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Matthew Sabia Wins Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $15,000 High Roller

Sabia Earned A Career-High $155,515 Payday After Topping A Field of 27 Players

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The 2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $15,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller event attracted a field of 27 entries, building a prize pool of $388,800 that was ultimately paid out among the top five finishers. The lion’s share of that money was won by eventual champion Matthew Sabia, who topped a tough final table to secure the title and the top prize of $155,515.

This was the largest score of Sabia’s tournament career, topping the $57,010 he earned as the 118th-place finisher in the 2018 World Series of Poker $10,000 main event.

Sabia was also awarded 216 Card Player Player of the Year points and 156 PokerGO Tour rankings points as the champion of this event. This was his first qualified score towards either points race.

Sabia was the clear chip leader when the final table of nine was set. He picked up pocket aces against the pocket tens of Sean Winter to burst the money bubble, ensuring that the final five would all cash for at least $31,105. Sabia held a sizable lead on the rest of the field at that point, which he quickly added to by busting Christopher Fitzgerald in fifth place ($31,105).

Giuseppe Iadisernia’s run in this event came to an end when he moved all-in on a 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit2Club Suit flop with KClub Suit3Heart Suit. He got looked up by Sabia, who held KDiamond Suit2Diamond Suit. The turn brought the 3Diamond Suit to give Iadisernia the superior two pair, but the JDiamond Suit on the river completed Sabia’s backdoor flush draw to earn him the pot. Iadisernia earned $42,770 for his fourth-place showing. This was his second final table of the series, having placed fourth in a $50,000 buy-in super high roller just a few days prior to playing this event.

Dan Smith was the next to fall to a surging Sabia. He got his last six or so big blinds in with ADiamond Suit8Spade Suit and was dominated by Sabia’s AClub Suit10Club Suit. Smith found no help and was knocked out in third place ($62,210). He earned 144 POY points and 62 PokerGO Tour points for his fourth qualified score in both points races. He has now cashed for $729,835 in qualifying events this year. With more than $37.7 million in career tournament cashes to his name, Smith remains in fifth place on poker’s all-time money list.

Heads-up play began with Sabia holding nearly a 10:1 lead over Sergi Reixach. The Spanish poker pro mounted a strong comeback effort before losing a few key pots to fall well behind again. In the final hand he shoved 7Heart Suit5Heart Suit from the button for 19 big blinds and Sabia called with ASpade SuitQHeart Suit. The KHeart Suit6Spade Suit6Heart Suit flop gave Reixach a flush draw to go along with his live cards. The JClub Suit was of no help on the turn, though. The QDiamond Suit river gave Sabia queens and sixes with an ace kicker to lock up the pot and the title. Reixach took home $97,200 as the runner-up finisher. This was his 11th POY-qualified final table of the year. As a result of his consistent success, he has climbed into 23rd place in the overall standings. Reixach has now made 13 cashes in PokerGO Tour events, accumulating over a million dollars in earnings across those scores. He now sits in 11th place on the PokerGO Tour leaderboard.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (Total) POY Points PokerGO
1 Matthew Sabia $155,515 216 156
2 Sergi Reixach $97,200 180 97
3 Dan Smith $62,210 144 62
4 Giuseppe Iadisernia $42,770 108 43
5 Christopher Fitzgerald $31,105 90 31

Photo credit: PokerGO.