2021 World Series of Poker Europe 888poker WPTDS London Online
$2,200 High Roller

Event Info

Buy-in $2,200
Players 173

Level Info

Level 27
Blinds 25,000 / 50,000
Ante 50,000
$2,200 High Roller
Day 2 Completed

Romeo Mendoza Wins WSOPC Tampa $2,200 High Roller ($88,717)

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 25,000-50,000, 50,000 ante
Romeo Mendoza
Romeo Mendoza

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tampa $2,200 High Roller reached its conclusion on Thursday and at the end of the day, the winner of the Circuit Ring and the $88,717 first-place prize was Tampa local Romeo Mendoza.

Primarily a cash game player, Mendoza is well known on the local Tampa and Florida poker scene, and the circuit ring was his first big splash in tournament poker.

“This means a lot. Especially cause I won it here in my hometown. I have been playing at this casino since it opened,” said Mendoza after the win.

Mendoza also talked about how cool it was for him to play against fellow Tampa local Andrew Kelsall heads up.

“I have been playing with AJ [Kelsall] for 15 years. It’s pretty cool that two Tampa guys are here. It was really cool that it was me and him. We are always going to remember this because we are buddies”.

He added: “I kinda know how he plays. I felt really good playing against him heads up”.

Final Table Results

1Romeo Mendoza$88,717
2Andrew Kelsall$54,831
3Eric Salazar$38,190
4Steven Veneziano$27,206
5James Calderaro$19,834
6Miguel Hernandez$14,805
7William Medina Diaz$11,322
8Hamid Izadi$8,876
9Ben Diebold$7,138
10Arkadiy Tsinis$5,891

Route to the Ring

Mendoza started the day high up on the leaderboard fifth in chips. He quickly ran it up further and remained among the leaders for much of the day. When play got down to two tables, Mendoza began to sink just a bit but recovered to enter the final table third in chips.

He mostly stayed out of huge pots during the final table and played his way down until heads up, where he was significantly behind Kelsall in chips. Kelsall, a big Philadelphia Eagles fan, had taken the final table by storm and largely run over the table up until that point.

The heads-up battle had one key swing point. Mendoza was all in and at risk on the turn after calling Kelsall’s shove. Mendoza had pocket aces but they were second best to the two pair - queens and sixes - of Kelsall. The ace of hearts on the river sent a survival bolt into Mendoza and propelled him to the win by winning a preflop flip with king-queen.

Action of the Day

The day began with 49 survivors from Day 1. As play started, 19 other players took advantage of the late registration and created a starting day field of 68. That took the total amount of entries up to 173.

The eliminations went steadily all the way until the money bubble when Corey Thompson became the bubble boy to bring the field down to 26 cashing players. Several high-profile circuit players were cut down en route to the final table, including an extreme breakneck elimination pace at one point that saw the field reduced from 22 to 14 in a mere 20 minutes.

At the final table, the first few victims were taken out early, including Hamid Izadi, who was eliminated in eighth place. William Medina Diaz went out in seventh to bring the table to six-handed play where it would remain for an hour and a half, with many small pots being traded.

Eventually, the six-handed duct was broken when Miguel Hernandez was eliminated in sixth. James Calderaro was cut down in fifth after having a large stack at one point. Play would slow down again with four players left for an hour before the next elimination when Steven Veneziano hit the rail in fourth place.

Eric Salazar became the third-place finisher not long after to set up the aforementioned heads-up battle between Kelsall and Mendoza.

That wraps up the first event of Pokernews’s coverage in Tampa at the WSOPC. Stay tuned for more coverage of the $3,250 High Roller and the Main Event on Friday.

Tags: Andrew KelsallCorey ThompsonEric SalazarHamid IzadiJames CalderaroMiguel HernandezRomeo MendozaSteven VenezianoThompsonWilliam Medina DiazWSOPC Tampa

Andrew Kelsall Eliminated in 2nd Place ($54,831)

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 25,000-50,000, 50,000 ante
Andrew Kelsall
Andrew Kelsall

Andrew Kelsall had lost several pots in the past level as his stack was reduced to the short one.

He raised to 125,000 from the small blind. Romeo Mendoza three-bet it to 425,000. Kelsall waited a while before announcing all in, which Mendoza called after a brief moment's hesitation.

It was a huge flip for all the marbles

Andrew Kelsall {10-Spades}{10-Clubs}
Romeo Mendoza {k-Spades}{q-Spades}

The flop came {j-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{a-Hearts}. The turn was the {j-Spades} and the river gave Mendoza the victory in the unexpected way as the board double paired when the {a-Diamonds} came off.

Romeo Mendoza US
Romeo Mendoza
US 5,100,000 3,200,000
Andrew Kelsall us
Andrew Kelsall
us Busted

Tags: Romeo MendozaAndrew Kelsall

River Ace Saves Mendoza

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 25,000-50,000, 50,000 ante

Action was on the turn with the board reading {9-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{q-Hearts}{6-Clubs}. Romeo Mendoza bet 200,000. Andrew Kelsall raised him all in which sent Mendoza int the tank.

Mendoza looked uneasy and thought it over for a good while before eventually calling.

Mendoza saw the bad news as his {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds} was behind the {q-Diamonds}{6-Spades} two pair of Kelsall, who could almost feel the ring around his finger.

But the river was the {a-Hearts} to save Mendoza who let out a celebratory "Yes!" as his 860,000 was doubled in dramatic fashion.

Andrew Kelsall us
Andrew Kelsall
us 3,420,000 -605,000
Romeo Mendoza US
Romeo Mendoza
US 1,720,000 645,000

Tags: Andrew KelsallRomeo Mendoza


Kelsall Triple Barrel Bluffs with Nut Low

jeffmcmillan • Level 26: 20,000-40,000, 40,000 ante
Andrew Kelsall
Andrew Kelsall

Andrew Kelsall raisd to 100,000 preflop and was called by Romeo Mendoza.

The flop came down {9-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}. Kelsall bet 110,000 and Mendoza called. The turn was the {10-Hearts}. Kelsall announced a bet of 270,000 and cut out the chips. Mendoza again called.

The {4-Hearts} onthe river completed the board. Kelsall fired a third barrel, this time for 560,000 which was enough to make Mendoza fold after a few seconds of thought.

Kelsall showed the nut low with the {3-Diamonds}{2-Spades} much to the dismay of Mendoza.

Andrew Kelsall us
Andrew Kelsall
us 4,025,000 375,000
Romeo Mendoza US
Romeo Mendoza
US 1,075,000 -575,000

Tags: Andrew KelsallRomeo Mendoza