Earlier this month, the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa played host to the 2020 Winter Poker Open, the first major poker series to take place since the start of the pandemic. After almost two weeks of live action, the festival finally concluded, with South Carolina native Max Young emerging as one of the biggest winners.
Action Recap
The series culminated in the $1,700 buy-in Main Event which featured $200K in guarantees, but ended up awarding a whopping $1,207,450 in total prize pool after attracting 779 entries. That number was reduced to just 125 when action resumed on Day 2. It’s when Young began to climb to the top, and he managed to carry his lead through to the seven-handed final table.
Young battled it out with Edgardo Rosario during heads-up play, the latter grabbing the lead at one point. But Young managed to take it back, and sealed Rosario’s fate after calling his opponent’s all-in with trip jacks against 3c3s. Young took home $226,510 in first-place prize, alongside the guitar trophy. It was his second-biggest score to date. Rosario meanwhile settled for second place with $158,828 in winnings.
Peter Walsworth took the third spot for $102,211, while Fernando Rodriguez and Darin Thompson finished fourth and fifth respectively for $73,618 and $56,497.
Another Feather in Young’s Cap
Young’s latest victory adds to his already impressive record of six World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) rings, including two WSOPC Main Event rings, one of them he won in the 2018 WSOPC Choctaw where he captured his biggest career score of $263,815.
Apart from that, Young has MSPT & WPTDeepStacks titles, and a number of other wins at various poker venues around the country, such as Chinook Winds, Parx, Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, and Wynn. He now has over $1.9 million in total live tournament earnings.
The huge turnout at this year’s WPO Main Event represents the largest Main Event field and prize pool in the festival’s history, surpassing the 671 entries and $1,006,500 in total prize money it generated back in 2017. It’s also a big jump from last year’s 479 entries.
Other Winners at the 2020 WPO
The series featured a total of eight events, initially offering over $350,000 in guaranteed prize pools. Event #1 generated $83,750 in total prize pool after attracting 335 entries. It was won by Ifran Khairi for $18,063.
Event #2 pulled in a sizable field of 811 entries ($267,630 total prize pool) which was topped by Ken Goldfarb for $31,267. Ryan Hogan triumphed in Event #3 for $6,500 after outlasting a 203-entry field. Jason Block and Alex Vazquez emerged victorious in Events 4 and 5 respectively, taking home $4,860 and $6,936 in winnings.
Event #6 was taken down by Raminder Singh for $17,931, while the final event of the series was captured by Harmeet Chawla for $9,707.
In late November, SHR Hollywood also played host to the “November Holiday Special”, a $1,100 buy-in, $100K event won by Ricardo Eyzaguirre for $47,000. Earlier this month, the room played host to the December Deep Stack Special which was ultimately taken down by Matthew Beinner for $18,105.
Other Upcoming Events at Seminole Hard Rock
The WPO isn’t the only event scheduled for December at SHR venues. Another series is waiting to happen at the SHR Hollywood room in South Florida. The 9th annual “Fun in the Sun” will take place on December 26-30 bringing in five events with a combined guarantee of more than $100K.
The room will also welcome January via the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open which is also the first World Poker Tour Main Tour stop of the year. The tournament runs from January 14-26, 2021.
SHR Tampa will also hold the Tampa Poker Classic on February 17 – March 1, 2021. The room will release the details and full schedule of the event soon.

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