The Week That Was: Hinkle & Silverman Win Big in Florida

Blair Hinkle won $1.7 million at the SHRPO Main Event. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

Blair Hinkle won $1.7 million at the SHRPO Main Event. (Photo by Thomas Keeling)

It was a big week for poker in the Sunshine state – building a near $12 million prize pool, the World Poker Tour debuted new the Alpha8 tournament series and, by all accounts, proved that Florida is ripe for a poker boom.

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event revealed Krystal Seiling’s inspired deep run and Mimi Luu couldn’t fold pocket kings.

Blair Hinkle Wins the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event for $1.7M

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event beat the $10,000,000 guarantee and generated 2,384 entries. The prize pool swelled to $11.9 million and Blair Hinkle beat Justin Bonomo in an epic five-hour heads-up match for $$1,745,245.

“It feels great to win, especially since playing an event here two years ago that I final tabled but got eighth. My second trip to Florida was a win so I think I’ll be coming back to Florida a lot,” Hinkle said. “It’s not easy, it’s definitely stressful. Thankfully, I had this great rail here to keep me going and calm. I was able to grind it out, got on a little bit of a heater and it worked out for me.”

Mukul Pahuja, Ray Qartomy, Samuel Bernabeu Guilabert and Greg Lehn rounded out the final table. Ryan Olisar, David “Doc” Sands, Amir Lehavot and Mark Radoja all made the final two tables.

Steven Silverman Wins the Inaugural World Poker Tour Alpha8 for $891,660

The WPT debuted the slick new high roller Alpha8 tour at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. The new tour filmed for Fox Sports1 sported a brand new set, 21 entries for the $100,000 buy-in and Steven Silverman went from last in chips on the money bubble to winning the final table $891,660.

The $2,026,500 prize pool limited the payouts to the top four finishers. J.C. Tran came up short of the heads-up battle finishing runner-up, Jeff Gross bowed out in third and Matt Glantz finished in fourth place. Tran got some valuable high-pressure time on the felt to prepare for his run at the WSOP Main Event final table.

The Six Max: The State of Poker in Florida

The spotlight of the poker world has been on the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for the last week as they held their first ever $10,000,000 Guarantee Main Event along with the debut of the World Poker Tour Alpha8 series. The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, featuring the biggest guarantees ever for a tournament held in Florida, exceeded expectations by almost $2 million and set the bar very high.

The last three years have seen tremendous growth for poker in the state, most of which came after laws that severely limited cash game buy-ins were changed. The stage is set for the Sunshine State to become a poker destination to rival any other market and, to that end, BLUFF assembled six notable figures in poker for the latest edition of ‘The Six Max’. They each answered six questions on six different topics to determine how the industry views the future of poker in Florida.

Krystal Seiling Played the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for a Noble Cause

Krystal Seiling was the last woman standing at the SHRPO Main Event with a 12th place finish. The Florida high stakes cash game player revealed in an interview with BLUFF that she had noble intentions for her share of the prize pool.

Mimi Luu “Can’t Fold This Remix”

Mimi Luu created quite a scene at the end of Day 4 when she performed/freaked out/tanked couldn’t fold pocket kings. BLUFF’s Thomas Keeling captured her over the top tank and then cut an amazing remix.

2013 BLUFF Player of the Year: $10,000,000 Guarantee Leaves Mark with Major Shakeups

After more than a month during which there was only subtle movement in the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year race, things have finally gotten back into full swing. Of the current top 20 players in the BLUFF POY standings, eight added to their point totals over the course of the last week.

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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