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Milen Stefanov Wins 2019 WPT Seminole Rock & Roll Poker Open

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jan 15, 2020


Milen Stefanov has won the 2019 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Rock & Roll Poker Open $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 25-year-old poker pro overcame a field of 988 total entries to secure the title and the first-place prize of $545,070. He also became the first-ever player from his home country of Bulgaria to win a WPT main event.

“It feels amazing,” he told WPT reporters after coming out on top. “The emotions are running rampant, even more than when I was playing. The WPT is something that I’ve loved for a couple of years now and to be a WPT champion finally, it just feels amazing.”

“This was my first time coming here for poker, so this is my first WPT festival in America,” Stefanov continued. “I loved pretty much everything including the organization throughout the tournament. I’ll definitely be back. I have to defend the title.”

Stefanov came into the final day of this event as the chip leader with six players remaining. He went on to eliminate each and every one of his five opponents himself. He took more than a 5:1 chip lead into heads-up play against German Fabian Gumz. The two battled it out for 51 hands before a winner was decided.

Here are the five key hands that propelled Stefanov to the title.

Tournament – WPT Rock & Roll Poker Open
Buy-In: $3,500
No. of Entries: 988
Prize Pool: $3,161,600
1st Place Prize: $545,070

The Action

With eight players left, Fuentes raised to 225,000, and Stefanov shoved for 3,125,000. Anderson made the call, and Fuentes got out of the way. Both players turned over A-K, and the table prepared themselves for the almost-certain chop. Although Stefanov did have slightly more equity with two live suits, he still had less than a two percent chance to win the pot outright, according to the Card Player Poker Odds Calculator. Unfortunately for Anderson, the dealer brought out a board with four hearts, giving Stefanov the nut flush and the unlikely double up.

The Action

Fuentes moved all in from the small blind for his last 4,925,000 and Stefanov had more than enough of a hand to look him up with in the big blind. The flop of ASpade Suit 8Club Suit 7Heart Suit put Stefanov firmly in the lead with top pair, but the JHeart Suit on the turn gave Fuentes seven outs with a double gut shot straight draw. The river was the 4Heart Suit, however, and Fuentes settled for $146,760 in fifth place.

The Action

Stefanov raised to 850,000 from the button, and Korenev shoved from the big blind for his last 5,200,000. Stefanov made the easy call with pocket aces, and Korenev was in terrible shape with QSpade Suit 10Spade Suit. Although he did manage to pair up on the turn, it wasn’t enough to keep him in the tournament. For fourth place, he banked $194,605.

The Action

Novosel raised to 850,000 on the button and Stefanov called from the big blind. The flop fell JSpade Suit 10Heart Suit 2Club Suit and Stefanov checked to Novosel, who bet 700,000. Stefanov called and the turn was the 10Spade Suit. Stefanov then led out for 1,250,000. Novosel called, and the river was the 6Diamond Suit. Stefanov then bet 7,000,000, enough to put Novosel all in. Novosel thought it over in the tank and ultimately called with KSpade Suit 6Spade Suit, having rivered a pair with his busted flush draw. Stefanov, however, held JClub Suit 10Club Suit for a turned full house to score the knockout and the huge pot. Novosel earned $260,845 for his run, and Stefanov took a 5:1 chip lead into heads-up play.

The Action

On the first hand of a new blind jump, Stefanov shoved from the button and Gumz called all in for his last ten big blinds or so with QDiamond Suit 8Club Suit. Stefanov was ahead with ADiamond Suit 2Heart Suit, and took a big lead when the flop fell AClub Suit JDiamond Suit 5Heart Suit. Gumz kept hope alive by pairing his queen on the turn, but the river was a brick, and he was sent home in second place with $353,380. Stefanov secured the final pot of the tournament, the title, the trophy, and the $545,070 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Milen Stefanov — $545,070
2. Fabian Gumz — $353,380
3. David Novosel — $260,845
4. Roman Korenev — $194,605
5. Cesar Fuentes — $146,760
6. Francis Anderson — $111,895
7. Jeff Blenkarn — $86,255
8. Antonio Mallol — $67,240
9. Bin Weng — $53,005