Mike Del Vecchio Roars To Victory at WPT Rolling Thunder

Mar 16, 2017

Mike Del Vecchio

 

Mike Del Vecchio can now call himself a World Poker Tour champion, winning the Season XV WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event for a career-best score of $284,638. Del Vecchio topped a field of 421 entries and will now go on to play in the famed WPT Tournament of Champions to close out the season.

“I’m just so overcome,” Del Vecchio said after the victory, which drew tears in his eyes as it all sank in around him. “Ten years of blood, sweat, and tears – I always dreamed of something like this.”

Del Vecchio started with a big chip lead at the final table of six, but it wouldn’t be an easy road having to face such tough competition.

“I was joking with my friends that this was probably one of the toughest WPT final tables I’ve ever seen,” Del Vecchio said. “It means a lot to win. It feels really good, this feels really good. I definitely ran really hot the whole tournament and stuff like that, but it feels validating.”

For Del Vecchio and so many other professional poker players, a bit of validation is sometimes the biggest goal of them all. Del Vecchio has been around the poker world for a decade and a regular on the tournament trail for several years. With a previous best score of $51,377, the big, major tournament victory has always eluded Del Vecchio, but he would not be denied at Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

Del Vecchio’s prize included a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, to be held April 7-9, 2017, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL, and he’s very much looking forward to the opportunity and getting to play in the event with one of his close friends.

“I had no intention of going to Florida,” Del Vecchio said. “[WPT Borgata Poker Open champion] Jesse Sylvia is one of my best friends. He told me he really wanted to play the Tournament of Champions with me.”

Season XV WPT Rolling Thunder Final Table Results

1st: Mike Del Vecchio – $284,638
2nd: Sorel Mizzi – $190,105
3rd: Steve Tabb – $122,296
4th: John Hadley –  $81,930
5th: Olivier Busquet – $63,013
6th: Connor Drinan – $52,222


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As for the play of the final table itself, Connor Drinan was first to fall. After freeroll winner John Hadley doubled through him, Drinan lasted just a few more hands, then busted in sixth place for $52,222 when he clashed with both Hadley and Olivier Busquet in a three-way pot.

Following Drinan’s elimination, five-handed play lasted quite some time before eventually Busquet, the lone WPT Champions Club member to reach the final table, was bounced in fifth place by Steven Tabb.

Next to go was Hadley,who won a freeroll competition at his local casino, Livermore Casino, to get into the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event. A player with just $10,000 in career live tournament earnings prior to the Season XV WPT Rolling Thunder, Hadley turned his entry into a final table run worth $81,930 and a fourth-place finish.

Tabb was next to go in third place, busting at the hands of Del Vecchio to allow Del Vecchio to enter heads-up play against Sorel Mizzi was a chip lead of nearly 2-1.

Mizzi did well to close the gap in the duel, but Del Vecchio would pull back out to a sizable lead and finish the deal on Hand #182 of the final table.

On the final hand, thw two got all the money in on the turn of a 7s4c2h4s board. Mizzi had the 6s5s, and Del Vecchio had the 5d4h. Thanks to the Jh on the river, the victory was all Del Vecchio’s.

For more on Del Vecchio’s victory, check out the coverage of the event on WPT.com.

Next up for the World Poker Tour  is a trip to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Florida for not one, but two WPT Main Tour title events. First up is the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker $3,500 Showdown starting March 31, 2017. Then it’s the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker $10,000 Finale starting April 2. Both events feature a $2 million guaranteed prize pool.


Looking to win your way to a World Poker Tour event for your shot at becoming a WPT champion? Play for your chance on ClubWPT.com, where eligible VIP Members can play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes each month, including seats to WPT events, no purchase necessary.

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