2 Minutes Read
The highly anticipated 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP), renowned as the world’s richest poker festival, continues to captivate audiences at its host venues, Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. With over a dozen winners already crowned, the WSOP’s prestige and excitement are reaching new heights.
Joining the fast-expanding list of WSOP bracelet winners is Joseph Altomonte (cover image), who emerged victorious from a field of 3,200 entrants in Event #13: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack. Altomonte’s victory not only marked his first WSOP gold bracelet but also secured him the top prize of $217,102.
In a thrilling heads-up duel, Altomonte bested Michael Holmes to claim the lion’s share of the impressive $1,632,000 prize pool. Holmes, although falling short of the ultimate victory, took home a consolation prize of $134,171.
For Altomonte, the triumph holds profound significance as he had taken a break from poker for several years before returning to the tables just this February. The victory represents a significant milestone in his poker journey, one that he cherishes dearly as he says, “It’s a dream come true, you don’t even understand.”
Reflecting on his return to the poker world, Altomonte expressed his excitement, revealing that he was a professional poker player back in 2010. However, he left the game due to his ex-partner’s disapproval of poker as a viable occupation. Now single, Altomonte’s passion for the game reignited, prompting his remarkable comeback.
“My ex said being a poker player wasn’t an acceptable occupation, so I quit for a very long time,” Altomonte explained.
Impressively, Altomonte wasted no time making an impact upon his return. Prior to his WSOP success, he had already showcased his skills in four WSOP Circuit online events, including a first-place finish in the $3,200 High Roller, where he secured an impressive $87,676 in winnings.
The excitement and joy of winning the coveted bracelet were palpable for Altomonte. After the tournament, he was so emotionally overwhelmed that he immediately requested to call his parents, eager to share news of his victory.
The tournament field was a big jump from the 2,858 entries that the event registered in the 2022 WSOP and set a record for a PLO bracelet event.
Only 117 players returned on the second and the final day, and the bust-outs came quickly.
The final 100 players earned at least $1,773 from the $1,632,000 prize pool. The list of notables who cashed included Brandon Shack-Harris (95th for $2,051), the online Event #2 winner Ian Matakis (93rd for $2,051), Scott Clements (61st for $3,323), Day 1 chip leader Aaron Ang (20th for $8,647), and Shaun Deeb (17th for $8,647).
Former bracelet winner Jonathan Dimmig (10th for $16,772) bubbled the final table.
Entering the final table as the second-largest stack, Altomonte wasted no time asserting his dominance and solidifying his position.
In a series of intense hands, Altomonte engaged in a gripping battle against chip leader Kevin Rand. The pivotal moment came when Altomonte emerged triumphant, securing a massive double-up with a pair of queens that faded Rand’s gutshot straight draw. This key hand propelled Altomonte’s stack to over 40 million, further bolstering his position.
Continuing his relentless aggression, Altomonte carried his momentum into the final heads-up showdown against Michael Holmes. With an imposing 12-to-1 chip lead, Altomonte held complete control over the proceedings. Despite Holmes’ best efforts, he could not bridge the significant gap and eventually succumbed to Altomonte’s prowess, finishing in second place.
In the final hand of the tournament, Holmes limp-called Altomonte’s pre-flop raise of 3 Million. After the flop, Altomonte continued to exert pressure and fired a bet of 7 Million. Holmes jammed for 10 Million, prompting a quick call by Altomonto.
“Do you have the ace?” Holmes asked. Altomonto, who made the call, tabled his hand, replying, “No, but I have kings.”
Altomonte’s kings kept him ahead as the last two streets opened and , landing him the bracelet.
Final Table Results (USD)
Content & Images Courtesy: WSOP & PokerNews
Keep following PokerGuru for daily updates from the 2023 WSOP!