It’s going to be a happy holiday season for Dario Sammartino who, in his seventh trip to aSuper MILLION$ final table, took down this week’s $10K tournament for his first Super MILLION$ title, a World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring, and the $740,917 first-place prize.
Sammartino started the day third in chips, but there was a massive gap between the top two stacks and the rest of the field. Sammartino simply bided his time, held tough through the early levels, and eventually picked up big hands in key spots to position himself to win. It looked like it could be a tight final table, with only one person busting before the first break, but soon enough the knockouts picked up with Sammartino driving the action and amassing a chip lead he rode to the end.
But this holiday edition of the Super MILLION$ was no easy gift for Sammartino who was forced to fight past a number of big-name pros including Mike Watson, Francisco Benitez, and previous Super MILLION$ champ David Miscikowski who started the day as the chip leader.
Roughly twenty minutes into play,’s stack evaporated in two consecutive hands. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 (15,000 ante), Watson and Austria’s ‘Intermecik’ got it all-in with Watson holding the and ‘Intermecik’ with the . The board ran out clean for ace-high and Watson was left with just over one big blind. He open-shoved the very next hand with and Michel Dattani woke up with in the small blind. The board ran out to end Watson’s day in ninth place for $92,614.
Watson was the only elimination before the first break, but with five of the remaining eight players sitting on 20 big blinds or less, the bustouts were right around the corner. Just a few hands after players returned, with the blinds at 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante) Dattani raised to 1.175 million with the , leaving himself just 240,000 behind. David Miscikowski picked up and shoved over the top pushing Sammartino out of the pot in the big blind. Dattani called off for his remaining chips. The flop came , providing no help to Dattani. When the turn came the , Dattani was drawing dead to the river. Miscikowsk scored a full house and Dattani scored $120,106 for his eighth-place finish.
On the very next hand, Miscikowski made it 320,000 to go on the button with the and ‘Internecik’ defended the big blind holding the . The flop came giving Miscikowsk top two pair and ‘Internecik’ top pair. ‘Internecik’ checked it over and Miscikowski put out a bet of 160,00 which ‘Internecik’ called. The turn was the , and once again Miscikowski hit a full house. ‘Internecik’ checked again and Miscikowski bet 422,200. Again, ‘Internecik’ called. The river was the , and ‘Internecik’ checked a third time, this time Miscikowski put it all in the middle and after a short tank, ‘Internecik’ called it off, ending their tournament in seventh place for $155,758.
Over the next twenty minutes, Sammartino started climbing the leaderboard and into second place. On the other end of the spectrum, ‘TheRayGuy’ slipped to the bottom of the chip counts. The blinds climbed to 125,000/250,000 (30,000 ante) and from UTG+1, ‘TheRayGuy’ shipped their final 960K in the middle with the and was called by Russia’s ‘fizoka’ in the big blind holding . The flop came , giving ‘TheRayGuy’ a couple more outs with the deuce. But the turn was the and the river came the and ‘TheRayGuy’ hit the rail in sixth place for $201,994.
The eliminations picked up with five left but it wasn’t the big stacks just picking on the short stacks. A classic cooler took place to speed things along. Russian ‘Topgrek’ opened to 1.875 million from late position with the , leaving just 1.3 million behind. Then, Miscikowski flat called from the small blind holding the . In the big blind, Sammartino woke up with the and shoved all-in for 12.6 million. ‘Topgrek’ made the quick call putting themselves at risk and Miscikowski, who had Sammartino covered by just 2.5 million also called with his pocket kings. The flop came the , not providing any help to the two underdogs. But it was officially all over when the case ace, the , hit the turn guaranteeing Sammartino the hand and a huge chip lead. The meaningless river was the and ‘Topgrek’ was out in fifth for $261,954 and Miscikowski went from the big stack to the bottom.
Moments after the third break, with the new blinds at 150,000/300,000 (35,000 ante), Sammartino was the beneficiary of another cooler. He raised to 660,000 on the button with and ‘fizoka’ three-bet shipped from the small blind with the . Once again, no drama for Sammartino as the board ran out ending the Russian’s run in fourth place, good for $339,712.
With three left, Miscikowski was sitting on seven big blinds and needed to make a move. From the small blind, he shipped his 2.1 million with the into Sammartino in the big blind who snap-called with his . The flop kept it clean for Sammartino’s eights which held through the turn and river. Miscikowski settled for a third-place finish and a $440,552 payday while Sammartino took a nearly 9-to-1 chip lead into heads up against Francisco Benitez.
Although Benitez found a double-up early on, it took only seven hands or so for Sammartino to close it out. Sammartino limped the button with the and Benitez shipped just over 7 million from the big blind with the . It took about 10 seconds for Sammartino to call and the pair saw a flop of , keeping Benitez in the lead with middle pair. However, the turn was the putting Sammartino in the lead. The river sealed the deal for Sammartino, sending Benitez home as the runner-up for $571,325 and awarding Sammartino his first-ever Super MILLION$ title and largest Super MILLION$ score of $740,917.
Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (12/21)
- Dario Sammartino – $740,917
- Franciscio Benitez – $571,325
- David Miscikowski – $440,552
- ‘fizoka’ – $339,712
- ‘Topgrek’ – $261,954
- ‘TheRayGuy’ – $201,994
- ‘Internecik’ – $155,758
- Michel Dattani – $120,106
- Michael Watson – $92,614