Michael Newman Tops Pros to Win $374K at Seminole Hard Rock9 months ago
A tough field of 585 entrants loaded with established pro players turned out to be no match for Michael Newman, who almost doubled his career earnings by winning $374,240 in the $3,500 Main Event of the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Newman's previous best cash was a 12th place finish in the same event back in 2015 for $30,640. It goes to show you that any recreational player can one day emerge as a champion, even among poker's best that included the likes of Dan Colman, Joe McKeehen, Ari Engel, and Shaun Deeb.
“I’m glad I’m able to play at this level, but it would take a lot of time to be a pro,” Newman told tournament reporters. “I don’t know if I could handle the ups, the downs, and the swings."
Downs the Chipleader
One of those ups occurred on the first hand of the final day of action with six players remaining. Holding A-7 suited in diamonds, Newman hit an ace on the flop and staved off a flush draw shove on the turn by Engel, the chip leader who didn't know that he was drawing dead with his two puny diamond hole cards.
Engel's chip stack was decimated, but he managed to finish in 5th place just ahead of Tom Marchese, who bowed out when his K-Q fell to pocket aces. The final four players included two Seminole Hard Rock ambassadors, Sheddy Siddiqui and Darryll Fish.
Siddiqui hit the rail in 4th place, KO'd by Newman despite pairing his A-J with a jack on the flop. He would need another jack to double up considering Newman tabled A-A, but the poker gods failed to deliver.
Fish was disposed of next after trying to steal Newman's BB. His 10-7 offsuit was no match for the K-J holding of Newman, who connected with a king on the flop to send Fish swimming to the cashier cage for his 3rd place prize of $168,920.
That left Newman and Lithuania's Matas Cimbolas to battle for the title. Cimbolas was behind in chips at about a 5-1 clip, a disadvantage that he couldn't overcome.
The Lithuanian bet it all on pocket threes and was ahead until fifth street against Newman's Q-7. But a seven appeared on the river, marking Cimbolas with runner-up status and shipping the title to the recreational player.
"I always like a challenge and I always want to be playing against the best," Newman said after the victory. "That was the best of the best."
SHRPO Main Event Final Table Results
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