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Michael Newman of Nanuet, New York won the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘N’ Roll Championship last night. It was the best live cash of his career, $374,240, doubling Newman’s lifetime live poker earnings. This is Newman’s fifth SHRP title.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open kicked off on November 15 and concluded November 29. The Championship event had a buy-in of $3,500 and came with a $2 million guaranteed prize pool. The tournament attracted 585 entrants over the course of two starting flights.
Newman called it “the best thing” he has ever done in poker. It wasn’t as much the money, though he said the money was “great,” but the thrill of defeating the toughest field he had ever played against in his life. Newman faced off against two WSOP bracelet winners, WPT Champions Club members, SHRPO Champion Dan Colman, and eight-time WSOP Circuit winner Ari Engel.
Colman was eliminated in tenth, shortly before the final table. He was followed by Shaun Deeb before play began at the featured six-seat final table. Newman later admitted that he did not get even a second of sleep the night before the final table.
Engel came to the final table as chip leader, but lost his advantage to Newman on the first hand. Engel was eliminated not long after in 5th place. At the start of heads-up play, Newman held a 7-to-1 chip lead over runner-up Matas Cimbolas. Cimbolas earned $262,440 for his second-place finish.