January 25, 2017

Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton, Fla. Wins $290,687 in Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open WPTDeepStacks Main Event


Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. once again draws record crowds

Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton, Fla. Wins $290,687 in Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open WPTDeepStacks Main Event

Photo Credit: Photographer, Ralph Notaro, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood

Editor’s Note: click here to download photo of Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton, Fla. 

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (January 25, 2017) – Michael Graffeo of Boca Raton, Fla. walked away with $290,687 after winning first place in the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open (LHPO)  WPTDeepStacks Main Event on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. The series finale carried a $1,100 buy-in, $1 million guarantee and featured three starting flights. A total of 1,509 players entered the event, creating a prize pool of $1,463,730. In addition to the six-figure prize, Graffeo was awarded a $3,000 WPTDeepStacks Championship package and a $5,250 seat in the $5 million guaranteed Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, taking place this August.

“The tournament and structure were great,” Graffeo told WPTDeepStacks staff following the win. “The dealers and the staff are unbelievable. Seminole Hard Rock is a terrific place to play.”

Graffeo, 41, works in the mortgage industry and was born in Brooklyn, NY. He previously played poker semi-professionally and took a few-years hiatus from the game to raise his children. Graffeo recently moved to Boca Raton, Fla., and now plans to pursue poker more seriously. The Main Event was the first tournament he played in two months, and he bested a decorated final table.

The final table was livestreamed online with a 30-minute delay and showed players’ hole cards. The other players at the table were Dantonio Brown, Loni Harwood, Marc Levy, Charlemagne Benjamin, Timothy Banks, Timothy Miles, Luis Torres and Aaron Massey.

Final table results:

1st: Michael Graffeo – $290,687

2nd: Dantonio Brown – $178,209

3rd: Loni Harwood – $110,431

4th: Marc Levy – $93,049

5th: Charlemagne Benjamin – $77,127

6th: Timothy Banks – $62,081

7th: Timothy Miles – $47,766

8th: Luis Torres – $34,473

9th: Aaron Massey – $25,563

Kicking off the 2017 LHPO was a $360 Ultimate Re-Entry event. Last year, the tournament drew a field of over 4,000 players, marking the largest poker tournament in Florida state history at that time. This year’s installment saw a year-over-year attendance increase of nearly 700 entries putting the final player count at 4,756. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood has since broke the Florida state attendance record following a 5,000-entry field in November. The Ultimate Re-Entry’s 4,756-player field is the second largest in the state’s history and the resort now holds the top three spots in tournament attendance records. Winning the event was Florida local Jerry Wong. Wong, best known for his appearance as a member of the November Nine, turned the $360 buy-in into $250,000.

The 2017 LHPO series ran from Thursday, Jan. 12 to Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. More information on the series, including complete results and winner photos, is available at

# # #

About Seminole Hard Rock Poker

Seminole Hard Rock Poker (SHRP) is a year-long traveling tournament circuit that is inclusive of four major poker series held annually at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In August 2013, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) was introduced to poker players around the world and featured a $10 million guaranteed championship, the largest guarantee in history. In addition to SHRPO, the Hollywood SHRP series’ include the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open (January), Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (April) and Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll” Poker Open (November). All four series fall under the SHRP umbrella with their championships awarding points toward the SHRP Player of the Year race. The SHRP brand also runs events at Seminole Hard rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and Seminole Cash Hotel Immokalee. For Hollywood updates, visit Join the conversation at #SHRPO, and tag us @SHRPO.

About Seminole Hard Rock

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is South Florida’s iconic entertainment destination located minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s world-famous beach. The AAA Four Diamond-rated resort features 469 luxury guest rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, a lagoon-style pool and Beach Club, a Hard Rock-inspired spa, premium meeting and convention space and a 5,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert arena. The casino offers more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slots and a stand-alone poker room. Fine dining options include Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, the resort’s signature steakhouse, and Kuro, a luxe and socially vibrant restaurant offering new-style Japanese cuisine. In the heart of the hotel is L Bar, a sophisticated, contemporary lounge showcasing handcrafted classic cocktails with a twist. Contemporary and casual eateries, include Blue Plate, the hotel’s 24-hour diner-inspired restaurant; Constant Grind, a gourmet coffee and pastry shop; and the ever-famous Hard Rock Cafe – Hollywood, part of Hard Rock’s 177 globally recognized rock ‘n’ roll restaurants.

For more information, call 954-327-ROCK or 800-937-0010, visit us online at, or follow us on Facebook: @SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly