The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open finished yesterday. Held at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, the event is always printed in red ink on the poker calendar. Dimitri Vorbe, a self-described recreational player, took down the top spot after a heads-up battle with A. P. Louis Garza.
The event attracted 1,180 entrants, who each ponied up the $5,250 buy-in. The huge turnout absolutely smashed the $3 million guarantee, hitting a total prize pool of $5,723,000.
Vorbe is a Haitan-born Floridian with a fondness for his local casino.
“The Seminole Hard Rock is beautiful,” Vorbe said in his post-game interview. “The shops are amazing, and the restaurants. The poker dealers are good, and they’re very respectful.”
He has plenty to spend in those shops and restaurants now, as Vorbe won $929,365 for his first-place finish.
Vorbe seemed almost comically uninterested in the near million bucks he’d just won. Instead, his focus seemed to fall heavily on the trophy and his love of soccer.
“I’m a Messi fan, and Messi is now the star of the Hard Rock,” Vorbe said, referring to Messi’s recent sponsorship deal with the casino. “So I’m lucky to be the SHRPO champion right after Messi was here. Hopefully, I’ll be back next year.”
He also waxed lyrical about the trophy.
“The trophy means more to me than anything, because this is an achievement,” Vorbe said of the huge glass trophy in the fretless-guitar shape of the Seminole Hard Rock itself. “It means that I started from scratch, and I won. I’m not a professional poker player, and some people spend 20-30 years playing poker professionally and never achieve that.”
The Hard Rock’s Twitter account announced Vorbe’s win.
“We have a brand new #SHRPO Champion!” the @shrpo account tweeted. “Dimitri Vorbe defeats AP Louis Garza heads-up for the Championship trophy and $929,365. Congrats Dimitri!”
Vorbe came to the final table with a healthy chip lead and was able to convert his considerable advantage into a win. It took a little luck to make it happen, but Vorbe had plenty of that on his side.
“I started very well at the final table. I was the chip leader, but I didn’t know what to expect,” Vorbe said of his experience.
“There were a lot of professionals, and they were testing me. If you feel pressure—and if the professional poker players see you feeling the pressure—they will eat you. I took a bad beat. I was angry. But the massage [I got] helped me to relax, and I let it go. If you tilt when you are losing, you will lose a lot more chips.”
It wasn’t just a level head and a chip lead that shot Vorbe to the top. He also ran staggeringly well. The cards kept coming his way. With admirable modesty, Vorbe acknowledged his hot streak.
“You have to be good,” he said. “And you have to have some luck. I was running over [Garza] heads-up because all the cards were coming to me. Every single time I had a hand, it was a hurricane.”
The last gust of that hurricane knocked the wind out of Garza during the 150,000/300,000 blind level. There was a 300,000 big blind ante which represented 1/10 of Garza’s remaining stack.
Vorbe had a 16:1 chip lead over Garza. As a result, when Garza shoved his remaining 2.7 million into the middle from the button, Vorbe was thrilled to call with 8♥8♣. Garza flipped over K♦3♣.
A flop of 2♥J♣7♠ didn’t carry much hope for Garza, who needed a king or running threes to survive.
He didn’t get either as the turn and river came down 5♦ and J♦ respectively.
Garza won $674,285 for his second-place finish.
Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown NLH Championship final table results
|2nd||A. P. Louis Garza||$674,285|
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT