Mike Del Vecchio Wins WPT Rolling Thunder To Close Out The California Swing

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Mike Del Vecchio defeated a tough final table to take down his first career WPT victory. (WPT photo/Joe Giron)

The final stop of the World Poker Tour California Swing made its way up to Sacramento and Thunder Valley Casino. There was plenty up for grabs in the event as Rainer Kempe came in looking to lock up his position as the points leader of the California Swing and 421 entrants were looking to close out the West Coast portion of WPT Season XV in style.

Mike ‘3kingme3’ Del Vecchio started the final table as chip leader and defeated a talented group of players including Sorel ‘imper1um’ Mizzi, Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan, and Olivier Busqueton his way to taking down his first career WPT title.

Busquet came in as the short stack but was able to triple up on the 27th hand in a spot that saw Drinan get eliminated in sixth place. Busquet shoved from the button for 440,000 and Drinan re-jammed out of the small blind for 960,000 total. John Hadley called from the big blind with JdJc in the big blind, having both players covered, and had the QsTh of Busquet along with the KdJh of Drinan at risk.

The QhTs3h flop put Busquet in the lead with two pair but also gave Drinan outs to a straight. The 6s turn bricked and the Qd river secured the triple for Busquet and sent Drinan to the rail.

Although he picked up a substantial amount of chips, Busquet could not ladder up further and was eliminated in fifth place. On Hand 76, Steve Tabb shoved from the small blind and Busquet called for his last 550,000 with Ah8h. Tabb turned over Kd4d and picked up a flush draw on the Jd9s8d flop. The Tc turn gave Tabb outs to a straight and he found his flush on the 2d river to eliminate Busquet.

Four hands after Busquet exited, it was Hadley’s turn to leave the final table. Hadley opened for 140,000 from under the gun and Del Vecchio three-bet to 525,000 out of the small blind. Hadley moved all-in for 1,480,000. Del Vecchio called with 6d6s and had the AcQh of Hadley in a flip worth nearly 25 percent of the chips in play. The Ts7d5s4d6h board did nothing for Hadley and Del Vecchio assumed the chip lead to start three-handed play.

Del Vecchio, Mizzi and Tabb engaged in three-handed play for a few hours before Del Vecchio opened a wide gap by doubling through Tabb. Del Vecchio opened to 180,000 on the button and Tabb three-bet to 555,000 from the small blind. Del Vecchio moved all-in for 3,420,000 total and Tabb called with AsJd, which trailed the AhAc of Del Vecchio.

The Ks8s5c6c2c board ran clean for Del Vecchio and Tabb was knocked down under 20 big blinds.

Hand 157 was the final one for Tabb and Del Vecchio finished the job he started. Del Vecchio raised to 250,000 out of the small blind and Tabb three-bet all-in for 1,950,000. Del Vecchio called with Ac8s and needed to hold against the KhQc of Tabb.

The 9s6d4h6s5s board secured the elimination for Del Vecchio and he entered heads up play with a sizable advantage over Mizzi.

On Hand 182 of the final table, Del Vecchio completed his wire-to-wire championship run. Del Vecchio raised to 300,000 and Mizzi defended his big blind to see a 7s4c2h flop. Mizzi checked and Del Vecchio bet 225,000. Mizzi called and the 4s came on the turn.

Mizzi checked again and Del Vecchio bet 600,000 more. Mizzi check-raised to 1,725,000 and Del Vecchio moved all-in and Mizzi called with 6s5s for an open-ended straight flush draw. Del Vecchio turned over 5d4h for trip fours and would have to fade the abundance of outs at Mizzi’s disposal. The river card was the Jh and Del Vecchio wrapped up the title.

With the win, Del Vecchio clinched a spot in the season-ending WPT Tournament Champions next month at the Seminole Hard Rock.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Mike Del Vecchio – $284,638
  2. Sorel Mizzi – $190,105
  3. Steve Tabb – $122,296
  4. John Hadley – $81,930
  5. Olivier Busquet – $63,013
  6. Connor Drinan – $52,222