Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Largest WPT Main Event in History

Seminole Hard Rock

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown has drawn massive fields for their preliminary events, so all signs pointed to this weekend’s $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event being a big one.

Expectations were high, but even the most optimistic seemed surprised by the final number of 2,482 entries from just two starting flights. That blew away the prior 1,795-entry record from the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (2014), which had 2,384 entries.

Not only that, it set a new venue record beating out the history-making 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) $10 million GTD event.

The $2 million guarantee was hit on Day 1a even before cards were in the air, so the two-day turnout obliterated it by creating a $7,942,400 prize pool. The tournament, which is playing out now and slated to conclude on Tuesday, will pay out the top 311 finishers a minimum of $6,195 with the eventual winner taking home a $1,261,095 first-place prize.

Top Five WPT Main Events

Tournament Entries
2021 Poker Showdown 2,482 entries
2014 Poker Showdown 1,795 entries
2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open 1,573 entries
2015 Poker Showdown 1,476 entries
2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open 1,415 entries

The WPT Main Event was so massive that Event 19 of the 2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the $1,100 Deep Stack Turbo NLH (Freeze-Out), had to be canceled in order to make way for the masses.

Bubble Bursts in Main Event

Brian Altman
Brian Altman (Image c/o WPT)

On Sunday, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event money bubble burst with little fanfare. That’s because, in the moments leading up to the start of hand-for-hand play, two unknown players busted, meaning the bubble burst without so much as a pause in the action.

According to updates from the event, one player who failed to cash was WPT Player of the Year frontrunner Brian Altman, who fell in Level 16 (4,000/8,000/8,000) to gold bracelet winner Ron McMillen.

It happened when Altman got his stack all in preflop holding ace-king and was flipping against the pocket tens of McMillen, who had a poker viral moment in the 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP) online bracelet events last July. The pocket pair held strong and Altman left emptyhanded.

Others to fall short of the money on Day 2 were Kristen Bicknell, Vanessa Kade, Jeff Gross, Aaron Mermelstein, Shankar Pillai, Kathy Liebert, Matt Glantz, Jack Hardcastle, and Frank Stepuchin.

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Winners Thus Far

Event Entries Winner Prize
$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) 409 Yaymel Bodes $23,838*
$1,100 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry) 446 Ryan Hogan $72,065*
$400 Seniors 50+ NLH (Single Re-Entry) 386+ James Diaz $15,975*
$600 Double Black Chip Bounty NLH (Single Re-Entry) 582 James Anderson $35,540
$400 Black Chip Bounty PLO (Single Re-Entry) 251 Chris Kondrat $13,070
$150 Big Stack NLH (Double Re-Entry) 585 Carlos 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) 228 Dorian Rios $17,984*
$1,100 Deep Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry) 744 Brian Hall $128,230
$50,000 Super High Roller 42 Arthur Conan $733,320
$2,200 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) 531 Andrew Ostapchenko $200,850

*reflects final table deal
+venue record

PokerNews will bring you a full recap of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event upon its completion.

Images courtesy of WPT and Seminole Hard Rock.

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