WPT's Seminole Hard Rock event sets new record with Day 1 turnout

Jon Pill
Posted on: November 28, 2021 12:52 PST

The World Poker Tour's Seminole Hard Rock Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open is now well underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Florida.

Registration closed during level 9 of the second (and final) Day 1 of the event. With its closure, we got the official numbers for the first big post-WSOP domestic event. If the numbers out of Hollywood, FL are to be believed the poker world still has some gas in the tank, even after the 2021 WSOP.

Day 1B's final headcount was 921 entries. When the Day 1B numbers are combined with the 645 entries on Day 1A, the event hit 1,566 entries, a record for the Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open.

The Main Event buy-in was $3,500. Once the rake has been raked that leaves $5,011,200 in the prize pool. The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood only set a guarantee of $2 million. Mission accomplished.

The success of the event will be pleasing to the owners of Element Partners LC, who haven't had a good chance to see what the WPT brand can do since their company bought the WPT for $105 million in July of this year.

COVID has been a huge drag on most poker brands, but in the WPT's case, it served as the impetus to pursue new partnerships with sites like Adda52 and the Poker King app.

At the end of Day 1A, the WPT tweeted: "That's a wrap for Day 1A of the #WPT @shrpo Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open. Ankit Ahuja bagged the chip lead with 531,000 chips."

Going into Day 2...

Players began with 40,000 in chips and 40-minute blinds. Each Day 2 flight played 10 levels, ending with blinds at 1k-2k and a 2k big blind ante.

Among those who left Day 1 without any chips to bag were Matt Berkey, Michael Mizrachi, and the 2021 WSOP ME champion Koray Aldemir.

273 players survived Day 1B. 182 players survived Day 1A. That means the Day 2 field will start at 455 players.

Among those who are returning for Day 2 are Chad Eveslage, Rainer Kempe, Kitty Kuo, Ema Zajmovic, Gal Yifrach, Jake Schwartz, Anthony Zinno, Erik Seidel, and statistician Nate Silver.

At the head of this cohort is Ankit Ahuja with 531,000 in chips. Ahuja was the chip leader at the end of Day 1A, he is closely followed by Mike Shanahan (499,000 in chips), the Day 1B chip leader and overall second chip leader.

On Day 2, tournament director Matt Savage was on the floor to announce the moment the prize pool passed $5 million.

The WPT tweeted footage of the moment with the caption: "With a total of 1,566 entries in the #WPT @shrpo Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open, the total prize pool for the event has surpassed $5 million. Executive Tour Director @SavagePoker caught the record-breaking moment from the floor."

Featured image source: Twitter by WPT