Silverman defeats JC Tran to win inaugural Alpha8
On Tuesday, Steve “Zugwatt” Silverman triumphed over the sparse 18 player field in the inaugural Alpha8 tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open tournament series, and at the same time Blair Hinkle and Justin Bonomo secured their seats at the six-player final table in the SHRPO Main Event.
The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open has been one of the most talked about tournament series of the year, both for its $10,000,000 guaranteed Main Event and as the launching pad of the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) Alpha8 Super-High-Roller tournament series, but while these two events both had a lot of buzz surrounding them, when push came to shove only one of them delivered.
I’m loath to call the first Alpha8 tournament a failure after just a single event, but the ambitious undertaking is already being put on notice after just 18 players registered for the tournament (along with three reentries), and most of the biggest names in poker were absent –no Daniel Negreanu, no Phil Hellmuth, no Phil Ivey, etc.
What makes this all the more devastating for the WPT and their Alpha8 tour is that so many top players were in Hollywood, Florida for the Main Event of the series, but most decided against playing in the Alpha8 event.
Here is a look at the entry list from the inaugural Alpha8 tournament (three players, Daniel Alaei, Isaac Haxton, and Daniel Perper rentered after being eliminated on Day 1):
* Daniel Alaei
* Isaac Haxton
* Jeff Gross
* Bill Perkins
* Steven Silverman
* Joseph Cheong
* JC Tran
* Jason Mercier
* Matt Glantz
* Andrew Lichtenberger
* Tom Hall
* Jason Koon
* Philipp Gruissem
* Brandon Steven
* Dan Shak
* Erik Seidel
* Daniel Perper
* Chris Klodnicki
Perhaps the biggest storyline that developed during the final table was World Series of Poker Main Event chip-leader JC Tran coming on strong and challenging for the Alpha8 title (something that should make his new sponsor, 888 Poker, extremely happy) before falling just short and finishing the tournament in second place behind Silverman.
Here is a look at the payouts from the tournament:
1. Steven Silverman – $891,660
2. J.C. Tran – $526,890
3. Jeff Gross – $364,770
4. Matt Glantz – $243,180
This is Silverman’s second big win of the year, and the former online superstar seems to have rekindled his love for the game this year. Silverman is right in the mix for Player of the Year honors, as he now has over $2.2 million in tournament winnings on the year.
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