Roberto Romanello showed resilience and determination at the final table of Event #39: $1,500 No Limit Hold'em to win his first WSOP bracelet and $212,613 in prize money.
He becomes the ninth-ever winner of poker's Triple Crown - WSOP bracelet, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour Main Event wins after defeating Niklas Astedt heads-up.
The Swedish online phenom dominated large portions of the contest, but was pegged back repeatedly just when it looked he might run away with proceedings. The Swede lost five of the 10 double-ups at the final table, causing him to lose momentum at vital moments.
On the flip side, Romanello's final table display was dogged and persevering. The Welsh player, who had never finished higher than third in a WSOP bracelet event before, was responsible for half of all double-ups at the final table, three of which came at the expense of Astedt.
Event #39: $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|1||Roberto Romanello||United Kingdom||$216,213|
|3||Paul Barnes||United Kingdom||$113,866|
|5||Thomas Cazayous||United Kingdom||$59,966|
Romanello's Triple Crown
9 years, 7 months and 8 days since securing the 2010 EPT Prague Main Event title, Romanello has written his name into the history books as the latest winner of poker's Triple Crown. With over $4m in lifetime earnings according to The Hendon Mob he can now proudly boast a WSOP bracelet as part of his poker resume.
|2010 EPT Prague Main Event||€5,300||563||€640,000|
|2011 WPT Bratislava Main Event||€2,720||210||€140,685|
|2020 WSOP Online Event #39||$1,500||922||$212,613|
By the time late registration closed, the field of 922 players had generated a prize pool of over $1.3 million, with 134 places guaranteed at least a min-cash of $3,237.
The likes of former bracelet winners Kristen Bicknell, Adrian Mateos, Joao Vieira, Anson Tsang, and Mark Radoja had all entered and bust, along with the likes of Manig Loeser, Dario Sammartino, Leon Tsoukernik and Michael Soyza
Final tablists Ravi "Resurge-" Krishna and Thomas Cazayous were among the chip leaders as play approached the bubble which eventually burst in Level 18 when the pocket queens of "MickeyM" were cracked by the king-jack of an opponent, securing the remaining players a $3,237 payday.
Notable finishers in the money included Jake Schindler (129th - $3,237), Ali Imsirovic (126th - $3,237), Mikhail Semin (124th - $3,237), Danny Tang ($123rd - $3,237), Sergi Reixach (115th - $3,237), Markus "_PrinzOfDTO_" Prinz (103rd - $3,237), Hristo "icho" Anastassov (96th - $3,771), Conor Beresford (95th - $3,771), Adam "Ben Farrell" Owen (85th - $3,771), Jack "Claashole" Sinclair (58th - $4,393), Alex Foxen (45th - $4,393), Pete Chen (37th - $5,118), Luc Greenwood (25th - $6,356), Henri Buehler (22nd - $6,356) and Artur Martirosian (15th - $8,759).
As the field shrunk, it was Astedt in the lead for long periods, eliminating "amotan" in 10th place to ensure it was the Swede holding the chip lead ahead of the final table.
Final Table Action
With around a third of the chips in play and more than double the chips of second-place Aleksandr Trofimov, Astedt was in a commanding lead. Bringing up the rear was Ravali Krishna, one of five players with fewer than 20 big blinds to their names.
And it was Krishna who struck first, doubling through Jeffrey Cormier as the Canadian became the first elimination of the final table at the hands of Astedt. Orkhan Allahverdiyev's hopes of becoming the first Azerbaijani bracelet-winner were then dashed, as Paul Barnes turned a two outer to send him to the rail.
And, having laddered two spots, Krishna went next, sent to the rail by the UK's Romanello with Hannes Speiser sent to the rail shortly afterwards by Trofimov.
At this stage, each elimination at the final table so far had been by a different person, with Astedt still holding a strong lead over the rest of the table, moving above 10 million in chips.
However, the short-handed portion of the final table was not plain-sailing for the Swede. Three different players doubled through him at the final table, meaning just when he built his stack up to around half the chips in play four- and five-handed, he was forced to rebuild.
The last remaining former bracelet-winner was Thomas Cazayous, who won his bracelet at the 2019 WSOP. The 'Silent Assassin' eventually finished fifth, eliminated by Barnes.
By this point, Astedt had been put under even more pressure, but that was relieved when he sent Trofimov to the rail in fourth, going runner-runner to make a straight and eliminate the Russian.
Once again the Swede was put under pressure, with Romanello doubling through him, but that was relieved when he sent Barnes to the rail in third, meaning the stacks were level heading into heads-up play.
Rapidfire Heads-Up Action
Roberto Romanello: 11,900,000
Niklas Astedt: 11,100,000
Astedt quickly used his aggression to move into the lead, but it wasn't long before the pivotal heads-up hand occurred. Romanello got his chips in with pocket sevens against the king-queen of his opponent and flopped a set before dodging outs to hold.
That left Astedt with one big blind, and although he himself would double - his only double at the final table - Romanello soon finished him off to secure victory.
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