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World Poker Tour on FSN: Tom Marchese Prevails in the $100,000 Super High Roller

Tom Marchese

On Sunday night, the World Poker Tour Season X continued on Fox Sports Network with the third and final part of the $100,000 Super High Roller, which attracted 27 players of the world’s best players while running alongside the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in May.

In Part I, a recap of the tournament’s early stages was shown with 22 players hitting the rail. Among them were Phil Galfond, David “Doc” Sands, Justin “Boosted J” Smith, Masa Kagawa, Robert Zeps, Brian Hastings, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Galen Hall and Cary Katz.

One more elimination that happened in Part I was Justin Bonomo, who made the final table of six but finished as the bubble boy as only five were slated to be paid. In last week’s recap of Part II, two amateur businessman Bill Klein finished in fifth place for $263,160 (all of which he planned to donate to charity), and fellow amateur Daniel Perper exited in fourth place for $394,740.

Here’s how the final three stacked up at the top of the broadcast:

WPT Season X $100,000 Super High Roller Open Final Table

SeatPlayerChips
1-empty-N/A
2John Juanda6,250,000
3Tom Marchese3,570,000
4-empty-N/A
5-empty-N/A
6Andrew Robl3,785,000

Marchese Takes it to the Veteran: In the first two hands of the broadcast, with the blinds at 40,000/80,000 and a 10,000 ante, Tom “Big Cheese” Marchese simply outplayed John Juanda. In the first, Marchese and Juanda both held a six-high straight, but the former managed to rep a flush and push his opponent off on the river. In the very next hand, Marchese four-bet with the measly {10-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} and then pushed Juanda, who held {A-Clubs}{J-Spades}, off on the {7-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}{7-Clubs} flop with a bet of 550,000. “In back-to-back pots, Tom Marchese has outplayed the old-school veteran,” long-time WPT commentator Mike Sexton said headed into the first commercial break.

Juanda Cold Decks Marchese: Tom Marchese opened for 175,000 on the button with {J-Spades}{10-Clubs} and John Juanda defended from the big blind with {9-Hearts}{6-Hearts}. The {Q-Hearts}{A-Hearts}{K-Hearts} was about as big a cold deck as you could get, giving Marchese a flopped straight and Juanda a flush. Marchese led out for 225,000, the latter raised to 710,000, Marchese moved all in, and Juanda called off for 2.375 million total. Marchese was drawing dead, but Juanda pointed out he could still chop: “It could come a royal flush.” Unfortunately for Marchese, the {9-Diamonds} turn dashed those hopes while the {6-Clubs} river gave Juanda a double to 5.17 million and a legitimate shot at his first WPT title ... but not for long.

Juanda’s Title Hopes Come to an End: Andrew Robl looked down at {A-Spades}{A-Clubs} in the small blind and raised to 250,000. John Juanda, who by this time had become the short stack with 3.085 million, then squeezed out {9-Spades}{9-Clubs} in the small blind. After Juanda three-bet to 750,000, Robl moved all in, and Juanda eventually called off for his entire stack.

The seven-time final tablist had just a 19 percent chance of surviving the hand, but that dropped to 10 percent on the {5-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Spades} flop. The former track star and door-to-door bible salesman was left wanting on the {K-Hearts} turn, and the {3-Clubs} river pushed him out the door in third place for $526,320. Juanda, who finished as runner-up at the first-ever WPT final table, shook hands with the remaining players and exited the stage.

“It’s a little disappointing not because I finished third, but I’m just not very happy with the way I played. I could have played better,” Juanda said in his post-elimination interview with Jess Welman. When asked who he picked to win, Juanda said: “They’re both very tough players ... if you had to pick one guy, I’d go with Andrew.”

An Unusual Opportunity: Interestingly, Tom Marchese had busted Andrew Robl on Day 1, but because it was a reentry event, Robl opted to fire a second bullet. That meant Marchese, who had also rebought, was presented with the rare opportunity to bust the same player twice in the same tournament. It’s also worth noting that the last time Robl made a WPT final table at the Bellagio, he finished as runner-up to his good friend Antonio Esfandiari in the Season IX Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

A Chip Leader Emerges: Heads-up play began essentially even as Tom Marchese’s 6.87 million barely had Andrew Robl’s 6.735 million covered. In their first notable hand, Robl raised to 400,000 with {K-Clubs}{Js]}, only to have Marchese three-bet to 1.05 million with {K-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. Robl made the call, and it seemed there would be fireworks when the {2-Hearts}{K-Spades}{Q-Clubs} flop gave both a pair of kings. Marchese bet 700,000, Robl called, and the {3-Diamonds} came off on the turn. Marchese proceeded to check-call a bet of 1.2 million, and the {A-Spades} peeled off on the river. It was the one card that could freeze action, and that’s what it did as Robl checked behind Marchese. Nonetheless, Robl jumped out to a big chip lead on the hand.

Another Bellagio Miracle: With the blinds at 100,000/200,000 and a 25,000 ante, Andrew Robl raised to 400,000 with {10-Spades}{10-Clubs} and then called when Tom Marchese moved all in for 3.025 million with {4-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}. “Oh, I got the unders,” Marchese said with a laugh upon seeing the cards.

The “Big Cheese” was a 5-1 underdog, and that number dropped to 4 percent on the {6-Spades}{A-Spades}{Q-Clubs} flop. Marchese needed runner-runner to stay alive, and the {3-Spades} turn kept his hopes alive and meant he could still win with a nonspade five on the river. “If this five comes up, it’ll be another Bellagio miracle,” cohost Vince Van Patten said. Miracles do happen as evidenced by the {5-Diamonds} on the river! Marchese hit improbable runner-runner cards and was still in contention for the title. “That’s the biggest suck out we’ve seen in years,” Van Patten quipped after the hand.

A Winner is Crowned: Andrew Robl became extremely short-stacked and managed a lucky double of his own to 5.45 million but still trailed his opponent by 2.4 million. In what would be the final hand, with blinds at 125,000/250,000, Robl opened for 500,000 only to have Marchese three-bet to 1.2 million. Robl thought for a few moments before moving all in, and Marchese made the call.

Showdown
Marchese: {8-Spades}{8-Hearts}
Robl: {A-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}

The {10-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} flop saw Marchese’s supporters, which included David “Doc” Sands, Randy Dorfman, Kyle Julius and William Reynolds, erupt in cheers as the set made Marchese a 97 percent favorite. The {J-Hearts} on the turn put an end to any suspense as Robl was drawing dead. The {Q-Spades} was out on the river for good measure, and Robl exited with his second WPT runner-up finish and a $822,375 consolation prize.

With that, Marchese captured the Super High Roller title and $1,308,405 first-place prize.

Tune in Next Week: Part I of the WPT $25,000 World Championship is set to air next Sunday on FSN, so be sure to check your local listings. If by chance you miss it, check back next week for the latest recap of all the action here on PokerNews.

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*Pictures courtesy of Tom Donoghue/WPT.

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