderer's row to earn a huge $374,240 payday after getting through a field of 585 entries.
The monster cash doubled his career live cashes, which had previous to this been headed by a score of $30,640 in this very same event for 12th place in 2015.
"“I always like a challenge and I always want to be playing against the best," he told tournament staff. "That was the best of the best. It was absolutely amazing.”
Official Final Table Results
The 585 entries left the tournament about $130,000 short of the $2 million guarantee, so participating players enjoyed an overlay in the event. Some of those who cashed in on the boosted prize pool included Brian Hastings, Ben Zamani, Kevin MacPhee, Keven Stammen, Faraz Jaka, David Peters and Joe McKeehen.
Final Table Action
Feared high roller Dan Colman, who won a major event at Seminole in 2014 for over $1.4 million, made the final table but had one of the shorter stacks, according to the live updates. He bowed out in 10th when he shoved 23 big blinds over a raise and a call with and Engel woke up with behind him.
Deeb had one of the bigger stacks coming into the final table but lost a big flip to Newman when he couldn't find help with against a pocket pair of queens. Left under 20 big blinds, he soon shoved over an Engel open but found himself again staring at queens, this time with . The two-time bracelet winner had to settle for ninth.
Short stacks Joao Simao and Denis Cyr were the next two to go, and the last six players bagged for the streamed final table with Engel holding the lead and Seminole Hard Rock's Ambassador team sending two representatives, Darryll Fish and Sheddy Siddiqui.
Engel wasted no time pushing the action, but he sent a huge double to Newman right away on the first hand of the final day. Newman defended his big blind and check-called a bet before betting out himself on a board of . Engel set him in and Newman decided to go with his . Engel didn't have an out in the deck as his own flush draw, , was crushed, and Newman became the new leader with 85 big blinds while Engel was reduced to just about 14.
Engel did manage to ladder past Marchese when Marchese shoved over a Fish open and ran into aces, but Engel would get no further after running eights into Siddiqui's jacks.
The pot that established Newman as clear favorite came up four-handed, when he opened for a raise with and got action from Siddiqui, whose flopped top pair on . Siddiqui check-shoved but found himself drawing thin and missed, and Newman had 10.5 million of 17.5 million in play at 60,000/120,000/20,000.
Fish then tried swiping Newman's big blind after Matas Cimbolas folded on the button, but Newman called the nine big blind jam with . Fish needed help with but found it a short sweat when Newman flopped a king.
Cimbolas had been a longtime chip leader but found himself with a mountain to climb heads up as he was down about 5-1 to start play. The Lithuanian got it in with but Newman gambled with and found himself with solid equity. A board of was safe enough for Cimbolas, but a river ended the tournament in Newman's favor.
Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock