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2017 48th Annual World Series of Poker The Official WSOP Live Updates

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 to Saturday, July 08, 2017

Event #67: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller

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  • Buy-in: $25,000
  • Prizepool: $4,868,750
  • Entries: 205
  • Remaining: 0
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07/08/17 01:41:37 AM PDT
James Calderaro Wins the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller ($1,289,074)

James Calderaro Wins Event #67

James Calderaro has accomplished a lot on the poker felt. He ran deep in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, just missing the final table with a 13th-place finish. He has a WPT title under his belt and several other six-figure scores over the years. Early Saturday morning, Calderaro added a WSOP bracelet to his list of accolades, besting a field of 205 in Event #67: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller. For Calderaro, the win and the money won are something to be proud of, and having his son Anthony there for this moment made it that much more special.

"The bracelet is amazing to me," Calderaro said after taking winner photos. "I had my WPT Championship and I gave it to my firstborn son, and I promised my second son and my daughter they would get the next ones. So my second son got the bracelet. Now I have a granddaughter, so now I gotta get two more, so I can't quit. It means everything to me. My boy right here, his bracelet right here in the World Series, him being here with me, it means everything to me."

Calderaro was sixth in chips after Day 1, second in chips after Day 2, and was in excellent position to contend for the bracelet on Day 3. Not long after play began, he was on top of the chip counts following a massive hand against chip leader Iraj Parvzizi, who had held the chip almost the entire tournament. Calderaro flopped a monstrous hand with the nut straight and top two pair, getting it in against Parvizi and a shorter stack. Calderaro's hand held up, giving him about 30% of the chips in play with 14 players remaining.

"He (Iraj) is crazy, I love playing with him. I got friendly with him. He's just a wildcard, he's crazy. He loves to play and loves to gamble, and I love to gamble. I feel like I'm playing a cash game when I play with that guy. We got involved in a hand...I loved the spot I was in, and I couldn't believe he repotted it after I potted it. He's used to winning those kinds of hands, and that's how he got his chips throughout the tournament, and this time it didn't pan out for him."

Final Table Results

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (USD)
1James CalderaroUnited States$1,289,074
2Alexey RybinRussia$796,706
3Esther TaylorUnited States$543,713
4Artem BabakhanyanRussia$379,128
5Bryce YockeyUnited States$270,242
6Dario SammartinoItaly$197,007
7Dan SmithUnited States$146,961
8Ben TollereneUnited States$112,239

From there, Calderaro went into the final table holding the chip lead. The rail became loud and boisterous, especially with three players remaining. There were sizable cheering sections for Calderaro, runner-up Alexey Rybin, and third-place finisher Esther Taylor. Emotions ran high and things became contentious numerous times among the many fans for each player. Calderaro did his best to soak all of the raucousnesses in.

"Oh I loved it. It makes it even more enjoyable for me, because as you know I like to shuffle it up, get people going, talk to them and everything else. So as far as getting into the loudness and wildness, that's usually my game anyway. I like to talk at the table, I like to go crazy, and I like to get people to talk. I get people to laugh and have a good time because otherwise, it's boring. I like getting wild and stuff like that."

The tumultuous three-handed battle saw Taylor battle valiantly with a much shorter stack than her opponents, but ultimately bow out in third place. Calderaro began heads-up play as about a 2:1 underdog, but never had any doubt about the outcome. Even earlier in the final table when things looked bleak after losing a crucial hand to Rybin, Calderaro turned to his dejected rail and told them everything would be okay.

"I never thought I was losing. Especially when I lost the aces to the aces, my rail... their faces ... and everybody else looking down...I looked at my boy in the eyes and said it doesn't mean nothing. I'm not losing this. I knew I wasn't losing this. I knew how much chips I could lose on that hand. I played that hand horribly, I should never have played it like that. But I really believed I was winning this thing hands down, from the get go. From the time I walked in today, from the time I started playing."

Calderaro never wavered, never gave up, and never stopped believing that he was going to share this moment with Anthony.

"It means everything."

James Calderaro
07/08/17 12:28:00 AM PDT
Alexey Rybin Eliminated in 2nd Place ($796,706)

Alexey Rybin Finishes Runner Up

Alexey Rybin raised to 700,000 and James Calderaro three-bet the pot. Rybin announced a reraise and Calderaro moved all in to pick up a call by Rybin.

Alexey Rybin:     
James Calderaro:     

Calderaro's rail asked for a king and got their wish granted on the     flop. Rybin was in need of the case queen or a jack for the straight, but the   turn and   river failed to improve the Russian. Rybin was eliminated in 2nd place for $796,706 while Calderaro's rail jumped from their seats to celebrate.

Calderaro will receive the elusive gold bracelet and a first-place payout of $1,289,074. A recap of today's action will be available later tonight.

James Calderaro25,635,0008,180,000
Alexey Rybin0-8,180,000
07/08/17 12:24:10 AM PDT
Rybin Gets Paid

In a limped pot, the flop showed     and both players checked. Alexey Rybin also checked the   turn and James Calderaro bet 400,000, which Rybin called. The   fell on the river and Rybin bet the pot for 1,280,000.

"Queen nine is basically the only hand you can have," Calderaro said and took his time before calling. Rybin rolled over      for a full house and Calderaro mucked     for a flush.

James Calderaro17,455,000-2,430,000
Alexey Rybin8,180,0002,430,000
07/08/17 12:18:52 AM PDT
More For Caldo

James Calderaro

Alexey Rybin raised to 700,000 from the button, and James Calderaro called from the big blind.

They checked to the turn of the      board, where Calderaro bet 1,000,000. Rybin folded, giving Calderaro the pot.

James Calderaro19,885,000835,000
Alexey Rybin5,750,000-835,000
07/08/17 12:14:32 AM PDT
Calderaro Takes One

Alexey Rybin raised to 700,000 from the button, and James Calderaro made a pot-sized three-bet to 2,100,000 from the big blind. Rybin called.

The flop came    , and Calderaro instantly announced a pot-sized bet of 4,200,000, putting Rybin to a decision for most of his remaining chips. He quickly folded, and Calderaro took the pot.

James Calderaro19,050,0002,100,000
Alexey Rybin6,585,000-2,100,000
07/08/17 12:04:28 AM PDT

The players are on a quick break.

James Calderaro16,950,000770,000
Alexey Rybin8,685,000-770,000
07/07/17 11:57:55 PM PDT
Level 30 started
Level: 30 Blinds: 120000/240000 Ante: 0
07/07/17 11:53:29 PM PDT
A Freeroll and a Double for Calderaro

James Calderaro Doubles Up

Alexey Rybin raised to 500,000, and James Calderaro called.

On the     flop, Calderaro bet 750,000, and Rybin called. After the   turn, Calderaro bet the pot, Rybin moved all in, and Calderaro called.

James Calderaro:     
Alexey Rybin:     

Calderaro was freerolling with the better diamond draw, and the   river blanked to chop it up.

Then, Calderaro made it 500,000 to go, and Rybin called.

On the     flop, Rybin checked, and Calderaro bet 600,000. Rybin check-raised to 2,800,000, and Calderaro was sent into the think tank. "That's a good one," he said to his rail,"

Rybin replied, "Let's finish it," followed by a, "Take your time."

Calderaro then called one minute later, and Rybin moved all in after the   turn. Calderaro quickly called.

James Calderaro:     
Alexey Rybin:     

The   on the river was a blank, and Calderaro doubled for 4,785,000 while his rail erupted in massive celebration.

James Calderaro16,170,0007,735,000
Alexey Rybin9,465,000-7,735,000
07/07/17 11:47:26 PM PDT
Calderaro Stays Aggressive

Alexey Rybin raised to 600,000 from the button, and James Calderaro three-bet to 1,800,000 from the big blind. Rybin called.

The flop came    , and Calderaro instantly announced a pot-sized bet of 3,600,000. Rybin showed    and sent his cards into the muck.

Alexey Rybin17,200,00050,000
James Calderaro8,435,000-50,000
07/07/17 11:44:51 PM PDT
Esther Taylor Eliminated in 3rd Place ($543,713)

Esther Taylor

Alexey Rybin raised to 500,000 from the button, and Esther Taylor called from the big blind.

The flop came down    , and Taylor bet the pot for 1,100,000. Rybin raised, and Taylor called all in for about 1,660,000 total.


Taylor was in dire straits with a straight draw and backdoor flush draw against Rybin's trips.

The   turn and   river completed the board, no help to "E-Tay" to end her run in third place.

Alexey Rybin17,150,0002,150,000
James Calderaro8,485,000-95,000
Esther Taylor0-2,925,000
07/07/17 11:41:30 PM PDT
Rybin Check-Raises Calderaro

James Calderaro raised to 500,000 from the button, Esther Taylor called from the small blind, and Alexey Rybin called from the big blind.

The flop came down    , and action checked to Calderaro, who bet 800,000. Taylor check-folded, Rybin check-raised to 2,000,000, and Calderaro folded.

Alexey Rybin15,000,0003,800,000
James Calderaro8,580,000-2,920,000
07/07/17 11:37:14 PM PDT
Caldo Checks Back Inferior Flush

Esther Taylor defended her big blind against a raise to 500,000 from James Calderaro, then check-folded the      turn.

Two hands later, Alexey Rybin raised to 600,000, and Calderaro called in the big blind. The     flop went check-check before the   turn saw a bet of 800,000 from Rybin and a call from Calderaro. The   river went check-check, again, and Rybin rolled over     .

"I have a flush, too," Calderaro said and showed   , then mucked. "See, no bet," Calderaro said to his rail.

James Calderaro11,500,000-1,300,000
Alexey Rybin11,200,0001,500,000
Esther Taylor2,925,000-855,000
07/07/17 11:32:54 PM PDT
Taylor Doubles Through Calderaro

Esther Taylor

James Calderaro raised to 500,000 from the button, and Esther Taylor moved her entire stack into the middle from the small blind. She could only raise to 1,700,000 and had just 85,000 behind after her three-bet. Alexey Rubin folded his big blind, and after a few moments, Calderaro called. Taylor put her last 85,000 in the pot in the dark, and Calderaro called before the dealer ran out the board.


Taylor had the preflop advantage with her queens, and Calderaro needed help from the deck to take the pot and eliminate Taylor.

The flop came    , which changed nothing, and the turn brought the   to give Taylor a lock on the pot with queens full. The meaningless   fell on the river, and Taylor scooped the pot to double up.

James Calderaro12,800,000-1,200,000
Esther Taylor3,780,0001,880,000
07/07/17 11:28:19 PM PDT
Chip Counts
James Calderaro14,000,000900,000
Alexey Rybin9,700,000-430,000
Esther Taylor1,900,000-1,000,000
07/07/17 11:18:21 PM PDT
Taylor Chips Up

Esther Taylor

Esther Taylor raised to 700,000 from the button, Alexey Rybin called from the small blind, and James Calderaro called from the big blind.

The flop came    , and Rybin checked. Calderado checked, as well, and Taylor moved all in for about 880,000, prompting uproarious cheers from her rail. Rybin quickly folded, and after showing     , Calderado did the same.

Taylor took the pot.

James Calderaro13,100,000-400,000
Esther Taylor2,900,0001,300,000
07/07/17 11:14:45 PM PDT
E-Tay Fighting on the Short Stack

Esther Taylor raised to 700,000 from the button with 1,100,000 behind and won the blinds.

Two hands later, Taylor raised to 600,000 fropm the small blind and Alexey Rybin called in the big blind. The flop fell     and Taylor moved all in, Rybin folded the   face up.

Rybin got his chips back by raising to 500,000 from the small and picking up a call by James Calderaro. On the     flop, Rybin bet 600,000 and Calderaro folded.

Rybin also raised to 500,00 on the next button and Taylor called in the big blind. After a flop of    , Taylor checked and folded to a bet of 750,000 by Rybin.

Esther Taylor1,600,000-1,185,000
07/07/17 11:10:38 PM PDT
Calderaro Gets it Back

Alexey Rybin raised to 500,000 from the button, James Calderaro three-bet to 1,600,000 from the small blind, and Rybin called.

The flop came down    , and Calderaro bet the pot. Rybin folded, and Calderaro won the pot.

James Calderaro13,500,0001,700,000
Alexey Rybin10,130,000-1,600,000
07/07/17 11:06:09 PM PDT
Rybin With a Full House

Alexey Rybin raised to 500,000 from the small blind, and James Calderaro called from the big blind.

The flop came down    , and Rybin bet 750,000. Calderaro called, and both players proceeded to check the   turn and   river.

Rybin showed      for deuces full of tens, Calderaro mucked, and Rybin won the pot.

James Calderaro11,800,000-410,000
Alexey Rybin11,730,0001,090,000
07/07/17 10:54:00 PM PDT
Level 29 started
Level: 29 Blinds: 100000/200000 Ante: 0
07/07/17 10:43:19 PM PDT
Chip Counts at Break

The players are in midst of a 15-minute break.

James Calderaro12,210,000-1,240,000
Alexey Rybin10,640,0001,725,000
Esther Taylor2,785,000-495,000