Casey Sandretto wins WPT Rolling Thunder for $246,600

Paul Oresteen
Posted on: March 26, 2024 12:59 PDT

The final table of the $3,500 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event returned to action before lunch on Tuesday with a livestreamed final table. Over the span of six hours the final table delivered all one could ask for: an overwhelming chip lead was erased, four-handed play was a slugfest and heads-up play was back-and-forth affair.

Local player Casey Sandretto was the last player standing to win $246,600 and seat to the WPT World Championship in just his second WPT event ever for a score that eclipsed his career tournament earnings.

" I was hoping for violence and we got quite a bit of it.”
Casey Sandretto

“To be able to do in my hometown and home casino, and in my opinion, the best run poker tournaments in the county – it feels great,” Sandretto said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day today.”

He had 20 big blinds when he returned on Tuesday, facing an uphill battle against Yunkyu Song’s 135 big blind stack with over half the chips in play. “I’ve played a billion Sit & Gos, so I was prepared for anything,” Sandretto said.


“In that spot, you have to run good and have the chip leader shove into you,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have him shove into me with pocket jacks in the beginning of the day.”

“I was praying for Yunkyu to do all the hard work and then get heads-up. I didn’t expect to get heads-up with Mike,” he continued. “You want someone coming in and shoving light, but Yunkyu wasn’t doing that. He had one of the worst run cards I’ve seen. I was hoping for violence and we got quite a bit of it.”

Final table action

The final table began with Song holding more than half the chips in play and his opponents ranged from 24 big blinds to the short stack with 11. Song played his monster stack by the book at the start of play by applying pressure at every street.

Brock Wilson returned as the shortest stack and was the first player eliminated. He got all in preflop with pocket sevens against the A-K of Michael Kinney. An ace hit on the river, ending Wilson’s day.

Yunkyu Song DREW AMATO

Song’s massive lead was washed away by two pots against Sandretto in the span of five hands. The first saw Sandretto out-flop Song with two pair when they both held king-rag. Then, Song tried check-raising the river holding second pair and Sandretto called with top pair to take the chip lead.

About 20 minutes later, Kinney open-shoved from the small blind and Cody Wiegmann called off from the big holding A-Q. Kinney needed help with Q-T and the board delivered when he rivered a king-high straight to eliminate Wiegmann in fifth place.

Anyone's tournament to win

Four-handed play is when the table really began to shake out, with Sandretto and Kinney taking turns with the chip lead and Song doubling up each player. Song dipped to under ten big blinds before he made his final stand holding A-Q. Sandretto called holding A-K, flopped a king and eliminated the day’s chip leader.

Thirty minutes later, Kinney and Travis Egbert played all the way to the river on a board of K-6-4-Q-7. Kinney moved all in on the river, Egbert tank-called and was eliminated when his king was out-kicked by Kinney’s nine over his deuce.

Heads-up play started with Kinney holding 13 million to Sandretto’s 6.9 million. Inside 20 hands they were dead even at 11.5 million a piece and over the next set of 20 hands, Sandretto took the lead.

The final hand saw them go to a raised flop of K-3-2. Kinney check-called 400,000 to see an ace on the turn and Sandretto bet 975,000. Kinney check-raised to 3.2 million and Sandretto called after using a time extension chip.

The river came a ten. Kinney shoved and Sandretto snap-called. Kinney showed A-2 for two pair, but Sandretto showed him bad news with a flopped set of kings. Kinney was eliminated and Sandretto won the event in his home casino.

Setting sail

The WPT sets sail for their Whole Ship Takeover on Virgin Voyages March 31 – April 6 with a $5,000 main event and a $1,100 WPT Prime Championship. Then it will be in Hollywood, Florida for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship from April 19 -23.

WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event results

  1. Casey Sandretto - $246,600*
  2. Michael Kinney - $235,000*
  3. Travis Egbert - $140,000
  4. Yunkyu Song - $105,000
  5. Cody Wiegmann - $78,000
  6. Brock Wilson - $60,000

*denotes a heads-up deal for adjusted payouts

All photos courtesy of the WPT - Drew Amato.