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 and Elias and Petraglia both checked. They also checked through the turn and river. Pillai showed for a flopped top pair, but Petraglia turned over for top set, Elias mucked 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 to Panzica’s , but the flop changed everything. Raina was unable to catch up on the turn and 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 but got bad news when Elias showed . The board ran out 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 and Panzica showed . The flop changed everything though and neither the turn or 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 flop and Petraglia called and tabled for a flopped straight while Panzica showed for a flush draw. The turn kept Petraglia ahead and the river kept him there to eliminate Panzica in second place and give Petraglia his first WPT title and $315,732.
Final Table Payouts
- Paul Petraglia – $315,732
- Sam Panzica – $210,783
- Darren Elias – $135,548
- John Esposito – $86,440
- Gaurav Raina – $66,674
- Shankar Pillai – $55,191