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Addamo claims career-best cash at WSOP

18 Jun 2018

Michael Addamo

Michael Addamo (photo by WSOP)

Name: Michael Addamo
Nationality: Australian
Current Residence: Yallambie, Australia
Age: 23
Profession: Poker pro
Number of WSOP Cashes: 17
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 3
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 3rd, 2016 WSOP Event #6, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em ($196,202)
Total WSOP Earnings: $1,037,522

Michael Addamo, a 23-year-old poker pro from Yallambie, Australia, has triumphed in Event #24 of the 2018 World Series of Poker, THE MARATHON - $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em.

It's a breakthrough win for Addamo, who earned a career-best $653,581 and the coveted gold bracelet here. Addamo survived five straight full days of play in this aptly name “Marathon” tourney and emerged from a talented final table for the win in what's already the16th cash of his young WSOP career.

Addamo arrived at the Day 5 final in a solid fourth position, not far behind early leader and eventual runner-up Mark Sleet. Addamo and Sleet both had to weather an early rush by Belgium's Bart Lybaert, who surged to an early lead before being reeled in during the evening's play.

Sleet, 50, from San Diego, held the lead at several stages during the final table before busting to the Aussie pro. Sleet's huge second-place effort was still worth $403,870, vastly outpacing the $10,459 he'd earned in three previous WSOP cashes.

Lybaert, a 28-year-old poker pro from Meihelen, Belgium, earned $290,315 for the third-place run. The well-known regular on several European tours logged his own 17th career WSOP cash and nearly doubled his total WSOP earnings, to more than $610,000.

Addamo came out on the winning end of a seesaw duel against Sleet that saw both players have chances to end it. Addamo came from behind twice before gaining the final lead. In the last hand, Sleet shoved for his last 10 million,, and Addamo quickly called. Addamo hit his king on the flop, Sleet never improved, and the final board showed to put a wrap on this year's Marathon event.

“It hasn't quite hit,” said Addamo, regarding his career-best win. “I'm sure when I wake up tomorrow it'll hit me. I got lucky in some spots and got some chips,” he added, regarding his winning near-flips in a couple of the final table's largest hands.

Addamo also had compliments for Sleet, a relative unknown among the more famous names in this final. “He was mixing it up; he was trying to put me to the test. He was trying all sorts of plays to get me off my game. But I think I adjusted pretty well.”

Addamo described himself as a “traveler” in his final-table, a reference to both his globe-trotting success in tourney play at a young age, and to Australia's ban on online poker, which went into effect last year. “Online poker was banned last year in Australia, which was really unfortunate. So I relocated to Thailand, and I stay there with a good friend. I spend quite a bit of time there. But I also travel quite a bit – I go to Macau sometimes, Asia, Europe sometimes, the US....” as he described his current poker-playing, globetrotting life.

He's also been at the WSOP each of the past three summers since turning 21, and the win here marked his 17th career cash at the Series.

An official final table of nine returned early Friday afternoon to battle for the Marathon bracelet. Sleet's 7.7 million chip stack gave him a narrow lead as play began, setting the stage for a wide-open final. Sleet and Lybaert built their stacks early on while Ihar Soika and Cate Hall hit the rail.

Soika, from Belarus, busted just six hands into Day 3 in a boat-over-boat hand also including both Sleet and Jacobson. Soika moved all in for his last 2.1 million on the turn, re-raising over a Jacobson bet and Sleet call. Jacobson folded but Sleet called again and showed. Soika was out with $50,678 for ninth.

Washington, DC's Hall busted 19 hands later. A pre-flop betting war ended with a Hall shove, for her last 850,000, and an Addamo call. Hall trailed from the start to Addamo, though she picked up outs for a river chop. The river gave Hall an eighth-place finish worth $65,875.

The remaining players battled for roughly three hours with Lybaert taking and increasing the lead, before Germany's Anton Morgenstern busted in seventh. Morgenstern was on fumes after losing most of his chips to Martin Jacobson just one hand prior, and Morgenstern was forced to play for his last 60,000. Lybaert raised two others out of the hand after a flop, then showed. That held up easily as the turn and river formally ended Morgenstern's day; he collected $86,631 for the effort.

Morgenstern's exit made Hong Kong's Ying Chan the short stack, and Chan moved all in for his last million in chips in the next hand. Chan's steal attempt from the small blind ran right into big blind Addamo. Addamo's queens held on, sending Chan to collect sixth-place winnings of $115,244.

Jacobson, the 2014 WSOP Main Event champ, made the final five but could climb no higher. Sweden's Jacobson had the shortest remaining stack and managed to double up once, but not twice, losing his last 5.7 million in chips when he ran into Lybaert. Jacobson picked up outs to a straight on the turn, but the river blank meant he finished fifth, for $155,062.

Eight hands later, prior bracelet winner Taylor Paur followed Jacobson to the rail. Paur, from San Diego, busted in a huge pot that saw Paur flop a set of sixes but Addamo turn a straight. Addamo shoved after the river, with Addamo calling. Paur left to collect a $210,995 payday while the 16-million-chip pot temporarily moved Addamo into the lead.

Lybaert's demise occurred 30 hands later, not long after a Sleet double-through took most of his chips. Lybaert got his last 5.6 million into the middle several hands later, calling a Sleet shove after the flop. Sleet had the lead, but Lybaert had plenty of outs. The turn and river both missed, however, giving Lybaert third-place earnings of $290,315.

Sleet took a sizeable lead into his closing duel with Addamo, leading with 26 to 16 million, and he soon built his stack as high as 34 million. Sleet was a card away from the win, but the river gave Addamo trip tens and the double.

Sleet made one more surge, building another 2:1 edge, but then Addamo clawed back in a series of mid-sized pots, taking a lead he'd never relinquish.

Event #24, $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon, drew 1,637 total entries and created a prize pool of $3,860,046. 1,105 players cashed, with each of those players guaranteed a minimum $2,249 payday.

Other notables
Among those cashing in the Event #24 NLHE “Marathon” were Faraz Jaka (35th, $16,340), Matt Affleck (44th, $13,520), Scotty Nguyen (46th, $11,329), Lee Markholt (48th, $11,329), Martin Stazsko (49th, $11,329), Chris Moorman (60th, $9,616), Marvin Rettenmaier (69th, $8,269), Matt O'Donnell (81st, $7,204), and Yue Du (97th, $5,693).

Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses)
1st: Michael Addamo, $653,581 (1,183.92)
2nd: Mark Sleet, $403,870 (591.96)
3rd: Bart Lybaert, $290,315 (532.77)
4th: Taylor Paur, $210,995 (473.57)
5th: Martin Jacobson, $155,062 (443.97)
6th: Ying Chan, $115,244 (414.37)
7th: Anton Morgenstern, $86,631 (355.18)
8th: Cate Hall, $65,875 (325.58)
9th: Ihar Soika, $50,678 (295.98)

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)
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