Everyone was itching to play poker. If you host it, they will come. It's been a long, long, long pandemic and poker players across the spectrum had a deep hankering to return to the felt. The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida played a part of poker history by hosting the 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. The $3,500 buy-in Main Event Championship included a record-setting field at the WPT with 2,482 runners taking a shot at the $1.2M first place prize.
The World Poker Tour capped off its season with the 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown before they finish out a few final tables at their new home at PokerGO Studios at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. Yes, the SHR Poker Showdown is one of the many delayed final tables that will determine a winner in a few weeks.
This year's SHR Poker Showdown event attracted 2,482 entrants and a prize pool just short of $8 million. That's an insane number considering that the prize pool is nearly 4x the initial guarantee of $2 million. Yes, this year's event exceeded expectations... and then some.
The top 311 places paid out with a seven-figure pay day set aside for first place. Even second place would bank a sick score worth nearly $900K. Every player at the final table secured a payout worth at least a quarter million bucks.
Erik Cajelais bubbled the final table in seventh place. His was no match against Sonny Franco's Ace-Queen. Cajelais banked $203,420 for seventh. Not too shabby, eh?
The final table was set. Sonny Franco bagged the lead with 31.9M, but Brekstyn Schutten was not far behind with 31.3M. Also at the final table were Steven Snyder, Ken Aldridge, Albert Calderon, and Viet Vo. Vo and Calderon had the shortest stacks remaining, with Vo at 4.1M.
Political prognosticator Nate Silver went deep and cashed in 161st place. Other notables who went deep and cashed in the 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown included Blair Hinkle, Simon Tremblay, Arthur Conan, Roy Henson, Steve Karp, Mike Liang, Dan Colopys, Sergio Aido, Donald Maloney, Viny Lima, Tony Dunst, Adam Demersseman, David the Dragon Pham, Justin Garcia, Aaron Massey, Eric Afriat, Chris Smith, Leif Force, Mike Wang, Farid Jattin, Tim Reilly, Aaron Pinson, Neil Beckerman, Jason Dewitt, Andrew Moreno, Alex Keating, Cristian Harder, Sam Panzica, Jerry Wong, Barry Hutter, Brock Wilson, Anthony Zinno, Faraz Jaka, Ali Imsirovic, Paul Snead, Vinny Pahuja, Daniel Jones, Dylan Lynde, Josh Mountain, Nate Silver, Derek Bowers, John Racener, James Miller, Josh Garber, Keith Morrow, Adam Swan, Dylan Wilkerson, Carlos Guerrero, Jared Jaffee, Nitis Udornpim, Alex Rocha, Joey Weissman, Michael Newman, Erkut Yilmaz, Brett Apter, David Prociak, Darren Rabinowitz, Ravi Raghavan, and Milen Stefanov.
2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Prize Pool: $7,942,400
Final Table Payouts:
1. Sonny Franco 31,900,000
2. Brekstyn Schutten 31,350,000
3. Steven Snyder 15,975,000
4. Ken Aldridge 10,600,000
5. Albert Calderon 5,350,000
6. Viet Vo 4,150,000