Monday, January 22, 2018 9:32 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb - World Series of Poker Circuit High Roller Champion
Steven Tabb has taken down the final ring event at Thunder Valley in the High Roller for $42,000 and his second career Circuit ring. The online high stakes cash game pro defeated start-of-day chip leader Todd Sladek after coming in to heads-up play with almost a four-to-one chip lead.
The poker pro was definitely happy about his win and it happened at a good time as he is about to take a vacation to South East Asia with his girlfriend.
Not only is he a successful online high stakes cash game player, but he also only plays about 15 live events a year and has had much success. “I haven’t been able to play that many ring events. I play mostly online – high stakes cash” explained Tabb. “Since I started this strategy of only playing 15-20 tournaments a year, I only play main events, I only play the higher buy-ins. And over a sample size of maybe 70 or 80 tournaments, I’ve cashed in 35 to 40% of them. Something ridiculous like that. I’ve obviously run well too. Tabb made the final table of the $1,675 Main Event at Thunder Valley in September also, finishing in 8th place.
The two-time Circuit champion explained that he didn’t have to study much in his earlier years. “I just naturally understood the game.” But now he admits poker has become much tougher. “The last few years have been a huge dedication to just staying above the field. In the last few years I’ve really had to boggle down, number crunch, and room with some incredibly smart and successful poker players who have made millions playing poker and see the game completely in a different way. It gives me the confidence to play against literally anyone. Now I feel confident that I can play literally anyone and I would either have an edge against them or if they’re the best in the world I’d be able to hold my own against them."
Tabb used to live in Boston but moved to San Mateo in 2016 for many reasons. Poker was one of them, along with wanting a change in lifestyle.
It’s clear that Tabb has come a long way as a poker pro and understands the highs and lows of the game. “I see a lot of younger players now and they remind me of myself when I was younger. Just kind of insecure, and wanting this win so badly. Wanting the results to come so badly, and I’ve been there. I’m very detached from the results. Obviously I want to win, but I’m able to control the pain when things don’t go my way and that’s been huge.” This was most definitely the case in the High Roller today, as Tabb took some big hits but rallied back and things went his way in the end. He admits that if that happened back in the day, it would affect him enough to cause him to play badly.
1st: Steven Tabb - $42,000
2nd: Todd Sladek - $25,984
3rd: Thomas Zanot - $17,024
4th: Alan Bittikofer - $11,760
5th: Ben Keeline - $8,624
6th: Michael Huang - $6,608
Monday, January 22, 2018 8:21 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb moves all in on the button and Todd Sladek calls out of the big blind. Sladek is all in for about 250,000 and in the lead with his against Tabb's .
The flop is , keeping Sladek in the lead, but the comes on the turn, vaulting Tabb back out in front. The river is the and Tabb wins the pot. Sladek is eliminated in second place earns $25,984 for his runner-up finish. Tabb wins the final ring of the series and $42,000.
Steven Tabb - Thunder Valley High Roller Champion
Todd Sladek - Eliminated
Monday, January 22, 2018 8:06 PM Local Time
Todd Sladek moves all in for 142,000 on the button and Steven Tabb calls out of the big blind.
"I got a king," says Tabb, showing .
"Damn, I got a king, too," says Sladek, tabling .
"There are a lot of deuces in the deck," says Ben Keeline from the rail.
Keeline is right and the flop is , moving Sladek into the lead. The turn is the and the river is the . Sladek doubles up.
Todd Sladek - 292,000 (12 bb)
Steven Tabb - 1,108,000 (46 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 8:02 PM Local Time
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:53 PM Local Time
The final two players are taking a short, unscheduled break. Here is a look at the chip counts at the start of heads-up play:
Steven Tabb - 1,190,000
Todd Sladek - 210,000
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:52 PM Local Time
Thomas Zanot raises to 45,000 on the button and Steven Tabb moves all in out of the big blind. Zanot tanks for a couple minutes before calling. Zanot tables and is in the lead against Tabb's .
The dealer quickly runs out a board of and Tabb rivers a ten to make the best hand and win the pot. Zanot is eliminated in third place and takes home $17,024 for his efforts.
Tabb, on the other hand, takes a massive chip lead into heads-up play against Todd Sladek.
Steven Tabb - 1,190,000 (59 bb)
Thomas Zanot - Eliminated
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:44 PM Local Time
Alan Bittikofer is all in in the big blind for his last 16,000. Steven Tabb limps in on the button and Thomas Zanot completes the small blind. Any further action would create a side pot between Zanot and Tabb, but it is checked to the river as the board runs out .
On the river, Zanot bets 25,000 and Tabb folds.
"I got the nuts," says Zanot, tabling .
Bittikofer hasn't looked at his hand yet and then turns up . He is eliminated in fourth place and takes home $11,760. Zanot wins the pot and is battling with Tabb for the top spot in the chip counts.
Thomas Zanot - 650,000 (33 bb)
Alan Bittikofer - Eliminated
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:40 PM Local Time
Alan Bittikofer moves all in on the button and Steven Tabb snap-calls out of the big blind. Tabb shows and is flipping against Bittikofer's .
The flop is and Tabb takes the lead after flopping top pair. The turn is the and the river is the . Bittikofer can't spike a two-outer on the turn or river and Tabb wins the pot. They break down stacks after the hand and verify that Tabb is the all in player for his last 307,000.
Bittikofer pays off Tabb and is left with about a big blind.
Steven Tabb - 636,000 (32 bb)
Alan Bittikofer - 20,000 (1 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:30 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb raises to 41,000 from under the gun and Thomas Zanot moves all in on the button for about 300,000. Alan Bittikofer moves all in out of the small blind for about 600,000 and Tabb folds face-up.
Zanot shows and is in trouble against Bittikofer's .
The flop is , giving Zanot the nut flush draw to go with his over card. Zanot lets out a celebratory yell when the comes on the turn, giving him a flush. The river is the and Zanot more than doubles up.
"I thought you were going to get punished for celebrating the board pairing turn," says Bittikofer after the hand. "Put a king on the end."
"I never do that," says Zanot. "I never celebrate [early]. I just didn't see it [pair the board]."
Thomas Zanot - 630,000 (31 bb)
Alan Bittikofer - 275,000 (14 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:23 PM Local Time
For the last three hands, Steven Tabb moved all in preflop and picked up the blinds and antes. As the stacks get shallower, the blinds and antes represent a bigger percentage of each players stack. Just by picking up the blinds and antes three hands in a row, Tabb increased his stack by just over 50%.
Steven Tabb - 310,000
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:12 PM Local Time
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:06 PM Local Time
Thomas Zanot raises on the button and Alan Bittikofer moves all in out of the small blind for 252,000. Zanot calls and shows . He needs to hit some paint in order to send Bittikofer's home.
The flop is and Bittikofer flops trips to leave Zanot drawing to runners for Broadway. The turn is the , leaving Zanot drawing dead to the river card.
Bittikofer doubles up with trip aces and takes the chip lead.
Alan Bittikofer - 528,000 (33 bb)
Thomas Zanot - 360,000 (22 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 7:03 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb completes the small blind and Thomas Zanot checks his option in the big blind. The flop is and they both check to the turn.
Tabb leads out for 16,000 and Zanot raises to 38,000. Tabb calls and the river is the . Tabb checks and Zanot bets 100,000. Tabb folds and Zanot takes the pot, extending his chip lead in the process.
Thomas Zanot - 600,000 (37 bb)
Steven Tabb - 210,000 (13 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 6:51 PM Local Time
Action folds to Ben Keeline in the small blind, who moves all in for just under 160,000. Thomas Zanot quickly calls out of the big blind. Keeline is the one that needs to crack aces this time with his up against Zanot's .
The flop is , which keeps Zanot in the lead, but Keeline has plenty of backdoor outs. The turn is the , which gives him a straight draw, but the comes on the river.
Zanot wins the pot with a pair of aces and cracks the half million chip mark. Keeline is eliminated in fifth place and leaves with $8,624 for his deep run in the final event of the series.
Thomas Zanot - 500,000 (32 bb)
Ben Keeline - Eliminated
Monday, January 22, 2018 6:48 PM Local Time
Todd Sladek moves all in from under the gun for 129,000 and Ben Keeline moves all in for about 280,000 on the button. Sladek tables and is in terrible shape against Keeline's .
The flop is and suddenly Sladek has a chance after flopping the nut flush draw.
"Wow," says Thomas Zanot as the comes on the turn.
Sladek turns the nut flush and has Keeline drawing dead to the river.
"Ship it!" shouts Sladek with a laugh.
"Nice hand, turd," says Keeline after the hand.
Todd Sladek - 292,000 (18 bb)
Ben Keeline - 159,000 (10 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 6:32 PM Local Time
Monday, January 22, 2018 6:17 PM Local Time
Players are taking their second 15-minute break of the day.
Monday, January 22, 2018 6:16 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb moves all in for about 200,000 from the cutoff and wins the blinds and antes. After Todd Sladek's double up at the beginning of the level, there haven't been many flops and even fewer showdowns.
Steven Tabb - 220,000
Monday, January 22, 2018 5:43 PM Local Time
Steven Tabb raises to 25,000 from under the gun and Todd Sladek moves all in for 64,000 from the big blind. After having the dealer pull in the dead money, Tabb calls.
Sladek needs to fade an ace with his up against Tabb's .
The board runs out and Sladek doubles up.
Todd Sladek - 135,000 (11 bb)
Steven Tabb - 200,000 (16 bb)
Monday, January 22, 2018 5:37 PM Local Time