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On a Vacation in Vegas, Miles Rampel Randomly Enters, Wins Poker Masters $25K PLO

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Miles Rampel came to Las Vegas this week on a vacation never having cashed in a live poker tournament. He’ll leave town as the champion of Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, and go home with an extra $365,500 to his name.

Day 1 of Event #10: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em also kicked off Thursday at the PokerGO Studio. The tournament began with 38 runners and played down to a final table of five before calling it quits for the day.

2021 Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 PLO Final Table Results

Place Player Country Points Prize
1st Miles Rampel United States 219 $365,000
2nd Lou Garza United States 142 $236,500
3rd Sean Winter United States 97 $161,250
4th Ben Lamb United States 71 $118,250
5th Jeremy Ausmus United States 52 $86,000

‘Sweet Lou’ Can’t Hold Final Table Lead as Tournament Newbie Runs Hot

Lou Garza, who entered Event #9 having already cashed in three Poker Masters tournaments in 2021, had a shot on Thursday to finally get over the hump and win a title. He entered play with a massive chip lead at 2,630,000 chips. Sean Winter was his closest competitor at 1,010,000.

But the cards didn’t come his way on Day 2 quite like they did during the opening session. Rampel, on the other hand, ran red hot throughout most of the final table.

After Jeremy Ausmus, Ben Lamb, and Winter were eliminated, heads-up play began between Garza and Rampal. Garza quickly dipped below the 1 million chip mark, leaving him desperate for a couple of double ups. He’d never bounce back.

With the blinds at 40,000/80,000, Garza raised on the button to 240,000 with a-Heartsk-Hearts8-Hearts7-Spades, and the big blind called with j-Clubs10-Clubs2-Spades2-Hearts. The flop came out j-Hearts9-Diamonds4-Hearts and Rampel checked to the button who bet pot (560,000) with about 80,000 behind. Rampel moved all-in and his opponent was pot committed on flush and straight draws.

The turn was a 4-Diamonds followed by a q-Diamonds, neither any help to Garza’s hand. He received $236,500 as a consolation prize. The champion took home $365,000.

Rampel admitted afterward that he ran hot. He hit pocket aces four times on the final day. But that doesn’t mean he just got lucky and didn’t play well. His story of becoming a Poker Masters champion is a bit of a unique one. Most of the players in these events are regulars in high rollers. Not Rampel though.

“I’ve been playing $1-2 and $2-5 no-limit [hold’em] for 10 years, starting in college,” Rampel told PokerGO in his postgame interview. “I went to UCSB so I played at the Chumash Casino in a little $60 max buy-in $1-2 game. I started playing PLO this year and enjoyed it a lot. It’s fun to think a little bit more. Then my friends and I just came to Las Vegas on a whim and saw that this tournament was here. I thought, ‘You know what, I’ll take a shot.’ On the morning of registration, I was hemming and hawing thinking I didn’t want to start the trip stuck $25,000 with it being all pros, but I said, ‘You know what? I’ll register.’ Lots and ups and downs.”

It turned out to be a brilliant decision, and what a way to start a Vegas vacation.

Meanwhile, Mikita Badziakouski, one of the top young players in the game, bagged a sizable chip lead. Each remaining player is guaranteed at least $76,000, and the winner will take home $342,000. Play is set to resume at 12 p.m. PT with coverage on the PokerGO app starting at 1 p.m. PT on Friday.

2021 Poker Masters Event 10 Stacks

Place Player Country Chip Count
1st Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 1,630,000
2nd Ali Imsirovic Bosnia 1,040,000
3rd Daniel Negreanu Canada 745,000
4th Jason Koon United States 735,000
5th Seth Davies United States 600,000

Remember, Poker Masters will air daily through September 19, but is only available to PokerGO subscribers. If you’re not currently subscribed, you can get a monthly subscription for $14.99, a three-month plan for $29.99, and an annual subscription for $99.99. You can also save $10 off an annual subscription by using promo code “PokerNews” at checkout.

*Images courtesy of PokerGO.