$2,200 High Roller

Martin Zamani Takes Down WSOP Circuit Rio High Roller for $89,143 and First Ring!

• Nivo 28: 30,000-60,000, 60,000 ante
Rio High Roller Champion Martin Zamani

On Tuesday night, the World Series of Poker crowned its latest champion at the Rio All-Suite Casino and Resort in Event #14: $2,200 High Roller as Martin Zamani emerged the victor after topping a 179 entry field to secure his first Circuit ring. Zamani took down the Star-studded field in the late hours of the night, pulling in the $89,143 first-place prize, along with a shiny new WSOP Circuit ring.

When asked how it felt to ship his first WSOP Circuit ring Zamani said, "I'm rich!" with a laugh as he added another feat to an already hearty resume that already boasted over $2.1 million in live career earnings.

The Boca Raton, FL native saw his chip stack swell up to the top and instantly fall near the bottom shortly after so he took it in his own hands to find a strategy that would work for him. "I had four racks and then I had no racks...So I decided if I won a hand that I would celebrate with a drink and then I continued celebrating." Replied Zamani with a smile.

When the final table started to bust it seemed like every player stayed to watch it finished, along with some other notable friends to watch Zamani secure his first ring. "It wasn't me that did anything, it was the friends and atmosphere around me that did it." Said the latest ring winner on the circuit when asked about how he took down this event.

Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize (USD)
1Martin ZamaniBoca Raton, FL$89,143
2Nick PupilloGilbert, AZ$55,085
3Michael RossittoBrooklyn, NY$38,365
4Brent RobertsStaten Island, NY$27,334
5Alex RochaSetauket, NY$19,932
6Jasthi KumarSan Ramon, CA$14,884
7Roland IsraelashviliForest Hill, NY$11,388
8Viet VoPearland, TX$8,934

Final Day Action

The final day began with 70 runners of the 179 total entries and it was a short trip to the money as it took just six levels to hit the money. Unfortunately for Andrew Wall he was the final player to leave without finding a payout slip after Stephen Song shoved the small blind with king-queen Wall obliged in the big blind, holding a pair of sixes. Wall was ahead up until the river where Song found broadway, popping the bubble and all players were then guaranteed at least a $2,425 min-cash.

Once the money was hit it did not take long for the field to dwindle down to the final two tables and it was none other than Zamani leading the final 18, but once the official final table was hit, he had dropped down to the bottom of the barrel. The champion took down an early double against Roland Israelashvili, a hand that really kick-started the momentum needed to take down this event for Zamani.

First to take an exit from the final table was Thai Ha after he shoved his ace-queen and was called by the pocket sevens of Brent Roberts. The board came down clean and Roberts took down the pot, sending Ha to the rail. Just moments after it was Viet Vo seen headed to the payout desk when his pair of nickels failed to hold against the ace-king of Michael Rossitto.

Israelashvili saw his chips head into the middle versus Jasthi Kumar and Israelashvili had the lead with his ace-ten as Kumar had tabled king-seven. Israelashvili flopped a ten but the king river sent all the chips to Kumar and Israelashvili hit the rail in seventh place. Kumar took his newly acquired chips and sent them into the stack of Rossitto. Kumar opened from under the gun with a pair of kings and Rossitto jammed from the small blind with ace-king. Kumar called but Rossitto spiked an ace to scoop the pot, eliminating Kumar from this event.

Rossitto continued his heater and his next victim was Alex Rocha. Rossitto opened from the cutoff with a pair of hockey sticks and Rocha pushed his ladies over the top. Rossitto called and was in rough shape until the seven landed on the turn, sending another stack to Rossitto as Rocha took an exit. Zamani sent Roberts to the showers on the very next hand when Zamani jammed the button and Roberts called for less in the big blind. Zamani tabled ace-queen and Roberts showed king-eight, the rest is history and Roberts took a walk.

Rossitto started three-handed play with a monstrous chip lead but Zamani quickly took down the tower of chips that once sat in front of Rossitto, putting him into a short-stack position. Zamani shoved the small blind with nine-eight and Rossitto called with his ace-five. The turn brought a straight for Zamani and Rossitto headed to the payout desk.

Third-Place Finisher Michael Rossitto
Third-Place Finisher Michael Rossitto

Nick Pupillo began heads up on the smaller end of a large deficit and couldn't seem to get anything going. He managed to secure two doubles when he was on the brink of elimination but Zamani kept the pressure on him and put the final dagger in the coffin with a pair of jacks versus the king-eight of Pupillo. The board ranout clean for Zamani and Pupillo was eliminated in second for a respectable $55,085

That wraps it up for the PokerNews live coverage here in the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino but tune in Friday, February 28, for updates the Main Event at Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago area).

Oznake: Martin Zamani