Australian poker pro Michael Addamo emerged victorious in the $2,620 buy-in Marathon event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). This was the 23 year old’s first ever gold bracelet and on his way to the title he also picked up $653,581 as first-place prize. Played over the course of five days, the Marathon drew 1,637 entries (slightly lower from last year’s 1,759 entrants) which created a prizepool of over $3.8 million. Players started with 26,200 in chips and played 100-minute blind levels.
“It hasn’t quite hit,” Addamo said to WSOP reporters. “I’m sure when I wake up tomorrow it’ll hit me. I got lucky in some spots and got some chips.” Addamo, who lives Thailand now, has more than $1.9 million in live tournament earnings. In 2017, he chopped an event at the PokerStars Championship Macau with Nick Petrangelo for $197,971 and his previous best score.
Addamo arrived at the Day 5 final in a solid fourth position, not far behind early leader and eventual runner-up Mark Sleet. Addamo and Sleet both had to weather an early rush by Belgium’s Bart Lybaert, who surged to an early lead before being reeled in during the evening’s play. Sleet, 50, from San Diego, held the lead at several stages during the final table before busting to the Aussie pro. Sleet’s huge second-place effort was still worth $403,870, vastly outpacing the $10,459 he’d earned in three previous WSOP cashes.
Lybaert, a 28-year-old poker pro from Meihelen, Belgium, earned $290,315 for the third-place run. The well-known regular on several European tours logged his own 17th career WSOP cash and nearly doubled his total WSOP earnings, to more than $610,000.
Addamo described himself as a “traveler” in his final-table, a reference to both his globe-trotting success in tourney play at a young age, and to Australia’s ban on online poker, which went into effect last year. “Online poker was banned last year in Australia, which was really unfortunate. So I relocated to Thailand, and I stay there with a good friend. I spend quite a bit of time there. But I also travel quite a bit – I go to Macau sometimes, Asia, Europe sometimes, the US….” as he described his current poker-playing, globetrotting life. He’s also been at the WSOP each of the past three summers since turning 21, and the win here marked his 17th career cash at the Series.
To secure the title, Addamo had to overcome the likes of Taylor Paur (4th), WSOP main event champion Martin Jacobson (5th), Anton Morgenstern (7th), and Cate Hall (8th). Other notables with a deep run included Jonas Mackoff (11th), Faraz Jaka (35th), Matt Affleck (44th), Scotty Nguyen (46th), Lee Markholt (48th), and Martin Staszko (49th).
Final Table Payouts:
1st: Michael Addamo, $653,581
2nd: Mark Sleet, $403,870
3rd: Bart Lybaert, $290,315
4th: Taylor Paur, $210,995
5th: Martin Jacobson, $155,062
6th: Ying Chan, $115,244
7th: Anton Morgenstern, $86,631
8th: Cate Hall, $65,875
9th: Ihar Soika, $50,678