Florida Tourney Grinder Darryll Fish Wins First WPT Title, $512K at Lucky Hearts Poker Open

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The 2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open wrapped up its two-week series on Wednesday night with the $3,500 World Poker Tour LHPO Main Event, which drew 911 entries. Darryll Fish, who has been on a heater at the Seminole Hard Rock, came out on top to win his first WPT title and a career-high $511,604.

Darryll Fish has earned $1,139,743 at the Seminole Hard Rock since April. (Image: SHRPO)

Fish Reels in Win

For Fish, who also won entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, it was the culmination of a string of close calls at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. He previously finished runner-up in the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship for $453,185, and then took 33rd in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event for $6,034. Last November, he also finished third in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open Championship for $168,920.

“It’s a relief. I’ve said before that I don’t play for the title but it doesn’t mean I don’t want one and doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.” Fish told WPT officials after his win. “It’s been a lot of years playing the WPT so it feels really really good.”

Fish ended up squaring off against Aleksandr Shevelev in heads-up play, which lasted 122 hands. In the final hand of the tournament, which took place in Level 38 (300k/600k/100k), Shevelev moved all in for 4.45 million holding the A♣10♥ and Fish called with the K♦J♠.

A Q♣9♦8♦ flop gave Fish a gutshot, but it was the K♣ on the turn that would put him in the lead. A 10♦ river improved his hand by completing the straight, leaving Shevelev to settle for second place and a $331,116 consolation prize.

Others to cash in the Main Event included John Dolan (9th for $49,680), Rainer Kempe (14th for $31,989), Tristan Wade (22nd for $18,039), and Aaron Massey (52nd for $10,006).

“It feels like home,” Fish said of the Seminole Hard Rock. “Every poker player has their home casino and the one they feel most comfortable playing in. From the chips to the tables to the dealers, everything kind of adds to that to make it feel more comfortable. It felt like the natural progression to winning one here.”

Fish now has $2,734,351 in tournament earnings, which puts him 19th on Florida’s all-time money list.

Six-Figure SHRPO Scores

Ben Tollerene (Image: SHRPO)

The 2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open was comprised of two dozen events, and 20 players managed to earn six-figure prizes throughout the festival. That included WPTDeepStacks champ Scott Baumstein ($220,238), Super High Roller champ Stefan Schillhabel ($493,000), and $25,500 High Roller victor Justin Bonomo ($556,873).

Some other notable players to win titles during the Lucky Hearts Poker Open were Ari Engel ($1,100 Re-Entry for $45,688), Zachary Donovan ($2,200 Re-Entry for $88,780), Michael Tureniec ($1,100 Turbo for $33,600), and Ben Tollerene ($5,000 Re-Entry for $163,944).

It was actually Tollerene’s second six-figure score of the day after he finished third in the $25,500 High Roller for $248,438.

“I completely bricked off PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure), and was down a bunch,” said Tollerene. “I think I won it all back today, so it feels great.”

He continued: “I focused really hard on this $5K and I’m really proud of that, because it’s not the biggest stakes for me. I tried to work on my game, and it feels great to get rewarded for that.”

The WPT is now headed up the East Coast to the Borgata in Atlantic City for the $3,500 buy-in 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, which will run from Jan. 28 through Feb. 2.

LHPO Final Table Results
1 Darryll Fish (Cape Coral, FL) $511,604
2 Aleksandr Shevelev (Hallandale Beach, FL) $331,116
3 Andy Frankenberger (New York, NY) $244,342
4 Ness Reilly (Boston, MA) $182,249
5 Brett Bader (Boca Raton, FL) $137,440
6 Alan Krockey (Chicago, IL) $104,784

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