The 2014 Hollywood Poker Open Championship Event attracted a record-setting field of 692 entries, which created an astonishing prize pool of $1,560,460. After three long days of play, it was Simon Deadman who emerged victorious after his beat the of Michaeal Wang in heads-up play. In addition to the $351,097 first-place money, Deadman took home the HPO Championship trophy and the honor of being the second-ever HPO Championship winner, joining inaugural winner Ana Marquez in the record books.
Final Table Results
Deadman had finished runner-up an astonishing six times since the beginning of 2014 — impressive, but disappointing in it's own right.
"It was painful not getting the trophy," a relieved Deadman said after the tournament. "I always joke around about finishing second, but I wanted to win this real bad."
Deadman had the support of a large rail that cheered him on to victory. "It felt great that they would drive all the way down from the Strip to watch. I really appreciated it."
As for future plans, Deadman will take part in the Main Event at the World Series of Poker, but for now he is going to take a day off. "But knowing me, I'll jump right into the mixed-max tomorrow."
The final day of play started with 23 players returning and it wouldn't take long to whittle the field down to the final table. Eliminated early on were the likes of Andy Spears (21st - $10,299) who would lose with two pair against a set. Later on, Kitty Kuo would take out two in one blow to get the tournament down to the final 13.
Brian Hastings (11th - $24,031) would lose a race to Michael Wang to fall just short of the final table, and Chris DeMaci (10th - $24,031) would fall to Kuo in a cooler of a hand that would leave the pro stunned. Another pro, Mike Sowers (9th - $31,209), would also be eliminated in shocking fashion when Elliott Zaydman would hit a flush on the river to crack Sowers's kings.
HPO Regional Championship winner Bradley Yazici (7th - $46,814) would survive countless double ups, but his dream of taking home the title fell just short when his jacks ran into the aces of Robbie Bakker. Bakker (6th - $55,708) would learn himself what it was like to run into aces when he took queens up against Martin Godsk's pocket rockets to be eliminated.
After Zaydman (5th - $71,781) and Godsk (4th - $98,777) were eliminated, the tournament turned into the Deadman show as he took control of things with a huge double up against Kuo that would move Kuo from the chip lead to the short stack when her trip kings fell to his full house. She would go out the very next hand at the hands of Deadman to finish in third place for $142,158.
There were plenty of notables among the 63 that would make the money including Rens Feenstra (58th - $5,618), Michael Katz (55th - $5,618), Bruno Lopes (51st - $6,086), Greg Ostrander (50th - $6,086), Chris Hunichen (41st - $7,178), and Andrew Lichtenberger (32nd - $8,583). Just as many would come out and find themselves leaving empty handed including HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker, Lauren Kling, Jacob Bazeley, Amit Makhija, Jared Jaffee, Aaron Massey, Guillaume Darcourt, and 2013 November Niner Michiel Brummelhuis