American pro Sam Panzica has won his second WPT title, taking down the biggest WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star field in history for $1,373,000. The 24-year-old from Michigan, who won the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville last October, has now achieved his first seven-figure score and is in the running to win Season XV WPT Player of the Year.
“Now that I got a shot, it is kind of cool to think about,” Panzica said about his new position in the standings, which is just one min-cash away from taking the lead. Panzica is now heading to Sacramento to compete in the WPT Thunder Valley Main Event, and will be playing the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown in Florida in April.
There were 806 total entries for WPT Bay 101 , creating a $5.7 million prize pool with 81 players paid. Panzica had stiff competition at the final, including mixed games master Paul Volpe, German high roller Rainer Kempe, and three-time WPT champion Chino Rheem. He beat 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Spinella heads-up to take the title. Rheem, who already has three WPT titles and $8.2m in live tournament winnings, was third.
1st: Sam Panzica – $1,373,000*
2nd: Anthony Spinella – $786,610
3rd: Chino Rheem – $521,660
4th: Paul Volpe – $349,610
5th: Dennis Stevermer – $243,090
6th: Rainer Kempe – $188,460
Other big names to cash included Eddy Sabat, Pratyush Buddiga, Dan O’Brien, Joe Elpayaa, Matt Affleck, Kevin MacPhee and top Spanish pro Sergio Aido (7th).
The next WPT is WPT Rolling Thunder. We are the tour’s Official Travel Partner so do check for hotel deals here. The $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event starts today. Harrison Gimbel won last year’s event, beating Mohsin Charania heads-up for his first WPT title. There were 409 players with Gimbel taking $275,112 for first. The Florida native was fourth in the same event two years ago.