Aces Cracked by Six-Four: Frank Funaro’s Deep Run in WPT RRPO Ends in a Bad Beat
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Frank Funaro of Sewell, New Jersey has been a young gun on the rise. The East Coast grinder, who used to be a staple at Atlantic City’s Borgata, had a career year in 2021 with $586,340 in tournament earnings. He’s following it up with another big year in 2022 where he’s not only amassed more than a quarter million in earnings but also shipped both a World Series of Poker (WSOP) ring and bracelet.
PokerNews recently caught up with Funaro, who made a deep run in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO) $3,500 Championship at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in South Florida. Unfortunately for Funaro, his quest at a WPT title ended in 48th place (out of 1,541 runners) after a rather ugly bad beat.
“They Barry Greenstein-ed Me"
According to updates from the event, the hand took place in Level 21 (15,000/25,000/25,000) when Funaro raised from the hijack and Jakub Paulik shipped for around 1.3 million from the button.
Funaro snap-called with pocket aces and Paulik tabled six-four. Unfortunately for Funaro, a six appeared on the flop and a four followed on the turn to give Paulik two pair and the double. Funaro was left with just 80,000 while Paulik doubled to 2.6 million, one of the biggest stacks in the tournament.
"I feel like it’s been happening to me a lot recently, but I’m used to it.”
“He was in a big pot blind-versus-blind and I think he maybe got a little frustrated,” Funaro said of the hand. “I opened the two hands before and he shoved from the big blind, and the next time I opened he shoved again.”
While Funaro is a seasoned professional, do such beats still sting?
“It definitely does,” he admitted. “I guess I’m used to this. The same thing sort of happened a couple of WPTs ago. Aces against eights. I feel like it’s been happening to me a lot recently, but I’m used to it.”
Funaro was able to spin his four bigs up to a 20-big-blind stack before busting jacks against ace-king. He received $16,500 for his 48th-place finish.
“They Barry Greenstein-ed me. It was a rollercoaster of a day.”
Despite the bad beat, Funaro, who owns some commercial real estate (a part of a shopping center) in New Jersey is a fan of South Florida and is actually looking to relocate sooner than later.
Shipping a Gold Bracelet
Funaro has amassed just under $1 million in career lifetime live tournament earnings according to the Hendon Mob. He’s also won a great deal more playing online; in fact, his largest score to date was $219,089 for finishing runner-up to WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen in the 2020 WSOP Online Event #14: $3,200 High Roller.
Earlier this year, Funaro captured his first WSOP gold ring by winning the May Online Circuit Event #7: $320 NLH 6-Max for $19,526, and five months later won October’s WSOP Online Event #29: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship for $94,097 and his first gold bracelet.
“It was a lot of fun,” Funaro said of his bracelet victory. “It was the last one on Sunday. My girlfriend was over at the time. It was a cool moment.
Funaro actually recently received his gold bracelet, but it wasn’t easy to get.
“They kept trying to call me and I don’t really answer random numbers. They said they tried to call five times and I never answered, so it made sense why it didn’t come in for a month.”
She finally came in !!! Hopefully first of many https://t.co/ufvcMIvpV3— Franky Funk (@FrankFunaro1)
More recently, Funaro made a deep run in the 2022 WSOP finishing in 44th place for $214,200.
While Funaro’s run in the 2022 WPT RRPO ended, he was quick to jump into the $25,000 High Roller taking place across the room. He also confirmed that he’ll be making the trip to Las Vegas to compete in the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas from December 12-20.
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*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.