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Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Becomes the Largest WPT Event in History



Just a week ago, there was a lot of hype surrounding the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. The main event drew a huge field of players, so the $3,500 buy in WPT main event promised a lot. It didn’t disappoint at all, beating the previous record for a WPT event sent at Hard Rock in 2013. The Seminole main event drew 2,842 entries from 2 starting flights, compared to the previous record of 2,384 set at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in 2013.

The 2-day turnout created a massive prize pool of nearly $8,000,000, with the $2 million guarantee hit on the first day. It seems that fans have missed in-person poker amidst all the online poker tournaments. The tournament still has a long way to go, being slated to conclude next Tuesday (May 4).

A Bubble Burst with No Fanfare

This year’s WPT main event bubble burst with no big fanfare. Two players busted right at the beginning – the first one was Brian Altman. He failed to cash after playing against gold bracelet winner Ron McMillen. McMillen is familiar to the poker crowd having a viral poker moment in the 2020 WSOP online bracelet events last July. Altman had a preflop of ace-king and flipped them against McMillen’s pocket tens which ultimately decided Altman’s fate.

Other players also fell hard, including Vanessa Kade, Kristen Bicknell, Jack Hardcastle, and Frank Stepuchin.

Massive Popularity

The Seminole World Poker tour this year was so big that the $1,100 Deep Stack Turbo NHL had to be canceled to make way for the masses. It’s another sign of how big the tournament is this year and how much poker fans missed in-person events.

Here’s a table with the biggest WPT Main Events in history so far:

Tournament Entries
2021 Poker Showdown 2,482
2014 Poker Showdown 1,795
2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open 1,573
2015 Poker Showdown 1,476
2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open 1,415

One of the best stories at this year’s Seminole WPT at the Hard Rock was definitely Arthur Conan. He gave life to the good ol’ “chip and a chair” after performing an unbelievable comeback to win the $50,000 high roller tournament. He was down to one blind four-handed, yet somehow managed to win the $733,320 first place prize. Considering the fact that he was up against 42 entries makes his comeback even more legendary.Big Win for Arthur Conan

With only 4 players left on the table, Conan was left with one big blind, a T25,000 chip. The following few hands were a masterpiece in which Conan raised a playable stack of $505,000 at a 30,000 big blind. He out chipped the remaining players masterfully, winning the $733,000 at the high roller tournament with a performance for the ages.

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