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2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 'Big 4' - Eisen, Schindler, Foxen and MacDonnell Win

A Recap Of The Action-Packed Final Day of the 2018 SHRPO Series


Brandon EisenThe 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open reached a dramatic conclusion on Tuesday, August 14. On the final day of the series the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Southern Florida wrapped up what is referred to as the ‘Big 4,’ a group of four tournaments that concluded simultaneously and which together combined for $6.5 million in guaranteed prize money. Below you will find a look at the results from these four events.

The $3 million guaranteed $5,250 buy-in no-limit hold’em championship saw Brandon Eisen overcome a field of 914 total entries, which was up from 887 in 2017. For the win, he was awarded the $771,444 first-place prize, which was the largest of his live tournament career. He also earned 1,824 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his third final-table finish of the year, and as a result of the win he now sits in 42nd place in the overall 2018 POY race standings.

Eisen outlasted a talented final table that featured the likes of Joseph Cheong (8th – $102,843), Jared Greiner (7th – $129,308), and a pair of World Series of Poker bracelet winners in Ryan D’Angelo (4th – $258,615) and Jeremy Ausmus (2nd – $540,459).

The $2 million guaranteed $25,500 no-limit hold’em high roller event attracted a field of 123 entries, up slightly from the 117 in 2017. As a result of the strong turnout, the prize pool swelled to $3,075,000. In the end the lion’s share of that money was awarded to Jake Schindler, who emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $800,758.

Jake SchindlerSchindler also earned 924 POY points for the win for his fifth title of the year. This was also his 23rd final-table finish of 2018, the most of any player so far. His nearest competitors are Stephen Chidwick, Justin Bonomo, and Cary Katz, who all have 19 final table finishes. As a result of this win, Schindler has moved into the lead in the 2018 Player of the Year standings, surpassing Chidwick and Bonomo. With 7,302 and $6,089,569 in year-to-date earnings, he is now the player to beat.

Schindler defeated Shaun Deeb heads-up for the win. This was his sixth final table of the year, having had an impressive run at the WSOP that saw him win two bracelets, taking down the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha event and the $10,000 six-max no-limit hold’em big-blind ante tournament for his third and fourth career titles at the series. Deeb earned $534,989 and 770 points as the runner-up finisher, enough to see him move into seventh place in the POY standings.

Other notables that made the final table include Paul Hoefer (8th – $95,110), Barry Hutter (6th – $148,769), Omar Zaay (4th – $265,311) and Tom Marchese (3rd – $371,183).

Alex FoxenThe third largest event of the ‘Big 4’ was the $1 million guaranteed $2,650 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, which drew a field of 422 entries. In 2017 this event attracted 395, and while the number of entries may have changed, the champion remained the same. Alex Foxen won this event in 2017, and he returned this year to successfully defend his title.

Foxen earned $208,452 and 1,080 POY points this time around. This was his fourth title and ninth final table of the year. As a result, he was catapulted into 10th place in the overall standings, with 3,986 total points and $2,248,856 in earnings so far in 2018.

Other notable players who made the final table of this event included Jake Schwartz (3rd -$93,892) and Blair Hinkle, (2nd – $146,042), who won the $5,000 main event at this series back in 2013. Hinkle and Foxen battled it out heads-up for more than five hours, but in the end Foxen was able to secure the title for a second straight year.

Marc MacDonnellThe $500,000 guaranteed $1,100 no-limit hold’em event drew 640 entries, exceeding the guarantee by $140,000 to create a $640,000 prize pool. Marc MacDonnell emerged victorious, capturing his first live tournament title and the first-place prize of $119,465. This was his second big score of 2018, having finished fourth in the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic main event for $319,310 back in March.

MacDonnell’s 840 POY points as the champion of this event were enough to see him join the top 100 in the overall rankings, climbing to 97th place with 1,740 total points.

Other big names at the final table of this event included Nick Pupillo (9th - $11,949), Mario Ho (7th – $19,981), Paul Balzano (5th – $29,933) and 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Joseph Couden (2nd – $83,750).