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|Matt Giannetti defeated the field of 369 to win his second WPT title and a seat into the WPT Championship.|
Since the establishment of the November Nine format, we've seen a myriad of players who make their one appearance in the spotlight and quickly fade away even some of the champions.
Matt Giannetti hasn't fallen into that category. On Tuesday, he locked up his second World Poker Tour title with a victory at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. The victory, worth $298,304, was his second win and fourth WPT cash since making the 2011 WSOP main event final table.
"Strong finish to a great tourney," said Giannetti on Twitter. "Very happy to win 2nd WPT title."
As the field of 369 entries in the $3,500 re-entry event was reduced to a final six, the final table offered a variety of talented players including Hollywood producer and writer Matt Salsberg, one of the hottest players on the tournament circuit. After winning the WPT main event in Paris last September, Salsberg nearly reached the final table at EPT San Remo in October, then made the final table at the previous WPT stop at the Borgata, where he finished sixth. This back-to-back final table appearance had only been accomplished a handful of times in the history of the tour, but Salsberg wouldn't be able to improve on his last result. According to the World Poker Tour, Salsberg opened from the button with the short stack, and Darryl Fish, making his third WPT final table, made a move with 7-5 to put Salsberg to the test. Holding J-J, Salsberg called all-in, but devastatingly watched as the board ran out 6-6-4-K-3 to give Fish a straight.
Fish momentarily earned the chip lead at that point, but it was Giannetti's show. As the other four players tried to position themselves for a run, Giannetti simply accumulated chips, and by the time Hayden Fortini was eliminated in fifth, he had an edge of 30 big blinds over Fish, his closest competitor. Lily Kiletto eliminated Danny Shiff in fourth, then picked up aces against Fish to win a big pot and make it a two-horse race as Fish was never truly able to bounce back. Fish's exit in third, worth $125,921, was the second-largest live tournament cash of the 26-year-old's career.
Giannetti held less than a 2:1 edge over the 30-year-old fashion designer to start heads-up play. Seven hands later, he was holding the trophy after making a gutsy call with 8-8 on a 49-big blind four-bet all-in by Kiletto who held only 8-7. The win pushed Giannetti over the $4.2 million mark in career tournament earnings.
Here are the results of the final table:
1. Matt Giannetti ($323,804)
2. Lily Kiletto ($191,880)
3. Darryll Fish ($125,921)
4. Danny Shiff ($86,946)
5. Hayden Fortini ($64,160)
6. Matt Salsberg ($50,968)
Small blinds: The WSOP Circuit has reached Las Vegas. Brent Hanks and Tim West are two of the latest champions at that stop. The final table of the main event will be broadcast on ESPN3 on Monday. Jason Mercier blogged that 2012 was his first losing year as a professional poker player. A bill in Maine may relax the laws on charity poker events in the state. Lawmakers in New Jersey will vote on Gov. Chris Christie's recommendations on Feb. 26. Remi Castaigon won the EPT Deauville main event for 770,000 euros. Vojtech Ruzicka won the 10,000 high roller rebuy event defeating a final table that included Bryn Kenney (fifth) and Jonathan Duhamel (seventh). Michael Mizrachi won the WSOP Africa main event for $101,267. The WSOP announced a new Circuit stop in March at the Lodge Casino at Black Hawk on March 14-25. Daniel Negreanu's charitable efforts have raised more than $150,000 in a week for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The L.A. Poker Classic continues with preliminary events until the $10,000 main event which begins on Saturday, Feb. 23. The biggest highlight of the preliminaries over the next week is the $1,600 Open Face Chinese Poker event.