Miles Rampel came to Las Vegas this week on a vacation never having cashed in a live poker tournament. He’ll leave town as the champion of Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, and go home with an extra $365,500 to his name.
Day 1 of Event #10: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em also kicked off Thursday at the PokerGO Studio. The tournament began with 38 runners and played down to a final table of five before calling it quits for the day.
2021 Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 PLO Final Table Results
|1st||Miles Rampel||United States||219||$365,000|
|2nd||Lou Garza||United States||142||$236,500|
|3rd||Sean Winter||United States||97||$161,250|
|4th||Ben Lamb||United States||71||$118,250|
|5th||Jeremy Ausmus||United States||52||$86,000|
‘Sweet Lou’ Can’t Hold Final Table Lead as Tournament Newbie Runs Hot
Lou Garza, who entered Event #9 having already cashed in three Poker Masters tournaments in 2021, had a shot on Thursday to finally get over the hump and win a title. He entered play with a massive chip lead at 2,630,000 chips. Sean Winter was his closest competitor at 1,010,000.
But the cards didn’t come his way on Day 2 quite like they did during the opening session. Rampel, on the other hand, ran red hot throughout most of the final table.
After Jeremy Ausmus, Ben Lamb, and Winter were eliminated, heads-up play began between Garza and Rampal. Garza quickly dipped below the 1 million chip mark, leaving him desperate for a couple of double ups. He’d never bounce back.
With the blinds at 40,000/80,000, Garza raised on the button to 240,000 with , and the big blind called with . The flop came out and Rampel checked to the button who bet pot (560,000) with about 80,000 behind. Rampel moved all-in and his opponent was pot committed on flush and straight draws.
The turn was a followed by a , neither any help to Garza’s hand. He received $236,500 as a consolation prize. The champion took home $365,000.
Rampel admitted afterward that he ran hot. He hit pocket aces four times on the final day. But that doesn’t mean he just got lucky and didn’t play well. His story of becoming a Poker Masters champion is a bit of a unique one. Most of the players in these events are regulars in high rollers. Not Rampel though.
“I’ve been playing $1-2 and $2-5 no-limit [hold’em] for 10 years, starting in college,” Rampel told PokerGO in his postgame interview. “I went to UCSB so I played at the Chumash Casino in a little $60 max buy-in $1-2 game. I started playing PLO this year and enjoyed it a lot. It’s fun to think a little bit more. Then my friends and I just came to Las Vegas on a whim and saw that this tournament was here. I thought, ‘You know what, I’ll take a shot.’ On the morning of registration, I was hemming and hawing thinking I didn’t want to start the trip stuck $25,000 with it being all pros, but I said, ‘You know what? I’ll register.’ Lots and ups and downs.”
It turned out to be a brilliant decision, and what a way to start a Vegas vacation.
Meanwhile, Mikita Badziakouski, one of the top young players in the game, bagged a sizable chip lead. Each remaining player is guaranteed at least $76,000, and the winner will take home $342,000. Play is set to resume at 12 p.m. PT with coverage on the PokerGO app starting at 1 p.m. PT on Friday.
2021 Poker Masters Event 10 Stacks
|4th||Jason Koon||United States||735,000|
|5th||Seth Davies||United States||600,000|
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*Images courtesy of PokerGO.