The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open final table has been reached and Dylan Smith leads the field, with Landon Tice and Jesse Lonis still in the hunt.

The final stages of this year’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event have thrilled poker fans following the action in Hollywood. There are four major poker series held annually at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and with an incredible 1,869 players in this month’s Main Event, it is Dylan Smith who will return to Vegas in five weeks with the chip lead as he bids to become the latest player to have their name engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.

Hamlet Vanquished on the Bubble

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event is one for the drama and it was perhaps apt that with 234 players being paid, the man who was eliminated on the bubble for nothing had a surname that played right into that drama. Brandon Hamlet must have wondered ‘To be or not to be, that is the question’ when he was all-in and at risk.

Hamlet’s opponent in what was to be his final act was the PokerStake player David Coleman and he was not backing down, perhaps thinking ‘To thine own self be true’. Though for some, that might be madness, there was method in it for Hamlet but just as hand-for-hand play was announced, he was eliminated.

Players such as Soheb Porbandarwala (230th), Matt Stout (216th), Will ‘the Thrill’ Failla (205th), Anna Antimony (196th) and Kevin Stammen (191st), saw a min-cash of $6,400 reach their pockets. A little higher up the payouts, Faraz Jaka (110th for $9,600), Eric Afriat (93rd for $11,500), David Coleman (89th for $11,500), Chris Moorman (76th for $13,800), Brad Owen (57th for $16,300), Josh Arieh (44th for $23,100), Michael Rocco (30th for $33,000) and Mukul Pahuja ($19th for $47,500) all threatened the upper limits of the leaderboard at times without making it to the final two eight-handed tables.

Reichard Rises to the Occasion

With the final six players due to return to Vegas in 28 days for the final, the pressure was on with 10 players needing to be eliminated from the final 16. After the elimination of Barry Hatcher in 16th for $47,500, Josh Reichard’s assault on the summit of the leaderboard was slowed a little by Landon Tice. The prodigious talent, who has a bet for this summer’s WSOP against Jeremy Becker, was all-in with AhJh and held against Reichard’s call with Qh9h when a board of Ts6d4cKcTh played out and Tice doubled his stack.

Jackob Datashvili departed in 15th, his pocket sevens slain by Dylan Smith’s pocket queens before bust-outs for Pavlin Karakikov (14th for $57,000), Scott Wright (13th for $57,000) and John Thornton (12th for $69,000), Tice again the winner, this time with AcKc against Thornton’s Ad9h. Jesse Lonis held As3h and ousted Toby Boas in 11th for $69,000 when the latter’s KcTc didn’t make it, an ace on the flop doing fatal damage to the unfortunate Boas’ chances.

Wasim Assaf left in 10th for $83,000 before Jaroslaw departed in 9th for the same amount. David Mazareulov’s tournament ended in 8th place for $105,000, the first six-figure of the event, when he was busted by a now dominant Dylan Smith. All-in with As6d against Smith’s Ad9c, no help came for Mazareulov as a board of KdJs7s4h5s sent him home.

It was the final table and live-streamed televised final bubble, always a painful time to depart. So it was perhaps a positive that the accomplished tournament pro Dylan Linde lost out, his history being so glorious that it might remove the sting a little more than for a lesser player. Linde shoved with TsTh and was in horrible shape when Reichard called with JhJc. The queen-high board with no pair for either man only ever gave Linde two outs he couldn’t hit and he left in seventh place for $136,000.

Smith Leads the Final Six

Into the final six, the winner will receive $839,300, which includes a $10,400 ticket into the season-ending WPT World Championship. The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship now goes on hiatus for five weeks before returning when the televised final table takes place in Las Vegas on May 29th. Top of the chipcounts will be Dylan Smith, who stellar penultimate day in the event sets him up with 28.4 million chips, the equivalent of an incredible 142 big blinds. His closest challenger will be Josh Reichard, whose axe-wielding adventure in the event so far sees him bag up 20,575,000 chips (103 big blinds).

Behind the two leaders, Landon Tice (69BB) has a real chance of glory – and early bragging rights ahead of his summer side-bet – while Alex Queen (67BB) will be confident of victory. Jesse Lonis (62BB) will fire for another major title, with Aaron Kupin on 25 big blinds, still a very playable stack.

All the drama takes place on May 29th in Las Vegas at the HyperX Arena at Luxor in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who’ll be victorious? That’s anyone’s guess.