Elliott Zaydman Wins Heads Up Event for $8,000, Denies Howard Mash Back-to-Back Victories

2016 Coco Poker Open
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
Coconut Creek, FL
Event #9
$360 No Limit Hold’em Heads Up
Entries: 52
Prize Pool: $20,000
September 27, 2016

Day 7 of the 2016 Coco Poker Open presented players with the popular Heads Up tournament in The Pavilion. The $360 buy-in event drew 52 entrants and whoever was able to win six straight matches would be crowned the next champion. That player just so happened to be local regular Elliott Zaydman.

Zaydman had a difficult path to victory that saw him defeat defending champion Howard Mash heads up. The pair frequents South Florida poker tournaments and had a friendly championship duel that kicked off with a pre-match meal at NYY Steakhouse. In the end, it took just 45 minures for Zaydman to come out on top to the tune of an $8,000 score. Mash, meanwhile, was sent home with a $4,000 consolation prize

Several players had a bye in the first round giving them a little breather while the rest battled away. Many of Coconut Creek’s regulars took a shot including Nancy Birnbaum, Daniel Genachte, John Holley, 2015 SHRP Player of the Year Ory Hen and, of course, defending Coco Poker Open Heads Up champion, Mash.

The early matches were over quickly and the second round was almost as fast. They were soon down to the Quarterfinals after Charlemagne Benjamin won a long match against Jorge Gomez. All eight remaining players were in the money but looking up at the $8,000 top prize.

Mash was still around with a chance for back-to-back titles after he outlasted friend and STAX Poker regular Omar Diaz. Mash booked his seat in the finals after a quick dispatch of Frank Giordano in the Semifinals.

The longest match of the day was the Semifinal tilt between Benjamin and Zaydman. The two traded the lead several times and Zaydman came out ahead after two and a half hours of play to set up the Finals match with Mash.

For Zaydman, the victory adds to a laundry list of accomplishments. He now owns four tournament wins and claims over $480,000 in career earnings. He was born in Russia but now resides right here in Coconut Creek.

Event 9 final results:

1st: Elliott Zaydman – $8,000
2nd: Howard Mash – $4,000
3rd: Charlemagne Benjamin – $2,000
4th: Frank Giordano – $2,000
5th: Omar Diaz – $1,000
6th: Kyle Taddei – $1,000
7th: Michael Lewin – $1,000
8th: John Holley – $1,000