The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) is scaling back its guarantees for 2015.
That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise: after the SHRPO Main Event easily surpassed a $10 million guarantee in 2013, it failed to come even close to that target last year, resulting in a $2.5 million overlay for players and a very expensive mistake for organizers.
But this year’s even should still provide plenty of excitement for players and fans alike, thanks to a few changes to the tournament’s structure and an increase in coverage for the SHRPO in general.
This year’s SHRPO Main Event will feature a $5 million guarantee, while still retaining essentially the same buy-in ($5,250 this year compared to $5,300 last year).
However, there will be no more reentries: instead, all players will begin in the same starting flight, with no opportunity to buy in a second time.
According to Matt Savage, tournament consultant for the SHRPO, this should create more opportunities for a variety of players to compete for the title.
“This year’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship is an event not to be missed,” Savage said. “With no re-entry, the format becomes a level playing field for poker pros, satellite winners, and recreational players alike.
The postlim events carrying massive guarantees ensure that even if a player busts out of the Championship event, there are more ways to make a huge score.”
Those other events that Savage mentions will also play a big role in the SHRPO this year. Three other final tables will be held simultaneously alongside the main event on Tuesday, August 18, including a $25,000 High Roller tournament and two side events, one with a $2,500 buy-in and one that costs $1,100 to play.
In total, the four tournaments will feature $7.5 million in guaranteed prizes. All four will also be live streamed online with commentary from none other than poker pro Phil Hellmuth. In addition, CBS Sports Network will be televising the final tables in early 2016.
“The 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open will elevate the poker experience to a new level,” said Larry Frank, general manager of poker operations for Seminole Gaming.
“The Championship single-entry structure will provide a unique opportunity for players to complete for their share of the $5 million guarantee. Plus, the chance to be part of the finale that showcases four final tables at the same time heightens the energy and excitement of this year’s series.”
The announcement of the changes for this year’s SHRPO comes on the heels of another successful poker event held at the Seminole Hard Rock: The World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
One of the last stops in the current WPT season, the Hard Rock tournament was won by Griffin Paul, who earned his first major win by defeating Joe Ebanks in heads-up play.
Paul won $1 million for first place, an impressive result for a player who had less than $75,000 in winnings prior to the victory.
“It’s like a dream, I’m speechless,” Paul said after collecting his winnings. “It was a really tough table. I fought some amazing players and here I am.”