Australian poker pro Michael Addamo claims career-best cash by outlasting 1,637-entry field in five-day event.

15 June 2018 (Las Vegas) – Michael Addamo, a 23-year-old poker pro from Yallambie, Australia, has triumphed in Event #24 of the 2018 World Series of Poker, THE MARATHON - $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em.

It's a breakthrough win for Addamo, who earned a career-best $653,581 and the coveted gold bracelet here. Addamo survived five straight full days of play in this aptly name “Marathon” tourney and emerged from a talented final table for the win in what's already the16th cash of his young WSOP career.

Addamo arrived at the Day 5 final in a solid fourth position, not far behind early leader and eventual runner-up Mark Sleet. Addamo and Sleet both had to weather an early rush by Belgium's Bart Lybaert, who surged to an early lead before being reeled in during the evening's play.

Sleet, 50, from San Diego, held the lead at several stages during the final table before busting to the Aussie pro. Sleet's huge second-place effort was still worth $403,870, vastly outpacing the $10,459 he'd earned in three previous WSOP cashes.

Lybaert, a 28-year-old poker pro from Meihelen, Belgium, earned $290,315 for the third-place run. The well-known regular on several European tours logged his own 17th career WSOP cash and nearly doubled his total WSOP earnings, to more than $610,000.

Addamo came out on the winning end of a seesaw duel against Sleet that saw both players have chances to end it. Addamo came from behind twice before gaining the final lead. In the last hand, Sleet shoved for his last 10 million with   , and Addamo quickly called with   . Addamo hit his king on the flop, Sleet never improved, and the final board showed         to put a wrap on this year's Marathon event.

“It hasn't quite hit,” said Addamo, regarding his career-best win. “I'm sure when I wake up tomorrow it'll hit me. I got lucky in some spots and got some chips,” he added, regarding his winning near-flips in a couple of the final table's largest hands.

Addamo also had compliments for Sleet, a relative unknown among the more famous names in this final. “He was mixing it up; he was trying to put me to the test. He was trying all sorts of plays to get me off my game. But I think I adjusted pretty well.”

Addamo described himself as a “traveler” in his final-table, a reference to both his globe-trotting success in tourney play at a young age, and to Australia's ban on online poker, which went into effect last year. “Online poker was banned last year in Australia, which was really unfortunate. So I relocated to Thailand, and I stay there with a good friend. I spend quite a bit of time there. But I also travel quite a bit – I go to Macau sometimes, Asia, Europe sometimes, the US....” as he described his current poker-playing, globetrotting life.

He's also been at the WSOP each of the past three summers since turning 21, and the win here marked his 17th career cash at the Series.

An official final table of nine returned early Friday afternoon to battle for the Marathon bracelet. Sleet's 7.7 million chip stack gave him a narrow lead as play began, setting the stage for a wide-open final. Sleet and Lybaert built their stacks early on while Ihar Soika and Cate Hall hit the rail.

Soika, from Belarus, busted just six hands into Day 3 in a boat-over-boat hand also including both Sleet and Jacobson. Soika moved all in for his last 2.1 million on the turn of a      , re-raising over a Jacobson bet and Sleet call. Jacobson folded but Sleet called again and showed    to Soika's   . The river was the  , and Soika was out with $50,678 for ninth.

Washington, DC's Hall busted 19 hands later. A pre-flop betting war ended with a Hall shove, for her last 850,000, and an Addamo call. Hall trailed from the start with    to Addamo's   , though she picked up outs for a river chop as the first four board cards were      . The river, though, was the  , giving Hall an eighth-place finish worth $65,875.

The remaining players battled for roughly three hours with Lybaert taking and increasing the lead, before Germany's Anton Morgenstern busted in seventh. Morgenstern was on fumes after losing most of his chips to Martin Jacobson just one hand prior, and Morgenstern was forced to play    for his last 60,000. Lybaert raised two others out of the hand after an     flop, then showed   . That held up easily as the   turn and   river formally ended Morgenstern's day; he collected $86,631 for the effort.

Morgenstern's exit made Hong Kong's Ying Chan the short stack, and Chan moved all in for his last million in chips in the next hand. Chan's steal attempt from the small blind with    ran right into big blind Addamo's   . Addamo's queens held on a        board, sending Chan to collect sixth-place winnings of $115,244.

Jacobson, the 2014 WSOP Main Event champ, made the final five but could climb no higher. Sweden's Jacobson had the shortest remaining stack and managed to double up once, but not twice, losing his last 5.7 million in chips when he ran    into Lybaert's   . Jacobson picked up outs to a straight on the turn of         board, but the river blank meant he finished fifth, for $155,062.

Eight hands later, prior bracelet winner Taylor Paur followed Jacobson to the rail. Paur, from San Diego, busted in a huge pot that saw Paur flop a set of sixes but Addamo turn a straight, holding    on a       board. Addamo shoved after a   river, with Addamo calling. Paur left to collect a $210,995 payday while the 16-million-chip pot temporarily moved Addamo into the lead.

Lybaert's demise occurred 30 hands later, not long after a Sleet double-through took most of his chips. Lybaert got his last 5.6 million into the middle several hands later, calling a Sleet shove after a     flop. Sleet had the lead with his   , but Lybaert had plenty of outs with his own   . The   turn and   river both missed, however, giving Lybaert third-place earnings of $290,315.

Sleet took a sizeable lead into his closing duel with Addamo, leading with 26 to 16 million, and he soon built his stack as high as 34 million. Then another post-flop collision occurred, this time with Sleet holding    to Addamo's    with Addamo calling all in after Sleet's jam on a    . Sleet was a card away from the win when the   hit on the turn, but the river brought the   to give Addamo trip tens and the double.

Sleet made one more surge, building another 2:1 edge, but then Addamo clawed back in a series of mid-sized pots, taking a lead he'd never relinquish.

Event #24, $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon, drew 1,637 total entries and created a prize pool of $3,860,046. 1,105 players cashed, with each of those players guaranteed a minimum $2,249 payday.

Other Notables:
Among those cashing in the Event #24 NLHE “Marathon” were Faraz Jaka (35th, $16,340), Matt Affleck (44th, $13,520), Scotty Nguyen (46th, $11,329), Lee Markholt (48th, $11,329), Martin Stazsko (49th, $11,329), Chris Moorman (60th, $9,616), Marvin Rettenmaier (69th, $8,269), Matt O'Donnell (81st, $7,204), and Yue Du (97th, $5,693).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #24.

Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):

1st: Michael Addamo, $653,581 (1,183.92)
2nd: Mark Sleet, $403,870 (591.96)
3rd: Bart Lybaert, $290,315 (532.77)
4th: Taylor Paur, $210,995 (473.57)
5th: Martin Jacobson, $155,062 (443.97)
6th: Ying Chan, $115,244 (414.37)
7th: Anton Morgenstern, $86,631 (355.18)
8th: Cate Hall, $65,875 (325.58)
9th: Ihar Soika, $50,678 (295.98)