Miles Rampel isn’t a poker pro by any measure. His regular game is the occasional $1-$2 or $2-$5 at his local casino. As of two days ago, he had never cashed in a Hendon Mob qualifying tournament. But as of today he has one entry: 1st place in Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha for $365,500.
Winning a little over one-third of a million is a pretty good debut tournament result. Though it took a while for the victory to sink in for Rampel.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Rampel said in his post-game interview. “But I feel great. I ran really hot and I picked up aces a bunch of times. There are some plays I probably made that were bad. I probably played middle of the road with my own unique style that has some leaks in it. But I ran hot, and picked up aces like five or six times.”
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
The biggest surprise of his interview was the miniature scale of his prior poker C.V.
“I’ve been playing $1-2 and $2-5 no-limit [Texas hold’em] for 10 years,” he said. “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.”
Before this tournament, he claims he had never played a tourney with a buy-in higher than $100. So, a $25k buy-in was quite a jump in stakes. One that paid off for Rampel.
The journey to $365k
As this tourney started, Chris Brewer was winning Event #8 across the room.
The $25k PLO event got 43 entries from players taking a break from Texas hold’em, making for a prize pool of 1,075,000. Players started with 125,000 in chips, and blinds started at 500/1,000 with a big blind ante of 1,000. For pot-limit games in this series, the ante does not count towards the pot size until the flop.
Those 43 entries were whittled down to five players over the course of day one.
Not only did Rampel nearly not buy in to the event, but he also started the final table well behind in chips. Lou Garza led the field with five left.
Garza continued to do so until three-handed play when Rampel ramped things up. A few lucky hands pushed him into the chip lead. By the time Sean Winter hit the rail in third place, he and Garza were sitting in front of roughly equal stacks.
The final hand
Luck went Rampel’s way in the end. By the final hand he had a solid lead of 4,495,000 chips to 880,000. Blinds were 40,000/80,000 with a big-blind ante of 80,000.
Garza bet 240,000 from the button and Rampel called with J♣T♣2♠2♥ in the hole.
The flop came J♥9♦4♥, giving him top pair without much of a kicker. Rampel checked, and Garza bet the pot for 560,000, leaving himself just a few 5k chips behind. Rampel shoved for the rest of Garza’s stack and Garza called.
Garza tabled A♥K♥8♦7♠. Rampel could see he needed to fade the remaining aces, kings, tens, and hearts in the deck to win. That was a lot of outs. Even with his redraws, Rampel was still a 60-40 underdog.
However, the 4♦ on the flop turned those odds around, and the Q♦ on the river sealed the deal.
Rampel had his first-ever tournament win, and Garza took home $236,500 for second place. Garza also collected enough points to put him squarely in first place on the Poker Masters leaderboard.
Poker Masters Event #9: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha complete results
Featured image source: PokerGO