Roberto Romanello went into the final table of the €1,090 No Limit Hold'em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe knowing that if he outlasted his eight opponents he would become part of an elite group of poker players who had won European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and a World Series of Poker bracelet.
The Welshman started the day third in chips but lost a vital coinflip early on against Bernard Guigon when the latter open-shoved for 45,500 chips with and Romanello called with . The board ran out and Romanello found himself down to 200,000 chips.
He then lost a few smaller pots, explaining to me during the scheduled break that he was completely card dead and that he was down to 13 big blinds and ready to start shoving. And this is exactly what he started to do but he never picked up any customers until he saw Andrew Hinrichsen raise to 25,000 preflop and he moved all in over the top of him. Hinrichsen called off his last 139,000 and turned over , completely crushing the of Romanello. The final board read and Romanello was left with just 55,000 chips.
They went into the middle a few minutes later with and he ran straight into the of Guigon. No deuce appeared and Romanello's hopes of becoming a Triple Crown winner lay in tatters, though the €37,874 prize money would have helped to soften the blow.
A special mention must also go to John Eames, the second Brit on the final table. He started the day seventh in chips and like Romanello never managed to get out of first gear. He was eliminated when Tarcisio Bruno opened to 35,000 (almost four and a half blinds) and Eames moved in for 120,000. Bruno called and tabled well in front of Eames' [AhQh[ A board of was of no help to the Brit and he was sent packing in 7th place.
The eventual winner was Australian Andrew Hinrichsen who defeated Gianluca Speranza heads up to win his first bracelet and the €148,030 first place prize. The recap of the action can be found by clicking on this little link here.