HPT St. Louis

Ruberto Wins WPT Maryland for Second Tour Title

Tony Ruberto
  • Tony Ruberto put his name on the WPT Champions Cup for a 2nd time, winning WPT Maryland for $344,755.

"Boston" Tony Ruberto joined the ranks of two-time World Poker Tour champions, winning WPT Maryland at Maryland Live! Casino for $344,755 in a field of 554. Ruberto had previously shipped 2011 WPT Jacksonville for $325,928.

The win continues what's already a career year for Ruberto has he had north of $1 million in cashes in 2018 thanks to third place at partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event ($781,018) and fourth at WPT Choctaw ($166,605).

Official Final Table Results

1Tony Ruberto$344,755*
2Shankar Pillai$220,780
3Jeremy Ausmus$162,597
4Will Givens$121,112
5Aaron Pinson$91,230
6Mark Sandness$69,609

*includes $15,000 Tournament of Champions seat

The tournament paid out 70 places. Bryan Piccioli, Kelly Minkin, recent WPT champ Erkut Yilmaz, Maria Ho and Paul Volpe were some of those who made the money.

With 13 players remaining, according to the live updates, Ruberto won a huge pot when he raised in the cutoff at 15,000/25,000/25,000 and Josh Turner called on the button. Ruberto check-called for 80,000 on the {j-Spades}{4-Hearts}{8-Hearts} flop and 175,000 on the {k-Diamonds} turn. He checked a third time on the {10-Diamonds} river and Turner bet 305,000. Ruberto shoved for 985,000 more effective and Turner called with a set of eights, only to see Ruberto had hit a nasty backdoor Broadway.

Thanks to that pot, Ruberto went into the final table of nine with a small chip lead over Shankar Pillai.

After that, though, it would be WSOP bracelet winner Will Givens chipping up as he got the final two eliminations. He busted Brock Parker in a big flip with tens over ace-queen then sent Miki Murzi out with queen-jack against ace-five all in preflop. Givens had 6.2 million to Ruberto's 5.2 million at 25,000/50,000/50,000 going to the official final table and the final day of the tournament.

Will Givens
Will Givens had the chip lead with six left.

Official Final Table Action

The final table couldn't start worse than it did for Givens, though, as he lost a race to short stack Aaron Pinson to double him up then ran top two on the flop into Pillai's bottom set to lose a huge pot.

Right after that, Minnesota's Mark Sandness shoved all in for 1,355,000 over a Ruberto open, but Ruberto held ace-king and called, dominating Sandness' {a-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} to bust him.

Ruberto also got the next knockout, about 30 hands later, when he flatted an open from Jeremy Ausmus and Pinson shoved on 20 big blinds with sevens. Ruberto was lying in wait with jacks and pounced when Ausmus folded.

Givens then got his last 16 blinds in there with ace-king but couldn't get there against Pillai's eights, bowing out in fourth.

Ruberto got rolling three-handed as he chipped up from about 9 million to about 17 million of the 22 million or so in play. After about 30 hands, Ruberto checked his option in a battle of blinds and turned two pair with {8-Spades}{5-Clubs} on a board of {k-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. Short-stacked Ausmus elected to check-raise all in with {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds} and saw he needed help against the two pair. The river missed him and Ruberto had 18 million to Pillai's 4 million at 40,000/80,000/80,000.

Pillai would make things interesting, though. First, he backdoored a flush after flopping top pair against bottom set, getting stacks in on the river to double. Then, he shoved river for 7 million on a four-straight board in a three-bet pot to take the lead.

The battle would continue for still another 50 hands after that. Eventually, Ruberto edged back into the lead and extended by bet-three-betting a monotone flop an earning a fold. Finally, on the 179th hand, Ruberto check-raised with a ten-high flush draw and felt committed enough to call when Pillai jammed with top pair of aces. Ruberto found his flush on the river to end the tournament on a beat for Pillai.

Photos courtesy of WPT

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