Martin Zamani Takes Down WSOPC Rio High Roller

Martin Zamani won his first WSOPC ring when he triumphed in the Rio High Roller this week.

The 2020 World Series of Poker is right around the corner and Martin Zamani is warming up perfectly. The Florida resident boosted his bankroll by $89,143 by taking down the WSOPC Rio High Roller event.

A compact field of 179 players bought in for $2,200 and created a $358,000 prize pool. Zamani was the last man standing and won the lion’s share of the pot plus a WSOPC gold ring.

Zamani Wins WSOPC Rio High Roller

Place Player Home Town Prize
1 Martin Zamani Boca Raton, FL $89,143
2 Nick Pupillo Gilbert, AZ $55,085
3 Michael Rossitto Brooklyn, NY $38,365
4 Brent Roberts Staten Island, NY $27,334
5 Alex Rocha Setauket, NY $19,932
6 Jasthi Kumar San Ramon, CA $14,884
7 Roland Israelashvili Forest Hill, NY $11,388
8 Viet Vo Pearland, TX $8,934

Only 70 of the 179 starters made it through to Day 2 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. All but 29 of those returnees left Las Vegas empty-handed.

Nobody wanted to finish in 30th place and burst the bubble but someone had to. Andrew Wall was that someone. Wall called Stephen Song’s shove with pocket sixes and found himself against king-queen. Those sixes were the best hand until the river where Song improved to a Broadway straight. Wall fell in 30th place and everyone else secured a $2,425 min-cash.

Such luminaries as Louis Salter, Ankush Mandavia, and Jeremy Ausmus busted inside the money places. It didn’t take long for the final two tables to be reached and Zamani found himself at the top of the chip counts.

Zamani Leads the Final 18

Joe Kuether and Aaron Massey fell in 16th and 13th place to leave the waters less infested with sharks. Song, the man who sent the WSOPC Rio High Roller into the money, fell in 12th.

Justin Young and Jesse Shotwell busted to set the final table.

Rossitto Chip Lead At Start of Final Table

Seat Player Chips
1 Martin Zamani 310,000
2 Michael Rossitto 1,180,000
3 Thai Ha 430,000
4 Alex Rocha 385,000
5 Jasthi Kumar 1,100,000
6 Viet Vo 190,000
7 Roland Israelashvili 490,000
8 Brent Roberts 480,000
9 Nick Pupillo 760,000

Thai Ha busted from the High Roller within minutes of the final table commencing. Ha was all-in for six big blinds with ace-queen and Brent Roberts looked him up with pocket sevens. Ha didn’t hit an ace or queen and became the ninth-place finisher.

The seat Ha was sitting in hadn’t even grown cold when Viet Vo joined him at the cashier’s desk. Michael Rossitto opened and then called when Vo three-bet all-in for a shade under seven big blinds. It was pocket fives for Vo against the ace-king of Rossitto. The board four-flushed with hearts, Rossitto held the king of hearts, and Vo was eliminated.

Seventh-place went to Roland Israelashvili who holds the record for most WSOP cashes without winning a bracelet. His tournament ended when his ace-ten lost to the king-seven of Jasthi Kumar. Israelashvili flopped an ace, but Kumar hit a king on the river.

Kumar couldn’t put those extra chips to good use because he fell in sixth-place. Kumar opened with pocket kings, Rossitto three-bet all-in with ace-king and Kumar called off his 1,100,000 chips. Rossitto missed the flop, but improved to an ace on the turn. The river bricked, Kumar busted and Rossitto soared into the chip lead.

Rossitto Contiunes His March Onwards

Rossitto continued his one-man wrecking mission while Zamani waited patiently in the wings.

Alex Rocha became Rossitto’s latest victim when he committed his stack with a pair of queens. Rossitto looked him up with sevens in the hole and proceeded to turn a set. Rocha collected $19,932 for his fifth-place exit and Rossitto locked certain for the title.

Roberts’ tournament ended in fourth-place, a finish that took his lifetime winnings to almost $2.5 million. Zamani was first to act on the button and he moved all-in to steal the blind. Roberts made a stand and called off his 5.5 big blinds with king-eight. Unfortunately for Roberts, Zamani held a legitimate hand in ace-queen. Neither player improved their holding, Zamani didn’t need to, and Roberts busted.

Rossitto eventually ran out of steam and had to make do with the $38,365 third-place money. Again, Zamani open-shoved, doing so with nine-eight and Rossitto called with ace-five. Zamani turned a ten-high straight which left Rossitto drawing dead. This was Rossitto’s fourth-largest score of his career and it won’t be the last time he reaches a final table.

Zamani in a Dominant Position Going Into Heads-Up

Zamani held a 4,070,000 to 1,300,000 chip lead over Nick Pupillo going into the final battle. Pupillo is a superb poker tournament player so a Zamani victory was far from a done deal.

Pupillo doubled up immediately, winning a coinflip with king-jack against pocket fours. His comeback was cut short, however, and he fell in second-place.

The final hand saw Zamani raise on the button with a pair of black jacks. Pupillo jammed all-in with king-eight of spades and Zamani made the call. A queen-high board was no help to Pupillo and he resigned himself to a $55,085 consolation prize. Zamani, on the other hand, won $89,143 and his first WSCOPC ring.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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