West Palm Beach, Fla. (September 28, 2015) — On Monday, the 2015/16 World Series of Poker Circuit at the Palm Beach Kennel Club wound down toward its conclusion with the final day of the $1,675 Main Event. Just seven players returned for Day 3 and in the end it was Peter Vitantonio who rose above the competition to win the $129,685 first-place prize, the gold Circuit ring, and a seat to the season-ending WSOP Global Casino Championship.

Vitantonio came into the day in the second overall chip position. He was merely trailing his eventual heads up opponent, Javier Zarco, who held a commanding chip lead coming into the day.

“I came in second [overall], but kind of just sat there for the first hour and didn’t do much,” reflected Vitantonio after his win. “Then I got aces and doubled. Two hands later I got kings and doubled up and that was pretty much it.”

The hands that Vitantonio was referencing represented the largest shift in momentum at the final table. During four-handed play, Zarco opened with a raise only to have Vitantonio come over the top with a three-bet from the button. Zarco shipped all in and Vitantonio snapped him off for his tournament life with two aces. Zarco meekly tabled ace-jack and was unable to improve. A mere two hands later, Vitantonio checked pocket kings on a jack-high flop against eventual fourth-place finisher Mike Kelleher. Kelleher moved all in for about 53 big blinds and Vitantonio instantly called. Kelleher showed a gutshot straight draw and was unable to improve. From that moment on, Vitantonio seized a massive chip lead that he never relinquished.

This marks Vitantonio’s third final table appearance on the Circuit and his first gold ring win. Vitantonio, a native of Wickliffe, Ohio, considers himself a full time professional player. He has attended the Palm Beach Kennel Club Circuit stop for the last three winters, and plans to move to the area next month. Prior to poker success, Vitantonio attended Kent State and worked at a family restaurant for a year or two.

While Vitantonio boasts the top prize, six other players had successful deep runs in the Main Event. The first casualty of Day 3 came during the third hand of the day when John Palace was unable to win a race against Robert LeBeau. Palace was eliminated in seventh place and collected $19,489 for his efforts. Following Palace to the rail was Ellen Lambeth, who also held the title of last woman standing. Lambeth got the last of her money in while holding top pair on the flop against Kelleher. Unfortunately for Lambeth, Kelleher held top pair with top kicker and she was sent packing in sixth place.

A.J. Kelsall and Kelleher were the next two players eliminated, falling in fifth and fourth place, respectively. LeBeau failed to win a race against Vitantonio during a preflop all in, and his elimination sent the final two into heads up play. Vitantonio held a substantial lead over Zarco, who was unable to gain momentum throughout the match. In the end, Vitantonio flopped two pair to clinch the match and the title.

Unfortunately for Zarco, this marks the fourth time he has come close to earning a WSOP title only to fall as the runner-up. Most notably, during the 2014/15 Circuit season, Zarco racked up a breakthrough WSOP cash with a second place finish in the $1,675 Harrah's St. Louis Main Event. Following that, Zarco was once again denied a title during the 2015 WSOP when he finished runner-up to Adrian Buckley in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event. Despite these close calls, today's finish has officially moved Zarco over $1 million in earnings at the WSOP.

This prestigious event boasted a grand total of 393 entries over two starting flights. This number bested last year's attendance of this very event with an increase in attendance of nearly 30 percent. Day 1A accounted for 172 of those total entries while Day 1B pulled a total of 221 entries. This led to a total prize pool of $589,500 and allowed for the top 45 players to make the money.

Some of the notable names to make the money include three-time ring winner John Holley (32nd, $3,272), ring winners Russ Head (29th, $3,690) and Neal Harding (20th, $5,712), Chad Eveslage (19th, $5,712), bracelet winner David Diaz (18th, $6,779), and 2010 November Niner John Dolan (15th, $8,417). Additionally, Steven Duncker (ninth, $12,272) and Ralph Massey (eight, $15,351) graced the final table before they went bust.

Here's a look at the final table results:

1st: Peter Vitantonio - $129,685
2nd: Javier Zarco - $80,143
3rd: Rob LeBeau - $58,561
4th: Michael Kelleher - $43,482
5th: A.J. Kelsall - $32,788
6th: Ellen Lambeth - $25,095
7th: Johnny Palace - $19,489
8th: Ralph Massey - $15,351
9th: Steve Duncker - $12,262

Full results available on