Two local winners among SHRPO’s Big 4

Two local players were among the four winners during the climactic night of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Tuesday.

It was the second annual Big 4, a four-tournament finale at Hard Rock Live.

Bradley Snider of Plantation won the $2,650 Freeze-Out event, and collected $246,400. Ruslan Dykshteyn of Hollywood took first in the $1,100 Re-Entry and earned $151,000.

The main event winner was Jason Koon of Weston, W.V., who earned $1 million in the $5,250 buy-in SHRPO Championship. Koon is a professional poker player and owns more than $5 million in career earnings.

The Big 4 features staggered structures designed to cascade toward their completions, with the final four tables playing out alongside each other in front of a live audience. The completion of all four events was filmed by Poker Night in America for later airing on CBS Sports Network.

Marvin Rettenmaier of Stuttgart, Germany, won the fourth event completed Tuesday, the $25,500 High Roller. He earned $787,497. The event drew 105 entrants.

Snider’s event drew 529 entrants. He is a math major at Princeton University, and began playing poker only recently. This was his first career cash.

Snider told that he plans to keep poker as a recreational activity and has no plans on skipping out on his education.

“I think poker will continue to just be a serious hobby for me,” he said. “I really enjoy playing casually and thinking about the game. And this will let me play a lot more poker in the future.” (I used the word “collected” higher up, rather than “took home” cash. A player with little tournament experience likely didn’t put up the $2,650 on his own, but instead had investors. So that means that on the other side of things, he’s also not stuffing $246K in his pocket, but instead parceling good chunks of it out to backers. So don’t ask him for money.)

Snider was the 2013 valedictorian at American Heritage School, amassing a 5.85 GPA and taking 10 AP classes while also serving as drum major, according to a biography on him published by the school and available via Google.

Dykshteyn, who moved to South Florida from New York about three years ago, survived a field of 828. According to, the $151,100 win was the third-largest of Dykshteyn’s career behind the $202,335 he won for a victory in the 2014 World Series of Poker West Palm Beach Main Event and $184,705 he earned for taking down the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Event 39 — $570 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack — back in April.

The conclusion of The Big 4 wrapped the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open series, which kicked off July 28 and consisted of 28 events. The tournaments drew more than 2,300 entries, and 16 of the tournaments carried guarantees. Player registration fees covered 15 of the 16, but the main event, with a $5 million guarantee, fell $892,000 short – which the Seminole Hard Rock contributed. As they always do, Seminole officials will look at tournament structures, examine player feedback and study large poker events held elsewhere before nailing down next year’s series.

Twitter: @NickSortal