• Scott Long, CDC Games reports

  • Scott Long, CDC Games reports

Istvan Briski of Hungary is the champion of this year’s Rock ‘N’ Roll World Poker Tour Open Championship event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, edging out Rayan Chamas of Byblos, Quebec, who heads off Wednesday night.

Briski pocketed $647,300 and a $10,400 World Poker Tour Championship seat for his first big win in a live poker tournament, with Chamas settling for $600,000. Three South Florida players – Sandy Sanchez (3rd), Fred Goldberg (4th) and Darrell Fish (6th) made it to the final table in the $3,500 buy-in event that attracted 1,447 entries.

The championship event has far exceeded the $3 million guaranteed prize pool, with a total prize pool of approximately $4.6 million. The 50-event series was generally successful, with the series’ opening $400 event on November 15 attracting 7,532 entries, the second-most in Florida poker history. Richard Saunders of Hampstead, New Hampshire won the event for $192,398.

Other winners of the signing event included:

  • Nathan Thrash of Post Falls, Idaho – $600 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em ($48,961)
  • Adam Hendricks from Anchorage, Alaska – $5,000 No Limit Deep Stack ($192,150)
  • Alexijs Bonakov from Riga, Latvia – $25,500 No Limit Hold’em ($682,238)

The next big poker series at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be the Lucky Hearts Poker Open Jan. 11-24, with a tournament event featuring a $2 million guaranteed prize pool.