Florida poker pro Sam Panzica showcased remarkable skill and resilience in coming back from a weak position to take the honours in the World Poker Tour-bestbet Bounty Scramble this week, besting a talented field of 379 to claim the impressive main prize of $354,335, taking his live tournament career earnings north of $1.8 million.
The prize includes a $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions entry package.
Playing a disciplined game, Panzica survived to the heads up but was at a 2 to 1 disadvantage against fellow-survivor Richard Malone. Initially, it looked as if Malone would maintain his lead and romp to victory as he increased his chip advantage over the first 20 hands to around 10 to 1 over the struggling but calm Panzica.
That calmness and discipline not only kept Panzica in the game, but began to grind down Malone’s advantage, aided by some fortunate double up opportunities.
Around hand 120 the tide had noticeably turned, with the players on an even footing. By hand 156 Panzica had not only taken the lead, but advanced it to 3 to 1.
Nevertheless Malone put up a tough opposition and it was not until 30 hands later – four hours into heads up action – that Panzica was able to finally send a gallant opponent to the exit and a well-earned runner-up reward of $237,616
Other final table cashes included:
Ankush Mandavia $152,766
Tyler Patterson $100,643
Noah Schwartz $77,499
Paul Balzano $64,183