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Boca Raton player wins Seminole Hard Rock LHPO Main Event

25 January 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton, Florida, walked away with $290,687 after winning first place in the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open (LHPO) WPTDeepStacks Main Event on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. The series finale carried a $1,100 buy-in, $1 million guarantee and featured three starting flights. A total of 1,509 players entered the event, creating a prize pool of $1,463,730. In addition to the six-figure prize, Graffeo was awarded a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package and a $5,250 seat in the $5 million guaranteed Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, taking place this August.

"The tournament and structure were great," Graffeo told WPTDeepStacks staff following the win. "The dealers and the staff are unbelievable. Seminole Hard Rock is a terrific place to play."

Graffeo, 41, works in the mortgage industry and was born in Brooklyn, NY. He previously played poker semi-professionally and took a few years' hiatus from the game to raise his children. Graffeo recently moved to Boca Raton, Florida, and now plans to pursue poker more seriously. The Main Event was the first tournament he played in two months, and he bested a decorated final table.

The final table was live streamed online with a 30 minute delay and showed players' hole cards. The other players at the table were Dantonio Brown, Loni Harwood, Marc Levy, Charlemagne Benjamin, Timothy Banks, Timothy Miles, Luis Torres and Aaron Massey.

Final table results:
1st: Michael Graffeo - $290,687
2nd: Dantonio Brown - $178,209
3rd: Loni Harwood - $110,431
4th: Marc Levy - $93,049
5th: Charlemagne Benjamin - $77,127
6th: Timothy Banks - $62,081
7th: Timothy Miles - $47,766
8th: Luis Torres - $34,473
9th: Aaron Massey - $25,563

Kicking off the 2017 LHPO was a $360 Ultimate Re-Entry event. Last year, the tournament drew a field of over 4,000 players, marking the largest poker tournament in Florida state history at that time. This year's installment saw a year-over-year attendance increase of nearly 700 entries putting the final player count at 4,756. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood has since broke the Florida state attendance record following a 5,000-entry field in November. The Ultimate Re-Entry's 4,756-player field is the second largest in the state's history and the resort now holds the top three spots in tournament attendance records. Winning the event was Florida local Jerry Wong. Wong, best known for his appearance as a member of the November Nine, turned the $360 buy-in into $250,000.

The 2017 LHPO series ran from Thursday, 12 January to Wednesday, 25 January 2017. More information on the series, including complete results and winner photos, is available on the website.

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