Team Savakinas Reign Supreme in WSOP Tag Team Event ($190,662)

Michael Savakinas - Satoshi Tanaka

After three days of play, Michael Savakinas and Satoshi Tanaka were the last duo standing after they topped the record setting field in Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team at the 2023 World Series of Poker.

The members of Team Savakinas bagged their first WSOP bracelets and took home the first-place prize of $190,662.

The event gathered 1,282 teams and 193 of them secured the $1,602 min-cash. Team Savakinas started Day 3 as a short stack but were able to nav and managed to cruise to the 10-handed final table with 23 big blinds. Michael Savakinas and Satoshi Tanaka each took their turn, making their way through the final heads-up battle to secure the victory.

Tanaka attributed their natural chemistry as friends as one of the main keys to their success. "I think we get along outside of poker too, so naturally, if things go wrong in poker, we help each other out."

Tanaka also mentioned that their strategy of how often they tagged in and out gave them an advantage. "When the final table started, we decided to switch on the levels, and I think that gave us an edge because no one else was doing that."

Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team Final Table Payouts

1Michael Savakinas - Satoshi TanakaUnited States$190,662
2Vincent Moscati - Tanner BibatUnited States$117,872
3Jonah LaBranche - Dustin WillsUnited States$85,040
4Rickey Evans - Roberto ValdezUnited States$62,090
5John Ventre - Kenneth GalloUnited States$45,884
6Marcus Stein - Amber DonatelliUnited States$34,326
7David Williams - Theo TranUnited States$26,000
8Carlos Inukai - Emmaniel AvilaUnited States$19,942
9Justin Pechie - Ronnie BardahUnited States$15,492
10Ramon Kropmanns - Jessica SerialBrazil$12,190

Final Day Action

Just 26 duos came back for the final day, and the action was hectic, with the final table being quickly established.

Ramon Kropmanns and Jessica Serial of Team Kropmanns, the only non-American team among the final table, finished in tenth place just before known grinders Justin Pechie and Ronnie Bardah of Team Pechie.

As the players moved to the feature table, a rail started to form to create a fun atmosphere which is ever present in this unique event.

Team Inukai (Carlos Inukai - Emmaniel Avila) and Team Williams (David Williams - Theo Tran) were the next to exit. Six-handed play lasted for a while before Team Stein (Marcus Stein - Amber Donatelli) were eliminated.

Team Ventre (John Ventre - Kenneth Gallo) lost a crucial flip against Team Moscati (Vincent Moscati - Tanner Bibat), which allowed the latter to shoot of the chip counts.

Team Evans (Rickey Evans - Roberto Valdez) took fourth place and Team Moscati held the lead when Jonah LaBranche of Team LaBranche (Jonah LaBranche - Dustin Wills) decided to put his stack in with king-seven of diamonds. He ran into aces, and Team Moscati started the heads-up battle with a huge advantage.

Heads-up play remarkably turned into an epic back-and-forth battle, with Team Savakinas staring down a four-to-one chip lead and at one point being down as much as eight-to-one. However, after three straight double-ups, Team Savakinas evened it up and won the next two all-in confrontations to seal the victory.

  • Teamwork makes the dreamwork for Team Savakinas as duo win first WSOP bracelets.

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