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  • James Calderaro Takes Down WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Main Event

    Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Ryan

It’s that time of the year once again. The poker action all over the country is starting to ramp up, and we are seeing more and more big time pay days being awarded to eventual tournament champions. The most recent tournament that came to a close was the 2014 World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event. This event came to a close earlier in the week, and we saw the final six players who made up the final table really push to decide who would take home the first place payout and the title of being champion.

When all was said and done, it was a player who is actually from Florida (where the event was played) by the name of James Calderaro who won it all. He beat out Shannon Shorr to win the first place money of $271,103. When Day 4 of the action began, Calderaro was sitting in a good spot to make a nice push with 2,649,000 chips. He was sitting in third place at this point behind just Dimas Martinez, Jr. with 3,558,000 chips, and Shorr with 3,478,000 chips.

Obviously though Calderaro had some work to do still, but after him we saw a very big drop to fourth place in Tim Kegel, who was sitting with 1,271,000 chips and even more work to do. We saw a quick first elimination of the day when on the sixth hand, the shortest stack was sent home. This was Evan Dollinger who shoved it all-in over two pre-flop raises from Calderaro and Martinez for 600,000. Calderaro laid his hand down, but Martinez made the call with pocket sevens. Dollinger was in a good spot though holding pocket tens, but when a seven came out on the flop that was pretty much all she wrote, with the turn and river not helping. Dollinger went home in sixth place.

The next elimination didn’t come right away though, as we had to wait about an hour on the 34th hand of play before Kegel got his chips into the middle. He shoved over top of the pre-flop raise from Shorr with pocket twos for 405,000. Shorr called, and Kegel showed A-K of clubs. The board gave Kegel his King on the flop, but the turn was a third heart giving Short a flush draw, which was hit on the river. It was a tough way to go out, but Kegel was gone in fifth place, and Shorr picked up a nice pot.

For the fourth place elimination it was a pretty active pre-flop hand where Keven Stammen raised, Calderaro three-bet, and Martinez shoved all-in for 1,615,000 chips. Stammen folded, but Calderaro made the call with pocket tens. Martinez turned over A-K and needed a bit of help to catch up. Neither players hand changed, and Calderaro was able to pick up a very nice pot, and also send Martinez out in fourth place, setting up our final three players.

Obviously Stammen was our third place finisher here, but he kept battling back as the short stack before putting it all-in one final time with A-K. He looked good in this spot, as he was up against the A-9 of Calderaro, but a nine came on the river giving him the better hand and knocking Stammen out. It was time for heads up play now, and it was a fairly close match. When the heads up play started, Shorr hand close to a one million chip lead, sitting with 6,715,000 chips, compared to the 5,750,000 chips of Calderaro.

The match went for a very long time, going back and forth for close to 100 hands, and Shorr actually gained about a 2-1 lead before Calderaro got Shorr out of a big pot to get things close to even. The next hand saw Calderaro actually grab the lead, and give him over 7,000,000 chips. The two continued to go back and forth for quite a while but on Hand 207 we saw a huge pot that left Shorr incredibly short. Shorr was up at the time 6,500,000 to 5,965,000, but Calderaro hit two pair with 10-7 against the pocket Aces of Shorr to double up, leaving Shorr having to get it all in, which happened two hands later. Calderaro went all-in with 9-8d and Shorr called with A-J off suit. The flop came out with just one diamond, but Calderaro hit runner-runner to give him the flush and the victory. For second place Shorr took home a nice $190,039.

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