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Nick Petrangelo wins second bracelet at WSOP

5 June 2018

Nick Petrangelo

Nick Petrangelo (photo by WSOP)

Name: Nick Petrangelo
Nationality: American
Birthplace: Feeding Hills, MA
Current Residence: Feeding Hills, MA
Age: 31
Profession: Professional poker player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 21
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 4
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 2
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st in 2015 $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout for $201,812
Total WSOP Earnings: $4,489,122

Nick Petrangelo won his second World Series of Poker bracelet in one of the most prestigious events of the 2018 schedule. The poker pro from Massachusetts defeated 105 entries in the $100,000 no-limit hold’em high roller event.

Petrangelo defeated Elio Fox heads-up to score his second title and $2,910,227. Fox earned $1,798,658 for his second-place finish and continues his early WSOP heater after winning the $10,000 super turbo bounty event just five days ago for $393,693.

For Petrangelo, this is just another accolade on a crowded poker resume, and the conclusion of a successful 10 days of high-stakes poker. After a sixth-place finish in PokerGO’s Super High Roller Bowl, he hopped into this event, ending a grueling 10-day stretch of poker.

“It was just a super intense week,” said Petrangelo. “It’s a lot of pressure. Playing against really tough players with a huge buy-in, there are streams. It’s probably more of a relief to be done because those fields are super tough. But it’s really fun and it’s what I love to do.”

The 31-year-old put on a clinic throughout most of the tournament. He finished Days 2 and 3 with the chip lead and finished off the final six players on Day 4 in under three hours.

Despite such smooth sailing, having that kind of lead for that many days put more pressure on the Feeding Hills, MA native.

“Sleeping on the chip lead is definitely a little more stressful,” said Petrangelo. “It’s kind of like in a sports game. If you have the lead and there is a few minutes left, it’s more stressful sometimes because you want everything to work out. There are expectations to deal with. I’ve tried to teach myself to just be happy to be here and just be excited to be playing.”

The expectations were met, and everything worked out. In smooth fashion at that.

“Luckily for me today, it was the easiest anything has ever gone,” said Petrangelo. “I coolered everybody and ran super hot. No complaints. The last two days were super easy for me. The last time I played any tough pots were around the middle stages of Day 2. I’m happy with my decision making, but ultimately, I just had sick cards and it worked out.”

With high roller buy-ins of $25,000 and up becoming normalized in the poker world, there are several players who have established themselves as some of the best in these smaller, elite fields. Petrangelo is among the group of successful pros beating these stakes, but he stayed humble throughout his success and doesn’t think there is much of a difference between himself and some of the other top players.

“I think we all do similar things in terms of working hard, we have a pretty strong mentality when it comes to poker, the swings and trying to bring as good of a game as you can every day,” said Petrangelo. “I think I just have a lot of experience playing these things for like four years.”

The experience is invaluable because Petrangelo also thinks that being able to play with the players who are driving the ever-evolving strategy is one of the reasons the top players continue to get better.

“The top 15 or 20 guys have an edge because the game is evolving, and they are the ones pushing the evolution,” said Petrangelo. “They play against each other all the time, so you are learning every time you play. So, you can’t really replace that with any other type of preparation.”

The 105-entry field allowed the top 16 players to finish in the money. On Day 2, they played into the money and finished with just 10 players. They played down to the final six on Day 3, who all came back on Monday afternoon to play down to a winner, which was streamed live on PokerGO.

Even with all his experience playing for the highest stakes on the planet, a live streamed WSOP final table still puts some added pressure on his shoulders.

“This is definitely more stressful,” said Petrangelo when comparing this final table to other high roller events. “There is the stream, you’re trying to get hole cards, there are unique situations that occur at final tables that you try to prepare for. Like last night and today, you’re trying to figure out exactly what is going on how and you should try and adjust your strategies.

“If I had it my way, every final table would be in the back corner of some room, but it’s good for the game and it’s fun too.”

Through the first 25 hands of the final table, there wasn’t a ton of action, but eventually it was the start-of-day short stack, Stephen Chidwick who was the first to depart.

Just a couple hands later, Bryn Kenney was following him out the door. Kenney got all in for about 10 big blinds with pocket fours against Fox’s king-jack. A king on the river eliminated Kenney in fifth.

That left two Europeans and two Americans battling for the title, but the two players from across the Atlantic were the next to go.

Andreas Eiler flopped trip jacks, but Petrangelo flopped a full house. They got all in on the river and the German was eliminated in fourth place.

On the very next hand, Petrangelo eliminated Aymon Hata in third place. Both players flopped top pair, but Petrangelo hit running cards to make a straight. Hata bet the river and called Petrangelo’s shove to leave Fox heads-up with Petrangelo.

Petrangelo started heads-up play with a better than 3-to-1 chip lead, but Fox won several pots in a row to battle back and take a slight chip lead.

“He’s a great player,” said Petrangelo. “I know he has a really strong background in these. Like sit and goes and turbo sit and goes.”

Eventually, Petrangelo doubled up against Fox’s pocket fives to put him back into the lead for good. He finished off Fox a few hands later and claimed his second bracelet.

Final Table Results:

1st: Nick Petrangelo - $2,910,227
2nd: Elio Fox - $1,798,568
3rd: Aymon Hata - $1,247,230
4th: Andreas Eiler - $886,793
5th: Bryn Kenney - $646,927
6th: Stephen Chidwick - $484,551

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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