2018 Escalator Series

Josh Rittenberg Wins Escalator Headliner Good for $98,642 Score

2018 Escalator Series
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Week 4: $560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Entries: 1,108
Prize Pool: $554,000
March 15-18, 2018

Escalator $560 Champion, Josh Rittenberg

Hollywood, Florida — Josh Rittenberg of Delray Beach won the $560 buy-in Escalator Series headliner during the early morning hours of Monday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. For coming out on top of a stout, 1,108-entry field, Rittenberg was rewarded with a $98,642 first prize along with a $3,500 seat in next month’s $3,000,000 guaranteed WPT Poker Showdown Championship. The victory came following a heads-up chop that saw Rittenberg’s chip lead secure the win. Runner-up, Edgar Varas, was rewarded with an even $94,000

The Escalator $560 boasted a $400,000 guarantee that was easily bested to the tune of a $554,000 prize pool. In addition to Rittenberg, Josh Beckley (third), Paul Balzano (fourth), Brian Hastings (14th) and Michael Newman (25th) also finished in the money.

Full results:

1st: Josh Rittenberg – $98,642 + $3,500 WPT Poker Showdown Seat
2nd: Edgar Varas – $94,000
3rd: Josh Beckley – $44,043
4th: Paul Balzano – $36,841
5th: “GT” Jack Sumner – $30,470
6th: Larry Klur – $24,653
7th: Juan Mubarak – $19,390
8th: Song Kun O – $14,404
9th: Gary Flur – $10,166
10th: Bienvendo Santiago – $6,620
11th: Steve Karp – $6,620
12th: Mark Nahama – $6,620
13th: Ivan Starostin – $4,432
14th: Brian Hastings – $4,432
15th: Kobi Ribak – $4,432
16th: Adam Horowitz – $2,964
17th: Oleksandr Vaserfirer – $2,964
18th: Kharlin Sued – $2,964
19th: Craig Witz – $2,493
20th: Aaron Mahlfeldt – $2,493
21st: Brett Bader – $2,493
22nd: Jonathan Ounjian – $2,493
23rd: John De Soto – $2,493
24th: Haim Nagar – $2,493
25th: Michael Newman – $2,493
26th: David Poces – $2,493
27th: Reinaldo Troconis – $2,493
28th: Ethiel Garcia – $2,161
29th: Iman Dan – $2,161
30th: Peter Fellows – $2,161
31st: Michael Chiapetta – $2,161
32nd: Juan Barbosa – $2,161
33rd: Zach Hammons – $2,161
34th: Raminder Singh – $2,161
35th: Andrew Gordon – $2,161
36th: Scott Zakheim – $2,161
37th: Philip Consolo – $1,884
38th: Corey Ristich – $1,884
39th: Richard Arno – $1,884
40th: Brian Landesman – $1,884
41st: Alejandro Funes – $1,884
42nd: John Valevich – $1,884
43rd: Vito Polera – $1,884
44th: Blake Kouwenhoven – $1,884
45th: Jeff Charlton – $1,884
46th: Lester Trimino – $1,607
47th: Daniel Couzens – $1,607
48th: Carlos Castro – $1,670
49th: Dennis Johnson – $1,607
50th: Matthew Goldman – $1,607
51st: Shlomi Bracha – $1,607
52nd: Ronnie Safa – $1,607
53rd: Gabriel Caballero – $1,607
54th: Josh Robins – $1,607
55th: Ira Schwartz – $1,413
56th: Jason Durant – $1,413
57th: Kyle Taddei – $1,413
58th: Juan Ferrer – $1,413
59th: Ricardo Eyzaguirre – $1,413
60th: Richard Leger – $1,413
61st: David MacDonald – $1,413
62nd: Steve Yagudaev – $1,413
63rd: Scott Federico – $1,413
64th: Sean Shah – $1,291
65th: T.K. Miles – $1,291
66th: Lucas Braga –
67th: Andre Bryan – $1,291
68th: Suk Wan – $1,291
69th: Michael Graffeo – $1,291
70th: Mark Weinstein – $1,291
71st: Kevin McIntosh – $1,291
72nd: Haim Shrayer – $1,291
73rd: Randy Matienzo – $1,191
74th: John Nguyen – $1,191
75th: Gregory Anda – $1,191
76th: William Beasley – $1,191
77th: Paul Domd – $1,191
78th: Lawrence Gradus – $1,191
79th: Samuel Tercy – $1,191
80th: Paula Alibrandi – $1,191
81st: Marvin Young – $1,191
82nd: John English – $1,097
83rd: Johann Tiemann – $1,097
84th: Dolphus Powers – $1,097
85th: Erik Nomberg – $1,097
86th: David Inselberg – $1,097
87th: Clifford Conners – $1,097
88th: Stephen Ibrahim – $1,097
89th: Carlos Rodriguez Rojas – $1,097
90th: George Novo – $1,097
91st: Stephen Harris – $1,069
92nd: Nissin Vaknin – $1,069
93rd: Manny Minaya – $1,069
94th: Ayca Erakbas – $1,069
95th: Marcin Plewinski – $1,069
96th: David Moreno – $1,069
97th: Scott Harwood – $1,069
98th: John Dollinger – $1,069
99th: Hollander Preap – $1,069
100th: Jason Leet – $1,069
101st: William Farnan – $1,042
102nd: Jacobo Hernandez – $1,042
103rd: Angelo Castaldi – $1,042
104th: Mitchell Smith – $1,042
105th: Michael Harley – $1,042
106th: Harjinder Chawla – $1,042
107th: Trevor Samuels – $1,042
108th: Matthew Zarcadoolas – $1,042
109th: Michael Stefan – $1,042
110th: Jonathan Pineda – $1,042

The 2018 Escalator Series marked the second of its kind. Beginning February 21st and running through March 18th, the series boasted four events over four consecutive weekends. The opener was a $150 with a $150,000 guarantee followed by a $250 with a $200,000 guarantee, a $350 with a $300,000 guarantee and the closer was the $560 with a $400,000 guarantee.

In all, the series drew more than 5,600 entries competing for better than $1,500,000 in cash and prizes. That turnout accounts for better than a 21 percent increase over 2016’s inaugural series.

The 2018 Escalator in review:

With the Escalator concluded, next up at the Seminole Hard Rock is the WPT Poker Showdown beginning April 5th. Headline events include a $560 buy-in, $1,000,000 guaranteed opener, a $1,100 buy-in, $250,000 guaranteed WPTDeepStacks prelim and, of course, the $3,500 buy-in, $3,000,000 guaranteed televised WPT Championship.

Link: WPT Poker Showdown Schedule

Thank you, Escalator players!

Escalator $560: Josh Rittenberg Wins $98,642 in Heads-Up Chop; Edgar Varas — 2nd Place ($94,000)

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 35: 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Josh Rittenberg

Claiming 13,350,000 and 8,800,000 chips respectively, Josh Rittenberg and Edgar Varas agreed to a heads-up deal. Varas negotiated slightly up from the ICM figures, securing himself an even $94,000. Rittenberg, meanwhile, earned the remainder of the cash — $98,642 — along with the $3,500 WPT Poker Showdown Championship seat and, of course, the trophy.

Edgar Varas

A final report will be posted shortly. In the meantime, here’s a look at the final table results:

1st: Josh Rittenberg – $98,642 + $3,500 WPT Poker Showdown Seat
2nd: Edgar Varas – $94,000
3rd: Josh Beckley – $44,043
4th: Paul Balzano – $36,841
5th: “GT” Jack Sumner – $30,470
6th: Larry Klur – $24,653
7th: Juan Mubarak – $19,390
8th: Song Kun O – $14,404
9th: Gary Flur – $10,166

Escalator $560: Josh Beckley — 3rd Place ($44,043)

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 35: 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Josh Beckley

Having chipped back up to 1,050,000, Josh Beckley got all-in from the small blind and both Edgar Varas and Josh Rittenberg battled it out for a side pot.

The pair checked down a qh8s7h5sqd runout. Varas turned over td7d for a pair of sevens and was best versus Beckley’s ad3c ace-high. Beckley was eliminated in third place.

Edgar Varas – 8,800,000
Josh Rittenberg – 13,350,000
Josh Beckley – Eliminated in 3rd place ($44,043)

Escalator $560: Rittenberg Doubles on Consecutive Hands, Takes Chip Lead

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 35: 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

One hand after his ac9h doubled preflop through Edgar Varas’ 2c2d, Josh Rittenberg got 6,950,000 in the pot preflop versus Josh Beckley. Rittenberg was ahead, but at risk.

Rittenberg: tstc
Beckley: 8x8x

Runout: qs2c2d2sjs

Rittenberg’s tens were best and he grew his stack. Beckley was left with less than two big blinds.

Josh Rittenberg – 14,350,000
Edgar Varas – 7,450,000
Josh Beckley – 525,000

 

Escalator: Brief Talk of Chop, Play Goes On

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 35: 150,000/300,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Players broke down their stacks and came up with the following ICM figures:

Edgar Varas – $91,451
Josh Beckley – $80,278
Josh Rittenberg – $64,961

“I’d just rather play it out at that number,” Beckley said of his figure.

Cards went back in the air.

Escalator $560: Rittenberg Doubles through Beckley

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 34: 125,000/250,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Josh Rittenberg shoved the button for 2,200,000 and Beckley called from the big blind. Edgar Varas folded his option and Rittenberg was at risk.

Rittenberg: 8c8d
Beckley: kckd

Runout: 9c4c4h7cas

Rittenberg’s pair held and he doubled through Beckley.

Josh Rittenberg – 4,875,000
Josh Beckley – 8,600,000

Escalator $560: Varas Doubles through Rittenberg

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 34: 125,000/250,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Edgar Varas limped the small blind and Josh Rittenberg shoved the big. Varas snapped off and the hands were tabled.

Varas: qhqd
Rittenberg: 4c4h

Runout: ahqctsad9s

Varas flopped a set and help. He doubled his 4,125,000-chip stack through Rittenberg to climb to second in the counts.

Edgar Varas – 8,725,000
Josh Rittenberg – 2,200,000

Escalator $560: Paul Balzano — 4th Place ($36,841)

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 33: 100,000/200,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

Paul Balzano

Paul Balzano open-shoved under the gun for 1,150,000. It was on Josh Rittenberg on the button and he called. Next up was Josh Beckley in the small blind and he called, too. Edgar Varas folded his option and Balzano was at risk versus two players.

Beckley and Rittenberg checked down the 4h3c2c2d flop and turn. The river fell the js and Beckley lead for 950,000. Rittenberg folded and Beckley turned over acjc for a rivered pair of jacks. Balzano’s kh5h was no good and he was eliminated in fourth place.

Josh Beckley – 11,800,000
Paul Balzano – Eliminated in 4th place ($36,841)

Escalator $560: Jack Sumner — 5th Place ($30,470)

2018 Escalator Series (Week 4)
$560 Buy-In, $400,000 Guaranteed
Level 33: 100,000/200,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 1,108 | Structure | Payouts

GT Jack Sumner

Josh Beckley raised to 400,000 from under the gun and “GT” Jack Sumner shoved the button for 2,050,000. The blinds folded and Sumner was at risk versus Beckley.

Beckley: tstd
Sumner: 7d6d

Runout: kdjhtckhxx

Beckley flopped a set and that spelled the end for Sumner. He was eliminated in fifth place for $30,470.

Josh Beckley – 7,200,000
“GT” Jack Sumner – Eliminated in 6th place ($30,470)