Paul Petraglia Flies High at WPT Jacksonville

Paul Petraglia Flies High at WPT JacksonvilleIn addition to flying airplanes for a living, Paul Petraglia has a passion for playing poker, and since 2011 has cashed in at 20 live tournaments, all in the state of Florida. During that time, he has earned a mere $21,781 in winnings, though, with his biggest score coming this year after finishing the $1,500 WPTDS Jax Main Event in 28th place for $3,130.
Petraglia’s twenty-first career cash, however, proved a doozy with the pilot taking down the $5,000 WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble Main Event for a whopping $315,732. The tournament was held at the bestbet Jacksonville in northeastern Florida, with Petraglia eventually overcoming a field of 323 players, including accomplished pro Samuel Panzica II heads-up, to lift the coveted WPT title.
“I love playing the game,” exclaimed Petraglia after his impressive victory. “Could I do it for a living? I don’t know if I could deal with the pressure to do that. I’d rather fly airplanes for a living, but this is just a great outlet, and it’s a lot of fun to do.”
The WPT Jacksonville Main Event attracted a slew of top players, and amongst the notable pros seeing a return on their buy-ins was Anthony Zinno in 31st ($8,839), Matt Affleck in 25th ($10,440), Sean Winter in 24th ($12,040), Daniel Weinman in 13th ($21,575), Sam Soverel in 12th ($25,333), and Jessica Dawley in 11th ($25,333).
The final table also included some of the game’s top talent, including John Esposito, Samuel Panzica II, Alexander Rocha, Gaurav Raina, Shankar Pillai, and Darren Elias.
Petraglia then eliminated two competitors on his way to three-handed play, and after Samuel Panzica (A-9) sent Darren Elias (7-7) to the rail, the heads-up phase got underway with Petraglia holding a 92bb to 70bb lead over Panzica.
Following an intense final battle, the deciding hand was played with Panzica (Jh-3h) check-raising all-in on an 8h-6h-5d flop, and Petraglia (9s-7s) making the call with the nut straight. An 8c and 2c on turn and river did nothing to alter the situation, and so Samuel Panzica was consigned to a runner-up finish worth $210,783, in the process boosting his career earnings to $3,685,862.
Meanwhile, Paul Petraglia claimed the WPT title, and also received a $15,000 ticket through to the end of season WPT Tournament of Champions.
Final Table Results:
1: Paul Petraglia $315,732
2: Samuel Panzica $210,783
3: Darren Elias $135,548
4: John Esposito $86,440
5: Gaurav Raina $66,674
6: Shankar Pillai $55,191
7: Kirk Corson $46,352
8: Charles Carlson $38,070
9: Alexander Rocha $30,080

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