06/08/17 07:41:05 PM PST
Thomas Pomponio Wins Event #5: THE COLOSSUS III - $565 No-Limit Hold'em For $1,000,000
Thomas Pomponio outlasted a giant field of 18,054 to reach the poker pinnacle in Event #5: THE COLOSSUS III - $565 No-Limit Hold'em. Pomponio took home $1,000,000 for his outstanding performance, along with his first WSOP bracelet.
"It feels... just surreal," the Champion said. Pomponio's live tournament cashes had totaled less than $140,000 before he entered this tournament. Earning a seven-figure score is certainly an amazing feeling for anyone who makes their breakthrough in poker, but for Pomponio, the bracelet is even more meaningful.
"Ever since I was a kid, I was dreaming about sitting there and holding that gold," said Pomponio, who hails from New Jersey.
Pomponio came back for the final table fourth in chips. There were only about 180 big blinds in play, and all of the finalists played at a high tempo. Most of the decisions were made within just a few seconds, and the fast-paced action brought the casualties early.
The eventual Champion was involved in the pot that saw the first player lose his stack. He held ace-king and so did Erkut Yilmaz, who also joined the contest against Luke Vrabel, whose ace-deuce didn't find any help on the board.
Eleven hands into the final day, the field was reduced to seven players as Matt Affleck, the biggest star on the final table, sent his short stack to Kent Coppock.
Just like Affleck, Ralph Massey couldn't get much going, and he never bounced back from the ten big blinds he maneuvered. He hit the rail in seventh place.
Taylor Black's tournament was on the line when he shoved with nine-seven of clubs, running into the ace-queen of diamonds of Kent Coppock. Black, however, flopped a flush to soar into the chip lead.
Coppock's stack took a massive hit, but he laddered one more pay jump. Erkut Yilmaz clashed with pocket fours against John Hanna's aces and walked away in sixth place. With that knockout, Hanna suddenly guarded more than third of all the chips in play.
Hanna, however, wasn't among the dominant players on the final table; Pomponio and Black were the ones who kept things rolling. Pomponio knocked out Coppock in fifth, holding Big Slick against a weaker ace.
Then it was Black's turn, tangling with start-of-day chip leader Mark Babekov in a brutal cooler. Babekov's queens couldn't hold versus Black's ace-king as the king of diamonts landed on the turn. Black took over the lead and finished Babekov off the following hand.
Black held more than 50 percent of the tournament chips to begin three-handed play, and his railbirds were ecstatic. Pomponio was the shortest stack among the three remaining players, but the meat cutter from the east coast was relentless. Pomponio shoved on Black several times and always took the pot without contest.
The final duel was set when Pomponio's ace-high held strong in a preflop war against Hanna's queen-ten of clubs. Hanna's hand improved to a flush draw on the flop, but the rest of the board bricked.
Playing for a pay difference of close to $500,000, Black started the heads-up match with about a five-to-three chip lead. That dramatically changed after four hands, though. The two were both dealt a strong hand for heads-up play, which resulted in Black's five-bet shove with ace-ten. Unfortunately for him, Pomponio had ace-king.
Black first thought he got there when he saw a ten hitting the felt, but the flop also included a king, and the better starting hand stayed firmly ahead. Pomponio earned a huge lead and he never relinquished it. After 142 hands played on the final table, he remained the last man standing, with all the chips of all 18,054 entrants.
As the story unfolded, Pomponio became this year's second WSOP winner to collect a seven-figure prize, following the One Drop High Roller Champion, Doug Polk.
Final Table results:
|1||Thomas Pomponio||United States||$1,000,000|
|2||Taylor Black||United States||$545,480|
|3||John Hanna||United States||$406,474|
|4||Mark Babekov||United States||$305,294|
|5||Kent Coppock||United States||$230,564|
|6||Erkut Yilmaz||United States||$175,208|
|7||Ralph Massey||United States||$133,975|
|8||Matt Affleck||United States||$103,090|
|9||Luke Vrabel||United States||$79,827|06/08/17 06:58:43 PM PST
Taylor Black Eliminated in 2nd Place ($545,480)
Hand #142: Taylor Black shoved all in from the button and was quickly called by Thomas Pomponio.
The flop put Black in terrible shape when it came , giving Pomponio a flush draw. The turn was the , providing no extra outs, and the river was the , leaving Pomponio as the Champion of Event #5: The Colossus III No-Limit Hold'em.
Black collected $545,480 for his second-place finish.
|Thomas Pomponio||90,270,000||24,270,000 |
|Thomas Black||0||0 |06/08/17 06:58:10 PM PST
Hands #137-141: Thomas Pomponio Gets a Little Close
Hand #137: Thomas Pomponio raised to 2,500,000. Pomponio and Taylor Black checked through a board of . Pomponio turned up and that was good enough to take down the pot.
Hand #138: Pomponio received a walk in the big blind.
Hand #139: Black received a walk in the big blind.
Hand #140: Black shoved all from the button and Pomponio folded.
Hand #141: Black received a walk in the big blind.
06/08/17 06:57:14 PM PST
Hands #125-136: Two All-ins From Black
Hand #125: A walk for Taylor Black.
Hand #126: Taylor Black raised to 2,000,000 but released his cards quickly when facing a three-bet from Thomas Pomponio for 6,000,000 or so.
Hand #127: Thomas Pomponio min-raised and Black replied with an all-in. Pomponio didn't have it.
Hand #128: Taylor Black steals Thomas Pomponio's big blind with a raise to 2,000,000.
Hand #129: Thomas Pomponio limped in and Taylor Black checked. The pot remained of the same size all the way through the board . Black had only eight-deuce and couldn't beat Pomponio's .
Hand #130: Another raise-and-take for Taylor Black.
Hand #131: Thomas Pomponio called and folded to Taylor Black's all-in.
Hand #132: Thomas Pomponio got a walk.
Hand #133: Thomas Pomponio raised to 2,000,000 and Taylor Black matched the offered price. The flop was checked by both players but Black led out for 2,000,000 on the . Pomponio folded.
Hand #134: Taylor Black raised to 2,000,000 and won the pot.
Hand #135: Thomas Pomponio made it 2,000,000 to go and Taylor Black came along. Black then check-called another 2,000,000 on the flop and the and were tapped by both players. Pomponio took it down with .
Hand #136: Taylor Black min-raised and when Tom Pomponio called, the hit the felt. Pomponio then check-raised Black's bet of 1,600,000 up to 4,500,000. Black called but gave up when Pomponio barreled the turn for 5,500,000.
06/08/17 06:33:27 PM PST
Paul Giamatti, Damien Lewis, and Andy Frankenberger?
06/08/17 06:30:06 PM PST
Hands #118-124: Thomas Pomponio and Taylor Black Trading Blows
Hand #118: Taylor Black raised to 2,000,000 from the button and Thomas Pomponio folded.
Hand #119: Pomponio raised to 2,000,000 from the button and Black folded.
Hand #120: Black raised to 2,000,000 from the button and Pomponio called from the big blind. The flop came and Pomponio checked to Black. Black bet 1,600,000 and Pomponio called.
On the turn, Pomponio checked again. Black bet 4,500,000 and Pomponio folded, awarding the pot to Black.
Hand #121: Pomponio raised to 2,000,000 and was called by Black. The flop came and Black checked to Pomponio. Pomponio bet 2,000,000 and Black called. Both players checked on the turn.
On the river, Black led for 3,000,000. After giving it some thought, Pomponio called. Black showed for a missed straight draw. Pomponio showed for a pair of eights and that was good to take down the pot.
Hand #122: Black folded the button and Pomponio got a walk in the big blind.
Hand #123: Pomponio raised to 2,000,000 and Black moved all in. Pomponio folded and Black took it down.
Hand #124: Black raised to 2,300,000 and Pomponio folded.
06/08/17 06:21:02 PM PST
Hands #114-#117: Pomponio Scores a Massive Double-Up
Hand #114: Thomas Pomponio received a walk.
Hand #115: Taylor Black received a walk.
Hand #116: Taylor Black raised from the button and took Pomponio's big blind.
Hand #117: Thomas Pomponio opened for 2,000,000 and Taylor Black three-bet to 6,000,000. Pomponio wasn't going anywhere. He moved a tower of 500,000-chips out front together with a smaller one, a four-bet worth 13,500,000. Black announced he was allmin and Pomponio wasted no time before calling.
Black first saw the and immediately reacted, "Ten!" But in a microsecond added an, "Oh," as the dealer rolled over the flop.
Pomponio faded the remaining two tens on the turn and river, securing a giant double-up for 33,125,000.
|Thomas Pomponio||66,000,000||30,575,000 |
|Taylor Black||23,000,000||-31,550,000 |06/08/17 06:00:52 PM PST
Heads-Up Chip Counts
|Taylor Black||54,550,000||6,550,000 |
|Thomas Pomponio||35,425,000||0 |06/08/17 06:00:00 PM PST
John Hanna Eliminated in 3rd Place ($406,474)
Hand #113: From the button, John Hanna moved all in. Thomas Pomponio moved in from the small blind. Black folded and the two players turned up their hands.
The board ran out which locked up the pot for Pomponio with ace high. Hanna will take home $406,474 for his third-place finish.
|Thomas Pomponio||35,425,000||18,425,000 |
|John Hanna||0||-24,000,000 |06/08/17 05:52:14 PM PST
Hand #103-112: Push or Fold
Hand #103: Taylor Black raised to 2,000,000 and he was called by Thomas Pomponio from the big blind. The flop came and Pomponio checked to Black who bet 1,600,000. Pomponio folded promptly.
Hand #104: Pomponio raised to 2,500,000 from the small blind and Taylor Black folded his big blind.
Hand #105: Black raised to 2,500,000 and everyone folded.
Hand #106: Black raised to 2,000,000. Next to act, John Hanna moved all in from the small blind for 11,000,000 total. Black folded and Hanna scooped the pot.
Hand #107: Hanna raised to 2,400,000. Everyone folded and Hanna showed .
Hand #108: Action folded to Taylor Black who moved all in from the small blind with a covering stack over John Hanna. Hanna folded and Black took the pot.
Hand #109: Taylor Black raised to 2,000,000 from the button. Hanna moved all in from the small blind and everyone folded.
Hand #110: Hanna raised to 2,500,000. Next to act, Pomponio moved all in from the small blind. Black folded his big blind and Hanna folded as well, awarding the pot to Pomponio.
Hand #111: Pomponio raised to 2 million from the small blind. Next to act, Black made it 4,700,000 to play. Pomponio folded and Black took down the pot.
Hand #112: Taylor black raised to 2,000,000 and took down the blinds and antes when everyone folded.
06/08/17 05:47:12 PM PST
Hands #94-102: Pomponio Bounces Back
Hand #94: Taylor Black raised to 2 million and folded to Thomas Pomponio's shove.
Hand #95: John Hanna open-shoved and won the pot.
Hand #96: Black limped from the small blind and, when John Hanna checked, they went to a flop of . The turn was for free and Black won the pot right there, betting one big blind.
Hand #97: The same pattern as in the previous round occurred. Black's button raise didn't get through as Pomponio moved all in from the big blind. Black folded again.
Hand #98: Black got a walk.
Hand #99: Pomponio's min-raise forced folds from the other players.
Hand #100: Black's min-raise had the same impact as Pomponio's raise in the previous hand.
Hand #101: Pomponio limped from the small blind but he couldn't make it to the flop, folding to Black's raise to 2,500,000.
Hand #102: Pomponio opened for 2,000,000. Black cut down chips for a three-bet and then made it 4,700,000. Pomponio wasn't done just yet and returned the ball to Black's court, announcing he was all in. Black gave up.
06/08/17 05:37:14 PM PST
Hands #89-93: Black Extends His Lead
Hand #89: Taylor Black got a walk.
Hand #90: Thomas Pomponio raised to 2,000,000 from the button and John Hanna defended his big blind with a call. They saw a flop of where Hanna folded to Pomponio's 3,000,000-bet.
Hand #91: Black opened to 2,000,000 and Pomponio called in the big blind. Black continued on the flop , placing in just 1,200,000. Pomponio responded with a check-raise to 3,200,000, and Black called.
Pomponio checked the turn and Black fired 2,700,000. Pomponio called.
They both quickly checked on the river, which was the . Black revealed his and won another nice pot with the second pair.
Hand #92: Pomponio shoved just over 12 million from the small blind and Black eventually let his hand go, saying, "The best hand I can fold."
Hand #93: Black limped from the small blind and then stabbed on the flop. Hanna passed.
06/08/17 05:29:31 PM PST
Level 40 started
|06/08/17 05:26:51 PM PST
Hands #87 - 88: John Hanna Doubles; Taylor Black Shoves
Hand #87: Taylor Black limped from the small blind. John Hanna checked his option in the big blind. The flop came and Black led with a bet of 800,000. Hanna quickly moved all in and Black called.
The board completed with the and the and that earned Hanna a double-up.
Hand #88: Black raised to 1,600,000 and Thomas Pomponio called. The flop came down and Pomponio checked to Black who bet 1,800,000. Pomponio called.
On the turn, Pomponio led with a bet of 2,800,000. Black called.
The river was the and Pomponio led for 5,300,000. After some thought, Taylor Black moved all in and Pomponio quickly folded.
|Taylor Black||48,000,000||2,000,000 |
|John Hanna||24,000,000||11,750,000 |
|Thomas Pomponio||17,000,000||-10,000,000 |06/08/17 05:20:27 PM PST
Hands #79 - 86: Taylor Black Makes Two Pairs
Hand #79: Taylor Black opened with a raise to 1,600,000. Next to act, John Hanna raised to 4,900,000 from the small blind. Action folded around and after giving it some thought Black did too.
Hand #80: Black received a walk in the big blind.
Hand #81: Black limped from the small blind. Hanna checked his option. On the flop, Black bet 800,000 and Hanna folded.
Hand #82: Black raised to 1,800,000 and was called by Thomas Pomponio in the big blind. On the flop, Pomponio checked to Black who bet 1,600,000 and that was enough to elicit a fold from Pomponio. Black scooped the pot.
Hand #83: Hanna raised to 2,600,000. Black called from the big blind. The flop came and both players checked. On the turn, Black led out for 2,800,000. Hanna reraised to 6,500,000, and Black called. The river was the and both players checked. Black showed and that his two pair was good enough to take down the pot.
Hand #84: Thomas Pomponio raised to 1,600,000 and everyone folded.
Hand #85: Black raised to 1,600,000 from the button and everyone folded.
Hand #86: Thomas Pomponio raised to 1,600,000 from the small blind and Taylor Black folded his big blind.
|Taylor Black||46,000,000||25,500,000 |
|Thomas Pomponio||27,000,000||11,375,000 |
|John Hanna||12,250,000||-22,250,000 |06/08/17 05:05:40 PM PST
Mark Babekov Eliminated in 4th Place ($305,294)
Hand #77: Taylor Black opened to 1,600,000 and the action stopped at Mark Babekov who announced, "Six million." Black asked for Babekov's count but got an inaccurate answer as Babekov had replied, "Roughly 28 million." Babekov then realized it was 10 million less than that and quickly referred it to Black.
Black moved all in and Babekov snap-called.
The classic-est of the classic races was underway. The flop of was good for Babekov, but when the appeared on the turn, Black's railbirds burst into excitement. "It's not over," Babekov believed.
However, the river was only a goalpost and Black scooped a full double-up worth 17,275,000. Black went to his mates, shouting "Let's f$%#ing" go!"
Hand #78 Babekov was crippled to just 2,175,000 and he shoved his remaining chips right after he suffered the aforementioned blow. Unfortunately for him, this time it was Black who woke up with pocket queens in the big blind, quickly turning over his and the ladies beat Babekov's on the board of .
"Thanks guys, it was fun," said Babekov who finished in fourth place, earning $305,294.
06/08/17 04:56:22 PM PST
Hands #71-76: Three in a Row For Babekov
Hand #71: John Hanna received a walk.
Hand #72: Thomas Pomponio received a walk.
Hand #73: Mark Babekov received a walk.
Hand #74: Mark Babekov completed from the small blind and then called Taylor Black's raise to 2,100,000. The flop was checked through. Black bet 1,600,000 on the turn and Babekov called. The river completed the board. Both players checked and Babekov announced, "Nine," showing to take this one.
Hand #75: Mark Babekov won a third hand in a row, raising to 2,200,000 from the button. None of the players in the blinds fought back.
Hand #76: Thomas Pomponio received another walk.
06/08/17 04:49:20 PM PST
Hand #70: A Set For Babekov
Hand #70: Mark Babekov limped from the small blind and Taylor Black checked his option. Both players checked down the board of and Babekov turned up for a set that he rivered. That was good enough to earn him the pot.
06/08/17 04:46:23 PM PST
Kent Coppock Eliminated in 5th Place ($230,564)
Hand #69: Kent Coppock moved all in from the button. Next to act, Thomas Pomponio moved all in over the top. Action folded around the cards were turned on their backs.
The board ran out and that was enough for Pomponio to lock up the pot. Coppock was eliminated from the tournament in fifth place and will collect $230,564 for his efforts this week.
06/08/17 04:42:43 PM PST
Hands #65-68: Mark Babekov Doubles
Hand #65: John Hanna raised to 2,000,000 from under the gun and that earned him the pot once everyone folded.
Hand #66: Taylor Black raised to 2,100,000 from the small blind and John Hanna folded his big blind.
Hand #67: Mark Babekov moved all in and was quickly called by Taylor Black. Everyone else folded and the two headed to a showdown.
The board ran out , giving Babekov trips to double up.
Hand #68: Taylor Black raised to 1,600,000 and everyone folded.
|Mark Babekov||13,000,000||4,300,000 ||