The challenge was on and the only thing Andrea Dato had to do was defeat the “Final Boss.” “He might be the ‘Final Boss’ but I don’t care…I run good,” the Italian said of his final opponent, Sam Trickett, as reported by the World Poker Tour (WPT) Blog. And what a boss: Trickett has $20 million in live tournament winnings so far, including a huge $10 million cash in 2012 in the Big One for One Drop event.
On the other hand, Dato won only $880,182, according to Hendon Mob Database. His biggest payout was $138,044 in 2011 at the World Series of Poker. But for one day, he owned Trickett, stealing the WPT Venice Carnival Main Event trophy out of his hand.
The Italian started the final day in the lead as the only player remaining with over one million chips. He drew first blood by eliminating the 2014 EPT Deauville Main Event winner, Greek Sotirios Koutoupas. Koutoupas tried to steal a pot from him by moving all-in on the turn with only an open-ender and was called by Dato, who held top pair plus a flush draw.
The next three eliminations were made by Trickett, who took over the final table with his aggressive play and a little bit of help from the poker gods. Alessio Isaia finished fifth after being forced to shove his Eight-Six hand with under two big blinds left following losing a big flip versus Maurizio Saieva. Trickett called with Queen-Nine and solved the deal immediately by flopping a boat.
Mario Vojvoda was next to go after a disheartening river. All chips were in the middle on the turn with Vojvoda having the big advantage with his Jacks full of Queens over Trickett’s trip Queens. The river, however, changed everything by giving the Brit the higher full house and adding even more chips to his stack. “I didn’t think that one was coming,” the winner of the hand said.
Trickett’s good run continued when he outflopped Saieva and his Ace-Jack hand with Six-Four.
In heads-up play, things turned upside down. The Brit started with a big 3-to-1 chip advantage and was close to finishing Dato in an Ace-Eight versus King-Queen all-in battle, but the King high flop helped the Italian stay in the game. Eventually, Dato severely crippled Trickett after both of them flopped top pair. Dato had the higher kicker and moments later he also had his hands on the WPT trophy.
Here are the final payouts:
- Andrea Dato (ITA) – €105,000 ($15,400 WPT Championship seat included)
- Sam Trickett (UK) – €66,000
- Maurizio Saieva (ITA) – €42,000
- Mario Vojvoda (CRO) – €31,000
- Alessio Isaia (ITA) – €24,000
- Sotirios Koutoupas (GRE) – €19,400
Congratulations to Andrea Dato, who finally managed to win the WPT Venice Main Event. He was close to winning the Carnival in 2011 (fourth place) and 2012 (third place). The third time’s a charm.