Archive for August 2013

Blair Hinkle wins the Seminole Hard Rock Open $10 Million Guaranteed Championship EventIt was a tough battle for the Four Musketeers that our blogger, “The Grinder”, spoke of yesterday, but there always has to be a final victorious champion. We had a small sideline bet going on here at TPS between the “Grinder” and myself, Chief Dealer “Pocket Bullets Paris”, where the Grinder favored Pahuja whilst I felt that Bonomo would take it down. We were both surprised when on Wednesday evening the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event came to an end after more than 200 hands, including a back and forth 167 hands heads-up between Blair Hinkle and Justin Bonomo. It was over on hand #223 when Hinkle dominated Bonomo on a board that showed {q-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{5-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. Bonomo slammed all-in with {q-Spades}{8-Clubs} and Hinkle snapped called with {k-Spades}{10-Hearts} for the nuts straight.

Blair Hinkle with his new guitarCongratulations to Blair Hinkle for taking down the first ever $10 million guarantee and taking home a sweet $1,745,245, and of course, the Seminole’s Hard Rock Guitar. When it’s all said and done we really want to express our gratitude to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and of course to all the players but most specially to the four players who held on to their poker chips long enough to be forever known (in our minds) as the Seminole Four Musketeers. Here are their final pay-outs:

1st    Blair Hinkle    $1,745,245
2nd  Justin Bonomo  $1,163,500
3rd   Mukul Pahuja    $872,625
4th   Ray Qartomy    $639,925

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Confessions of a Grinder Vinny the Venetian Confessions of a Grinder

1.8 Million, 1.2 Million, 900K, 700K, 600K. Nope. These aren’t populations of unheard-of Eastern-European countries. These are dollar amounts of today’s prizes at the SHRPO. Indeed, it’s a day of big numbers at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open – big monies to be bagged, big bets, big pots, big bluffs and bigger ba… never-mind. Every major tournament demonstrates that only the best survive. Why? Why does every Cinderfella have his sob story, while the sharks keep gobbling more and more meat? The Answer – Opportune Poker: Having your array of opponents locked down on reads based on bet sizes, tells and fold equity. After two amateurs were recently eliminated in the $10 Million Guarantee $5300 buy-in event, we have four musketeers clamorously striking swords with sparks flying. Four different characters crawling their way through a vendetta of stare-downs, bluffs, instinct-plays, and  ‘I-thought-you-thought-that-I-thought’s. We have the calm Blair Hinkle sitting with 136 BBs, the aggressive Mukul Pahuja sitting with 64 BBs, the grim Justin Bonomo with 84 BBs, and the jovial easy-going Ray Qartomy sitting with 71 BBs. At this stage, it is very difficult for me to pick my favorite. I salute Finkle for his perseverance and solidity managing to maintain the chip-lead at the end of the day on all three days, Bonomo for his skills, Pahuja for his relentless aggression, and Qartomy for his relaxed nothing-to-lose approach. Although it’s anybody’s game, I  still root for my fellow Indian, Mukul Pahuja.

Blair Hinkle

Blair Hinkle

Mukul Pahuja

Mukul Pahuja

Justin Bonomo

Justin Bonomo

Ray Qartomy

Ray Qartomy

Meanwhile, in the $100,000 buy-in High-Rollers event, one player, Steven Silverman, shines while the other ends up on a new high! Silverman took gold and close to $900,000, while my man JC Tran took home $526,000-pocket change! I immediately fell into one of my silly day-dreams. How would it feel if I were the chip-leader at the WSOP Main Event going into the Nov 9 Final Table as the best player at that poker table, AND almost win the high-rollers event finishing second at the SHRPO? Then, it hit me that my man JC Tran is actually doing it! What an incredible feeling and what an amazing player! We congratulate Silverman for his win, and the four remaining musketeers at the Ten-Milly event. Just remember guys – Do not do anything that will make you go back to your home town and say “I Got Silly At The Ten Milly”.

Touché!

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Confessions of a Grinder Vinny the Venetian Confessions of a Grinder

This year’s Poker Tournament series at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida is a testimonial to the fact that Tournament Poker brings poker players glory and hope, and a secure bankroll. Many poker players from all over the world landed in Hollywood, Florida to play the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. Whats in it for them? A sea of guarantee-prize-pool tournaments ranging from some with affordable buy-ins for the average Cinderella to the high-roller deep stack tournaments, amidst competitive cash games of all types twenty-four-seven. Poker pros have been polishing their fishing rods for this one!

Brett BaderThe highlights of this series are four tournaments, the $125 buy-in $150,000 guarantee, the $350 buy-in $500,000 guarantee, the $560 buy-in Million-Dollar guarantee, and finally the $5300 buy-in 10 Million Dollar guarantee! Yes, you read that right. The series also ends with a $100,000 high-rollers event.  Brett Bader won the $125 buy-in event taking home Derek Buonano$50,000, Derek Buonano won the $350 buy-in for a $90,000, and rookie Raymond Piccin took home close to $300,000 for his win at the $560 buy-in event.

However, the big one is what the pros have their eyes set on – The 10 Million guarantee event.  71 soldiers are still battling it out for the $1.8 Million first prize. This Raymond Piccinlot is led by WSOP bracelet winner Blair Hinkle. Hinkle, who was also an online poker specialist on Full Tilt Poker, had previously shone at the 2008 WSOP  winning the $2000 NLHE event. Chasing the top spot and a close second in poker chips is Justin Bonomo – the online poker beast known as Blair HinkleZeeJustin. Bonomo has close to $6 Million in tournament cashes, 23 of which are from bracelet tournaments at the WSOP!

We don’t know who will win this coveted prize, but we sure as hell know that good tournament poker players always come out strong at the end of the day. I’m personally rooting for Justin Bonomo to take down this event, and continue his awesome Justin Bonomoshow. I will be bringing you updates from the remainder of this $10 Million guarantee tournament and  the $100,000 high-roller event going on right now. Stay tuned!

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Pocket Bullets ParisPocket Bullets Paris

Day 1C started today at noon EST at  the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 10 Million Dollar Guarantee Tournament. I agree with Mike Sexton’s praise and congratulatory post for SHRO having the balls to guarantee 10 million dollars. It certainly does take balls to do that, but I believe it takes just as much on the part of the players to lay down more than 5K  just to enter the mix. Of course, it’s all those players dropping 5K that gives the Seminole the mils to pay for their guarantee.

Our friends, the Alexander brothers, both showed they had the cajones to enter the mix and James is still in it. We were sad to hear that Duane busted out early, but we know he’s at his brother’s rail showing his full support. And we’re right there with him in spirit fully cheering James on as he battles against a field that currently is well over 800 entries. Amongst the notables that started out on Day 1C include Phil Ivey, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, Mike Sexton and Dwight Pilgrim. The poker tables are buzzing and the poker chips are flying and we are calling on all the Poker Gods and Lady Luck to stand by Mr. Alexander’s rail.

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