Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Draws Largest Field in Florida History

Written By Hill Kerby on August 5, 2022
Hard Rock Poker Open the largest poker tournament in Florida history

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood’s flagship poker tournament series made news even before its Main Event weekend begins. In terms of field size, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open hosted the largest event in Florida history.

More than $8 million in guaranteed prize pool money is up for grabs at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, which began July 27. And it was the first event that broke the record.

Over the course of eight starting flights in the $400 no-limit hold’em re-entry event, there were 6,196 unique entries. Add another 1,507 re-entries and the total field size ballooned to 7,703. The record-setting field generated a prize pool of more than $2.5 million with the top 772 finishers taking home at least $763.

The winner was originally set to take home $308,979. But after a five-way chop, Andrew Pecina earned the title and walked away with $226,906.

Blowing expectations out of the water

The poker tournament’s opening event averaged 775 players per flight. The series event schedule accounted for all Day 2 participants to play down to a winner, but 772 returning players proved to be too many.

After 14 hours of play, the final 17 players bagged their chips and returned on Monday, Aug. 1 to play an unscheduled Day 3. The day’s action lasted for five hours before the final five players agreed to a deal. Since Pecina held more chips than his next two closest competitors, he was declared the champion as a result.

UFC star Colby Covington also final-tabled the event, taking seventh place for $48,298. He has since earned a trophy, winning the 84-entry $1,100 PLO8 event Aug. 2-3, taking home another $25,875 for his performances this week.

Event 1 Results

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Amount
1.AndrewPecina$225,906*
2.TommyMorgado$186,979*
3.NicholasCarballo$173,368*
4.HosseinPezeshkan$165,792*
5.DavidFrenkel$155,827*
6.CorelTheuma$73,718
7.ColbyCovington$48,298
6.ScottLivingston$35,588
9.VinnyMonteiro$25,420
* Denotes altered payouts as result of a five-way deal

South Florida’s poker scene is flourishing

With great cash game and tournament action year-round, the South Florida poker scene has become among the best in the country, if not the best. The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood certainly houses the most prominent of all the poker rooms in the area.

For this series, Seminole Hard Rock deserves all the credit in the world. It has created a premier destination and environment that attracts players locally and from around the world for its poker and hospitality.

While a record-setting field is worth celebrating, it is also in many ways the result of the venue’s dedication to providing such an experience. And, of course, the poker world has taken note through the years to participate in its marquee series.

Other events throughout the series have also drawn well, with many other turnouts in the 200-600 range. Even Pot-Limit Omaha events are seeing triple-digit fields, if not 200-plus entries of their own.

Outside of the poker tournament, Hard Rock Hollywood also hosts three World Poker Tour events annually, in January, April and November. It boasts the five largest fields in WPT history from those events.

The Main Event is underway

This weekend marks the start of the marquee events of the 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, including the $5,300 Main Event. The tournament offers two starting flights on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4-5, which will likely decimate its $3 million guarantee.

Come Sunday, advancing players from both flights will combine into one field, with play lasting for three more days before crowning a champion on Tuesday.

During that time, other marquee events will run for those who bust out, such as

  • Sunday, Aug. 7: $2,750 NLH ($1 million guaranteed)
  • Sunday, Aug. 7: $200 NLH ($50K guaranteed)
  • Monday, Aug. 8: $1,100 NLH ($500K guaranteed)
  • Monday, Aug. 8: $25,500 High Roller NLH ($2 million guaranteed)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 9: $10,000 NLH ($500K guaranteed)
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