After a three-day marathon of poker and three hours of five-handed play, Aziz Wehbey came out on top of the Sands DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event. Wehbey finishes just ahead of three other players after some choppy play.
"I can say I cracked the bubble," said Wehbey who earned $67,500, his largest career score.
Wehbey finished just ahead of runner-up Eric Rappaport, Matt DeLuca (3rd) and Ed Lozada (4th).
"I play a lot of tournaments and every time I play I either become the bubble or the person before the bubble," said Wehbey. "My luck gets outdrawn and thank God today I can say I cracked it, I wanted it so bad, all the way to the end."
The key hand for Wehbey came five-handed when he flopped an Ace while holding A♣
to crack DeLuca's pocket Kings. Once Alerbto Pestana eventually busted in 5th place, the final four played one last level before the tournament ended.
Wehbey owns a Lehigh Valley car dealership and plays poker when he gets time away from his family. It's his second cash of the series after he finished third in the Black Chip Bounty.
"It's a great feeling. I'm proud of how I played today and yesterday," said Wehbey. "The cards were being fair. I wasn't being outlucked for once in my life. A very great feeling."
Total Prize Pool: $250,000
1st Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA) $67,500
2nd Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) $42,000
3rd Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) $25,500
4th Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) $18,750
5th Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) $14,000
6th Bob Baurkot (Easton, PA) $11,500
7th Mike Sandler (Maplewood, NJ) $10,125
8th Thao Tran (Jersey City, NJ) $8,875
9th Peter Grenyo (Stewartsville, NJ) $7,500
10th Andrew Zhu (South Plainfield, NJ) $6,000
11th Daniel Bak (E. Hanover, NJ) $6,000
12th Chris Snead (Rockville Centre, NY) $6,000
13th Matt Herman (New York, NY) $4,750
14th Oscar Moya (West New York, NJ) $4,750
15th Dimitrios Sotiriou (Astoria, NY) $4,750
16th Ken Golden (Morristown, NJ) $4,000
17th Larry Kehm (St. Cloud, FL) $4,000
18th Art McHale (Clarks Summit, PA) $4,000
Eri Rappaport's first tournament at Sands Bethlehem was a profitable one. He finishes in second place for $42,000 to push his career earnings past $200,000.
"I was short (in chips) a lot and really had to grind," says Rappaport who is runner-up to Aziz Wehbey. "I thought I played really well overall and it doesn't hurt when the cards go your way."
Twice Rappaport was bailed out by the deck, both times at the expense of Alberto Pestana.
Rappaport hit a two-outer to avoid going out in 8th place (JJ vs QQ), and then spiked a three-out Ace on the river 5-handed. Both times Rappaport doubled through Pestana who eventually was eliminated in fifth place.
After the final four players traded chips for one hour, the tournament came to an abrupt halt as Rappaport just missed the win while he edged out Matt DeLuca (3rd) and Ed Lozada (4th).
"This is for the Pandas," said Rappaport, who is a 24 year-old professional player.
Matt DeLuca held the chip lead at various times throughout the final table, but it's not enough to overcome some bad luck to finish in third place.
The pivotal hand came five-handed when DeLuca had Aziz Wehbey in bad shape with K♦ K♥ vs a suited AK. But an Ace on the flop gave Wehbey the double-up that propelled him to the win.
While the final four players were evenly matched, DeLuca finished just runner-up Eric Rappaport and just ahead of 4th place finisher Ed Lozada.
DeLuca made a quick exit from the Sands to get back to New York, but let his final table play do all the talking. In addition to controlling a lot of the action, he knocked out the 5th, 6th and 7th place finishers.
The $25,500 payday pushes DeLuca past $150,000 in career recorded live tournament earnings.
Play Resumes 9:27 pm Next Blinds 25k/50k/5k ante 5 players remaining, 1.8 million avg (36 bb) Seat-Name Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) 2.8 million (56 bb)
Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) 2.070 million
Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) 1.8 million
Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) 1.215 million
Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA)1.02 million (20 bb)
Blinds 12k/24k/3k ante 10 players remaining, 818k avg (34 bb)
1 in 10 Chance at $67,500
1 Matt DeLuca (E. Meadow, NY) 1.1 million
2 Bob Baurkot (Easton, PA) 520k
3 Eric Rappaport (Lansdale, PA) 812k
4 Alberto Pestana (Bardonia, NY) 695k
5 Thao Tran (Santa Ana, CA) 345k
6 Andrew Zhu (South Plainfield, NJ) 1 million
7 Peter Grenyo (Stewartsville, NJ) 990k
8 Ed Lozada (Throop, PA) 1.8 million
9 Mike Sandler (Maplewood, NJ) 395k
10 Aziz Wehbey (Whitehall, PA) 1.25 million