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Australian player wins Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

16 August 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- For the third consecutive year, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) concluded with the crowning of The Big 4 champions at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida. The quartet of winners earned more than $1.8 million, with Martin Kozlov headlining the day as the SHRPO Champion pocketing $754,083.

Kozlov is a 30-year-old professional poker player from Melbourne, Australia. His SHRPO Championship victory came during the early morning hours of Wednesday when Kozlov claimed his second major title in the last 14 months. The six-figure score moved his career earnings to more than $2.6 million and rendered his eighth tournament cash of 2017.

The Big 4 is a collection of four-tournament finales that feature staggered structures, timed so the events play out alongside one another. Unique to South Florida, 2017 marks the third year of the one-of-a-kind finisher. In all, Tuesday's play saw more than $5.8 million earned between the four final tables which featured 35 players between them.

This year's $3 million guaranteed SHRPO Championship drew 887 entries, resulting in a year-over-year increase, and a total prize pool of $4.3 million.

SHRPO Championship Final Table Results:
1st: Martin Kozlov (Melbourne, Australia) $754,083
2nd: Dylan Drazen (Wilton Manors, Florida) $528,322
3rd: Matt Berkey (Las Vegas, Nevada) $341,618
4th: Yi Chi Li (Jacksonville, Florida) $252,481
5th: Michael Aron (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) $191,437
6th: Aaron Mermelstein (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) $152,547
7th: Adam Levy (Los Angeles, California) $126,305
8th: Luke Brereton (Prestbury, U.K.) $100,408
9th: Joe Kuether (Las Vegas, Nevada) $75,413

In addition to Kozlov, the other Big 4 winners were:
  • John Andress (Berkeley, California), winning the $25,500 High Roller for $801,450.
  • Alex Foxen (Cold Spring Harbor, New York), winning the $2,650 Freeze-Out for $204,600.
  • Brian Altman (Boston, Massachusetts), winning the $1,100 Re-Entry for $118,157.
This year's tournament boasted combined prize pool guarantees of $6.5 million. With more than 2,000 overall entries, total cash payouts exceeded the guarantee, topping out at more than $8.8 million. The play down of all four events was streamed online by Poker Night in America, as well as filmed for later airing on CBS Sports Network.

For the fourth year in a row, SHRPO preliminary events featured a Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) tournament. This year's installment supported The Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic benefitting the Conine Clubhouse, a home-away-from-home where families of children under care at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital can stay for free as long as necessary. The event drew 307 entries, marking its largest turnout in The Jeff Conine's Celebrity Poker Classic's six-year history. The event raised nearly $70,000 for the charity and kicked off with an exclusive player party at Kuro, the resort's new-style Japanese restaurant.

The conclusion of The Big 4 wrapped the SHRPO which kicked off 3 August and featured 18 primary events.

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