Monday, June 13, 2016 9:28 PM Local Time
Paul Volpe Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix
Paul Volpe is the newest multiple gold bracelet winner.
Two years after his first victory at the World Series of Poker, the poker pro from Philadelphia won the $1,500 buy-in Eight-Game Mix (Six-Handed) tournament, which concluded on Sunday night. Volpe won his debut victory in the $10K No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball competition. He’s since made six additional final tables, and even came in second twice, falling just short of a second win to Shaun Deeb ($10K Pot-Limit Omaha) and Keith Lehr ($10K Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em).
He wasn’t to be denied this time.
The tournament was played over three days and nights and concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas. Volpe collected $149,943 in prize money, making this one of the more sizable wins of his career. His WSOP earnings alone total $1,484,475. His earnings in cash games and other events is likely far greater, making him one of the best earners in poker over the last few years.
Volpe won his victory by prevailing at a final table which included a mix of pros and amateurs. The final moment of triumph came when Volpe scooped the final pot of the tournament on a Pot-Limit Omaha hand against Jason Stockfish, from Cleveland, who finished as the runner up. Volpe held the chip lead the last two hours of the tourney and never appeared to be in serious danger of relinquishing his advantage.
The final hand was crushing to Stockfish, as he held the best hand going into the river. He was ahead with two pair – aces and threes, with a nut-flush draw. Volpe had a pair of aces and needed to hit a higher second pair, which wasn’t a spade. Volpe caught his card on the river, a six, and ended up with an odd victory story for a player accustomed to usually being in the driver’s seat when it comes to showdowns.
Volpe was beyond satisfied with the final outcome, yet also reserved in his customary businesslike approach to the game. When asked to compare his two victories, Volpe was quote candid in reflecting upon the first win versus this moment of glory.
“Honestly, the first win was more meaningful,” Volpe said. “It was on such a bigger stage because it was heads-up versus (Daniel) Negreanu. There were so many more people sweating that one. But this is also special because it’s Eight-Game Mix, which is very hard to do. So, this one means a lot, but in a different way.”
This Eight-Game Mix event attracted 491 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $662,850. The top 74 finishers collected prize money. A similar tournament last year only drew 390 players, which marked a significant increase in interest for this mixture of poker games.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:
Second Place: Jason Stockfish played extraordinary poker for three days and could very well have won his first victory in this event. However, he came up just short. Stockfish collected $92,638 as a consolation prize. This marked only his second time to cash at the series.
Third Place: Ron Ware, a.k.a. "Grumpy" from Discovery Bay, CA is a longtime tournament grinder dating back more than a decade. The collectables dealer owns a WSOP gold ring, but just missed out on what might have been a first gold bracelet. Ware was the chip leader for a good portion of the finale, but ran out of good fortune late and had to settle for a payout amounting to $60,882.
Fourth Place: Benjamin Ludlow, from Ney York City, put up his first WSOP cash ever with a fourth-place finish. He collected $40,911.
Fifth Place: Anthony Lazar, from Maple Grove, MN put up his first WSOP cash in five years with an impressive showing that resulted in a $28,123 payout. Lazar was the “Player of the Year” on the Ante-Up Poker Tour.
Sixth Place: Gavin Smith, from Anchorage, AK and originally from Canada made his best showing at the WSOP in three years with a respectable sixth-place finish. Smith won his gold bracelet in a Mixed Hold’em event back in 2010. Smith is back on his game again judging by the performance, which was rewarded with a $19,787 payday.
This was the 15th event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 54 gold bracelet events still to go.