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A huge field piled into the World Poker Tour’s Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida. There was action and adventure all the way as Istvan Briski took the title and won $647,300 for the biggest result of his poker career so far on the East Coast. The six-handed final table also saw deep runs end with six-figure scores for popular players Fred Goldberg and Darryll Fish.
* After a deal was agreed heads-up
** includes $10,400 entry into the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December.
This year’s WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open garnered an amazing attendance of 1,447 entries. That meant a prizepool of $4,630,400, and almost half of that was still on the line by the time the six-handed final table began. The chip leader when the TV lights were turned on was the eventual winner, Hungarian player Istvan Briski, who went into the final table with a huge advantage.
Sitting on 120 big blinds, Briski’s closest challenger was Sandy Sanchez with 75 big blinds, with Fred Goldberg (67 big blinds) and Rayan Chamas (55 big blinds) not far behind him. There were four Americans in the final six, including the lowest two stacks in the form of Darryll Fish (23 big blinds) and Matt Bond (22 big blinds). It was Fish who crashed out of the competition first.
All-in when very short with just queen-seven offsuit, Fish was snapped off by the chip leader Briski with pocket kings. A king on the flop compounded Fish’s misery and he was drawing dead after the turn, heading to the rail to collect $157,800 in sixth place.
Five players were still in the hunt for the World Poker Tour Main Event title, but soon that number was only four. Matt Bond moved all-in with ace-nine suited for 11 big blinds and was quickly called by Fred Goldberg, who turned over pocket jacks. The board came king-high and although Bond turned a gutshot straight draw, he couldn’t find an eight and bowed out in fifth for a score of $206,900.
The following hour was intense and extremely testing as the lead changed hands on multiple occasions and often with all the chips in the middle. Goldberg had eliminated Bond with all the momentum and turned it into the chip lead. However, in the 89th hand of the final table, he was short and his stack was at risk.
Moving all-in with ace-deuce, Goldberg was called by Istvan Briski with pocket jacks, which again held, this time on a board of J-7-6-7-Q where the Hungarian made an unassailable full house on the turn. Cashing for $274,000 i fourth place, Goldberg’s elimination re-established Briski’s control of the table after a previous period of weakness had seen the eventual winner need to double-up to stay alive.
Coon, three became two. Sandy Sanchez won $366,500 in third place when he moved all-in with pocket fives and had the misfortune to be called by Rayan Chamas from Lebanon with pocket nines. The last remaining American at the felt needed all the help in the world, but after a flop of A-7-3, a king on the turn meant a five and only a five would allow the enigmatic Sanchez to survive. That didn’t come as another king landed on the river and play moved heads-up.
Going into the final duel, Chamas was the chip leader with 41.5 million chips (83 big blinds), while Briski sat only a short way behind with 30.9 million. They were close enough in chips to allow talk of a deal to float to the top of the conversational order and the two men agreed on each taking $600,000, leaving $47,300 and the trophy to play for. As is so often the case after a deal, play accelerated. Briski doubled up with trip jacks – the card of the final table – before his queen-four triumphed over Chamas’ ten-eight. The board of A-7-2-K-5 pronounced the Hungarian as the champion and he celebrated in style with his supporters on the rail. Watch this rerun of the final table action at the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open as Istvan Briski got his name on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup!
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