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MacDonnell, Foxen, and Riess Win SHRPO Preliminaries

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open is one of the more popular events on the post-WSOP schedule and over the last couple days, some big names have taken down preliminary events. Marc MacDonnell emerged victorious over a final table that included Maria Ho to win Event #21, $1,100 NL Hold’em. 2013 WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess cut a deal heads-up with Ray Qartomy to win the $10k Single-Day Event. Also, Alex Foxen successfully defended his title in the $2,650 NL Event, defeating Blair Hinkle after a prolonged heads-up battle.

MacDonnell Wins $1,100 NL Hold’em Event

Four Events compose of The Big 4 Events at the 2018 SHRPO. One of them was the $1,100 NL Event that concluded on Tuesday. It drew a field of 640 players and by the end of Day 1 play, the final table was reached. Two of the featured players at the final table included Maria Ho and Paul Balzano. Balzano has enjoyed success in Big 4 events, as this was his third final table in as many years.

Maria Ho was the fan favorite going into the final table, but she could only manage a seventh-place finish. Balzano only earned a fifth-place finish. In the end, it was WSOP bracelet winner Joey Couden and Marc MacDonnell battling for the title. Couden would fail to snag this title as his final hand saw him run A-5 into A-K. MacDonnel held and took down the title.

Couden earned $83,750 for finishing in second while MacDonnell won $119,465 for first.

Ryan Riess Chops $10k Single-Day Event – Take Title

The $10k Single-Day Event drew a solid field of 91 entries and produced a stacked final table that included 2013 WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess, Ben Yu, Shannon Shorr, Barry Hutter, Stephen Chidwick and Ray Qartomy. Qartomy ended up dominating for much of the final table, but all it takes is a well-timed run to turn one’s fortune around.

Riess enjoyed one of those runs and managed to surge into the chip lead by the time he reached heads-up play with Qartomy. The pair then decided on an ICM chop with Qartomy earning $206,297 while Riess earned the title and $236,838.

This was his third win at the Seminole Hard Rock in four years. He won his first World Poker Tour title at the venue in 2017 and took down a $2,200 NL Event back in 2015.

Alex Foxen Goes Back-to-Back in $2,650 NL

Alex Foxen did something on Tuesday you rarely see in poker, win the same tournament two years in a row. Foxen managed to make the final table of Event #20, the $2,650 NL Hold’em for the second straight year on Tuesday but had to outlast a killer final table in order to repeat.

Michael Esposito, Brandon Hall, Jake Schwartz, Rick Alvarado and Blair Hinkle all made the final but it was Hinkle that would prove the greatest challenge. Hinkle and Foxen battled for hours heads-up with both trading the chip lead multiple times. In the end, Hinkle was all-in with ducks but Foxen outdrew him with A-10.

Foxen earned $208,452 for his first place victory while Hinkle earned $146,042 for second. It’s rare to see a player win the same event in consecutive years. Last year, Foxen took down the same event for $204,600.

This victory is the latest in what continues to be a hot year for Foxen. This is his fourth victory of 2018 and his sixth six-figure score of the year. He’s doubled his career earnings in 2018 with $2.3 million in earnings so far. He now has $4.53 million in career earnings.

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