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2008 WSOP Event #35, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Final: Mike Rocco Wins it All

2008 WSOP Event #35, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Final: Mike Rocco Wins it All 0001

Mike Rocco had already proved himself in seven-card stud, winning two stud tournaments, including one at the 2003 WPT Five Diamond, and cashing in three other stud events. Now he can add a World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud event to his resume. Rocco came into heads up play out-chipped by Al Barbieri, but he virtually ran away with their match, hitting hand after hand. In under three hours, he was donning his shiny new bracelet and on his way to collecting the first prize of $135,753.

Going into the final table, the seat assignments, hometowns, and chips counts were as follows:

Seat 1: Levon Torosyan (Los Angeles, California) — 114,500

Seat 2: Al Barbieri (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — 252,500

Seat 3: Max Troy (Los Angeles, California) — 88,500

Seat 4: Michael Rocco (Las Vegas, Nevada) — 255,000

Seat 5: Giacomo D'Agostino (North Providence , Rhode Island) — 123,000

Seat 6: Andre Boyer (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) — 106,000

Seat 7: Jeffrey Siegal (Daly City, California) — 150,000

Seat 8: Danny Kalpakis (Ajax, Ontario, Canada) — 55,000

Jeffrey Siegal did not win his first WSOP bracelet today, but he did earn his third cash. He had raised on third street and was called by Troy and Barbieri. He led out on fourth street, Barbieri got out of the way, but Troy called. On fifth street, he bet out again but this time was raised. He pondered for a moment before calling. He then went all in on sixth street and Troy called with the board showing:

Siegal: x-x /{3-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{2-Hearts}/x

Troy: x-x /{7-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{q-Clubs}/x

The river was dealt and they turned over their hole cards. Siegal showed {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}{9-Spades} for two pair, aces and twos. Troy turned over {7-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} for trip sevens and Siegal was eliminated in eighth place, with $14,041.

Andre Boyer had a short day, out just after Jeffrey Siegal. Boyer started with a below average chip stack and never was able to get anything going. He tried to double up through one of the big chip stacks by tangling with Barbieri, but Barbieri made trip fours on fifth street and Boyer's hand never improved. He was out in seventh place with his second cash of this series and 18th WSOP cash overall, this time for $16,642.

This was Danny Kalpakis' first WSOP cash and, considering he came into the final table on a micro-stack, he did well to leave in sixth place. He never let his paucity of chips diminish his enthusiasm, exclaiming once after a chip count showed him short-stacked, "I'm going to win the whole thing!" Unfortunately for him, his prognostication was not to come true. Kalpakis tried to triple up, raising on third street against Barbieri and Troy, but only Barbieri called, Troy folded after completing the bring in, showing an ace. Kalpakis had buried sixes and Barbieri had split deuces. Kalpakis caught what would have been Troy's ace on fourth street, drawing groans the rest of the table. But in the end, it made no difference as Barbieri caught his third deuce on fifth street, Causing him to exclaim "It must be my day!". Kalpakis' hand never improved and he was heading out with $21,842.

Five-handed, short-stacked Giacomo D'Agostino found split tens and moved half of his stack in with the completion. Table folded around to the bring-in, Mike Rocco, who raised enough to put D'Agostino all in, having found buried aces. D'Agostino hit an ace, taking it away from Rocco, but not improving his own hand. But on sixth street, Rocco caught the case ace giving him trip aces and leaving D'Agostino drawing dead with just a pair of tens. A meaningless ten gave D'Agostino second best trips and he was out in fifth place with $28,083.

Max Troy had a great time at this final table, engaging in friendly chatter with his tablemates, even patting an opponent on the back after losing to him. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so did Troy's ride. Barbieri had the bring in and he and Torosyan called. Troy bet fourth street, Barbieri got out of the way, and Torosyan called. Troy bet and Torosyan called on fifth street as well. On sixth street, the board read:

Troy: x-x/{a-Spades}{a-Clubs}{q-Hearts}{2-Hearts}/x

Torosyan: x-x/{k-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{9-Spades}/x

Troy bet, but this time Torosyan raised enough to put Troy all in. Troy called and turned over {k-Diamonds}{10-Spades} for a gutshot straight draw to go with his aces. Torosyan tabled pocket fours for trip fours. Seventh street brought a king for Torosyan to fill him up and Troy was done for the day, out in fourth place with $37,000.

It took three hands, but Torosyan was eventually eliminated, the biggest hit to his stack coming in the first of the damaging three hands. In that hand, Rocco had the bring in with a deuce, Torosyan completed with an ace showing, Rocco raised and Torosyan called. Rocco bet on both fourth and fifth streets, and Torosyan check-called each time. Torosyan switched it up, betting on sixth street and Rocco called. On seventh street, Torosyan was left with only 26,000. The boards were:

Torosyan: x-x/{a-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{2-Spades}

Rocco: x-x/{2-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{7-Spades}{3-Spades}

Rocco thought it over a long time, then made the call. All Torosyan had were the open pair of deuces.

"That's all you have?" Rocco asked. He flipped over a buried pair of jacks and shouted, "Yes!" and clapped his hands. Barbieri looked at Rocco strangely, then asked why he didn't put Torosyan all in for his last 6,000 if he was going to call. Rocco didn't answer.

After that, Torosyan was on life support. He had a glimmer of hope when he managed to triple up to 18,000, but the plug was pulled when he lost to Rocco's trip queens. Torosyan was out in third place with $50,186, his third WSOP cash. .

Late in the day yesterday, when Al "Sugar Bear" Barbieri was short-stacked, down to just 17,000, he stood and announced to his table, "If you guys don't get me in the next forty minutes, I'm gonna win the whole thing." He was nearly right. He had controlled the final table for most of the day, at one point during three-handed play having more than 75% of the chips. But when it got down to heads up against Mike Rocco, he ran out of steam. In hand after hand, Rocco started taking down big pots. It started when Barbieri bet every street to the river of a board that had him with {4-Spades}{9d]{10c]{8-Spades} and Rocco with {6-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} only to see his two pair bested by Rocco's buried aces. Rocco was the new chip leader. He never looked back.

In one hand he caught the case deuce for trips, in another he hit a wheel to beat Barbieri's aces up, he hit trip fives. And he stayed away from trouble, getting out of a hand when Barbieri's board paired jacks with an ace, only to find out after he mucked that Barbieri had buried aces for the full house.

It took two hands, but Rocco finally took down Barbieri for the win. In the second to last hand, Barbieri led out every street and Rocco went along down to the river. The board showed:

Barbieri: x-x/{9-Diamonds}{a-Clubs}{7-Spades}{9-Hearts}

Rocco: x-x/{4-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{2-Spades}

Barbieri bet the river in the dark, Rocco squeezed then quickly raised. Barbieri was pot committed; he called. Rocco tabled a seven-high straight and Barbieri was crippled.

On the very next hand, Barbieri was all in on third street. He managed a pair of threes by sixth street only to have Rocco make a pair of kings on seventh. Barbieri squeezed his river card – it was a blank. Barbieri was out in second place with $83,210.

Mike Rocco had won his first WSOP bracelet in his very first WSOP cash, taking home $135,753.

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