Day 1B at the World Poker Tour’s SeminoleHard Rock Poker Showdown was everything that it was billed to be. The playersonce again came out to utterly crush the $3 million guaranteed prize pool as648 entries hit the tables. By the time the final hands were dealt on Saturdaynight, Shawn Nguyen had emerged as the Day 1B and overall leader heading toSunday’s action.
StunningHand Opens the Day
The day started a bit slower on Saturdaythan it had 24 hours previously. “Only” 130 players were entered on thetournament clock when the “shuffle up and deal” call went out, but the numberswould ramp up from that point. Those that decided to wait until later in theday to register for the event (or come back for a second shot) would miss outon a historically memorable hand that people might be able to say they willnever see again.
Barely an hour into the day’s proceedings,a hand occurred that was, without a doubt, one of the most memorable for thoseinvolved if not for any poker fan. After a raise from under the gun to 400(with the blinds at 100/100), Irfan Siddiqui put out a three-bet of 1600 fromthe plus one. It folded around to the cutoff before Bob Mather made the 1600call.
The action wasn’t done yet. Henry Tran, onthe button, decided to FOUR-bet the action to 6600, which was enough to get theblinds out of the way. The original raiser simply called the bet from Tran, butthat wasn’t enough for Siddiqui. He would push out his stack for his tournamentlife – remember, this was only one hour into the day’s action – putting hisremaining 50K in the center. Mather sat for several moments before he, too,announced that he was all in for less than Siddiqui’s bet. Tran grumbled buttossed his cards to the center before the original raiser opted to get out ofthe way by open folding his pocket Queens.
What do you think the hands were? If you’ll remember an old strategy piece here on Poker News Daily, you probably figured out that the hands were these:
Siddiqui: pocket Aces
Mather: pocket Kings
Making the hand even more intriguing –remember, the original raiser mucked pocket Queens face up – the big blindcommented that, with all the action in front of her, she knew her pocket sixesweren’t good and Tran said that, once the all-ins started flying, he knew hispocket fours were toast. That’s right…FIVE pocket pairs in one hand.
An Ace in the window was exactly what Siddiquiwas looking for and, once a seven peeled off on the turn, Mather was drawingdead. The nearly 120K pot was pushed to Siddiqui as Mather headed to the rail.
ThirdLargest SHRPS in History
About the only drama after the five pocketpairs hand was just how large the field size was going to be for the 2019 WPTSeminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. By the time Level 9 began, the players hadthat information.
648 entries were racked up on Saturdaywhich, along with the 712 that came out on Friday for action, meant the totalsize of the field was 1360 entries. This beat last year’s 1309 entry field andwas the best since 2015, when the tournament drew in 1476 entries, and 2014,when the record was set with 1795 entries (prior to 2014, the tournament was afreezeout event instead of a re-entry tournament). As the third largest PokerShowdown in history, the prize pool settled in at $4,352,000 million, of which170 players would partake. The winner, of course, will walk away with the lion’sshare of the pool, $715,175, and the seat to the 2019 WPT Tournament ofChampions.
At the end of the Day 1B action, ShawnNguyen emerged not only as the leader of the Saturday flight but of thetournament overall, racking up 319,500 in chips:
1.Shawn Nguyen, 319,500
2. Aman Singh, 293,000
3. Sam Soverel, 288,500
4. Ubaid Habib, 276,000
5. A. J. Gambino, 261,000
6. John Miller, 247,500
7. Christopher Brown, 237,000
8. Jim Crouch, 235,500
9. Nizar Dajani, 227,000
10. Jorge Martinez, 219,500
Overall the WPT Seminole Hard Rock PokerShowdown leaderboard looks like this:
1.Shawn Nguyen, 319,500
2. Davian Santana, 318,000
3. Frank Russo, 304,000
4. Aman Singh, 293,000
5. Sam Soverel, 288,500
6. Paul Snead, 276,500
(tie) Javier Zarco, 276,500
8. Ubaid Habib, 276,000
9. A. J. Gambino, 261,000
10. Dan Chalifour, 257,000
Day 2 is underway right now as the 524 players left in the tournament come together for the first time. The plan for WPT and Seminole Hard Rock officials is to work down as close as possible to the money as they can in ten, 60-minute levels. Tuesday will be the day the final table is determined, with that final table set to be played out in Las Vegas at the HyperX eSports Arena on May 30 as one of the “delayed” final tables for the WPT.
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