Michael Banducci used to play poker to earn beer money for his friends. After taking home Event #5 ($1,000 No Limit Hold’em w/rebuys) Banducci has $636,736 to begin picking up some bigger tabs.
Banducci, only 23, battled Jeff Williams, two years his junior, in what may be the youngest heads-up battle in World Series of Poker history. Both players honed their game via online poker and Banducci knows that was a key to his victory Friday morning.
“The amount of time it takes to become a good player is reduced by playing (on the computer). We play so many hands. We talk to our friends (about the hands). You learn so fast,” said Banducci. “I think younger players understand the fundamentals much better. Older players probably know about the real-life aspects of the game. But the future of poker (success) depends on understanding the fundamentals.”
On the final hand of the tournament Williams three-bet all-in and was called by Banducci. When the cards were turned over Williams realized he was drawing very thin: Ad Jc vs. Ac 5d. The flop brought a jack and neither the turn or river provided Williams any miracle.
The total prize pool for the tournament, $ 2,894,094, was buoyed by 2,258 re-buys from the 766 player-field. Banducci had his initial buy-in plus one re-buy and two add-ons. His total cost was $4,000. Williams’ performance pocketed him $406,330.
During the bracelet ceremony Banducci celebrated by guzzling a can of Milwaukee’s Best Light, joining his friends who had been partying it up during the entire final table. The final table also included Michael Binger, third place finisher in the 2006 Main Event. Binger busted in seventh place for $101,293.