The 2020 Winter Poker Open (WPO) at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa marked the first big poker series to play out at the series since the pandemic began. The eight-event series proved to be a big hit, especially the $1,700 buy-in, $200K GTD Main Event, which absolutely crushed it by attracting 779 runners (up from 479 the year before) and offering up a $1,207,450 prize pool.
Emerging victorious in that tournament was well-known circuit grinder Max Young, who captured the guitar trophy and a hefty $226,510 top prize. It marked the second-largest score of his career and brought his lifetime tournament earnings up to $1,941,679.
It was the latest title for Young, who has a case full of trophies. Not only is he a six-time WSOP Circuit ring winner, including a win in the 2018 WSOPC Choctaw Main Event for a career-high $263,815, he’s also won MSPT and WPTDeepStacks titles, and captured titles at Parx, Wynn, Chinook Winds, and Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton.
According to updates from the event, the final hand of the tournament took place in Level 34 (150K/300K/300K) when Young limped the button holding the and Edgardo Rosario moved all in for 9.7 million with the . Young pondered for a bit before making the call and wound up the winner after the board ran out to give him trip jacks.
2020 WPO Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Max Young||$226,510 + Guitar Trophy|
While Young was the biggest winner of the 2020 WPO, he wasn’t the only one. All told, the series catered to 2,774 combined entrants, awarded $1,793,235 in prize money, and crowned eight different winners.
SHR Tampa 2020 Winter Poker Open Winners
|Event #1: $300 NLH Re-Entry||335||$83,750||Ifran Khairi||$18,063|
|Event #2: $400 NLH Re-Entry||811||$267,630||Ken Goldfarb||$31,267|
|Event #3: $200 NLH Re-Entry||203||$32,480||Ryan Hogan||$6,500|
|Event #4: $150 NLH Re-Entry||150||$18,000||Jason Block||$4,860|
|Event #5: $400 NLH Re-Entry||155||$51,150||Alex Vazquez||$6,936|
|Event #6: $600 NLH Re-Entry||188||$96,820||Raminder Singh||$17,931|
|Event #7: $1,700 WPO Main Event||779||$1,207,450||Max Young||$226,510|
|Event #8: $400 Black Chip Bounty NLH||153||$35,955||Harmeet Chawla||$9,707|
Other Seminole Hard Rock Action
From November 27-29 at the SHR Hollywood, the $1,100 buy-in, $100K GTD November Holiday Special attracted 253 entries and offered up a $245,410 prize pool. Ricardo Eyzaguirre, who a month earlier had won the October Anniversary Special for $46,000, laid claim to yet another title for $47,000 after a three-way deal.
“Man, it feels good,” said Eyzaguirre told SHR officials after the win. “I’ve been working at this a long time and never went back to back, especially like this with two tournaments in the same place, so it feels good.”
From December 4-6, the $350 NLH December Deep Stack Special drew 284 runners and offered up an $85,200 prize pool. Coming out on top was New York native Matthew Beinner, who won the tournament outright for $18,105.
Finally, the $150 buy-in, $50K GTD December Big Stack Special played out from December 9-13 and saw Muhmut Urkun top a 946-entry field to win the tournament for $14,587 after a five-way deal.
Upcoming Seminole Hard Rock Events
Mark your calendar now as the SHR Tampa has announced that they will play host to the Tampa Poker Classic from February 17-March 1, 2021. Details and schedule will be released in the near future.
Meanwhile, the SHR Hollywood room in South Florida will hold the 9th annual “Fun in the Sun” series from December 26-30. Among the five tournaments on the schedule are Event #1: $360 Deep Stack ($25K GTD), Event #3: $360 Black Chip Bounty ($20K GTD), and Event #5: $250 Holiday Deep Stack ($20K GTD).
In January, the venue will also host its first major tournament since the pandemic began. The 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood is right around the corner starting January 14th thru 26th. It’s the first World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Tour stop – a $3,500 buy-in, $1M GTD event – since re-opening.
*Images courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock.