CONVersations: Getting to Know Nick Petrangelo
There comes a time when a player demands attention. Nick Petrangelo has been an emerging online and live talent for a while now but prior to EPT10 Prague all the American’s results had been on his side of the pond, meaning the folks in Europe know little about a player who’s very likely to be sticking around for a while.
Prior to the start of 2015, Petrangelo had amassed $423,783 in live results. This year is less than quarter gone and he’s already won $507,777. I think it’s safe to say we can call this a breakout year in the live arena, and he still has more than eight months to amass even more results.
Petrangelo had a strong finish to 2014, making deep runs in two $10K events. He came seventh in the World Poker Tour Montreal event in November and followed that up with a deep run (16th) in the prestigious WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic the following month.
Maybe the extra confidence gained from those results helped contribute towards his flying start to this year when he was one of the top performers at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with two huge results.
He kicked off by winning the $5K Turbo for $113,853, had one other small result and finally came sixth for $301,500 in one of the festival’s most prestigious events, the $25K High roller.
“Last year I started traveling a lot more, playing more live and getting more comfortable with it. I went deep in Monte Carlo (14th in the Grand Final) and then deep again in the Bellagio as you said. I kept getting deep and was eager to make one of them work out.
“I didn’t win the big one at the PCA, but it felt good to make a final table and a decent score. The $5K was really nice, but being a turbo you have to run really good to win one of those.”
“When you have scores and start going deep in stuff, running good, it helps with confidence. You also start to make better decisions and it all basically perpetuates itself.”
Petrangelo’s story – like most of today’s top players – started with friends, then online.
“Just like everybody else I started playing with friends. Everyone really loved it in high school. When I was in college I really worked on my game and some guys who were really good players helped me out. I also learned a lot from Jonathan Jaffe, he really helped me out and is now one of my roommates. “
At the back end of 2012 he won online poker's biggest tournament — the PokerStars Sunday Million — an outright victory that earned him $209,354. The evidence suggests he’s a momentum player as the day before that victory he won a heads-up FTOPS event for $36,872.
“Those wins enabled me to play a little higher stakes. I had come second in a SCOOP for $160K prior to those results and all those results combined really set me up.
“I had planned to get a job after college but carried on playing and it went really well. Once Black Friday came around, Jonathan, me and a couple of our other buddies moved to Montreal and I had a pretty big year that year so never considered doing anything else after that.”
If Petrangelo can survive one more elimination and make the final of the €25K event here in Malta, he’ll have guaranteed himself a European-best score of €79,800, another personal record broken. He wasn’t a certainty to make the money though as he had about 60% of the average on the bubble that lasted nearly an hour. Luckily for him, players busted around him before a crucial double-up post bubble went a great way to ensuring he’ll be back for Day 3.
It happened when Sam Greenwood raised to 20,000 from the button before Petrangelo three-bet to 54,000 from the small blind. The flop fanned and Petrangelo led for 58,000 and then called all in for 169,000 after Greenwood shoved.
Petrangelo: for an over pair.
Greenwood: for a flush draw.
The board ran out and Petrangelo found himself back above average for the first time in a while.
“The 25K here has been pretty good. I had a pretty tough table yesterday but ran good to make chips. I had momentum as you said and was able to make today where I picked up some hands at the right time. I’ve felt good and haven’t done anything crazy; I’ve picked my spots carefully and paid attention to what’s going on.”
Petrangelo seems to have his head screwed on right and we’ll be eagerly following his progress until the end of play today and hopefully long in to tomorrow.