Monday, November 6, 2023 11:06 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 20 hours ago)
Third Time's the Charm as Ermanno Di Nicola Catches a Miracle to Win the €550 Colossus
Poker can be a fickle game. Life-altering fortunes can change with the turn of a card. One hand can be the difference between being a champion and an afterthought, just one of thousands who busted short of the ultimate goal. Ermanno Di Nicola was on the good side of that variance today in Event #5: €550 No-Limit Hold'em Colossus.
Di Nicola was all in early on the event's final day with ace-jack against Elia Salerno's pocket threes. A three on the flop gave Salerno a seemingly firm grip on the hand, with Di Nicola already getting up to leave and resigned to collecting his 14th-place payout.
The deck, and lady luck, had other plans. The turn brought a ten and Di Nicola stopped in his tracks, realizing he now had some hope with a straight draw. The river was a king, the same king he has tattooed on his wrist, that gave him the straight and earned him a double up.
Di Nicola had new life, and he made the most of it, ending up as the champion and newest World Series of Poker Europe bracelet winner at King's Resort in Rozvadov after prevailing over the massive field of 3,436 players to earn €200,000.
"I was already feeling like player out because I didn't have many chances, especially after the three hit on the flop," Di Nicola said following his victory heads-up against Alain Saka, his friend Alessandro serving as translator. "But you need luck in poker, and that was a 50-50 spot and I got it on the end."
Di Nicola had come close to WSOPE glory before. Two years ago, he finished in third place in the €5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event. He also added an eighth-place showing in the €2,000 PLO that year, his only two WSOP cashes before this event. Di Nicola is primarily a PLO player and was looking to enter the €5K event that began last night. But he had other work to do, and it ended with a gold bracelet around his wrist.
"Finally I got the full job done. Hopefully, this is going to be the first of a long series of successes. Not just final tables, but winning tournaments," he said.
The €200,000 top prize is Di Nicola's largest career score. He had previously finished third in a high roller in Prague in March 2022 for €166,000. His victory today pushes his live earnings near $600,000.
Final Table results
|1||Ermanno Di Nicola||Italy||€200,000|
Day 3 Action
Day 3 began with 16 players remaining on the final two tables. Dennis Magro began the day as chip leader but took an early hit when he and Salerno both made trip aces, but Salerno had a king-kicker to double up. Angelo Marrone, who entered the day at the bottom of the leaderboard with just four big blinds, also doubled up off Di Nicola with ace-king versus ace-queen, turning a king after Di Nicola flopped a queen.
Andrej Desset was first to bust, running ace-nine into Vadzim Lipauka's ace-jack. Di Nicola, who began the day in third place with more than 8,000,000, fell below 2,000,000 but found a double up through Salerno with ace-jack against ace-ten. Then came his miracle, and Salerno busted shortly afterward when he missed straight and flush draws on the river against Alessandro Predaroli.
Lipauka (15th) was also sent to the rail early, while Samuel Stranak and Stefan Fabian were eliminated on the same hand when Xhavit Berisha woke up with kings to beat Fabian's jacks and Stranak's queen-five after the 2021 bracelet winner was forced all in from the big blind. Stranak took 13th, while Fabian finished in 12th as the larger stack.
Cristian David ran into the aces of Julien Loire to finish in 11th, while Gianluca Gallo was left short after dropping a big pot to Saka, calling for 3,000,000 on the river with top pair against Saka's nut flush. A few hands later Gallo shoved with ace-six but ran into Magro's queens.
Saka held a commanding chip lead at the start of the nine-handed final table with 21,275,000. Berisha was in second with 14,200,000 while Di Nicola followed in third place with 9,900,000. With the average stack worth just 23 big blinds, the players settled into a battle of attrition to see who could climb up the money ladder.
Di Nicola won an early pot off Saka when he flopped a set of sevens. Saka turned trip nines and called a bet of 3,000,000 on the river. Magro kicked off the final table with two failed bluff attempts that dropped him down to 3,500,000. He then called off his stack with fives against Tobias Peters' king-queen. Peters flopped a straight draw, then turned a king to bust the start-of-day chip leader in ninth place.
Marrone doubled up off Saka, then snapped off Juuso Luokkanen's 4,200,000 shove with ace-king and flopped top pair to bust the Finnish national in eighth place and move up to 12,000,000. Berisha then shoved with deuces into the aces of Loire, riding the massive chip lead he had at the end of Day 1 to a seventh-place finish.
Marrone moved close to the top of the leaderboard when he picked off a big bluff from Di Nicola. Predaroli then doubled off Saka before tangling in a big pot against Loire. The French pro three-bet to 5,000,000, Predaroli jammed for 12,400,000, and Loire called with a nearly identical stack holding two eights. Predaroli had ace-queen suited, and while Loire turned a set, Predaroli rivered a flush to bust Loire in sixth.
Peters, the most accomplished player in the field with nearly $3,000,000 in live earnings, then jammed for 8,900,000 in the small blind. Saka picked him off with ace-queen against ace-five as Peters added €50,500 to his career winnings for his fifth-place finish.
Predaroli was next to fall, shoving for 12,000,000 with ace-nine. Di Nicola called with ace-queen in the big blind and held on with his queen-kicker to bust his fellow Italian in fourth and take the chip lead into three-handed play.
Marrone attempted a four-bet shove for 28,000,000 with ace-jack, but Di Nicola woke up with kings to end Marrone's chip-and-a-chair story in the making in third place. Di Nicola led Saka 65,000,000 to 24,500,000 at the start of heads-up, but it wouldn't be an easy road to the bracelet.
First, Saka doubled up with ace-jack against king-deuce, hitting trip jacks. Saka was then all in again for 16,000,000 with king-four and up against Di Nicola's queen-ten. A queen on the flop and a safe turn left Di Nicola a card away from the title, but Saka spiked a king on the river to stay alive yet again.
Di Nicola then limped in from the button and Saka raised to 4,000,000 in the big blind. Di Nicola called to face an eight-five-high, all diamond flop. Saka jammed for 17,000,000 and Di Nicola called with king-five, holding a pair of fives and the king-high flush draw. Saka had just ace-high and a smaller diamond and watched as the board didn't provide him any help. The Poland native fell short of the bracelet, but he did collect €115,000 for his runner-up finish after coming into the tournament with just over $3,000 in total earnings.
Di Nicola got to celebrate with his partner on the rail, and insisted he's looking forward to sharing some of his newfound wealth with her. "Some nice gifts, of course," he said about how he plans to spend the money. His cheque is a lot bigger than it might have otherwise been, if not for one card. But that's the nature of this game, and Di Nicola has a new piece of gold jewelry to prove it.
That concludes PokerNews' coverage of Event #5: $550 No-Limit Hold'em Colossus. Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the series here at King's Resort in Rozvadov.
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:34 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 20 hours ago)
Alain Saka Eliminated in 2nd Place (€115,000)
Ermanno Di Nicola limped in from the button and called when Alain Saka made it 4,000,000 from the big blind.
Saka jammed for 17,000,000 on the flop and Di Nicola snap-called as the covering stack.
Ermanno Di Nicola:
Di Nicola was ahead with a pair of fives, while also having a superior flush draw to Saka. The Polish player needed to find a queen or an ace on the turn or river to survive once more.
The turn and river saw Di Nicola hold out and confirmed him as the winner of this year's Colossus. Di Nicola celebrated with his partner on the rail and shook hands with Saka in a show of good sportsmanship.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||85,900,000||32,900,000 |
|Alain Saka||0||-33,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:24 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 20 hours ago)
Saka Finds a Three-Outer on the River to Double
Alain Saka jammed for 16,000,000 from the button, and Ermanno Di Nicola called from the big blind after getting a count.
Ermanno Di Nicola:
Saka was ahead until Di Nicola found a queen on the flop. The turn saw Di Nicola have one hand on the bracelet, but the river ensured the continuation of this heads-up match.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||53,000,000||-21,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||33,000,000||21,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:21 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 20 hours ago)
Saka Survives Once More
Ermanno Di Nicola moved all in with and Alain Saka called for his last 5,000,000 with .
Saka added outs as he picked up an open-ended straight draw on the . He then took the lead as he paired up on the turn. The river saw Saka get another double.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||74,000,000||-4,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||12,000,000||4,600,000 |0
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:18 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Di Nicola Leaves Saka Short
Ermanno Di Nicola made it 3,500,000 from the button with . Alain Saka defended with .
Saka check-called for 2,000,000 on the flop, which brought in the turn. Di Nicola was still ahead with his tens, and Saka's float saw him pick up a flush draw. The river paired Saka up, but he still had the second-best hand. Saka check-called a bet of 7,000,000 only to see that his hand was bested.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||78,000,000||12,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||7,400,000||-12,600,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:12 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Saka Doubles Up
Alain Saka moved all in for 9,200,000 and Ermanno Di Nicola called from the big blind.
Ermanno Di Nicola:
Saka was ahead preflop but Di Nicola had live cards to seal the victory.
Saka hit top pair on the flop but Di Nicola could still win if he found a king on the turn or river. The runout saw Saka improve to trip jacks to lock up the double up.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||66,000,000||-7,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||20,000,000||7,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:11 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Level 42 started
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:08 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Di Nicola Turns a Better Pair
Ermanno Di Nicola looked down at and raised to 1,600,000, and Alain Saka defended his big blind with .
Saka flopped best as he paired up on the flop. Action checked through to the turn, which put Di Nicola in the lead. Saka led out for 2,500,000 and was called.
The river saw Di Nicola have the best hand. Saka bet 2,500,000 but then saw Di Nicola raise to 10,000,000. Saka mulled over his options for several moments but ultimately called to see the bad news.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||73,000,000||18,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||13,000,000||-17,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 10:03 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Trips for Saka
Ermanno Di Nicola limped in with and Alain Saka checked in the big blind with .
Saka check-called for 1,800,000 on the flop which brought in the turn. Saka, now with trips, led out for 4,200,000 and Di Nicola called with his open-ender.
The completed the board, which prompted Saka to move all in for 15,000,000 and Di Nicola quickly folded.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||55,000,000||-10,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||30,000,000||9,000,000 |0
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:55 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Three in a Row for Di Nicola
Ermanno Di Nicola limped in with , and Alain Saka checked his option with the dominated . The flop checked through to the turn. Saka then check-folded to a bet of 2,500,000.
The following hand, Saka opened to 2,500,000 from the button with and then folded when Di Nicola jammed with .
Di Nicola limped in with and Saka checked in the big blind with . Neither player connected on the flop for Di Nicola to remain ahead. Action checked through and Di Nicola paired up on the turn. Di Nicola fired out a bet and Saka folded.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||65,000,000||8,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||21,000,000||-7,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:51 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Alain Saka limped in with from the button and then called when Ermanno Di Nicola made it 3,200,000 with .
Saka paired up on the flop and called a bet of 3,000,000. The turn kept Saka ahead, and he moved all in after Di Nicola checked. The Italian quickly folded.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||57,000,000||-8,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||28,000,000||3,500,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:47 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
The two finalists are back in their seats and play has resumed.
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:36 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Ermanno Di Nicola and Alain Saka are taking a 6-minute break before heads-up play gets underway.
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:32 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Angelo Marrone Eliminated in 3rd Place (€87,000)
Ermanno Di Nicola made it 2,500,000 from the button. Alain Saka three-bet to 7,000,000 from the small blind. Angelo Marrone then moved all for 28,000,000 from the big blind. Di Nicola quickly reshoved and Saka got out of the way.
Ermanno Di Nicola:
Marrone had three immediate outs and failed to find an ace on the flop and turn. The river completed the board, and Di Nicola sealed the pot to set up heads-up play.
Marrone has had an incredible run on Day 3, having started the session with just four big blinds.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||65,000,000||37,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||24,500,000||-7,500,000 |
|Angelo Marrone||0||-28,000,000 |0
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:28 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Level 41 started
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:24 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Saka Four-Bet Jams
Angelo Marrone, with , opened to 2,000,000 from the button before Ermanno Di Nicola made it 6,500,000 from the small blind with . Alain Saka looked down at and then moved all in for 22,000,000 from the big blind.
Marrone quickly folded. Di Nicola asked for a count but opted to fold after spending a fair bit of time in the tank.
|Alain Saka||32,000,000||9,000,000 |
|Angelo Marrone||28,000,000||0 |
|Ermanno Di Nicola||28,000,000||-6,000,000 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:23 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
PN Podcast: Halloween Costumes, Matthew Perry, & Guest K.L. Cleeton Talks RangeTrainerPro
On the latest episode of the PokerNews Podcast, Chad Holloway, Connor Richards, and Matt Hansen talk about what they did for Halloween, DJ Khaled's Celebrity Challenge on Global Poker, GGPoker's new Poker After Dark 'Game of Gold' show, and the difference between WPT at Sea vs. WPT Voyage.
They also remember actor Matthew Perry, who passed away unexpectedly, and the mark he left on the TV show Celebrity Poker Showdown; recap Blake Bohn's record 5th MSPT title win; take a look at Yiannis Liperis winning 888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event; and highlight winners from both the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) and Triton Poker.
Chad then sits down for a chat with K.L. Cleeton, the co-founder of RangeTrainerPro. He talks about living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), how poker is a great equalizer for his competitive spirit, and new developments at RangeTrainerPro and how his unique perspective has shaped the innovative tool.
Listen to the New PokerNews Podcast Here!
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:23 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 21 hours ago)
Saka Shoves on Di Nicola
Alain Saka raised to 2,000,000 on the button with and Ermanno Di Nicola defended .
Both players hit a pair on the flop and Saka continued for 1,500,000 with his aces. Di Nicola called with nines as the fell on the turn.
Saka then moved all in for 15,000,000 and Di Nicola confirmed the amount before mucking.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||34,000,000||-5,000,000 |
|Alain Saka||23,000,000||0 |
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:16 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 22 hours ago)
Marrone Double Barrels Di Nicola Out of the Pot
Angelo Marrone raised to 2,000,000 on the button with and Ermanno Di Nicola called in the small blind.
Both players checked the flop and the then fell on the turn. Marrone bet 1,800,000 and Di Nicola called.
The river came the and Marrone, left with just a pair of fives, queen-kicker, bet another 3,800,000. Di Nicola gave it some thought before mucking .
|Ermanno Di Nicola||39,000,000||-3,500,000 |
|Angelo Marrone||28,000,000||6,000,000 |0
Monday, November 6, 2023 9:12 PM Local Time (about 30 days and 22 hours ago)
Di Nicola Pulls Away
Alain Saka opened to 2,000,000 with from the button. Ermanno Di Nicola defended with .
Di Nicola check-called for 1,500,000 on the flop which brought in the turn. Action checked through to the river. Di Nicola bet 2,500,000 and Saka released his hand.
|Ermanno Di Nicola||42,500,000||7,500,000 |
|Alain Saka||23,000,000||-4,000,000 |
|Angelo Marrone||22,000,000||-2,300,000 |