Kevin Eyster wins WPT Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Poker players and followers of the game are very familiar with the name Kevin Eyster, AKA “1SickDisease” at online poker rooms, but for the vast majority of casual poker fans Eyster was likely a bit of unknown before his recent victory at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown earlier this week. Eyster has plenty of big online scores but this was the first big score and first major victory for Eyster in a live tournament, despite Eyster playing in live events since 2009.
According to PocketFives.com, Eyster has over $3 million in online tournament winnings for his career, including $1.7 million at PokerStars and another $1.3 million at Full Tilt Poker. Just a few weeks ago Eyster made his largest online poker tournament score by winning the High-Roller event in the FTOPS XXIII, where he pocketed an impressive $333,680, giving him nearly $1 million in winnings over the past few weeks.
With Florida growing into one of the hot-spots for US Poker, the tournament at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida has quickly become one of the bigger tournaments on the WPT schedule despite only being a few years old. This time around the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown attracted a field of 542 players, after dropping the buy-in from $10,000 to $5,000.
Eyster wasn’t the only “name” player at the final table as he was joined by Jeff Madsen who was looking to rekindle his career after a long drought between wins. Unfortunately for Madsen, who hasn’t won a major tournament since 2010, his day would end in 6th place, just like his final table appearance in the 2012 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event last August.
The final hand saw Eyster in a race situation with Ben Tarzia holding AT vs. Tarzia’s Pocket 7’s, and even with an Ace on the flop Eyster still had to sweat the Turn and River as Tarzia picked-up a flush draw to go along with his two set outs. After two non-hearts landed on the turn and river Eyster won the pot and the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship.
Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:
1. Kevin Eyster – $660,395
2. Ben Tarzia – $389,750
3. Zo Karim – $252,190
4. Paul Dlugozima – $171,950
5. Daniel Letts – $122,275
6. Jeff Madsen – $100,000
The World Poker Tour’s next stop will also be in Florida as the WPT heads to Jacksonville, Florida for the BestBet Open, a $3,500 buy-in tournament that will sport a $500,000 guarantee. The tournament will allow players who bust on Day 1a to reenter the tournament on Day 1b, but only one entry per day is allowed.
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