Upstate New York poker pro collects $92,338 top prize in Event #7

Eight years, 19 WSOP cashes, and finally – a gold bracelet

Champion calls No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven “poker at its purest.”

John Monnette denied his third WSOP title, finishes as runner up


Name:  Ryan D’Angelo
Birthplace:  Endwell, NY (USA)
Age:  30
Current Residence:   Binghamton, NY (USA)
Marital Status:  Married
Children:  None
Profession:  Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes:  20
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  4
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament):  1
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  3rd (2008)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $750,959
Personal Facts:  Devoted to personal fitness, nutrition, healthy living, and self-improvement
Quote of the Day: 

“I felt a connection to this form of poker, even though I haven’t played it very much.  It’s so pure.  It’s two streets – it’s before the draw and then after the draw it’s ‘do they have it, or don’t they?’  It’s all a meta-game.  It’s all leveling.  It’s really the purest form of poker because it’s soul reading and a lot of ‘does he have it, or doesn’t he?’

-- Ryan D’Angelo (winner of the 2016 WSOP 2-7 NL Draw championship)


 Ryan D'Angelo, from Binghamton, NY has won the $1,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball (No-Limit) tournament at the 2016 World Series of Poker.

This highly-specialized poker variant, rarely played anywhere outside of very high-limit mixed cash game circles and the WSOP each year since 1973, was held over three days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas.  The final table was completed in a rocket-fast time of slightly more than three hours, and took place on the ESPN Main Stage.

D'Angelo demolished his opponents as the finale whittled down and gradually became short-handed.  He ended up collecting the top cash prize which amounted to $92,338.  Although this tourney figures to be the lowest first-place prize of any of the WSOP’s 69 open gold bracelet events held this year, the extra prestige of winning the coveted gold bracelet and playing against many of the most experienced and accomplished players in the game gave extra special meaning to D'Angelo's victory.

“I feel like it all came together here in this tournament,” D’Angelo said afterward.  “I felt really centered throughout this tournament.  The cards came my way.  It was like the perfect tournament, in a way.  I was never at serious risk.  I was able to pick up pots here and there.  It’s such a fun game.”

This marked the upstate New Yorker’s first gold bracelet win in a decade-long poker career.  He’d previously cashed 19 times at the series, posting $658,000 in winnings.  He finished as high as third place once, back in 2008.  However, D’Angelo has also amassed many big wins and lucrative cashes in other tournaments and online.

D'Angelo's triumph came at a tough final table which included multiple gold bracelet winners who rounded out the top five finishers – including “Captain” Tom Franklin, John Monnette, Dan Kelly, and Konstantin Maslak.  D’Angelo was quite complimentary towards everyone at the table afterward, particularly Monnette, who was aiming for what would have been a third gold bracelet victory.  He also praised Dan Kelly.

“John was on my left most of the last two days,” D’Angelo said.  “He’s obviously a terrific high-stakes player.  He was definitely my toughest opponent. Yeah, there were surely some good players.  Dan Kelly – he’s another tough one.  It was tough to see him at the final table.  He has a great track record and he’s good at all the games, so it was good to see him go out earlier (at the final table).  I’d say those two players were the toughest, probably.”

This tourney attracted 279 entrants, which created a prize pool totaling $376,650.  The top 43 finishers collected prize money.

That’s the great thing about the World Series,” D’Angelo said.  “You come out here and get to play games that aren’t dealt anywhere else.”

D’Angelo added that he’s a big believer in health and nutrition, which he says helps him play better poker.  He’s also committed to charitable causes and helping people, even those he doesn’t know personally.  In recent years, D’Angelo has been heavily involved in a charity in South Africa called the Food Gardens Foundation

“What we do is provide seeds and knowledge on how to grow food.  So these people in townships who have nothing but their little shacks and a piece of land can have an opportunity to start growing food and provide for their families and maybe even selling it at the market,” D’Angelo said.  “It’s a great way to help people to turn their life around.  I’m really passionate about that.”

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  John Monnette, Palmdale, CA looked to be a serious threat to win his third gold bracelet.  However, he was never able to overcome D’Angelo’s chip lead and relentless aggression.  Hence, the temperamental full-time pro ended up as the second-place finisher, which paid out $57,061.  This marked Monnette’s 43rd time to cash at the series.  He now has $1.6 million in career WSOP earnings.  Monnette has cashed at least once ten years in a row.

Third Place:  “Captain” Tom Franklin, from Gulfport, MS was asked beforehand if he would accept a second-place payout, but no gold bracelet if, hypothetically, it were offered.  “Hell no!” the Captain shouted.  Unfortunately, Franklin’s quest for a second career gold bracelet fell two short of the goal.  His previous WSOP victory came back in 1999.  Still, Franklin has managed to be a force at the series since then, posting what was his 42nd in-the-money finish.  Franklin’s share of the prize pool amounted to $38,582.

Fourth Place:  Dan Kelly, from Potomac, MD was one of two players hoping to win a third gold bracelet.  He broke onto the poker scene at age 21 six years ago with his first WSOP victory.  In just six years, Kelly has racked up 36 WSOP cashes and collected more than $2.5 million.  He added another $26,632 to that total with this fine effort, which fell short.

Fifth Place:  Konstantin Maslak, from Volgograd, Russia ended up as the fifth-place finisher.  He received $18,775.  The former chess grandmaster-turned poker pro won a gold bracelet at last year’s series and now has 12 cashes.

Sixth Place:  Todd Barlow, from Scottsdale, AZ pocked up $13,524 for his sixth place finish.  This was the insurance broker’s third final table appearance and 14th time to cash in a WSOP event.  His best showing was third place in the $10K Razz championship two years ago.

Seventh Place:  Alex Dovzhenko, from Kiev, Ukraine finished seventh.  He added $9,959 to his poker bankroll.  This marked his 29th time to cash at the WSOP, with four final table appearances.  His best previous finish was third place last year in a mixed game event.



Barry Greenstein, a three-time gold bracelet winner, finished 9th.

Jennifer Harman, a two-time gold bracelet winner, 13th.

Eli Elezra, a three-time gold bracelet winner, finished 16th.

David Benyamine, a gold bracelet winner, finished 24th.

Erik Seidel, an eight-time gold bracelet winner, finished 25th.  This marked his 94th time to cash at the WSOP, which ranks second all-time.

Chris Klodnicki, best known as the runner up in the $111,111 buy-in 2013 One Drop High-Rollers tournament (which paid nearly $3 million), finished 31st.

Huck Seed, the 1996 world poker champion and a four-time gold bracelet winner, finished 32nd.

Gavin Griffin, a gold bracelet winner, finished 40th.

Todd Brunson, a gold bracelet winner, finished 41st.

Joseph Cheong, who finished third in the 2010 WSOP Main Event championship, took 42nd place. 



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