Paul Petraglia Denies Sam Panzica Historic Repeat WPT Victory


Paul Petraglia topped the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble field to win his first WPT title. (WPT photo)

In the history of the World Poker Tour, no player has ever won the same event twice. Sam Panzica had a chance to be the first to do it on Wednesday, but ran into local player Paul Petraglia who played his way to victory, forcing Panzica to settle for runner-up in the event he won last year.

Shankar Pillai came to the final table with just 14 big blinds and lasted just 24 hands. Pillai moved all in from middle position for his last 150,000, Darren Elias called from the cutoff and Petraglia defended from the small blind. The flop came QhJh8h and Elias and Petraglia both checked. They also checked through the 9s turn and 8s river. Pillai showed AdQs for a flopped top pair, but Petraglia turned over QdQc for top set, Elias mucked Ah7c and Pillai was out in sixth.

Just 13 hands later, Guarav Raina saw his run end thanks to a bad beat delivered by Panzica. Raina moved all in from the cutoff for 355,000 and Panzica called from the big blind. Raina was ahead with AcAd to Panzica’s ThTs, but the Td8s4s flop changed everything. Raina was unable to catch up on the Kd turn and 8c river and was out in fifth place.

Elias, who was aiming to be the first four-time winner in WPT history, picked off another John Esposito in a blind-vs-blind battle. Action folded to Esposito in the small blind and he moved all in for 1,155,000 and Elias called from the big blind. Eposito turned over 3d3h but got bad news when Elias showed ThTs. The board ran out 8c8d4s4h5c to give Elias the pot and send Esposito out in fourth.

After that hand, Elias had 73% of the chips in play but over the course of the next 24 hands, anything that could go wrong for Elias, did. On his final hand, Panzica button-raised to 125,000 and Elias,down to 24 big blinds, moved all in for 1,435,000 and Panzica called. Elias turned over 7c7s and Panzica showed Ad9s. The AcJc3h flop changed everything though and neither the 6s turn or 4d river were able to save Elias from a third place result.

Heads up play began with Petraglia holding 57% of the chips in play. Panzica changed the narrative over the course of the next 2.5 hours, taking the chip lead from Petraglia once and even holding a 9-2 chip lead at one point. Petraglia wouldn’t be denied though and battled back to regain the lead and eventually finished off Panzica.

Petraglia raised to 350,000 and Panzica called. Panzica check-raised all after the 8h6h5d flop and Petraglia called and tabled 9s7s for a flopped straight while Panzica showed Jh3h for a flush draw. The 8c turn kept Petraglia ahead and the 2c river kept him there to eliminate Panzica in second place and give Petraglia his first WPT title and $315,732.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Paul Petraglia – $315,732
  2. Sam Panzica – $210,783
  3. Darren Elias – $135,548
  4. John Esposito – $86,440
  5. Gaurav Raina – $66,674
  6. Shankar Pillai – $55,191