Nick Petrangelo: his ascension is just beginning

Monday, 6 November 2017

What Nick Petrangelo has done in poker over the past eight years is not at everyone’s fingertips. He didn’t exactly start from scratch when it comes to playing professional poker, but he was lucky enough to learn from the best. Let’s have a look at his story and try to guess what we’ll be writing about him 10 years from now. 

Nicholas “Nick” Petrangelo is a young poker player from Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, United States, and appeared on the world poker scene 8 years ago, managing to gather over $9 million only from his participation in live poker tournaments – it was obvious that he was going to be a top player in the years to come.

How he came to play poker

In his youth he was very passionate about hockey and golf. He admits that if he earned enough money and decided to retire the first thing he would do would be to train a junior hockey team and practice the sport that calms him the most – golf.

At the age of 14 he left home to go to Connecticut, to a boarding school called Loomis Chaffee, a sports high school. He later studied at Skidmore College, New York, where he got a degree in Economics and Business.

While in school, his roommate introduced him to Jonathan Jaffe, at the time a well-respected poker player in the poker world, a good heads-up specialist.

The latter guided him, taught him, and let Nick see him playing poker. He was a true mentor to him. Petrangelo admits that without Jaffe and his support he would not have taken on poker.

Online experience

Like any player in his generation has started playing poker seriously online. At first, small amounts and then he switched to high-stakes. He got notable results:

–          The final table in the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl where he won $33,700.

–          In June 2009 he finished sixth place in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up tournament, where he earned $28,000.

–          In December 2012 he got first place in the famous Sunday Million, where he won $209,000.

–          In February 2013 he finished second in the Full Tilt $500K tournament, overtaking a field of 2671 players and earning $70,000.

In March 2014 he reached the final table at the PokerStars Sunday 500, which made him $10,000 richer, and at the end of the same year he reached the final table at the Stars Sunday Warm-Up where he made his bankroll $26,000 richer.

Live tournaments success

Switching to live tournaments was natural, without too many introductions. Of course, tournament play implies other skills that Nick gradually discovered he possessed.

His passion for poker blended very well with his passion for travel. When he started playing in live tournaments he enjoyed the fact that major tournaments such as the EPT, PCA, WPT, WSOP have a rigorous schedule consisting of several tournaments and then there is the possibility to access more buy-in and style options. Under no circumstances would he have gotten on a plane just to play a tournament somewhere in Florida and nothing more.

During the first tournaments he realized that he was making the same mistakes any poker beginner made: he was not aggressive enough on the flop, or had wrong strategies in approaching tournaments as they advanced.

In 2009 he started playing live poker cautiously, and even participated in one of the WSOP events of that edition. Without notable results, just in the money. The following year, only one tournament is worth mentioning – the 2010 PCA where he finished the Main Event in the 86th place. In 2011 he played in the World Poker Finals in Mashantucket where he came in 3rd.

In 2013 he played in a European tournament for the first time. He came to Eureka Prague to play in the €2,000 + 200 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament. He got the 13th place and a prize of over 9,000 euros. In the spring of the following year he returned to Europe at Monte Carlo where he played in the Main Event of the EPT Grand Final. He invested 10,000 euros into the buy-in and got 6 times more: 62,350 euros.

The beginning of 2015 was fantastic and he had his first notable achievement: 1st place and $113,853 in the PCA #9 No Limit Hold’em tournament – Turbo 8 Handed with a $4,850 + 450 buy-in. That year was one of the best of his career so far because at the end of May he participated in the #4 WSOP event, $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout, and was at the top of a field of 308 players, earning over $200,000. It’s the only bracelet in his record.

At the end of the summer, he participated in the EPT Barcelona and got a huge prize of €592,840 for 3rd place in the High Roller 8 Max $ 10,000 buy-in tournament. Great achievements were beginning to emerge, and that made him even more confident in his own strengths.

In 2016 he had three major tournament wins:

–          WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, Hollywood, $2,200 No Limit Hold’em – Eight Max #17

–          EPT – 13 – ESPT 7 – Barcelona, €10,000 + 300 No Limit Hold’em (Event #7)

–          EPT – 13 – EUREKA – 6 – Prague, €2,000 + 150 No Limit Hold’em – 8-Handed Turbo (Event #53)

Finally, the year 2017 has been under the sign of the kangaroo so far. Why? Because right after the new year, the American “hit” a Melbourne bomb in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event, a A$100,000 buy-in poker event. First place and a consistent $666,113 prize is an important contribution to his high roller bankroll.

Up to the date of this article, Petrangelo finished in the money 16 times this year, which earned him approx. $3 million in prize money in 2017 alone! A prolific year and a promise that Nick is just warming up for the years to come.

At this rate, Nick Petrangelo will surely end up in the Hall of Fame of World Poker. Probably the next time we talk about him, Nick will be as big of a star as Ivey, Antonius, or Negreanu…

Author: Editor

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