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Hard Rock draws 2,298 for first event

The kickoff event for the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open packed ‘em in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino poker room.

A total of 2,298 entries were collected for Event No. 1, a $125 buy-in that allowed players to enter more than once. That’s the largest for the poker room and the second largest on the Hard Rock property, surpassed only by the 2,513 in the Hard Rock Live concert hall for WPT Hard Rock Poker Showdown in April. (The state record is 2,607 at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.)

“I think it was so popular because of the low buy-in/high guarantee and the structure,” Director of Poker Bill Mason said. “With the economy the way it is, players are looking for value.”

The nine players at the final table agreed to split the remaining prize money, each taking home $13,787.

The Hard Rock will award points to players after each of the 24 events in the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, with the most going to each tournament winner and the least to those who finish out of the money. After the series is over, prizes will be awarded to the top 30 point-earners.

The goal, of course, is to get players to enter more events, in pursuit of more points.

The series began Wednesday with a $125 buy-in tournament and includes a $350 buy-in Nov. 16 that carries a $250,000 guarantee. The highlight is a $1,650 championship event Nov. 23 with a $300,000 guarantee.

First prize in the overall-points standings is a $3,500 entry into the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open in February, a two-night stay in the hotel and a $200 gift certificate to Council Oak Steaks and Seafood.

Second prize is a $3,500 entry — without the other stuff. Third through fifth place receives a $1,100 entry into a Lucky Hearts tournament, sixth through 15th place nets a $390 entry into a mega-satellite, and 16th through 30th wins a $120 entry into a supersatellite.

Of course, there are some rules, most pertaining to the South Florida habit of chopping up the prize money near the end of the tournament. Basically, the points can’t be dealt, and there can’t be a tournament cash chop, and then playing for points only.

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