Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood held a World Poker Tour (WPT) $3,500 Poker Showdown last weekend. Day 1b attracted over 1,100 players, including Jon Batye and Metti Saliu, ClubWPT qualifiers.
The WPT gave the duo a memorable catamaran ride with drinks on Friday night. This inspired them to win the largest tournament in their careers.
Jon Batye's Freeroll
Batye is a 40-year-old St. Louis resident who used a free trial to register for ClubWPT. He won a $5,500 package that earned him a slot at the Seminole Hard Rock.
This was his first time competing in a poker event, and he had almost 10,000 chips on the first break of Day 1b. Batye earned a huge chunk of his stack after using jack-ten to flop an open-ended straight draw. He used a semi-bluff to face an opponent who had an ace-nine to win a big pot.
Batye missed the straight and rivered a ten before placing a 10,000-value bet. His rival called, and Batye later said that the overall was fair.
Unfortunately, he lost many chips in two subsequent levels and left the tournament before the day's second break.
Metti Saliu Travels to Hollywood, Florida
Saliu, a 46-year-old Milwaukee resident, is an estimator who has played on ClubWPT for a long period. But, the coronavirus pandemic caused his card room at the Potawatomi Casino to close down. It prompted him to upgrade as a ClubWPT Diamond member.
The poker player won a winner-take-all satellite to qualify for the Florida event. He competed in the event the previous year and finished second.
Saliu's brother and father inspired him to play poker 11 years ago. Both of them played in the Moneymaker "Boom" period, and Saliu revealed that he got addicted to poker quickly. Also, he disclosed that he had a nightmare the night before the event that he got eliminated after selecting pocket aces in its first hand.
The player stared at the pocket aces in the same hand and tried to make a small blind limp that earned him a small pot. He held 67,000 chips in Level 5 when blinds were at Level 300/600/600.
Action folded to him in the first hand, and he called. An opponent in the small blind copied his move before a big blind check ended their run on a 10♠2♣3♦. A small blind checked, and Saliu called after an 800 big bet to see a 5♦ turn.
A big blind check forced him to stake 1,300 chips and lure his rival to fold. He told them that he owed them the fold ad later revealed 5♦5♣ for a set.
Action folded to Saliu in the second hand. The same recurred in the third hand, forcing him to release. He increased his chips to 75,000, but the odds turned against him as he got busted before the night's last break.