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Seminole Hard Rock Early Events: Record Numbers Flood the Property

Michael Casson and Andrew Heckman made a deal in the biggest event thus far at SHRPO.

A week into the action at Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, one thing has become crystal clear: this festival is going to be huge.

Record-breaking crowds have flooded the property throughout the first dozen events or so, as a consistent word keeps appearing in all of the company's press recaps: history. Seemingly each event run has become the biggest of its type in Seminole Hard Rock history. And this coming from a venue that has hosted $10 million guarantees and fields in excess of 5,000. Tournaments tripling and quadrupling their guarantees has become the norm.

If that holds true going forward, it could mean the champ of the $2 million guaranteed World Poker Tour $3,500 Main Event, set to begin in a few days, claims a seven-figure prize.

PokerNews rounded up a list of the winners thus far in the landmark series.

Casson and Heckman Chop Multi-Flight Event

Of course, the first big tournament everyone had circled was the $600 Deep Stack NLH, offering single reentry per flight and sporting a $500,000 guarantee. Each of the six flights had a max of 480 unique players and that number was often easily reached, sometimes before a card was even dealt. So large were the fields that the tournament staff implemented staggered breaks.

In the end, 3,902 entries were logged for a prize pool of $2,048,550. Because of the huge number of entries, an unscheduled Day 3 wound up being needed for the final 15 players to determine a winner, with some big names like Jose Montes, Jake Schwartz, and Aleksandr Denisov making the final table.

However, they would wind up being the first three out at the final table. According to the live updates, Schwartz limped in with one of the shortest stacks and busted to chip leader Shai Arbel blind versus blind then Montes lost a race with fours to ace-king. Denisov, once one of the big stacks, had his aces cracked by Andrew Heckman, who was overwhelming chip leader for much of the Day 2 playdown.

That left five players led by Shai Arbel but he ran nines into the tens of Michael Casson then ace-king into Casson's kings. He was out fifth with Casson now the clear leader.

Two eliminations later, Casson (lead photo) held a big lead heads up against Heckman, but rather than play, the two opted for an immediate deal. Casson got $280,000 and Heckman took $242,085.

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerPrize
1Michael Casson$280,000*
2Andrew Heckman$242,085*
3Evan Sandberg$158,400
4Shane Raikes$122,700
5Shai Arbel$92,250
6Aleksandr Denisov$67,700
7Jose Montes$49,060
8Jake Schwartz$35,350

Results Round-Up

As for the other events that have wrapped, they have been well-attended as well, with seven of them setting venue records. In particular, more players than ever have seemed to be ready to fire non-hold'em formats as Omaha variants and H.O.R.S.E. have done better than ever. The Seniors event also set a new high for the property.

Here's a look at those grabbing trophies, as well as the first prizes and field sizes, thus far:

EventEntriesWinnerPrize
$400 Limit Omaha 8 (Freeze-Out)159+Donald Maloney$9,236*
$400 H.O.R.S.E. (Freeze-Out)153+Barak Zaken$12,545
$400 Deep Stack Pot Limit Omaha (Single Re-Entry)311+Greg Fishberg$22,060
$400 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Single Re-Entry)409Yaymel Bodes$23,838*
$1,100 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry)446Ryan Hogan$72,065*
$400 Seniors 50+ NLH (Single Re-Entry)386+James Diaz$15,975*
$600 Double Black Chip Bounty NLH (Single Re-Entry)582James Anderson$35,540
$400 Black Chip Bounty PLO (Single Re-Entry)251Chris Kondrat$13,070
$150 Big Stack NLH (Double Re-Entry)585Carlos Dorca$7,698*
$400 Omaha 8/Stud 8 (Freeze-Out)105+Chris Tryba$9,620
$600 Big Stack Six-Max NLH (Single Re-Entry)570+Joseph Di Rosa Rojas$50,920
$400 Six-Max Pot Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)183+Jesse Mull$14,245
$600 Deep Stack Turbo NLH (Freeze-Out)228Dorian Rios$17,984*

*reflects final table deal
+venue record field

What's Left on the Schedule?

Plenty of action still remains over the coming days as the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown continues.

One of the marquee events kicked off today as the $50,000 High Roller is underway with the typical list of recognizable names.

Also still to come in addition to the $3,500 WPT Main Event — that one begins Friday with the first of two starting days — are a $1,700 Deep Stack Purple Chip Bounty (Re-Entry) with $100K guaranteed, a $25K on Monday, a $5,000 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (Re-Entry) with $200K guaranteed and a $2,200 Deep Stack PLO (Re-Entry).

For a full schedule including the side events, check out the Seminole Hard Rock official site. PokerNews will follow up with more recaps as the events continue to wrap.

Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock

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  • The theme throughout the first dozen events at Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown: huge turnouts.

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