Meet The Final Table of WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

Here are the final six players left to battle for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open title and the $839,300 first-place prize.

Jeff Walsh
Apr 23, 2024
The TV Final Table of WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (from left to right): Aaron Kupin. Jesse Lonis, Dylan Smith, Joshua Reichard, Alex Queen, and Landon Tice.

Since 2012, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown has been a pillar of the World Poker Tour schedule. It’s a popular stop with the promise of big names in the world of poker playing for even bigger paydays and a title worthy of putting at the top of their resume. This year was no different, with 1,869 entries making their way to Hollywood, Florida to take their shot, pushing the prize pool to just a shade under $6 million with a first-place prize of $839,300.

SHRPS is also the first televised final table of Season XXII, as the tournament’s paused with these final six players remaining set to reconvene in Las Vegas on May 29 to determine who will have their name engraved on the iconic Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. In addition to the money and their Championship run being televised for all to see, the winner will also pick up a seat to the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December and instantly be thrust into the WPT Player of the Year conversation.

Fortunately for viewers, this final table really delivers. It’s an electric mix of poker superstars, longtime crushers and local heroes – all of whom will undoubtedly provide plenty of action. So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the final table of WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

Dylan Smith

Dylan Smith – 28,400,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $1,816,225
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $364,440 – 1st, 2023 PokerStars PCA $25,000 PLO High Roller
Other Prominent Scores: $167,700 – 7th, 2023 PokerStars PCA $25,000 High Roller, $166,800 – 2nd, 2023 WPT SHRPS PLO High Roller, $160,700 – 2nd, 2023 WPT SHRPS $10K Deep Stack

A noted Pot-Limit Omaha cash game crusher, Dylan Smith sure has been finding success at the tournament tables over the past year and a half. He took home the first two six-figure scores of his career at the start of 2023 after taking down a PokerStars PCA PLO High Roller and then, days later, making the final table of another $25K high roller. That seemed to break the floodgates open as the Florida resident scored a victory and two runner-up finishes at the 2023 SHRPS – and he’s seemingly having his way again here in 2024.

“This actual same tournament last year, I got 12th. So that was kind of heartbreaking,” Smith said. “I’ve been trying to get myself onto a WPT final table for a while now. So yeah, I’m excited.”

Earlier in the festival, Smith scored a third-place finish in another SHRPS $25K PLO High Roller to push his career live tournament earnings to more than $1.8 million, and all he needs to do is finish 5th of higher at this year’s final table to surpass two million – something he’ll do with a third-place or higher finish, which would eclipse his current personal poker high score.

“I think I have a pretty big chip lead, like a third of the chips and play. The Final Table is one of the tougher ones that I’ve seen in the WPT – normally there’s an amateur at these final tables. Every single person here is a professional, some pretty solid players. So yeah, anything could happen. But I like my spot going into it.”

End of Day 1 chips – 208,500
End of Day 2 chips – 635,000
End of Day 3 chips – 4,950,000

Joshua Reichard

Joshua Reichard – 20,575,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Janesville, WI
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $3,183,799
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $339,646 – 2nd, 2023 WSOP $1K Mini Main Event
Other Prominent Scores: $253,073 – $1st, 2023 WSOP Circuit Chicago $1,700 Main Event, $221,293 – 1st, 2018 Heartland Poker Tour Chicago $2,500 Main Event

If you are looking for who has the most final table experience, it’s going to be tough to beat Wisconsin’s Joshua Reichard. With 15 World Series of Poker Circuit rings, tied for 2nd all-time, Reichard absolutely knows what it takes to close out a final table. As far as a major title goes, Reichard’s knocked on the door before, most notably in the WSOP $1,000 Mini Main Event in 2023 when he got heads-up for a gold bracelet.

A World Poker Tour title and a first-place score of more than $839,000 would immediately be the new career-defining top line of his poker résumé, in a career that’s already seen him win over $3.1 million.

Reichard has had his fair share of success on the WPT to this point, with more than $121,000 in earnings over eight cashes, but sitting second in chips is by far the best spot he’s ever been in to punch his ticket to the Champions Club.

End of Day 1 chips – 210,000
End of Day 2 chips – 3,100,000 (chip leader)
End of Day 3 chips – 22,200,000 (chip leader)

Landon Tice

Landon Tice – 13,700,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Las Vegas, NV
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $860,527
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $201,529 – 1st, 2020 MSPT $1,000 NLHE
Other Prominent Scores: $90,020 – 10th WPT SHRPS $25K High Roller, $74,648 – 5th 2023 WSOP $25K Heads-Up Championship

For as well-known as Landon Tice has become in poker, he’s currently in one of – if not the – biggest spots in his career. The Only Friends podcast co-host, nicknamed “Child of the Sim” for his dedication to studying solvers and GTO style of play, is at his first WPT final table and in striking distance of not just a career-high cash (accomplished with a 5th or better finish) but a validating title to put atop his still young poker résumé.

“It’s not something that I can necessarily say I expected by any means,” Tice said of making the final table. “I just kind of took every spot for what it was and got lucky. Got some gifts along the way. And it’s nice to be able to cash in a lot of the study that I’ve been doing. So very happy, very tired.”

“I’ve just been putting a lot of work at final tables and two tables left, the game is very different than playing for chips or early in the tournament. So I’m very excited to be able to not just like study some stuff to review after the fact, but be able to think through spots myself. And I have a really good team behind me to help me for the next month or so. So we’re ecstatic. We’re cooking.”

Even outside of his podcast appearances and this deep run, Tice has been sitting in the poker spotlight thanks to a high-profile prop bet that pits him against fellow young gun Jeremy Becker in a potentially costly WSOP crossbook. Undoubtedly, no matter what happens at the SHRPS final table, Tice is going to be headed into the crossbook bet with a boost not just to his bankroll, but his confidence as well.

End of Day 1 chips – 182,500
End of Day 2 chips – 1,590,000
End of Day 3 chips – 5,250,000 (5th in chips)

Alex Queen

Alex Queen – 13,450,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Bethlehem, PA
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $2,541,170
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $613,063 – 1st, 2024 Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship
Other Prominent Scores: $355,535 – 1st, 2010 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship, $111,774 – 1st, 2011 Borgata Deep Stack Double Play Open

East Coast poker pro Alex Queen may not yet be as well known in poker as some of his fellow final table mates, but he’s more than made a reputation for himself as a crusher. With more than $2.5 million in earnings, Queen has more than 15 years of experience and a résumé littered with Borgata titles and big-time cashes.

He says that although he’d transitioned more to cash in recent years, after a career-high $600K score to kick off the year, he was ready to put the time back into tournaments.

“I haven’t been to Florida tournaments since before COVID,” he said. “I kind of wasn’t really playing tournaments much anymore. But when the heater calls, you answer the phone, right? And just yeah, feel like I can see the matrix. It’s all locked in and ready to go.“

Queen just may be following in the footsteps of a fellow Borgata Winter Poker Open champion. In 2023, reigning WPT Player of the Year Bin Weng took down a major event at Borgata in January, and then went on to win this very tournament. Now, Queen acknowledges he may be on a similar path.

“Well, most of my days is preparing to be like Bin Weng. So this would actually fall right in line of doing that exact thing.”

End of Day 1 chips – 231,500
End of Day 2 chips – 330,000
End of Day 3 chips – 2,475,000

Jesse Lonis

Jesse Lonis – 12,350,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Las Vegas, NV
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $8,237,765
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $2,303,017 – 1st, 2023 WSOP $50,000 PLO High Roller
Other Prominent Scores: $404,267 – 3rd, 2024 Lucky Heart Poker Open Championship, $367,400 – 1st, PokerStars PCA $10K Warm-Up, $270,000 – 1st WPT World Championship $10,500 PLO

If you have yet to hear about Jesse Lonis – where have you been? Over the past two years, Lonis’ rapid rise in the worldwide tournament scene has been nothing short of incredible. Since the start of 2023, Lonis has been on the grind playing everything everywhere – and winning. We called him “The Busiest Man in Poker” in 2022, we chronicled his continued sun run in 2023, and even talked to him just last month about what sets him apart from everyone else in poker.

It’s not hyperbole to call Lonis a modern poker superstar and probably not a stretch to call him the most dangerous player at the table. After all, he wasn’t given the nickname “American Gangster” at Triton Jeju for nothing. He has two WSOP bracelets, two WSOP Circuit rings, a PCA High Roller title, a PokerGO USPO title, and now he’s in line to add to his resume with his first shot at a WPT title.

In the meantime, Lonis has something else monumental taking place as in between now and the time he’ll play at the SHRPS final table, the 28-year-old is set to be married.

“I have a lot to look forward to this month you know, like, I feel like I live in a dream sometimes. I’m very blessed obviously because everything, and I know it’s not easy doing this, and it just seems like I’m very fortunate in every aspect of life right now.”

End of Day 1 chips – 143,500
End of Day 2 chips – 685,000
End of Day 3 chips – 2,475,000

Aaron Kupin

Aaron Kupin – 4,925,000

Home Country: United States
Resides: Miami, FL
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $628,922
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $60,040 – 7th, 2021 World Series of Poker $10K PLO8
Other Prominent Scores: $50,057 – 11th, 2022 World Series of Poker $10K NLHE 6-Handed Championship

No matter what happens at the final table, it’s going to be a breakthrough score for the short-stacked Aaron Kupin. Kupin has really been turning up the heat on his poker career over the past 18 months including a prolific 2023 World Series of Poker that included 16 cashes. Earlier this year, he hopped into the PokerGO Studio for the first time and added a couple of results during the 2024 PGT Mixed Games Festival.

With roughly 25 big blinds in his stack and roughly 7 years of live experience at age 28, you simply can’t count the well-rounded Kupin out from finding a way to climb back up the chip counts. Just look at his escalating day-over-day chip count, finishing Day 1 with well less than a starting stack and then going on a tear to soar up the chip counts.

He’ll have his work cut out for him, considering his chip position and competition, but Kupin felt like the playdown to the final table went as well as it could have.

“From nine to six, I really don’t even think I played one hand,” Kupin said. “I know I tried to three-bet Landon a little light, and he shoved it in my face. And that was really the only action I got. But again, you can’t really complain when it goes as smoothly as it did. You know, when you’re a medium stack, all you really want is for the short stacks to bust out and you get those page jumps. And that’s exactly what happened. And it happened really quickly. So I can’t complain. And you know, even though I’ll be like a big disadvantage compared to the five much bigger stacks, you know, anything can happen.”

At worst, if Kupin busts out in 6th, the $176,000 payday will nearly triple his previous high score. He has a shot at climbing over $1 million in career live earnings (3rd or better) and, in any case, it’s a new benchmark for the latest chapter in his career.

End of Day 1 chips – 17,500
End of Day 2 chips – 420,000
End of Day 3 chips – 5,250,000 (6th in chips)