This week, Roberto Romanello got his name on a very short list, becoming just the ninth player in poker history to win poker’s Triple Crown. In winning the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Event #39: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Romanello he nabbed his first career WSOP bracelet. That, along with previous World Poker Tour and World Poker Tour titles, gives him the Triple Crown.
Romanello won EPT Prague in 2010 and WPT Bratislava in 2011 (there was a WPT Bratislava?).
He is also the first player to complete one of the legs of the Triple Crown online, though to be fair, there have not been many opportunities to do so until this year. Now, my friend Earl Burton is probably not all that impressed with that, considering how he feels about the WSOP Online, but hey, the WSOP counts it as a bracelet, so it’s a bracelet.
Romanello is also the player who had the longest gap between his first leg and last leg of the Triple Crown. His wait between EPT Prague and his 2020 WSOP Online bracelet was nine years, seven months. The next closest was Harrison Gimbel, who took seven and a half years between his 2010 EPT win and his 2017 World Series of Poker bracelet.
Most of the poker Triple Crown winners – six of them in all – did it in less than four years. The quickest was Jake Cody, who won his WPT and EPT titles in 2010 and his first WSOP bracelet in 2011; the total time between the first and third legs was just over one year, four months.
The nine winners of the poker Triple Crown, in order of when they clinched it, are:
Gavin Griffin (2008)
Roland de Wolfe (2009)
Jake Cody (2011)
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (2011)
Davidi Kitai (2012)
Mohsin Charania (2017)
Harrison Gimbel (2017)
Niall Farrell (2017)
Roberto Romanello (2020)
Kitai’s Triple Crown is slightly controversial, as his World Poker Tour title was in the WPT Celebrity Invitational at the 2011 L.A. Poker Classic. As it was an invitational and not an open tournament, many in the poker community have placed a mental asterisk next to Kitai’s name on the Triple Crown list. But no matter, if the rule is that it counts, then it counts, and that’s awesome. I know I’d love to have that tournament win on my record.
Romanello told CalvinAyre.com that this win feels a lot different than it did when he captured his WPT and EPT titles, mainly because those were a decade ago, a different time in his life.
“The first time I was dedicating every day of my life around poker and giving my all to win a major event. When I won EPT Prague, it meant everything and that’s why I was so emotional,” he said.
Now, while he still teared up a bit when he was shipped the final pot, his daily focus is on his family – he has twins – and his family’s business, a popular chain of fish ‘n’ chip restaurants in Wales started by his parents.
“Our family business has always been key to me being able to play my game – it’s taken away any pressures and enabled me to go with my instincts in key pots,” Romanello explained. “That can be crucial for winning a tourney. I would have to be honest and say the family business has played a more important role for me overall.”