Blair Hinkle wins Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 29, 2013 Posted in Tournament News | No Comments »

SHRPOThe $10 million guaranteed Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event will go down as one of the biggest and most prestigious events on the 2013 tournament calendar, and the winner of the $1.7 million first-place prize, Blair Hinkle, may have just gone from being known as a successful poker player to one of the game’s top rising stars.

Hinkle’s win wouldn’t come easy, first having to navigate the massive 2,000+ player filed, and then having to face-off against a tough final table that included Justin Bonomo. In the end, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open title it would come down to a battle between the two Internet stars and it would take 80 hands and over an hour and a half of play before Hinkle dispatched Bonomo.

Towards the end of the heads-up battle Hinkle seems to have gotten lucky (Bonomo mucked his hand so we don’t know for sure but it would seem reasonable to assume he could have beaten the bottom pair of Hinkle after calling three streets) rivering two pair and getting three streets of value from the hand. The win gave Hinkle a commanding 4:1 chip-lead, and just a few hands later Bonomo had the unfortunate luck of moving all-in with top pair when Hinkle had the nut-straight.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown website:

1. Blair Hinkle – $1,745,245

2. Justin Bonomo – $1,163,500

3. Mukul Pahuja – $872,625

4. Ray Qartomy – $639,925

5. Samuel Bernabeu Guilabert – $494,490

6. Greg Lehn – $378,138

In 2008 Blair Hinkle won the $2,000 No Limit Holdem tournament at the World Series of Poker, just two weeks after his brother Grant won the $1,500 No Limit Holdem tournament. Since this remarkable feat (which obviously got a lot of play for the ESPN WSOP cameras) the Hinkle’s have been one of the most successful pair of siblings in poker. Hinkle received even more notoriety (although it’s notoriety he would likely not have) when he won the FTOPS Main Event in 2011. The seven-figure dream payday turned into a nightmare when Black Friday hit and his Full Tilt money was locked-up on the site.

In recent years Blair Hinkle has gone from one of the countless young players who won a World Series of Poker bracelet during the Poker Boom, to one of the top tournament players in the game. The $1.7 million payday at the SHRPO Main Event matched his career live tournament earnings, and with nearly $2 million in online winnings, he is now well over $5 million in total tournament winnings for his career.

Poker has been just as good to the runner-up Justin “zeejustin” Bonomo. After becoming the posterboy for everything wrong with the online poker generation when he was busted for multi-accounting back in 2006, Bonomo has gone on to great things, and has proven his early transgressions were not an indication of his true character.

The $1.1 million score for his runner-up finish puts Bonomo’s career live tournament earnings at over $7 million, giving him a shot at going down as one of the all-time great tournament players if he can continue his winning ways.


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