Tony Ruberto Claims Second Career World Poker Tour Title

Tony Ruberto has claimed a second career World Poker Tour title after triumphing over a 554 player field at the WPT Maryland Main Event. In addition to picking up another coveted accolade, the pro collected $344,755 for his impressive performance, as well as a $15,000 seat through to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

Golden Year

Ruberto’s win pushes his career earnings to $3,522,678 since his first live cash back in 2006. Furthermore, 2018 has turned into a banner year for the pro having now amassed just shy of $1.4 million in winnings, smashing his previous record of $545,582 set in 2011. In April, Ruberto collected his biggest score to date following a formidable performance at the partypoker MILLIONS North America Kahnawake in which he finished in a 3rd place position worth a whopping C$1 million (US$781,018).

In terms of tournament honors, Ruberto has won 10 events throughout the whole of his career, with his first World Poker Tour title recorded at the 2011 WPT Champions Cup in Jacksonville after topping a 393 player field to walk away with a first place prize of $325,928.

WPT Maryland

The $3,500 buy-in WPT Maryland Main Event took place at the the Maryland Live! Casino in the Free State. As expected, it proved a popular draw, too, with its prize pool surpassing its original $1.5 million guarantee by more than a quarter of a million dollars. Amongst the recognizable pros cashing in at one of its 70 money places was Bryan Piccioli in 67th ($5,801), Kelly Minkin in 44th ($7,910), Maria Ho in 36th ($9,141), Christian Harder in 25th ($10,547), Paul Volpe in 22nd ($12,305), and Brock Parker in 8th ($41,836).

Final Table

Ruberto entered the final table on the second biggest chip stack behind WSOP bracelet holder Will Givens. Nevertheless, Ruberto soon rose to pole position after being dealt A-K and eliminating Mark Sandness (A-9) in 6th, before subsequently sending Aaron Pinson to the rail in 5th following a J-J versus 7-7 showdown.

Meanwhile, Will Givens was having difficulty gaining any traction at the final table, and eventually bowed out in 4th when his A-K failed to improve against Shankar Pillai’s pocket eights on a 7-9-10-Q-7 board.

Joining Ruberto and Pillai in three-handed play was Jeremy Ausmus, a WSOP bracelet winning pro with almost $6 million in tournament cashes to his name, around one-third of which came via a 5th place finish at the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Having dropped to a short stack, however, Ausmus (9-9) ran into trouble against Ruberto (8-5) when he just called a K-6-5 flop, and then check-raised all-in after an 8 fell on the turn. A jack on the river didn’t alter things, and so Ausmus exited in 3rd place, albeit for a $162,597 payday.

Heads-Up Recap

Ruberto began heads-up play against Pillai holding a commanding 4-to-1 chip advantage, but 80 hands would still be played before the deciding moment was reached. In the final hand, Pillai (As-9c) raised from the button, while Tony Ruberto called from the big blind holding 10d-7d, with the Ad-Jh-5d flop subsequently giving Pillai top pair versus Ruberto’s flush draw.

The action then saw Ruberto check-raise Pillai, who called for a time-extension and deliberated a while before re-raising all in. A few moments later, Ruberto made the call, and while a Ks on the turn offered him an additional straight draw possibility, a 9d on the river made Ruberto a flush to seal the victory.

Final Table Results

1: Tony Ruberto $344,755
2: Shankar Pillai $220,780
3: Jeremy Ausmus $162,597
4: Will Givens $121,112
5: Aaron Pinson $91,230
6: Mark Sandness $69,609

Next Stop

Season XVII of the World Poker Tour next heads to Florida where the bestbet Jacksonville will play host to the series from October 19-23, followed by the Seminole Hard Rock from November 23-28.