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Tony Ruberto Wins 2018 World Poker Tour Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event

Poker Pro Defeats Field of 554 Entries To Win His Second WPT Titlte

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The 2018 World Poker Tour Maryland at Live! Casino $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event drew a field of 554 total entries, easily surpassing the $1.5 million guarantee to create a $1,757,800 total prize pool. In the end the lion’s share of that money was awarded to Tony Ruberto, who emerged victorious with his second WPT main event title and the $344,755 first-place prize. Ruberto took down his first title on the tour back in 2011, topping 393 players to win the WPT Jacksonville main event.

This was Ruberto’s third final table showing of 2018, having placed third in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America main event for $780,000 and fourth in the WPT Choctaw main event for another $166,605. Ruberto was awarded 1,260 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. With his two prior scores in large field events, Ruberto has now climbed into 22nd place in the overall 2018 POY race standings.

Ruberto entered the final day of this event in second chip position behind WSOP bracelet winner Will Givens. Ruberto got off to a strong start, eliminating Mark Sandness (6th – $69,609) and Aaron Pinson (5th – $91,230) to take the lead. Shankar Pillai had also worked his way up the leaderboard in the early going, and he kept up his momentum by knocking out Will Givens in fourth place. Givens got all-in holding the AClub SuitKHeart Suit against Pillai’s 8Spade Suit8Heart Suit and failed to improve, earning $121,112 for his deep run.

The next player to be eliminated was another WSOP bracelet winner in Jeremy Ausmus. he got his last chips in on a KHeart Suit6Heart Suit5Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit board holding the 9Spade Suit9Diamond Suit. He had run into the 8Spade Suit5Club Suit of Ruberto, who made the call with his two pair and won the hand when the JClub Suit hit the river. Ausmus took home $162,597 and 840 POY points as the third-place finisher. This was his fifth final table of the year, and the points he earned were enough to see him shoot into 36th place on the POY leaderboard.

With that Ruberto took more than a 4-to-1 lead into heads-up play against Pillai. The two battled it out for more than 80 hands, but in the end Ruberto was able to close the deal. In the final hand Pillai raised to 300,000 from the button holding the ASpade Suit9Club Suit. Ruberto defended his big blind with the 10Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit and the two saw a flop of ADiamond SuitJHeart Suit5Diamond Suit. Ruberto checked to Pillai, who bet 400,000. Ruberto check-raised to 1,600,000 and Pillai moved all-in for around 5,800,000 total. Ruberto called with his flush draw and the turn brought the KSpade Suit, giving Ruberto additional outs for a straight. The 9Diamond Suit on the river completed Ruberto’s flush, securing him the pot and the title. Pillai was knocked out in second place, earning $220,780 for his strong showing in this event.

Here is a look at the payouts and Card Player POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Tony Ruberto $344,755 1260
2 Shankar Pillai $220,780 1050
3 Jeremy Ausmus $162,597 840
4 William Givens $121,112 630
5 Aaron Pinson $91,230 525
6 Mark Sandness $69,609 420
7 Miki Murzi $53,613 315
8 Brock Parker $41,836 210
9 Andrew Crookston $33,047 105

Winner photo credit: WPT / Joe Giron.