2021 Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Sets Florida Record; Laufer & Hui Win Big

Seminole Hard Rock

The Seminole Hard Rock 2021 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open began back on November 17 and is slated to run through December 1. Right now, the $3,500 World Poker Tour (WPT) RRPO Championship is taking place and will crown a winner later this week. That tournament attracted a record 1,566 entries, which more than doubled the $2 million guarantee by creating a $5,011,200 prize pool.

The record-setting field distanced itself considerably from past incarnations:

2021 RRPO1,566 entries
2019 RRPO988 entries
2018 RRPO898 entries
2015 RRPO766 entries
2016 RRPO760 entries

The WPT Championship is just one of 31 primary events on the 2021 RRPO schedule. There have already been several notable side event winners including Michael Laufer and Loni Hui (more on their victories below).

Others to claim trophies are Dean Salisbury (Event #5: $600 Double Black Chip Bounty for $8,000), Robert Brandl (Event #8: $400 Deep Stack NLH for $23,178), Nancy Birnbaum (Event #13: $400 Black Chip Bounty PLO for $7,460), and Brandon Wilson (Event #20: $600 Double Black Chip Bounty Turbo for $11,415).

Michael Laufer Wins Record-Setting Opening Event

Michael Laufer
Michael Laufer

The 2021 RRPO kicked off in a big way as Event #1: $400 Deep Stack NLH set both a Seminole Hard Rock and state of Florida record with 6,196 entries over eight starting flights. That is the largest field size in both state and venue history surpassing the prior record of 5,018 entries from the 2016 RRPO.

The massive turnout more than doubled the $1 million guarantee by generating a $2,044,680 prize pool that was paid out to the top 622 finishers.

The tournament ended in a six-way deal that saw chip leader Michael Laufer claim the title along with $160,734 in prize money. Originally from New Jersey, Laufer now resides in Florida and owns a recruiting company.

“It’s the best place I know,” Laufer told Seminole reporters after the tournament. “I don’t even have to go to Vegas. Hard Rock poker, great weather, great people.”

All six players involved in the deal secured six-figure paydays.

2021 RRPO Event #1 Final Table Results

1sMichael Laufer$160,734*
2Aleks Petrovic$155,302*
3Amed de la Torre$147,218*
4Isai Coello$139,973*
5Mali Cagatay$138,561*
6Aaron Valencia$131,729*
7Steven Miller$47,027
8Courtney Rowe$33,737
9Victor Carrera$22,491

*Denotes results of six-way deal.

Loni Hui Wins Event #10: $600 Deep Stack NLH

Loni Hui
Loni Hui

From November 22-24, the 2021 RRPO Event #10: $600 Deep Stack NLH played out. The tournament drew 972 entries over four starting flights and offered up a $505,400 prize pool, more than double the $250K guarantee.

Among those to cash the tournament were Ricardo Eyzaguirre (3rd - $39,500), James Patterson (9th - $8,675), Raminder Singh (10th - $8,675), Sheddy Siddiqui (21st - $3,675), Michael Amato (31st - $2,260), and Alexander Green (43rd - $1,950).

It was a familiar name coming out on top as Loni Hui, formerly Loni Harwood, claimed the title and $85,355 top prize.

“I lost a really big flip going into the final table, which was a little discouraging,” said Hui. “But the final table went my way, and I won the all-ins that I needed to.”

In regards to beating Neil Zonenashvili heads-up, she added: “I just tried to play really small pots and grind him out until he got impatient to make a hand and go all in. I knew it was going to take a very long time. But it went well for me.”

2021 RRPO Event #10 Final Table Results

1Loni Hui$85,355
2Neil Zonenashvili$60,210
3Ricardo Eyzaguirre$39,500
4Abhishek Panda$29,140
5Rogrigo Sardi$22,085
6Orlando Maldonado$17,595
7Stewart Yancik$14,600
8Dimitry Agrachov$11,605
9James Patterson$8,675

Learn more about Poker Pro Ricardo Eyzaguirre here

2021 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Winners Thus Far

Through the first 20 events of the 2021 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, a combined 11,926 entrants have competed and $8,544,050 in prize money awarded (including the Championship Event, which has yet to crown a winner).

*DateTournamentEntriesPrize PoolWinnerPrize*   
November 17-21Event #1: $400 Deep Stack NLH6,196$2,044,680Michael Laufer$160,734   
17-NovEvent #2: $400 Limit Omaha 8116$53,625Jay Kerbel$11,315   
17-NovEvent #3: $200 Double Green Chip Bounty158$17,380Gabriel Ramos$3,000   
18-NovEvent #4: $400 H.O.R.S.E.115$38,525Sal Pipitone$9,068   
18-NovEvent #5: $600 Double Black Chip Bounty158$82,950Dean Salisbury$8,000   
19-NovEvent #6: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha 8125$41,875John Binns$9,000   
20-NovEvent #7: $400 Omaha 8/Stud 893$31,155Barak Zaken$9,590   
21-NovEvent #8: $400 Deep Stack NLH510$204,000Robert Brandl$23,178   
November 21-22Event #9: $1,100 Deep Stack NLH189$183,330Jesse Lott$46,020   
November 22-24Event #10: $600 Deep Stack NLH972$505,440Loni Hui$85,355   
22-NovEvent #11: $400 Six-Max PLO144$48,240Long Nguyen$12,040   
November 22-24Event #12: $150 Big Stack NLH372$44,640Scott Murawa$8,165   
23-NovEvent #13: $400 Black Chip Bounty PLO107$25,145Nancy Birnbaum$7,460   
23-NovEvent #14: $400 Six-Max NLH100$33,500Philip Whitaker$6,095   
24-NovEvent #15: $200 Double Green Chip Bounty249$27,390Andrey Kolchkov$3,104   
25-NovEvent #16: $150 Holiday Triple Stack NLH259$31,080Rosario Simone$3,221   
November 26-December 1Event #17: $3,500 WPT RRPO Championship1,566$5,011,200TBD$778,490   
26-NovEvent #18: $150 Big Stack NLH289$34,680Dwayne Nyholt$5,622   
27-NovEvent #19: $600 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha85$44,625Joseph Patalano$11,443   
27-NovEvent #20: $600 Double Black Chip Bounty Turbo123$40,590Brandon Wilson$11,415   

Images courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock

  • Check out all the early winners from the @shrpo Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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