Argentina's Cristian "progree69" Sampaoli came close to winning a WSOP Circuit ring in December 2016 when he took second place in WSOP International Circuit - Punta del Este Event #2 at the Enjoy Conrad Resort & Casino in Uruguay for $3,450.
While Sampaoli just missed out on some hardware half a year ago, he now has a chance to win a much bigger sum and the coveted World Series of Poker Main Event gold bracelet. On Wednesday night, Sampaoli won a WSOP Main Event package valued at $12,500 after outlasting a field of 110 players to win the XL Inferno - Champion of Champions at 888poker.
The package Sampaoli won includes the following:
- 5 nights (9th - 14th July) at the luxurious Vdara Hotel Las Vegas
- $10,000 Main Event Tournament buy-in
- $1,200 for travel & expenses (paid directly to players’ account)
- VIP Welcome session
- Daily Transportation
- 888live poker kit
Each of the players in the field was invited to play in the freeroll tournament after winning a XL Inferno Event. Sampaoli was awarded his ticket after shipping the XL Inferno #178 - $30,000 Saturday Challenge this past weekend for $6,369.
The tournament guaranteed the top 40 players to walk away with at least a $55 tournament ticket with players finishing in the top five spots being awarded even bigger prizes. It took a little more than four hours for the final table to be reached after Estonia's Matthias "blueskyyM" Tikerpe was eliminated in 10th place.
XL Inferno - Champion of Champions
|1||Cristian "progree69" Sampaoli||Argentina||$12,500 WSOP Main Event package|
|2||Mikhail "zinkAA" Galitskiy||Ukraine||$3,000 WSOP Crazy 8's package + $1,050 WSOP Main Event qualifer seat|
|3||Anton "anteen" Bertilsson||Sweden||$3,000 WSOP Crazy 8's package|
|4||Johann "jxangai" Xangai||Brazil||$600 tournament ticket|
|5||Fábio "F1oba" Maritan Pereira||Brazil||$600 tournament ticket|
|6||PuntSonPunt||Czech Republic||$55 tournament ticket|
|7||mikazika986||Serbia||$55 tournament ticket|
|8||Paulo "pvss10" Victor||Brazil||$55 tournament ticket|
|9||1LevelAbove||Sweden||$55 tournament ticket|
Four of the players, including Czech Republic's "PuntSonPunt" (sixth place), Serbia's "mikazika986" (seventh place), Brazil's Paulo "pvss10" Victor (eighth place) and Sweden's "1LevelAbove" (ninth place) were unable to move up on pay table on the final table and walked away with a $55 ticket.
Two players from Brazil in Johann "jxangai" Xangai (fourth place) and Fábio "F1oba" Maritan Pereira (fifth place) did not advance far enough in the tournament to punch a ticket to Las Vegas with a free WSOP package. However, they were able to secure themselves a $600 tournament ticket.
Sweden's Anton "anteen" Bertilsson was the next to go in third place and was awarded a WSOP Crazy Eights package valued at $3,000. He will look to add to his more than $1.2 million in tournament winnings, which include a runner-up performance in the 2014 EPT Prague Main Event for €582,720.
Bertilsson's third place finish in the XL Inferno - Champion of Champions capped off an amazing series for him after winning two big events. He qualified into the tournament after shipping the XL Inferno #10 - $200,000 Whale for $38,700. He then followed this up with a win in the Event #36 - $2,100 XL Inferno High Roller for a much bigger $116,974.
Mikhail "zinkAA" Galitskiy, who is registered at 888poker from Ukraine and listed on The Hendon Mob as from Russia, will also be headed to Sin City with a $3,000 WSOP Crazy Eights package and a $1,050 WSOP Main Event qualifier seat after he was eliminated by Sampaoli in second place.
XL Inferno a Great Success
The XL Inferno Championships boasted of a huge schedule of 197 events over the course of 15 days on May 7-21. The series was not only the largest ever in terms of total events but was the richest online series ever at 888poker with a staggering $7.5 million in guaranteed prize pools, a 50 percent increase over any of 888poker’s previous Super XL Series.
Austria's "Alien_Army" won the biggest event of the series after shipping the 888poker XL Inferno Series Main Event for $291,007. The event featured a $1,050 buy-in along with a huge $1.5 million guarantee. The guarantee was shattered with 1,319 players generated a $1.755 million prize pool.
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