The 2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $25,500 no-limit hold’em high roller attracted a huge turnout of 145 entries, a 46.5 percent increase in field size from the most recent running, which had drawn 99 entries in 2019. The prize pool grew to $3,581,500 as a result of the impressive turnout. After two full days of high-stakes action, Chad Eveslage came out on top with the title and $767,576 after striking a three-way deal to bring the tournament to its conclusion.
This was by far the largest score of Eveslage’s live tournament career, blowing away the $148,380 he earned as the sixth-place finisher in the 2019 WPT SHR Poker Showdown $3,500 buy-in main event. He now has more than $2.3 million in lifetime earnings to his name.
Eveslage has now made two final tables this year, and he came away with the title in both instances. In January he outlasted a field of 556 entries to win a $1,100 buy-in event at this same venue for $101,572 and 840 Card Player Player of the Year points. With the 1,008 points he earned for this latest victory, Eveslage has been catapulted into sixth place in the 2021 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.
The final day began with 24 players remaining and Chris Brewer atop the chip counts. Eveslage sat in third place when play resumed, with four eliminations left until the money bubble burst with 20 remaining. Plenty of big names survived to the money, but fell short of making the final table, including Noah Schwartz (20th – $44,770), Aaron Van Blarcum (19th – $44,770), Isaac Baron (15th – $60,885), Cary Katz (13th – $69,840), Will Failla (12th – $69,840), and Darren Elias (10th – $78,795).
By the time the eight-handed final table was set, Eveslage sat in fourth place while World Series of Poker bracelet winner and high roller regular Byron Kaverman had climbed into the lead. Rania Nasreddine was the first to fall, running A-4 into the A-5 of Kaverman, who made trips by the river. Nasreddine earned $87,750 for her eighth-place showing. Kaverman further extended his lead by knocking out Michael Rossitto in seventh place. Rossitto’s K-Q suited failed to overcome the A-J of Kaverman and he was sent to the rail with $103,865.
Chris Brewer’s run in this event came to an end when his pocket sevens collided with the pocket tens of Sean Perry, who flopped a set and held form there. The former collegiate long-distance runner turned poker pro earned $128,935 as the sixth-place finisher.
Derek Gregory got his last six blig blinds in the middle with K5 and was called by the AJ of Brock Wilson, who turned the broadway straight to send Gregory home with $179,075 for his deep run in this event.
Four-handed action began with Kaverman well out in front, while the other three competitors were more or less even. That dynamic changed when Chad Eveslage doubled up, with his pocket fives making a straight against the pocket nines of Kaverman after a preflop all-in. The two shorter stacks then clashed, with Sean Perry’s KJ ultimately beating out the pocket threes of Brock Wilson to eliminate him in fourth place ($286,520).
The final three players then agreed to do a chop of the remaining prize money which resulted in the following payouts:
Chad Eveslage – $767,576
Byron Kaverman – $670,285
Sean Perry – $596,418
Eveslage was awarded the title and the largest payout. Perry, Kaverman and Brewer all made moves inside the top twenty of the 2021 POY race as a result of their strong showings in this event. Perry has now made eight final tables this year, cashing for $1,328,118 along the way, and as a result has climbed into third place in the POY standings with 2,042 points. Kaverman now sits in 14th place, having cashed for $799,881 and 1,280 points with two final-table showings so far this year. Brewer’s 1,216 points, six final tables and $749,500 in earnings are enough to see him take control of the 15th-place spot on the leaderboard for the time being.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker blog.