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Milen Stefanov Wins 2019 World Poker Tour Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open

Bulgarian Poker Pro Tops Field of 988 Entries To Win $545,070

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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.”

In addition to the money and the title, Stefanov was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his second POY-qualified score of the year, and it was enough to see him move to 234th place in the 2019 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

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, starting with Francis Anderson. The two players got all of the chips in preflop with Stefanov holding 7Heart Suit7Club Suit up against Anderson’s KDiamond SuitQDiamond Suit. Anderson spiked a queen on the turn to take the lead, but Stefanov rivered a set of sevens to send Anderson to the rail in sixth place with $111,895.

Stefanov called the shove of Cesar Fuentes with AClub SuitKClub Suit. Fuentes had moved in with QDiamond Suit10Club Suit. Stefanov flopped an ace and held from there to eliminate Fuentes, who earned $146,760 as the fifth-place finisher.

Roman Korenev was the next to go. He three-bet all-in over the top of Stefanov’s button raise with QSpade Suit10Spade Suit. only to have Stefanov make the quick call with the ASpade SuitADiamond Suit. Korenev was unable to come from behind and was sent home with $194,605.

David Novosel called all-in on a JSpade Suit10Heart Suit2Club Suit10Spade Suit6Diamond Suit board with KSpade Suit6Spade Suit, only to find that Stefanov had turned a full house with JClub Suit10Club Suit. Novosel earned $260,845 as the third-place finisher, while Stefanov 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. After the final deal, Stefanov raised all-in from the button with ADiamond Suit2Diamond Suit. Gumz called for his last 7,500,000 out of the big blind holding QDiamond Suit8Club Suit. The board came down AClub SuitJDiamond Suit5Heart SuitQClub Suit10Diamond Suit and Stefanov’s pair of aces was enough to secure the pot and the title. Gumz cashed for $353,380 as the runner-up finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded to the final six:

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Milen Stefanov $545,070 1,368
2 Fabian Gumz $353,380 1,140
3 David Novosel $260,845 912
4 Roman Korenev $194,605 684
5 Cesar Fuentes $146,760 570
6 Francis Anderson $111,895 456

Winner photo credit: Joe Giron / WPT.