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Ryan Riess Wins at WPT Seminole Hard Rock While Canadians Struggle With Only Three Cashes

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The $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and the $10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida has just wrapped up.

On from March 31 to April 5, the $3,500 event saw 1,207 entries, passing the $2 million guarantee to create an official prize pool of $3,862,400. The winner would receive a whopping $661,283 while a min-cash in 151st place received $5,002.

Tony Sinishtaj ended up outlasting a star-studded field including a final table with Dan Colman (fourth — $217,686) and Robert Mizrachi (third — $293,864) for the title and $661,283 to go along with his name on the WPT Champions trophy and a spot in the WPT Tournament of Champions. At one point, Colman had a massive chip lead but ended up going from first to bust in a span of two hands to finish fourth.

Canadians struggled to make a statement in this tournament with WPT Champions Club member Eric Afrait, Scott Montgomery, and recent runner-up from WPT Rolling Thunder Sorel Mizzi all trying to work their way through the field. Of the three only Mizzi (147,600) and Afrait (17,100) would survive Day 1. Unfortunately for the two Canadians, neither of them would make the money. Guillaume Nolet (127,00) and Danielle Micallef (100,900) would also close out Day 1 with chips. Both players also managed to cash with Nolet exiting in 100th place for $7,541 while Micallef finished the tournament in 85th place for $8,657.

The top nine finishers in the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown were as follows:

FinishPlayerPrize
1Tony Sinishtaj$661,283
2Darryll Fish$453,185
3Robert Mizrachi$293,864
4Dan Colman$217,686
5Eric Beller$164,438
6Simeon Naydenov$154,438
7Matt Affleck$109,728
8James Mackey$86,874
9John Gordon$64,636

The $10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale took place from April 2 to April 6 and is the last WPT event on the docket for Season 15 before the Tournament of Champions which takes place starting April 7, also at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. There were 349 entries in this event, creating a prize pool of $3,315,500 with $716,088 going to the winner. This event saw 44 players getting paid with a min-cash of $16,833 for the first player to bust after the money bubble.

2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Ryan Riess overcame a two-to-one chip disadvantage at one point during heads-up play against Alan Sternberg to win the title, his name on the WPT Champions Cup, entry into the WPT Tournament of Champions, and $716,088 in cash. Sternberg received $491,081 for his runner-up finish.

Along with Riess, the final table was highlighted by stars Jason Koon and Cliff Josephy, the latter of which has been putting up a slew of results in the last six months, including a third place in the 2016 WSOP Main Event ($3,453,035), first place at the $5,200 event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic ($163,250), and a second place in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event ($403,445). Unfortunately for Josephy, he was the first one eliminated on Day 4, finishing in sixth place for $130,370 while Koon would be the next one to fall in fifth, receiving $157,599.

Canadians didn’t fair well in this event either. Ari Engel (24,400), Kristin Bicknell (105,000), Eric Afrait (127,300), and Noah Vaillancourt (161,700) were Canadians who finished Day 1 with chips. Unfortunately, Vaillancourt was the only Canadian to cash, producing a deep run and finishing in 14th place for $50,168.

Here is how the final table of nine players finished:

FinishPlayerPrize
1Ryan Riess$716,088
2Alan Sternberg$491,081
3Terry Schumacher$315,726
4Tim West$204,466
5Jason Koon$157,599
6Cliff Josephy$130,370
7Joshua Kay$109,412
8Jonathan Jaffe$89,609
9Marvin Rettenmaier$70,103

The WPT will wrap up Season 15 with the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions, getting underway April 7 to April 9, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. This event features a $15,000 buy-in and restricts entry to only players who have won a WPT Main Event. Both Riess and Sinishtaj have earned their way into the event with their wins this week while last years Tournament of Champions winner, Farid Yachou, looks to repeat last years’ victory. This year, the WPT has some added prizes for the winner. This years winner will receive an additional $200,000 in added cash and prizes including Monster Rose Gold headphones, a Hublot watch, and a brand new 2018 Audi S5 Coupe.

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