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First World Poker Tour® Event in Florida a Shining Success with Large Field and Positive Player Response
Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Garners 433 Entrants; Taylor Von Kriegenbergh Wins Inaugural Sunshine State WPT® Title
Hollywood, FL (May 3, 2011) – World Poker Tour's first foray into the state of Florida surpassed even the highest expectations amassing a field of 433 and a prize pool of $4,156,800. Florida's top players such as Robert Mizrachi, Jason Mercier and John Dolan, battled against many of the top pros in the game including Annette Obrestad, Dwyte Pilgrim, Scott Montgomery, Chino Rheem, Matt Affleck and former WPT champion Tommy Vedes, who made the final table and finished 6th.
But none of the big names were able to outplay Taylor Von Kriegenbergh, who defeated a seasoned final table that included Vedes, Allen Bari who has secured nearly $2 million in career earnings, and Abbey Daniels who fell just short of becoming the first woman to win an open WPT Main Event.
During a long final table that would end more than 11 hours after the cards hit the felt, the chip lead was traded numerous times throughout the night. But by heads up the lead was back where it began - with 22-year old Taylor Von Kriegenbergh. Kriegenbergh then used the might of his stack, going all in twice in the first five hands of heads-up play against Curt Kohlberg. The second push was for all the money when Kriegenbergh's Qc 8d, pulled ahead of Kohlberg's As 10c as the board fell Qs 4s 4d Kh Qh. Kriegenbergh walked away with the title of first ever WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Champion, a WPT bracelet, the event trophy and $1,122,340 including a $25,500 buy-in to the season-ending WPT World Championship taking place later this month at Bellagio in Las Vegas.
"I'm speechless right now," said an elated Kriegenbergh. On being backed by friends, including one who makes $10 an hour and owns a 10% stake in his success, he continued "I really love that tonight I was given the chance to change multiple lives, not just my own. It's wonderful."
Kriegenbergh also picked up 1,400 Player of the Year points, jumping into a tie for 5th in the tight race currently lead by Andy Frankenberger. With only 100 points separating Frankenberger and 2nd place Vivek Rajkumar, and with several more of the world's best nipping at their heels, the winner will be decided at the WPT World Championship.
Alexander Condon of Sioux City, Iowa didn't finish in the money, but he was the deepest finisher amongst all 18-20 year olds who entered this event. For that, he received a prize basket from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino that included an electric guitar autographed by Aaron Lewis, lead singer for the band Staind. Condon is the cousin of poker pro William Reynolds, who made the most recent WPT final table at the Hollywood Poker Open in Indiana.
WPT announcer Mike Sexton, who started consistently playing in WPT events this year, cashed for the third time in Season IX, taking home $31,176 for 27th place.
Final Table Standings
1. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - $1,122,340
2. Curt Kohlberg - $586,109
3. Justin Zaki - $415,680
4. Abbey Daniels - $286,819
5. Allen Bari - $211,997
6. Tommy Vedes - $166,272
Current WPT Player of the Year Standings (Points)
1. Andy Frankenberger (2,100)
2. Vivek Rajkumar (2,000)
3. Alessio Isaia (1,750)
4. Kia Mohajeri (1,700)
5. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh, (1,400)
5. Alexander Kuzmin, (1,400)
5. Antonio Esfandiari (1,400)
5. Gregory Brooks (1,400)
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown final table photos can be found here: WPT Media Room »
About World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (WPT) is one of the most recognized names in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in over 150 countries and territories and is currently airing its all-new ninth season on FSN in the United States. Season 9 of WPT is sponsored by ClubWPT.com, a unique online membership site which offers inside access to the WPT as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club and is available in 35 states across the U.S. WPT participates in strategic brand license, partnership and sponsorship opportunities. WPT is a subsidiary of bwin.party digital entertainment plc. For more information, go to worldpokertour.com.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino invites you to PLAYHARD! Play, stay, dine, and shop at South Florida's ultimate entertainment destination. Over ninety tables offer Blackjack, Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker, Casino War and Let it Ride on a nearly three-acre casino floor. 2,500 Vegas-style slots including the Native-American Casino linked Multi-Area Progressive Jackpots and Mega Jackpots. Separate high-limit rooms for table games and slots, in addition to a non-smoking room are available for guests to enjoy. Loyal Player's Club members may enjoy an exclusive VIP Plum Lounge and VIP Chef's Table show kitchen. Convene in The Poker Room at Seminole Paradise for various games and tournaments of Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em, 7-Card Stud and two dollar and four dollar Limit Omaha Hi-Lo games. Located inside the casino is Hard Rock Cafe -Hollywood, part of Hard Rock's 134 globally recognized rock 'n roll themed restaurants. The Green Lodging Certified by the State of Florida, AAA, Four Diamond rated resort showcases 500 luxurious guest rooms, 17 restaurants and lounges, 40,000-square-feet of meeting room space, Body Rock spa, 23 boutique shops, 12 nightclubs, Paradise Live, a 400- seat theatre and Hard Rock Live, a 5,500- seat concert arena. Located on State Road 7 (U.S. 441) in Hollywood, Florida. Take I-95, exit Stirling Rd. and travel west to 1 Seminole Way. For more information, call (954) 327-ROCK, 1-800-937-0010 or visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com or www.facebook.com/seminolehardrockhollywood.