Darren Elias is one of the most successful players in World Poker Tour history with four titles -- more than any other player -- and the pro could add another championship and seven-figure cash to his resume if he's the last player standing at the 2022 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
Elias won his first title in 2014 with a big win at the 2014 Borgata Poker Open for a $844K score. He continued his run good in 2014 with another victory at the WPT Caribbean.
In 2017, Elias added a third WPT title when he shipped the Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagar Falls. In 2018, Elias made WPT history with his a victory at the Bobby Baldwin Classic in Las Vegas. It marked his fourth title on the World Poker Tour and all four came within a five-year span. He's had to wait almost four years to add a fifth title to his impressive resume. Only five players stand in his way.
The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida has become the epicenter of live tournament poker in the southeast. The annual SHR Poker Showdown is a popular event which s anchored by a World Poker Tour stop. This $3,500 buy-in no-limit affair attracted 2,100 runners this year. They generated an impressive prize pool topping $6.4 million with 252 runners getting a cut of the cash. Most of the cheesecake was set aside to the final table, including $1 million to the eventual champion. Of course, all WPT winners also earn a freeroll into the season-ending Tournament of Champions, which is valued at $15,000. The winners also get their name inscribed on the prestigious Mike Sexton Champions Cup. Elias has his name etched four times -- more than any other player -- and he has a shot at getting a fifth placard added to the Mike Sexton Cup.
On Day 3, 16 players remained and Mark Davis held the big stack. Several well known players were left in the hunt for the title including Christian Harder, Vinny Pahuja, James Calderaro, and Viet Vo. However on Day 4, the field would cull itself ten players to get down to the final table of six. Harder was one of the first players to bust on Day 4 when he was picked off in 15th place. Vinny Pahuja followed him in 14th place. Caleraro hit the road in eighth place.
Andrew Davidson bubbled the final table in seventh place in a brutal hand. He made a final stand with the old-school Hilton Sisters, but were ambushed by Mark Davis' King-ten suited. The flop was , and Davis flopped trip Kings to take a huge lead. The turn and river did not help Davidson and he hit the rail in seventh place for a score worth $165,000.
With six remaining, the final table for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown was set. The final six will resume play in Las Vegas on May 25 at the eSports Arena to determine the champion and the lucky soul who banks a cool million in cash.
Darren Elias bagged the lead with 38.8M, followed by Mark Davis who chipped up to 26.5M after knocking out Davidson on the final table bubble. Viet Vo (11.9M) and Marcos Exterkotter (10.9M) held the middle stacks, while the shorties were Michael Laufer (6.7M) and Andrew Barfield (5.5M)
Notables who went deep and cashed in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown included.... Adam Hendrix, Christian Harder, Carlos Dorca, Vinny Pahjua, Ben Miner, Matt Berkey, Sean Ripp, James Mendoza, Farid Jattin, Jeff Madsen, Nancy Birnbaum, Shannon Shorr, Chris Meyers, Jonathan Jaffe, Breyy Murray, CurtKohlberg, Alessio Isaia, Neil Blumenfield, Brek Schutten, Markus Gonsalves, Justin Liberto, Kitty Kuo, Brian Altman, Ema Zajmovic, Roland Israelashvili, Will the Thrill, Matt Wantman, Marie Harrell, Dan Colpoys, Harrison Gimbel, Joe McKeehen, Amnon Filippi, Nicj Shulman, Stephen Song, Frank Stepuchin, Joey Weissman, Yuval Bronshtein, Jesse Lonis, Veerab Zakarian, Mike Gagliano, Landon Tice, Brett Apter, Andrew Lichtenberger, Michael Amato, Mike Wang, Angelina Rich, James Gilbert, Chance Kornuth, Ryan Reiss, Ryan Van Sanford, and TK Miles.
See y'all in six weeks in Las Vegas for the conclusion of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
2022 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Prize Pool: $6,432,000
Darren Elias 38,825,000
Mark Davis 26,550,000
Viet Vo 11,925,000
Marcos Exterkotter 10,900,000
Michael Laufer 6,750,000
Andrew Barfield 5,500,000
Final Table Payouts: