Despite the hefty buy-in, the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha championship event at the 2017 World Series of Poker proved to be a big hit with the players, drawing a field of 205 and generating a total prize pool of $4,868,750. It was a sizable increase from the 184-player field in 2016 and the 175 runners in 2015.
In the end, the title went to 51-year-old James Calderaro, who earned his first career bracelet and the huge $1,289,074 first-place prize. It was the largest score of the Florida-based poker pro’s career.
Calderaro now has more than $3.5 million in live tournament earnings. In addition to winning a World Poker Tour title in 2014 at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, he also went deep in the 2009 WSOP main event, earning $633,022 for his 13th-place finish.
“The bracelet is amazing to me,” Calderaro said. “I had my WPT championship and I gave it to my first-born son, and I promised my second son and my daughter they would get the next ones. So my second son got the bracelet. Now I have a granddaughter, so now I got to get two more, so I can’t quit. It means everything to me. My boy right here, his bracelet right here in the World Series,… it means everything to me.”
The man known by many simply as “Caldo” topped a stacked final table to earn his gold, including high-stakes phenoms Ben Tollerene (8th), Dan Smith (7th) and Dario Sammartino (6th).
Bryce Yockey (5th) put together another fantastic result, earning $270,242 for his fifth-place finish, but it’s only the third biggest score of his summer thus far. Yockey also finished fifth in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event for $317,544 and then won his first bracelet in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better event for another $511,147.
Esther Taylor (3rd) fought hard on the short stack to ladder up a few positions, but is still searching for her first bracelet. Taylor pocketed $543,713 for her finish, the largest of her career. It was her fourth WSOP final-table appearance of the summer.
Other notables to make the money included Ryan Hughes (30th), Max Silver (22nd), Ashton Griffin (20th), Tommy Le (18th), Michael Kamran (14th) and Martin Kozlov (9th).
Here’s a look at the final table results.
|Finish||Player Name||Payout||POY Points|
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.