Sometimes in poker, being an unknown has its advantages. Such is the case for Italy's Davide Suriano, who faced off against a formidable foe, Sam Stein, in the finals of the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em Championship event. While Stein was certainly the better known player with more results, Suriano nonetheless prevailed thanks to his unconventional playing style. Suriano earned $335,553 for the win as well as his first gold bracelet and Italy's 12th overall. The last Italian bracelet winner was Rocco Palumbo back in 2012.
Not only did Suriano best a bracelet winner to earn his own bracelet, he did so in only 36 hands of play. Despite players beginning with almost 1,000 big blinds each, Suriano made quick work of his opponent, finishing off the final match in just over an hour.
Suriano has had some small success in Europe in the past, including a win in a heads-up side event at EPT London last October. Now that he has a newly-inflated bankroll, he says he plans to try to play more bigger buy-in events like this one in the future. For now, though, he is just enjoying his moment in the spotlight.
"This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me," Suriano said following his win.
It was a hard-fought win too. Neither player had an easy road to the finals. Stein faced off against Bryn Kenney in the Round of 64, then battled with another talented Sam, Sam Trickett, in the round of 32. Recent $10,000 Six-Handed final tablist Max Silver drew Stein in the round of sixteen, then Stein bested heads-up specialist Scott Baumstein in the semis to advance to the final round.
Suriano's path to victory included an opening round match against bracelet winner Scott Seiver, followed by a bout with Dan "jungleman" Cates in the round of 64. He then defeated Shane Moran, Serkan Kurnaz, and Ankush Mandavia to earn his seat at his first-ever WSOP final table.
This year’s $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship event drew 136 players, generating a $1,198,400 prize pool. The opening round featured 16 players in eight matches. Each of the winners advanced to the Round of 128, while the players who did not advance received $5,000 of their buy-in back, effectively creating a tiny satellite for the tournament. The final 128 players each needed to win three matches in order to make the money. The top 16 finishers each earned a payday of at least $26,584. Jason Koon, bracelet winner Taylor Paur, Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, and reigning WSOP Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu all advanced to the round of sixteen. Scott Baumstein and Dee Tiller were some of the notables who busted out in the round of eight. The final four saw bracelet winner Sam Stein face off against Scott Davies and One Drop participant Daniel Colman play Italian Davide Suriano. Stein was the first one through to the finals, followed a little while later by Suriano.Here are the results from the final four of the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship:1st: Davide Suriano - $335,5532nd: Sam Stein - $207,3473rd: Daniel Colman - $111,9424th: Scott Davies - $111,942