Ciaravino constructs win at WSOPC

Mike Ciaravino
Michael Ciaravino

Michael Ciaravino, formerly the owner of a construction company in New York, turned the lowest chip stack during three-handed play into a winning one as the final players made a deal at the end of Event 7 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Event in Tunica.

Ciaravino was down to about 200,000 in chips compared to 450,000 for Daryl Gordy Sr. and 340,000 for William Johnson in the $300 No-Limit Hold'em event when the deal was made.

He must have done some smooth talking, though, as a deal was cut that made him the winner with Gordy claiming third and Johnson second.

The win gives Ciaravino's poker resume even more shine along with his three cashes at the World Series of Poker this year.

Ciarvino has been a professional poker player for 15 years since selling his construction company and moving to Melbourne, Fla. He takes his wife and two teenage children on the road with him to the various poker events he plays.

His "win" with the least amount of chips when a deal was made wasn't the only surprising event of the day.

At the beginning of final-table play, Gebrehiwet Goitom had a significant chip lead over the other eight players. He was holding 304,000 of the 1,025,000 chips in play, with his nearest competitor having 183,500.

The Dallas driver held that lead for 45 hands before hitting a roadblock. He lost four major hands in seven deals, dropping him down to 36,000. Three hands after that, he was out in fifth place.

The first person to take leave from the table was Larry Tomaszewski. On the seventh hand of the final table, the players finally saw a flop, but it spelled doom for Tomaszewski.

He was down to 500 in the big blind when the flop came A-4-4. Despite saying "I don't have a chance," Tomaszewski threw in his last chips after a bet and call from a third player. Goitom turned up a winning A-9 after play was checked down to the river, and Tomaszewski mucked his cards.

It took only two hands more before Stan Wofford took his spot in the payout line as well. He raised all-in from the big blind for his last 8,000 with Kd-8d. Johnson called him with A-8. The board came A-K-4-J-5, leaving Wofford with the worst of it.

Jody Milhouse was next on the chopping block just five hands after that. His pocket sixes couldn't stand up to Ciaravino's pocket kings, and to seal the deal, Ciaravino flopped a set.

Jeff Griffith was next to go when he tried to take on Goitom. Goitom had opened for 18,000, and Griffith re-raised all-in for 6,000 more. Ace-high was all Goitom needed to defeat Griffith's Q-J.

Then Goitom's meltdown began. He was finally put out of his misery when Gordy opened a hand for 40,000 with Ac-Jc. Goitom moved all-in with pocket treys. His run of luck truly had run out though as Gordy rivered a jack.

After five more hands, the final three players made their deal and took their leave from the table as well.

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