Michael Del Vecchio defeated a field of 421 players in the WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Main Event at Thunder Valley Resort Casino to earn the top prize of $284,638.
Del Vecchio's prize includes a $15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, which will take place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on April 7.
The victory represents Del Vecchio's first WPT title. He defeated a very tough final table, which included Olivier Busquet, Connor Drinan and Sorel Mizzi.
Final Table Results
|1||Michael Del Vecchio||$284,638|
According to WPT, Del Vecchio kicked off Day 4 on a deep-stacked final table with the lead. The first elimination took place on the 27th hand of the day. Busquet, who was the shortest stack moved all in with queen-ten.
Drinan shoved over the top with king-jack and both players, before John Hadley, who covered both his opponents, called from the big blind with pocket jacks. Busquet tripled up after a queen hit both the flop and the river and Drinan was unable to improve his hand against Busquet to be eliminated in sixth place for $52,222.
Almost two-and-a-half hours later on the 76th hand of the day, Busquet was eliminated in fifth place for $63,013 after he shoved all in preflop with ace-eight suited. Steve Tabb called with king-four suited and outgunned his opponent after the board gave him a flush.
Del Vecchio, who fell into second place after that hand, regained the lead four hands later when he eliminated Hadley in fourth place for $81,930 when his pocket sixes held against his opponent's ace-queen.
Tabb regained the lead which he held for a couple of hours. Del Vecchio temporarily fell into third place after Mizzi doubled up against Tabb. However, shortly thereafter, he catapulted into a sizable chip lead when he doubled up against Tabb when his pocket aces held against his opponent's ace-jack.
Less than an hour later, Del Vecchio eliminated Tabb in third place for $122,296 on the 157th hand of the day when his ace-eight held against his opponent's king-queen.
Del Vecchio entered heads-up play with an almost 2:1 chip advantage over Mizzi. However, less than 30 minutes later, Mizzi caught up and evened up the stacks after he got his opponent to fold for a pot worth almost 3 million.
However, Del Vecchio held onto the chip lead and quickly gained a 3:1 advantage over Mizzi, He won a handful of small pots before getting Mizzi to fold in a pot worth over 3 million.
About an hour into heads-up play, and on the 182nd hand of the day, Del Vecchio was able to close things out. After a raising battle on the turn with the board showing , Del Vecchio shoved all in with for trips. Mizzi called with an open-ended straight-flush draw holding . The on the river was no help to Mizzi who won the second-place prize of $190,105, while Del Vecchio joined the elite WPT Champions Club.
The win was an emotional one for Del Vecchio.
"I’m just so overcome, 10 years of blood, sweat, and tears. I always dreamed of something like this," Del Vecchio said to WPT.
Del Vecchio shared with WPT that the win felt especially good due to the fierce competition on the final table.
"I was joking with my friends that this was probably one of the toughest WPT final tables I’ve ever seen. It means a lot to win. It feels really good," Del Vecchio said. "This feels really good. I definitely ran really hot the whole tournament and stuff like that, but it feels validating."
*Lead image and data coutesy of WPT.
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