Celebrating its 10-year partnership, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and World Poker Tour (WPT) announce the results of a record-breaking 2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.There were 2,482 entries in the tournament’s $3,500 WPT NLH Championship producing a prize pool of $7,942,400. The feat also makes the 2021 Poker Showdown the largest poker field for any WPT main tour event, eclipsing the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open with 1,795 and 1,573 entries, respectively.
After five days of action in the $3,500 WPT NLH Championship, the field is down to its final six who will reconvene on May 18 in Las Vegas for a televised final table. The final table features a talented group of players vying for the title with four of the six guaranteed to earn the biggest cash of their year.
France-native Sonny Franco leads the group with the highest chip count (31,900,000), while Brekstyn Schutten of Grand Rapids, Mich. is in close second (31,350,000). Franco has more than $2 million in career earnings and has won the WPTDeepStacks Paris title in 2020 and three WSOP Circuit rings, including a win in the WSOP Circuit Marrakech Main Event. Schutten has nearly $400,000 in earnings and this will be the biggest cash of his career no matter where he finishes. Schutten has two WSOP Circuit final table appearances, and this is his first Poker Showdown cash.
Houston’s Viet Vo makes the final table with one other WPT final table on his résumé, while Albert Calderon of Arizona will have his first WPT cash. Rounding out the six-handed final table is North Carolina’s Ken Aldridge and Steven Snyder, who will each have more than $1 million in career earnings following the final table.
Championship Final Table with Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Brekstyn Schutten (Grand Rapids, Mich.)- 31,350,000
Seat 2: Ken Aldridge (Pleasant Garden, N.C.)- 10,600,000
Seat 3: Steven Snyder (Davidson, N.C.)- 15,975,000
Seat 4: Viet Vo (Houston, Texas)- 4,150,000
Seat 5: Albert Calderon (Chandler, Ariz.)- 5,530,000
Seat 6: Sonny Franco (Montagnac, France)- 31,900,000
The 29-event Poker Showdown kicked off Thursday, April 15 with the $600 Deep Stack NLH. With 3,902 entries, the event quadrupled its $500,000 guarantee and created a total prize pool of more than $2 million. Michael Casson of Clinton, Mass. won the opener earning $280,000.
Other signature event winners include:
- Arthur Conan (Paimpol, France) winning the $50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry) for $733,320.
- Andrew Ostapchenko (Long Beach, Calif.) winning the $2,200 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) for $200,850.
- Chad Eveslage (Ramsey, Ind.) winning the $25,500 High Roller NLH (Re-Entry) for $767,577.
- Shannon Shorr (Homewood, Ala.) winning the $5,000 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) for $296,535.
Players participated in a safe and socially distant tournament with the Hard Rock’s Safe + Sound initiative. In addition to thermal temperature scanning upon entry and mandatory masks/face coverings policy for all guests and team members, all tables were outfitted with protective Plexiglas between dealer and players, and in between players. There were a total of 80 tables spaced out between two of the resort’s largest ballrooms to encourage social distancing. Each table was played eight-handed, as opposed to the standard nine-handed. All chips and cards underwent routine cleaning, and all areas were sanitized once a player left the table and before another player sat.
The Safe + Sound program was developed by a team of hospitality and gaming experts in collaboration with worldwide health and sanitation specialists, such as Ecolab and NSF International, and includes directives of key agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Safe + Sound focuses on enhanced cleaning practices, social interactions and workplace protocols. All Hard Rock properties are required to pass a 272-point inspection independently assessed by NSF International. For more information about Safe + Sound, visit seminolehardrockhollywood.com/good-clean-fun.
Poker action will return to Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood with the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) July 22 – August 10. Unique to South Florida, SHRPO is known for its one-of-a-kind finisher – The Big 4. The Big 4 is a collection of four-tournament finales that feature staggered structures, timed so the events play down simultaneously.
For more information and to view the series schedule, future tournament details and make hotel reservations, please visit SHRPO.com.
# # #
About Seminole Hard Rock Poker
Seminole Hard Rock Poker encompasses four major poker series held annually at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In August 2013, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) was introduced to poker players around the world and featured a $10 million guarantee championship, the largest guarantee in history. In addition to the SHRPO, Seminole Hard Rock Poker series’ includes the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open (January), Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (April) and Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll” Poker Open (November). All four series fall under the SHRPO umbrella with tournament news, live updates and championship live streaming. Visit www.SHRPO.com. Join the conversation at #SHRPO, and tag us @SHRPO.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This world-renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion on Oct. 24, 2019. New offerings include 638 upscale guestrooms in the first-ever Guitar Hotel, 168 luxury guestrooms and unique swim-up suites in the adjacent Oasis Tower at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, and 465 newly redesigned guestrooms in Hard Rock Hotel for a combined room count of 1,271 throughout the resort. Additional amenities include the lush, “Bora Bora” style lagoon with private cabanas and butler service; a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa® & Salon; a 13.5-acre recreational water experience for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding; 19 dining outlets and 20 bars and lounges; an expansive gaming floor with 3,100 slots, 195 table games and a 45-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space including a 38,000 square-foot, carpeted exhibition hall; and a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade. The new Hard Rock Live entertainment venue with a 7,000-person capacity, showcases A-list entertainers, comedy acts, Broadway performances, sporting events and live broadcast productions. The integrated resort is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood SeminoleReservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441), and is 10 minutes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Miami and Miami International Airport. For more information, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com, call 800-937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly.