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Nick Petrangelo Wins Back-To-Back Stairway To Millions High Roller Titles

The American Poker Pro Took Down The $100,000 Buy-In Event Just A Day After Winning The $50,00 Buy-In Tournament

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Nick Petrangelo absolutely dominated the inaugural Stairway To Millions. The 35-year-old American poker pro final tabled four of the eight tournaments offered at the series, including winning two titles and finishing as the runner-up in the three largest buy-in events on the schedule. The two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner accumulated a total of $1,803,840 in earnings during the Starway To Millions series, including earning $1,026,000 as the champion of the $100,000 buy-in finale event.

“Every time you win, it feels great,” said Petrangelo when asked if winning ever gets old by PokerGO reporters. "I was looking forward to this series, and I’m looking forward to playing a lot of live [poker] in general this year. So no, the short answer is that it never gets old. It’s awesome. I’m really happy and fortunate that I’m running well.”

Petrangelo closed out the series with a trio of huge scores made on three consecutive days. He started off by finishing second in the $25,000 buy-in event for $175,000. The next day he emerged victorious in the $50,000 buy-in event, adding another $567,000 to his totals. He closed the series out in style by taking down the $100,000 buy-in event, the first six-figure buy-in tournament held in 2022, adding a seven-figure payday after securing back-to-back victories. Petrangelo now has just shy of $23.5 million in lifetime tournament earnings to his name, enough to put him in 24th place on poker’s all-time money list.

“Confidence in poker is a huge thing,” offered Petrangelo after coming out on top. “It’s a real thing because oftentimes you can get a little gun-shy when you’re running bad – if you’re running big bluffs and everyone always has the nuts, or vice versa if you’re making calls and you’re just running into it all the time. Sometimes it can kind of mess with your head a little bit and make you second guess yourself. When everything is working out and things are going well and you’re making big hands and the bluffs are getting through, it just helps you play better. It’s as simple as that.”

In addition to the title and the money, Petrangelo also earned 240 Card Player Player of the Year points for his latest win. With his trio of podium finishes in the highest buy-in events at this series, and a fifth-place finish in the $8,000 buy-in event for another 100 points, Petrangelo now sits in third place in the 2022 POY race with 856 total points. He is the runaway leader in POY earnings at the moment, with his more than $1.8 million being more than three times as much as the nearest competitor (Ali Imsirovic – $585,000).

Petrangelo was already leading the PokerGO Tour points race ahead of his latest win. The 400 points he earned as the $100,000 buy-in champion increased his total to 845 points, giving him a 491-point lead over second-ranked Michael Wang on the PGT leaderboard.

A total of 19 entries were made in the $100,000 buy-in event, easily surpassing the $1.2 million guarantee to create a final prize pool of $1.9 million. The field was narrowed down to just three players by the end of day 1, with Alex Foxen eliminated on the money bubble when his pocket nines failed to hold up against Petrangelo’s K-J.

Petrangelo entered the final day with more than 2.3 million of the 3.8 million total chips in play. Three-time bracelet winner and 2016 Card Player Player of the Year award winner David Peters was the shortest stack to start, but he won a race to double up through Petrangelo and even out the playing field.

Sean PerrySean Perry was left on fumes after he unleashed a multi-street bluff that was looked up by Petrangelo, who had fallen to the bottom of the leaderboard by the time this hand was dealt. Perry picked up 9Diamond Suit4Club Suit in the small blind and raised to 120,000 (four times the 30,000 big blind). Petrangelo called with QClub Suit10Diamond Suit from the big blind and the flop came down ADiamond SuitQHeart SuitJHeart Suit.

Petrangelo check-called a bet of 180,000 and the turn brought the 8Club Suit. Petrangelo checked again and Perry fired a second barrel, betting 220,000 into the pot of 630,000. Petrangelo made the call and the AHeart Suit completed the board. Perry moved all-in, having Petrangelo covered by 100,000. Petrangelo called for his last 315,000 and took down the pot worth 1.7 million.

Perry was eliminated moments later when his Q-9 failed to beat out the 8-5 of Peters. Perry took home $304,000 as the third-place finisher, the fifth-largest score of his young career. The 25-year-old poker pro now has $4,993,966 in lifetime tournament earnings to his name.

Heads-up play began with Peters holding 2,115,000 to Petrangelo’s 1,685,000. That lead was quickly erased thanks to a few small early pots that went Petrangelo’s way. The final hand of the event began with Peters limping in from the button for 80,000 total with 6Heart Suit6Diamond Suit. Petrangelo looked down at AClub Suit10Club Suit in the big blind and raised to 280,000.

David PetersPeters moved all-in for 1,480,000 total and Petrangelo made a quick call. The board ran out KClub Suit9Club Suit4Spade SuitQClub Suit5Spade Suit, giving Petrangelo the nut flush to secure the pot and the title.

Peters was awarded $570,000 as the runner-up finisher. This was the 21st time that Peters cashed for more than half of a million dollars or more in a poker tournament. The score increased his lifetime earnings to $41,385,778. He remains in fourth place on the all-time money list after the score, sitting just less than $3 million behind third-ranked Daniel Negreanu ($44,338,983).

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points PokerGO
1 Nick Petrangelo $1,026,000 240 400
2 David Peters $570,000 200 171
3 Sean Perry $304,000 160 91

Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.