Mike Del Vecchio will take a sizable chip lead into the six-handed final table of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event final table Wednesday as the tournament heads into its last day. With 4.27 million chips, Del Vecchio has about 1.3 million more than his closest competitor, John Hadley.
With a minimum final table cash of $52,222, Del Vecchio is already in for the largest live tournament cash of his career. His best career cash $51,377, earned by winning a $1,500 tourney a the Grand Challenge Tournament Series in 2012. Thus, should he bomb out Wednesday and only place sixth, he will still eclipse his career-high cash. Overall, Del Vecchio has $282,784 in lifetime earnings.
One of Del Vecchio’s more significant hands came with just eleven players remaining. Denzel Suntay limped pre-flop, Del Vecchio raised to 65,000, Suntay called, and the flop came down 8-5-2. Suntay check-called a 55,000 chip bet and the two saw a turn Ten. They checked that to bring on a Queen on the river. Suntay woke up, betting 145,000, but then Del Vecchio raised to 415,000. Suntay called and showed he had Pocket Rockets, a reasonable hand with which to feel confident on that board. Del Vecchio, though, had pocket Queens, good for a set. That pot took his stack to 3.85 million chips.
As our readers may know, this event is also the end of the WPT’s “California Swing,” which is comprised of the three California stops that have taken place in succession: WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, and WPT Rolling Thunder. Players earned points based on their finish in each event and once Dean Baranowski was eliminated in 14th place in WPT Rolling Thunder, it meant that Rainer Kempe was the California Swing champ thanks to an 18th place finish at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic and a sixth place finish at WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.
Kempe wins a grand prize that will benefit him greatly at next year’s California Swing. He will receive up to six nights’ accommodation at the Commerce Casino’s Crowne Plaza Hotel for the 2018 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event plus an airport transfer, up to five nights’ accommodation at the Thunder Valley Casino Resorts for the 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event plus $500 food and beverage credit, and up to $1,000 in accommodation credit for the 2018 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event and Shooting Star status.
The six-handed final table of the 2017 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event is now underway; someone will be crowned the next World Poker Tour champion tonight.
2017 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Mike Del Vecchio – 4,270,000
2. John Hadley – 2,978,000
3. Sorel Mizzi – 2,283,000
4. Connor Drinan – 1,349,000
5. Steven Tabb – 1,075,000
6. Olivier Busquet – 676,000