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Mike Del Vecchio Wins 2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder

Poker Pro Tops Stacked Final Table To Win $284,638


The final six players in the 2017 World Poker Tour Rolling thunder $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event had combined live earnings of roughly $30 million dollars heading into the final table, with several top pros in the running for the title including Connor Drinan, Olivier Busquet and Sorel Mizzi. In the end Mike Del Vecchio emerged victorious from the stacked final six, capturing his first World Poker Tour title and the top prize of $284,638.

“I was joking with my friends that this was probably one of the toughest WPT final tables I’ve ever seen,” said Del Vecchio. “It means a lot to win, it feels really good.”

In addition to the title and the money, Del Vecchio also earned 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second final table score of 2017, and it was enough to see him move into 22nd place in the overall POY standings, which are presented this year by Commerce Hotel & Casino.

Del Vecchio came into the final table as the chip leader with a massive 178 big blinds. The shortest stack going into the day was WPT Champions Club member Olivier Busquet with only 28 blinds. He tripled up in the hand that eliminated Connor Drinan in sixth place ($52,222) but was unable to convert that win into any momentum towards a surge up the leaderboard. On his final hand Steve Tabb moved all-in after it folded to him in the small blind. Busquet called all in for his last 11 big blinds with the AHeart Suit8Heart Suit and was ahead of Tabb’s KDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit. The board brought three diamonds, though, giving Tabb as flush and sending Busquet to the rail in fifth place ($63,013).

Del Vecchio scored the next knockout, calling John Hadley’s all-in with the 6Spade Suit6Diamond Suit and winning a race against AClub SuitQHeart Suit. With that Hadley took home $81,930 as the fourth-place finisher and Del Vecchio surged into the chip lead again.

Three-handed play lasted more than 70 hands, with several big swings and double ups along the way. Eventually Del Vecchio was able to score the knockout blow on Steve Tabb to bust him in third place ($122,296), setting up a final showdown against Sorel Mizzi.

Del Vecchio held roughly 8.1 million of the approximately 12.6 million chips in play, but both players ahd at least 45 big blinds to start the heads-up battle. It took only 25 hands for Del Vecchio to seal the deal.

On the final hand Del Vecchio raised to 300,000 from the button with blinds of 60,000 – 120,000 and an ante of 20,000. Mizzi called from the big blind and the flop brought the 7Spade Suit4Club Suit2Heart Suit. Mizzi check-called a bet of 225,000 from Del Vecchio and the 4Spade Suit hit the turn. Mizzi again checked and this time Del Vecchio bet 600,000. Mizzi thought over his options for a while before opting to check-raise to 1,725,000. Del Vecchio weighed the situation for a few moments before moving all in.

Mizzi made the call and revealed the 6Spade Suit5Spade Suit for an open-ended straight-flush draw. Del Vecchio held the 5Diamond Suit4Heart Suit for trips. Mizzi had a lot of outs, but the JHeart Suit the completed the board was not one of them. With that Del Vecchio secured the pot and title, sending Mizzi to the rail as the runner-up with $190,105 and 900 Player of the Year points. This was his second final table of the year and it earned him enough points to catapult him into 20th place on the POY leaderboard.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded to the final six:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Michael Del Vecchio $284,638 1080
2 Sorel Mizzi $190,105 900
3 Steven Tabb $122,296 720
4 John Hadley $81,930 540
5 Olivier Busquet $63,013 450
6 Connor Drinan $52,222 360

Photo courtesy of Joe Giron / World Poker Tour.