Paul Volpe found himself leading the way on the star-studded final table of WSOP Event #13 – $10k No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. He had the chips all right, but experience was not really on his side. Of seven remaining players, he was the only one not in possession of a gold WSOP bracelet. By the end of the night, that would change, as he managed to beat Daniel ‘KidPoker’ Negreanu in the heads-up confrontation to add a beautiful piece of poker jewelry to his collection.
But before he could claim the victory, Volpe had to outlive easily the most formidable final table of the series so far. The first of big names to leave the final seven was Abe Mosseri, who fell at the hands of Larry Wright, the 2012 WSOP $1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball winner.
After Mosseri’s exit, Jason Mercier started his climb to the chip lead, clearly showing he meant business. It was Mercier who eliminated John Monnette in 6th place. After Monnette three-bet shoved over Volpe’s raise, Mercier made the call and Volpe got out of the way. Both players liked their hands enough to stand pat, but when they turned them over, Monnette’s ninety-eight was no good as Jason had one better on him with his 9–7. That sent Monnette to the rail, pocketing $35,549.
Then Volpe claimed some more chips by eliminating Wright, who was nursing a short stack and was trying to make something happen. Wright earned $47,792 for his finish, but won’t be adding another 2-7 bracelet to his collection. Following him out the door was Brian Rast, a man who needs no introduction. His shove was called by Negreanu and although Rast had a made hand with Queen-Nine, Daniel was drawing to Ten-Six and got there after the draw. Rast left the floor earning $67,274.
This triggered three-handed play and Mercier was the one to catch as he had a substantial chip lead over the remaining two. However, despite the strong first half of the tournament, things started spiraling downwards for Jason from there on and eventually it was him nursing the shortest stack.
Mercier got the last of his chips in the middle against Volpe with a better hand, showing 8-7-4-2 while Volpe held 8-7-6-2. Both players drew one card, and both players got 4. The same card did not yield the same result, however, as it made Volpe’s hand while pairing Jason and he was all out of chips and exchanging his third place finish for $99,313,
This left Volpe and Negreanu to square off for the bracelet. Although Volpe held more than a 2:1 chip lead, Negreanu felt good about his chances as was clear from his tweets. It was more than just the bracelet hanging in the balance for Daniel, as winning here would also lock up his prop bet.
There was some back and forth, but Negreanu was not able to take the lead away from Volpe at any point. Eventually, KidPoker made the call against Volpe’s button shove and both players drew one card. Volpe made his Jack-Ten and it was up to Negreanu to see what the poker gods had in store for him.
He took his time squeezing the card as the rail cheered him on, but it just wasn’t meant to be. When he revealed enough of his card to realize it was the paint, he turned it over and it was a queen, enough to give him Queen-Jack but not enough to beat Volpe’s hand. KidPoker will have to seek his opportunity for bracelet number seven and the bet-winner elsewhere, as he scored the runner-up finish and $156,674 in cash.
It was a big moment for Paul Volpe. He finally captured his first bracelet and to have done it in such a competition is only an added bonus. After some five hours of play, Event #13 crowned its winner and Volpe got his share of the prize pool as well – $253,524 in cold, hard cash. You can have one hell of a party to celebrate your first bracelet with that kind of money!