Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Main Event Winner Pockets Nearly $800,000

Written By Hill Kerby on December 5, 2022
Seminole Hard Rock RRPO Main Event Winner

Each November, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood runs the Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open, a two-plus-week series culminating with a $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Main Event. This year’s series was the biggest of its kind.

Tourney boasts whopping $13M in prize pools

While Florida online poker is still prohibited, live poker has exploded in the Sunshine State. The poker rooms at two Seminole-owned casinos in Florida, including its flagship Hollywood location, are some of the most popular poker halls in the country.

In total, 44 preliminary events at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open produced 16,284 entries. Those events had a combined $5.25 million in guarantees, which they smashed by generating nearly $13.5 million in total prize pools.

The Main Event, however, did not set a record. Its 1,541 entries produced a prize pool just below $5 million, more than doubling the $2 million guarantee. But it fell just shy of last year’s 1,566-entry total.

When all was said and done, Britain’s Andrew Wilson came out on top, claiming the top prize of $796,200 for his performance. Wilson bested a stacked final table, including multiple-time WPT champions Brian Altman and Chad Eveslage and reigning RRPO champ Gediminas Uselis.

Uselis falls just short of historic repeat performance

After four full days at the felt, 2021 RRPO champion Uselis was one of six players in contention, giving him a chance at winning two of the seven largest WPT Main Events in history. He entered the day fifth in chips but still had a respectable 42 big blinds to start play.

His quest, however, lasted only a dozen hands. He four-bet with ace-ten and ran into Wilson’s pocket kings. Short stack Robel Andemichael busted on the fifth hand of the day, though, so Uselis climbed one more rung on the pay ladder before making his way from the bright lights of the live-streamed final table.

Four hands later, Altman and Josh Kay, who made his second Seminole Hard Rock WPT Main Event final table of the year, went to battle after the board brought a queen-high straight on the river. Altman eventually called all-in, holding a king for a higher straight, but Kay had ace-king for the ace-high straight.

Eveslage bowed out roughly 90 minutes later, ending his opportunity to win his second WPT title of the year after taking down the $10,000 WPT Five Diamond last month in Las Vegas for over $1 million.

Kay puts Wilson to the test

After entering the final table with roughly half the chips in play, Wilson knocked out everybody but Altman on his way to heads-up play versus Kay.

He took a 3-to-1 chip lead into the match and ultimately grew it to a 10-to-1 advantage. Then, Kay survived an all-in to chop and stay alive, following it up with two doubles in short succession.

Kay’s surge continued, and he ultimately overtook the chip lead for a short moment. But Wilson came right back and won a huge pot when he picked off a bluff from Kay with a set of nines on the river. He eventually finished off his formidable opponent in a four-bet pot with pocket kings.

Wilson comes out on top to join WPT Champions Club

Wilson’s win puts him into the WPT Champions Club, with his name being etched among the greats on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup. He also earns a seat at the $10,400 WPT Championship, held next month at Wynn Las Vegas.

After the tournament, Wilson talked to the WPT live updates team.

“I’ve had a lot of consistent scores, but it’s mainly been online. In the live realm, I’ve started to do OK. It’s something that you always picture yourself doing. Maybe one day you can do it. It kind of feels like a pipe dream. So when it happens, it is quite surreal.”

One of those scores came in August 2020 in an international WSOP online event, when he went heads up against none other than Uselis. Wilson lost the battle, taking $169,128 and missing out on a WSOP bracelet.

This time, Wilson culled Uselis early in the day and rode the momentum to victory.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Main Event Final Table Results

1Andrew Wilson$796200
2Josh Kay$525000
3Chad Eveslage$390000
4Brian Altman$290000
5Gediminas Uselis$219000
6Robel Andemichael$167000

Plenty more pros claim titles during the series

Notable players dominated the series from beginning to end, including A.J. Kelsall, Scott Baumstein, Raminder Singh, Eric Afriat, Duff Charette, Sergio Aido, Dom Mosley and Frank Lagodich. Singh’s win was his ninth in an SHRPO trophy event, the most all-time.

Afriat won two events for the series, as did John Holley and Michael Newman. Afriat and Holley took down tournaments on back-to-back days, while Newman’s brought his career number of titles to eight, second only to Singh.

Peter Hsu won the largest event of the series, the opening-weekend $400 kickoff, which drew 6,134 entries and a prize pool greater than $2 million. He earned $191,223 for his efforts.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Full Series Results

1$400 Multi-FlightPeter Hsu$191,223
2$600 SeniorsWilmer Chivara$16,031
3$600 Big OChris Kostoulas$7,418
4$200 BountyJesus Figueroa$4,313
5$600 H.O.R.S.E.A.J. Kelsall$13,625
6$1,100 5-Card PLORobert Lupo$24,148
7$150 Big StackJoseph Diaz$6,935
8$600 TurboMatt Bretzfield$5,828
9$600 O8Sal Pipitone$16,900
10$600 BountyDan Chlimper$15,425
11$600 PLO8Long Nguyen$18,065
12$400 NLHScott Baumstein$27,965
13$1,100 6-Max NLHGlen Cressman$46,170
14$600 PLOJohn Holley$30,191
15$600 TurboRaminder Singh$7,897
16$400 OEJohn Holley$8,950
17$200 Big StackChris Lewis$32,400
18$400 TurboMichael Newman$7,136
19$400 6-Max NLHLarry Elliott$7,965
20$1,100 ShootoutColin Robinson$22,135
21$1,700 Bounty PLODavid Moreno$26,020
22$400 TurboMatt Vinke$7,095
23$400 Bounty PLODavid Goodis$9,450
24$200 BountyChristopher Corrales$5,695
25$150 Holiday DSIgor Tolstov$7,816
26$3,500 WPT RRPO ChampionshipAndrew Wilson$796,200
27$400 BountyDaniyal Gheba$9,550
28$600 Mixed PLOFloyd Scott$10,090
29$400 LadiesLisa Levy$5,870
30$150 Big StackSebastian Espinoza$4,052
31$400 BountyAlexander Perez$12,806
32$10K PLOElliott Kampen$121,600
33$1,700 BountyEric Afriat$46,515
34$600 NLHDuff Charette$7,6075
35$1,100 TurboMatthew Davenport$18,870
36$1,100 NLHMilen Stefanov$3,3640
37$25K High RollerSergio Aido$500,000
38$400 H.O.R.S.E.David Shmuel$7,471
39$5,000 PLODominique Mosley$61,170
40$150 Big StackAlexander Morgovsky$4,112
41$400 SeniorsEric Afriat$9,110
42$5,000 NLHFrank Lagodich$13,3241
43$1,100 6-Max PLORafael Rodriguez$28,895
44$400 BountyMichael Newman$6,437
Photo by WPT / Drew Amato
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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