The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em attracted a massive 10,185 entrants, and on Wednesday, July 3 the final ten players returned to action to play down to a winner. Among those in contention for the $888,888 first-place prize was 888poker Ambassador Vivian “Vivi” Saliba.

She sat third in chips and was in an excellent spot to make a run at her first WSOP gold bracelet.

A Day 3 Double

On Tuesday, players were in Level 35 (200,000/400,000/400,000) when, on a Q♦5♣4♣ flop, Team888’s Saliba checked from the small blind, and Uselis Gediminas did the same from the big. Kenny Smaron checked behind from the button and the 3♣ peeled off on the turn.

Saliba checked, Gediminas bet 850,000, and Smaron called. Saliba then squeezed by moving all-in for 7.275 million, Gediminas folded, and Smaron hit the tank before calling with the Q♥3♦ for two pair. It was no good though, as Saliba held the 9♣2♣ for a flush. The 8♦ river failed to fill Smaron up, and he sent a double over to Saliba.

Sending Patrick Clarke to the Rail

Vivian Saliba bag and tag 2019 WSOP Crazy Eights

On Day 4 with six players remaining, it was Level 42 (1M/2M/2M) and Hand #47 of the final table when Patrick Clarke moved his short stack all-in from the button. Saliba called from the small blind. Rick Alvarado came along from the big blind, and both active players checked the 2♦9♦10♦ flop.

After the dealer burned and turned the K♠, Saliba bet, and Alvarado folded. Clark tabled the J♠8♥ for an up-and-down straight draw, which he needed to hit to overcome Saliba’s two pair with the K♣9♥. The 6♥ river was no help to Clarke and Saliba sent him packing in sixth place for $177,888 while she chipped up to 49 million.

Doubling Through a Two-Time Bracelet Winner

Another big hand for Saliba came in Level 44 (1.5M/3M/3M) on Hand #96 of the final table. Two-time bracelet winner Mark Radoja raised to 6.5 million from the button and called when Saliba jammed for 39.5 million.

Radoja: A♠9♦

Saliba: K♦J♦

Saliba was behind but not after the flop came down 3♣J♣8♠ to give her top pair. Neither the 8♦ turn nor 7♠ river hurt Saliba, and she shipped a double.

A Cooler to End It – No Bracelet This Time Around

Vivian Saliba with WSOP bracelet

In what would be her final hand, which also took place in Level 44 (1,500,000/3,000,000/3,000,000), Mark Radoja raised to 5.3 million, first to act, and Thomas Drivas three-bet to 18 million from the button. Saliba then four-bet jammed for 79.5 million from the small blind, Radoja folded, and Drivas quickly called.

Saliba: Q♦Q♠

Drivas: A♦A♥

It was a cooler, and Saliba was left drawing dead on the turn when the board ran out 2♥3♥8♦A♠9♣. She immediately headed to the rail where she embraced fellow 888poker Ambassador Sofia Lövgren and was consoled by her rail.

While she didn’t capture the gold bracelet, Saliba did take home $308,888 for her fourth-place finish. That brought her lifetime earnings up from $268,259 – which included a previous career-best $47,923 for finishing 11th in the 2017 WSOP Event #54: $10,000 PLO8 – up to $577,147.

For more on Saliba and her WSOP poker adventures, be sure to follow her on Twitter @vivisaliba and on Instagram @vivi.saliba.

About the Author
Chad Holloway is a 2013 WSOP Bracelet winner who has previously worked for PokerNews as a managing editor and live reporter
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