The World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open returned six players from a field of 1,447 to the final table at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The action played out over six hours and Istvan Briski took down the title for $647,300 plus a seat at the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.
“It’s amazing to be a WPT champion. I ran really good in the tournament,” Briski said. “I’m very happy; it’s my biggest score and I’m very grateful.”
“It is very fortunate that I’m here in the first place,” he said. “I won a Bahamas package online and I wanted to warm up, so I came here for this tournament series. I was excited for the Main Event, and I went all the way so, it’s something I didn’t plan.”
Briski had a loud rail of supportive friends since the event hit three tables. “(They were) Amazing, they helped me a lot. They brought me food, water and coffee – whatever I needed,” he added.
Briski’s win was also his first WPT cash and he said it opens the door to him playing more live. “I really enjoy playing live,” he said. “I wanted to get into it anyways but, for sure, this a boost.”
Briski wanted to credit a friend and mentor for helping him along with his career. “I want to shout out to Samuel Vousden for helping me for years – emotionally, financially and all the ways. I’d like to thank him.”
Final table action
Action began when cards hit the air at 2:00pm and it was two hours before the first player was eliminated. Darryll Fish returned on a short stack and hung on best he could until he mistimed a preflop shove with Q7 into Briski’s pocket kings. A king hit on the flop and Fish earned his seventh final table and 21st WPT cash.
Only a few hands later Matt Bond shipped in his last ten big blinds with A-9s and Fred Goldberg called with pocket jacks. Bond whiffed the board, was eliminated in fifth place for his first WPT final table score and nearly bested his largest cash.
Over the next two hours play tightened up until Goldberg was ground down to less than ten big blinds. He made his final stand with A-2, Briski woke with up with pockets jacks, called and spiked a jack on the flop to eliminate Goldberg.
Three-handed play lasted about an hour before Sandy Sanchez got his stack in preflop with pocket fives and Rayan Chamas called with pocket nines. The runout didn’t changed anything and Sanchez was out in third place. He satellited in for $400 and earned 915x of his investment.
Heads-up play began with Chamas holding 41.5 million to Briski’s 30.9 million. They took a short break, agreed to adjust the payouts and to play for the trophy and the seat to the WPT World Championship.
Briski chipped away at Chamas’ stack over an hour before long Chamas was in the sub-20 big blind territory. He shoved with T♠8♣ and Briski called with Q♦️4♣. The board ran A♠7♦️2❤️K❤️5♠, Briski’s hand was best and is the newest WPT champion.
Coming up next
The WPT packs up shop and heads across the country to Wynn Las Vegas for the WPT World Championship festival running from now until December 23. The $1,100 Prime Championship kicks off December 7 with a $5 million guarantee, the $10,000 World Championship starts December 12 featuring a $40 million guarantee and the $1 million Big One for One Drop returns on December 18.
Final Table Payouts
- Istvan Briski – $647,300* plus a seat to the WPT World Championship
- Rayan Chamas – $600,000*
- Sandy Sanchez – $366,500
- Fred Goldberg – $274,000
- Matt Bond – $206,900
- Darryll Fish – $157,800
*Players agreed to chop and played for the WPT Championship seat
All photos courtesy of World Poker Tour