The first tournament in the schedule of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the $560 buy-in Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em event with a guaranteed prize of $1 million, concluded with Daniel Piela, a poker player from Illinois, as the champion. Piela, who emerged as the last man standing in a field of 1,966 players, won the top prize of $144,294.
The final table results are as follows. The runner-up Michael Ortiz won $113,515, and the player who finished third Bryan Green won $101,102. The players who finished fourth and fifth were Ngoc Vu and Chad Brown, who won $62,622 and $52,185, respectively. Irwin Block finished sixth and went home with $42,185. Robert Hodson, Darryll Fish, and Jonathan Gaviao finished seventh, eighth, and ninth and won $32,802, $23,856, and $17,395, respectively.
The biggest cash prize Piela had won before becoming the champion of the above-mentioned tournament was $4,997. The Illinois poker player had not won more than $8,200 playing live poker tournaments in the course of his career. He later told reporters that he only wanted to play a few tournaments while visiting friends in Florida. He said: “I thought I would stay through the $350. I might stay for the Main Event now. Give it a shot, right?”
The first player to be eliminated from the tournament was Jonathan Gaviao, who was shortly followed by Darryll Fish. Reportedly, Fish placed an all-in bet in response to Ngoc Vu’s raise of 475,000. Vu, who had a Six of Hearts and Ace of Clubs, called and, although Fish had a better hand of Jack of Hearts and Ace of Spades, he could not survive because the community cards did not act in his favor. After Vu busted in the fourth position, the other three players at the table struck a deal, according to the terms of which Piela would win a prize of $144,294 while Ortiz would get $113,515 and Green would get $101,012. When the final hand was being played, Green and Ortiz were eliminated and Piela grabbed the championship title.
When the last hand was being played, Ortiz placed an all-in bet of 4.5 million, which Piela called and Green re-raised. Piela had an Ace of Clubs and an Ace of Spades, and the cards on the flop, the turn, and the river worked in his favor. The champion said: “It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun, people are really friendly here.”