Poker Coverage:

Sergio Aido Wins Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open $25,500 High Roller Event

The Spanish Poker Pro Topped A Field of 85 Entries To Earn $500,000

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Sergio Aido may be from Spain, but the poker pro is beginning to establish a home-court advantage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Aido took down the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open main event back in August, topping a field of 1,110 entries in that $5,300 buy-in event to earn the third-largest payday of his career: $900,100. Less than four months removed from that huge win, the high-stakes tournament regular returned to the scene of that victory and took a seat in the $25,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open.

After two days of nosebleed tournament action, Aido once again found himself posing for the winner’s photo. He defeated a field of 85 entries this time around, earning the title and $500,000 after striking a three-way deal to bring the tournament to a close.

In addition to the trophy and the money, Aido was also awarded 672 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his second title and ninth final-table finish of the year. With 4,115 points and more than $1.9 million in to-date POY earnings, he is now sitting in 19th place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

The top 12 finishers made the money in this event, with Michael Rossito (12th – $56,690), Giuseppe Iadisernia (11th – $58,790), and Justin Zaki (10th – $60,885) all being knocked out late on the first day of action.

The second and final day began with Gytis Lazauninkas leading the final nine. Ray Qartomy was the first to fall when his top pair of queens ran into the overpair (pocket kings) of Alex Livingston. Qartomy was unable to come from behind on the river and was eliminated in ninth place ($62,985).

Chance Kornuth’s run in this event came to an end in eighth place when his K-9 was unable to outrun the pocket fours of Scott Margereson. Kornuth flopped an open-ended straight draw to go with his overcards but failed to improve any further from there. He earned $65,085 and 112 POY for his tenth final-table finish of the year. With four titles, $2,234,157 in year-to-date POY earnings, and 4,597 total points, Kornuth now sits in 11th place on the POY leaderboard.

Alex LivingstonMargereson held the lead after that hand, but soon relinquished that advantage when his A-Q lost a preflop race against the pocket nines of Aido. After a few short-stack double-ups, the next big knockout hand arrived. Facing a three-bet shove from Justin Saliba, Livingston called all-in with pocket tens. He was racing against AClub SuitQClub Suit. Saliba flopped a queen to take the lead and held from there to send Livingston to the rail in seventh place ($75,580 and 168 points). This was the 10th final-table finish of the year for the Canadian poker pro, with his one title run being the $1,500 seven-card stud bracelet event he won at this summer’s WSOP. This latest score was enough to see him climb to 26th in the overall rankings. The 2019 WSOP main event third-place finisher now has nearly $6.5 million in lifetime earnings to his name.

2015 WSOP main event champion Joe McKeehen shoved the last of his short stack with K-9 from the small blind. Gytis Lazauninkas called from the big blind with A-8. McKeehen flopped a pair of nines to move ahead, but Lazauninkas had an open-ended straight draw to go with his outs to a higher pair. He completed that straight on the river to win the hand and eliminate McKeehen in sixth place ($92,380).

Stan Jablonski was the next to be sent packing. He lost the majority of his stack when his pocket jacks were beaten by the A-2 suited of Margereson. He then found himself all-in for less than a small blind with J-5 suited with two players to beat. Aido made a pair of aces with a queen kicker to win the pot. Jablonski earned $123,870 as the fifth-place finisher. This was the second-largest payday on his tournament resume, and it increased his career earnings to more than $1.9 million.

“Deuces never loses,” may be a popular phrase at the tables, but that axiom didn’t hold true for Lazauninkas today. He three-bet shoved with the small pair over the cutoff open of Aido, who called with A-J suited. Aido made aces up to bust Lazauninkas in fourth place ($186,855). This was the first recorded six-figure live tournament payday for the Lithuanian player.

After Lazauninkas’ elimination the final three players began to strike up a conversation about making a three-way deal to redistribute the remaining prize money and bring the event to its conclusion. The chip counts at the time were as follows:

Aido – 4,100,000
Margereson – 2,290,000
Saliba – 2,115,000

After an extended discussion, the final three came to an agreement that saw Aido secure the title and half a million dollars, while Margereson would earn $413,746 and Saliba $402,634. This was Saliba’s tenth final table finish of 2022. He now sits just outside the top 50 in the POY rankings.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Sergio Aido $500,000 672
2 Scott Margereson $413,746 560
3 Justin Saliba $402,634 448
4 Gytis Lazauninkas $186,855 336
5 Stan Jablonski $123,870 280
6 Joe McKeehen $92,380 224
7 Alexander Livingston $75,580 168
8 Chance Kornuth $65,085 112
9 Ray Qartomy $62,985 56

Photo credits: Seminole Hard Rock Poker blog.