We often hear stories about WSOP participants who play in a couple events and struggle at first. Then they finally cash for the first time, and then win during their first deep run. As the game continues to grow, successes like this appear to become commonplace, but it's rare that we get a true WSOP amateur, playing in his very first event, emerge as a champion. Giovanni Rosadoni is officially the poster boy for WSOP rookies as he became the WSOP Europe Event 4 champion outlasting the field in the 3,250 euro shootout event. Rosadoni, a 52-year-old business owner from Nice, France, earned 107,614 euros for the win and the admiration of aspiring players everywhere.
"I am very happy to win," Rosadoni stoically said through a translator. "I may not show it because I am a private person. But I am really celebrating. It's just that it's inside and not on the outside."
According to the WSOP, the shootout format featured 141 players and two rounds. The victors of the 20 starting tables in round 1 advanced to Day 2, including some poker powerhouses. Bracelet winners Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, John Monnette, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Philippe Boucher, Dominik Nitsche and
Chance Kornuth were part of the final group and Rosadoni stood tall against the game's best.
Faraz Jaka (17th), Negreanu (16th), Kornuth (14th), Mohsin Charania (13th), Hellmuth (12th) and Boucher (11th) were among the victims before one table remained, and Rosadoni stayed patient on the short stack. After John Duthie's elimination in ninth during the sixth level of play, Rosadoni began to chip up. At the same time, Monnette seemed poised to win his second bracelet of the year, trailing only Dan O'Brien for the top spot.
O'Brien remained in control and eliminated Kovalchuk (fourth), Adrien Allain (fifth) and Paul Guichard (sixth) to keep his lead. Monnette's run, and potentially his hopes of winning the WSOP Player of the Year honors, ended in third, losing a race with K-Q to O'Brien's 8-8.
When heads-up play began, everyone believed the tournament veteran would coast to his first bracelet, not the French amateur. Neither player coasted, as the match lasted for hours on Tuesday with Rosadoni getting the best of his opponent. They battled late into the night and due to the casino's closing time, the two were forced to return the next day to finish the match. Rosadoni held a 2:1 lead over O'Brien and when they returned, it was more of the same.
O'Brien managed to take the chip lead for a short amount of time on Wednesday, but three coolers sealed his fate and second place. Rosadoni evened the match with K-K against O'Brien's A-J, then won a major pot with J-8 against O'Brien's J-9 and finally finished the American with Q-Q against K-J. It was a brutal end for O'Brien, who played an incredible tournament.
"This will haunt me for a while though," O'Brien said on Twitter.
"I knew I was not a favorite because these players had much more experience than me," said Rosadoni. "So, I decided I had to do something completely different. I played in a way that I had never tried before. It was new even to me. There was no way I would have played the way played, unless it was extreme circumstances against great players. I think that's what helped me the most."
Rosadoni became the third French WSOP champion in 2012 and can temporarily boast something that not many other players in the world can: He has never been knocked out of a WSOP event.
Below are the complete results of WSOPE Event 4:
Event 4: No-limit hold 'em Shootout
Buy-in: 3,250 euros
Prize pool: 406,080 euros
Players in the money:20
1. Giovanni Rosadoni (107,614 euros)
2. Dan O'Brien (66,503)
3. John Monnette (48,177)
4. Oleksii Kovalchuk (35,560)
5. Adrien Allain (26,724)
6. Paul Guichard (20,434)
7. Roman Romanovskyi (15,890)
8. Trond Aanensen (12,564)
9. John Duthie (10,095)
10. Valentin Messina (8,239)
11. Philippe Boucher (5,428)
12. Phil Hellmuth (5,428)
13. Mohsin Charania (5,428)
14. Chance Kornuth (5,428)
15. Dominik Nitsche (5,428)
16. Daniel Negreanu (5,428)
17. Faraz Jaka (5,428)
18. Matt Stout (5,428)
19. Michael Ferrell (5,428)
20. Brian Park (5,428)