Steve Billirakis Wins 2011 WSOPE €5,300 PLO
Steve “MrSmokey1” Billirakis had to wait four years but for the second time in his life he is a WSOP champion.
Italian Michele Di Lauro may have been relatively close in chips entering heads-up play but the result never seemed to be in question as Billirakis dominated from the first hand.
As it turned out the first hand would have a game-changing impact on the heads-up match.
Both players made a full house on the river of T♥ 6♥ 6♣ 2♥ 9♠ but Billirakis had the bigger one (Sixes over Nines) and scooped a pot worth over one million chips.
Di Lauro only had 500,000 chips after the massive hand while Billirakis was flush with over 2.5 million.
Play continued for a few more minutes when this tournament-ending hand occurred:
Di Lauro opened for 46,000 and Billirakis raised to 130,000. Di Lauro called and the dealer put out a A♠ K♦ 7♣ flop.
Billirakis bet 70,000 and Di Lauro immediately moved in for the last of his stack. Billirakis called and the players flipped over their cards:
Di Lauro: A♥ J♥ 4♥ T♣
Billirakis: A♣ K♥ Q♦ 4♦
The Italian was in a world of hurt as Billirakis had him stomped with top two.
The entire room was in on its feet as the dealer threw down the 3♠ turn and the 9♣. Billirakis shook Di Lauro’s hand and gave a victorious fist pump.
Billirakis has won over $2 million since he became the youngest North American WSOP winner in history in 2007 but there’s no doubt this second bracelet has to be sweet. He takes down €238,140 for winning this thing while Di Lauro earns a €147,171 consolation prize.
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