Three tales from the World Poker Tour including a pilot preventing a record-breaking WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble event, a senior citizen winning in Iowa, and a four-way split in Johannesburg.
Paul Petraglia is a pilot by day and enthused poker player by night. Ask the Jacksonville resident which one of those P’s finds beads of sweat dribbling down his temple like those on the side of a cold beer can, and he will tell you that it’s poker.
323 entrants began Season XVI WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble Main Event. By the time we got down to the final three, there was a lopsided feel. A hometown hero taking on two of poker’s most exceptional each looking to add their name into the record books.
Newspaper cutouts of Darren Elias‘s nine WPT final table appearances are as yellow as a day old baby’s nappy. The man is a WPT monster and came into this one knowing that a fourth would see him standing alone as the finest player ever to grace a WPT Main Event.
Joining Elias was the two-time champion, Sam Panzica. Another sweet riff was the fact that Panzica was the defending champion. Nobody had ever taken down back-to-back Jacksonville titles, and Panzica wanted to be that man.
And then you had the underdog.
The hometown hero
Paul Petraglia, a man with zero WPT, cashes, and whose largest-ever cash, in any event, was $3,130 for finishing 28th in a WPTDeepStacks event in this same casino.
“It’s my home,” said Petraglia.
But this is poker.
Petraglia didn’t make too many crabwise steps. He refused to press the autopilot button, and eventually out-flipped and outmanoeuvred his two more illustrious competitors sending them to the rail in third and second place.
Here are those final table results:
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
*Includes a $15,000 TOC seat
Other players who managed to survive as long as a camel in the desert were Jessica Dawley (11th), Sam Soverel (12th), and Daniel Weinman (13th).
Joe Villhauer Wins WPTDeepStacks Iowa
Before his victory, Villhauer had only cashed in eight events, lifetime. And it’s been a long life. Villhauer finished 92/1720 in the Super Seniors at the WSOP in the summer.
Villhauer was the chip leader coming into the final table, a new experience for the man.
“I have watched enough poker on TV, I must have picked up some tips,” said Villhauer after his win.
Villhauer beat Andrew Leopard in heads-up action.
Wade finished seventh.
The event attracted 118 players.
Final Table Results
1. Joe Villhauer – $29,875+$3,000 WPTDS Championship Package
2. Andrew Leopard – $20,921
3. Scotter Clark – $13,453
4. Gary Brakke – $9,964
5. Colin Lovelock – $7,468
6. John Agnos – $5,974
7. Tristan Wade – $4,971
8. Jesse Jones – $3,979
9. Brandon Pratt – $2,987
Daniel Habib Wins WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg
From Iowa to Johannesburg, and Daniel Habib took the WPTDeepStacks title and $73,775 first prize after carving out a four-way deal with Justin Uys, Muaaz Ghani, and Simon Solomon.
The win was Habib’s second on the WPT after winning a heads-up side event during the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic in 2013, beating eight entrants to win the $28,815 first prize.
The WPT DeepStacks event attracted a record 456 entrants.
Final Table Results
1. Daniel Habib – $73,775
2. Justin Uys – $62,709
3. Muaaz Ghani – $62,709
4. Simon Solomon – $40,429
5. Chris Convery – $20,362
6. Jaime Vilela – $16,968
7. Francisco Henschi – $14,239
8. Djordje Stojic – $11,656
9. Michael Finley – $9,148