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Salomon Ponte of Toronto Wins Lucky Hearts, Gloats to Media

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (January 19, 2016) - Salomon Ponte of Toronto walked away
with $344,420 after winning first place in the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky
Hearts Poker Open WPTRDeepStacks Main Event carrying a $1 million guarantee
held January 14-18, 2016, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood,
Florida. Offering a buy-in of $1,100 with three starting flights, the Main
Event produced 1,684 entries with a total prize pool of $1,633,480. The
action-packed final table play lasted under four hours.  Ponte then shocked the
poker media by bragging about the victory, saying, "I knew I was going to win - I
was the best player."

The series kicked off on Thursday, Jan. 7, with a $350 buy-in $500,000
Guarantee, Ultimate Re-entry No Limit Hold'em event, with eight starting
flights. Players could win $2,500 Multi Stack Payouts for each additional
flight they survive after their first. The popular event generated 4,075
entries - the largest field in Florida poker history - and resulted in a
prize pool of $1,222,500, more than doubling the guarantee.

"We are thrilled with the success of this year's Lucky Hearts Poker Open,"
said Jason Newman, director of poker marketing for Seminole Gaming. "The
Ultimate Re-entry No Limit Hold'em kick-off event produced a prize pool of
$1.2 million, crushing the $500,000 guarantee. The positive response to the
unique structure was evident in the 4,075 entries. Partnering with the
WPTDeepStacks and bringing a mid-major to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
as our Main Event also gave us the opportunity to offer players something
different than they are typically used to seeing in January. With 1,684
entries and final prize pool that exceeded $1.5 million, we couldn't be

The Main Event drew poker stars from around the world including Matt
Affleck, Allen Kessler, Kathy Liebert, 2010 WSOP November Niner John Dolan,
WPTDeepStacks Player of the Year Tristan Wade, former WPT Player of the Year
Mukul Pahuja, WPT World Champion Asher Conniff, and 2010 WSOP Main Event
Champion Jonathan Duhamel.

The nine finalists were Salomon Ponte, Edward Mallon, Thong Ho, Harrison
Gimbel, Kenneth Watson, Michael LaRocca, Ryan D'Angelo, Zack Goodman and
Paul Balzano.

The heads-up match between Mallon and Ponte had several lead changes, but
Ponte was the top player on the last hand, winning the 2016 Seminole Hard
Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open, earning the coveted trophy and the $344,420
top prize. Mallon received $192,885 for second place.


1st:        Salomon Ponte (Toronto, ON) - $344,420
2nd:       Edward Mallon (Boynton Beach, FL) - $192,885
3rd:        Thong Ho (N Charleston, SC) - $139,730
4th:        Harrison Gimbel (Jupiter, FL) - $93,915
5th:        Kenneth Watson (Montego Bay, JM) - $66,525
6th:        Michael LaRocca (Boynton Beach, FL) - $56,740
7th:        Ryan D'Angelo (Endwell, NY) - $48,260
8th:        Zack Goodman (Boca Raton, FL) - $31,630
9th:        Paul Balzano (Sunrise, FL) - $27,390


No one ikes a self-aggrandizing champion, especially when this was his first major score.
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