Check Out These Six Wild Hands from the 2022 WPT Rock 'n' Roll Poker Open!

2022 wpt rrpo big hands

The World Poker Tour (WPT) 2022 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO) $3,500 Main Event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida attracted 1,541 entrants and is closing in on its final table. Awaiting the winner is a top prize of $785,800 plus a $10,400 seat in next month’s WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

Over the first four days of play, the live reporting teams from both the WPT and Seminole Hard Rock captured much of the action. During that time there were some big and interesting hands, and PokerNews has compiled some of the best. Take a look at these game-changing hands from the 2022 WPT RRPO.

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A Royal Flush for Levy

In the last level of the night (Level 10: 1,000/2,000/2,000) on Day 1a, a big hand was captured in the WPT Live Updates. It happened when Paul Brar raised to 4,500 from middle position and three other players called, including Marc Levy, which brought about a flop of {a-Spades}{j-Spades}{3-Clubs}.

Brar continued for 6,500, his trio of opponents called, and the {9-Hearts} appeared on the turn, which checked around. When the {k-Spades} completed the board on the river, action checked to Levy and he bet 11,000. Only

Brar called and that prompted Levy to say, “My first one!” He then tabled the {q-Spades}{10-Spades} for a rare Royal Flush! Levy went on to bag 252,000 on Day 1a.

"Look at the Hand He Calls Me With!"

Steve Buckner
Steve Buckner

Early on Day 1b, the blinds were 200/400/400 when the board read {j-Spades}{9-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} and Steve "Cuz" Buckner moved all in for 36,600. Sridhar Sangannagari called with the {k-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} for top pair with a gunshot straight draw, and he needed to hit that draw to win as Buckner tabled the {9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} for a set.

Buckner just needed to avoid a queen on the river to survive, but that proved easier said than done as the {q-Diamonds} spiked to five Sangannagari the straight.

“Look at the hand he calls me with! Nice hand, great call," Buckner said before heading to the rail.

Steve Buckner Overtakes Ray Qartomy for WPT Season 20 Player of the Year Lead

ClubWPT Mike Hulette Eliminated

Mike Hulette
Mike Hulette

Also on Day 1b, the blinds were 500/1,000/1,000 when the flop read {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} and Mike Hulette, who qualified for the tournament via ClubWPT, bet 3,500. Serhii Popovych check-called and the {9-Spades} paired the board on the turn.

Popovych led out for 8,600 and snap-called when Hulette moved all in for 50,000. Hulette showed the {q-Clubs}{j-Clubs} but was in big trouble as Popovych had trips with his {k-Hearts}{9-Clubs}. The {8-Hearts} river was no help to Hulette and the ClubWPT qualifier took his leave.

Nothing Mermelstein Could Do

Aaron Mermelstein
WPT champ Aaron Mermelstein

On Day 1b the blinds were 600/1,200/1,200 when a board read {9-Spades}{9-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} and John Gilliam bet 13,000 from middle position. WPT Champion Club member Aaron Mermelstein thought for about a minute before calling and the {2-Clubs} completed the board on the river. Gilliam bet 25,000 and then snap-called when Mermelstein jammed for 65,000.

Mermelstein tabled the {9-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds} for flopped trips, but it was no good as Gilliam rolled over the {5-Spades}{5-Clubs} for a flopped full house.

Aaron Mermelstein Battles Whirlwind of Adversity En Route To Becoming a WPT Champ

Flip Sets Zinno on Course for Deep Run

Anthony Zinno
Anthony Zinno

On Day 2 the blinds were 1,500/3,000/3,000 when action folded to three-time WPT champ Anthony Zinno, who raised to 12,500 from the small blind. Ronald Sullivan then moved all in from the big and Zinno quickly called off for 71,000.

Anthony Zinno: {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds}
Ronald Sullivan: {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}

It was a flip and Zinno was looking to hold to stay alive. That's just what he did as the board ran out a clean {8-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{8-Spades}. The hand proved instrumental for Zinno, who made a deep run and ultimately finished in 17th place for $33,100.

Defending Champ Cracks Aces

Gediminas Uselis
2021 WPT RRPO champ Gediminas Uselis

On Day 3, the blinds were 25,000/50,000/50,000 when the flop read {10-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{3-Spades} and defending champ Gediminas Uselis moved all in for 730,000. Joey DiPascale folded before Kyle Merron, who had bet the flop, wasted little time in making the call.

Gediminas Uselis: {a-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}
Kyle Merron: {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts}

Uselis let it all ride on his diamond flush draw, but he missed on the {k-Clubs} turn. He had one more pull at it and this time it came in as the {2-Diamonds} appeared on the river. Uselis doubled through the start-of-day chip leader and wound up making to Day 4, where at the time of publication he was still alive in his title defense with nine players remaining.

Click here to follow live updates from the WPT RRPO!

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


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Listen to more about the WPT World Championship on the new PokerNews Podcast!

*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato.

  • Check out some of the biggest hands from the first three days of the @WPT RRPO at @SHRHollyPoker.

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Executive Editor U.S.

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

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