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The immensely popular and famed "Big 4" series was hosted during the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open with all sporting hefty prize pools and star-studded fields. The biggest buy-in event among all was the $25,500 High Rollerthatattracted 117 players to create one of the richest prize pools that the series has ever doled out.
American player John Andress (cover image) topped the tough field after defeating his heads-up rival – Canadian star Mike Leah in a prolonged battle. Andress pulled off a miracle comeback after being crippled down to just one big blind on the money bubble but eventually the American shipped the event pocketing his biggest cash till date of $801,450, nearly doubling his total career tournament cashes of $984,573.
As any big high roller, the tournament drew the crème de crème the of poker world and few who couldn’t make it in the money included Doug Polk, Isaac Haxton, Nick Petrangelo, Jason Mercier and Bryn Kenney.
Kathy Lehne was the unfortunate soul to get felted on the bubble that left the remaining 16 players in the money. Andress somehow snuck in with less than one big blind, but he would nonetheless outlast players like Marvin Rettenmaier, Joseph Cheong, Anthony Spinella and Rainer Kempe to make it to the final table.
Matt Glantz became the final table bubble of the event and the players then returned the next day for the final day of the event.
Final Table Recap
The first one to fall from the final table was short stacked Sam Panzica followed by SHRPO ambassador Chance Kornuth who settled for seventh place on his adopted home turf.
Omar Zazay went out in sixth place with Chris Hunichen joining him at the rail shortly therafter.
Brandan Adams and Mike Leah were the two big stacks at this point and Leah wrested the lead from Adams eventually making him hit the rail in third place.
Down 3-1 to start, the eventual winner Andress turned the tables on Leah and moved into the lead. It took almost three hours before one finally toppled the other. The last hand of the event saw Leah's against the of Andress. Leah got no help from the board and exited the event in the runners-up spot.
Andress after his win said. “Mike is real tough, and Brandon was playing a lot of hands. I had some good spots, and things went well when it mattered.”
Final Table Results (USD)
1. John Andress – $801,450
2. Mike Leah – $561,600
3. Brandon Adams – $351,000
4. Chris Hunichen – $242,775
5. Tom Marchese – $155,025
6. Omar Zazay – $114,075
7. Chance Kornuth – $93,600
8. Sam Panzica – $78,975
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