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Behind the Scenes at Rampage’s WPT 25k High-Roller Win

“The whole point of entering a tournament is to win the damn thing.”

Ethan Yau, better known by his poker YouTube vlogger handle Rampage, had already busted out of the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship when he decided to take a shot at the 25k high-roller multi-table tournament.

Despite not being properly bankrolled or being able to sell action, he went for it. 40 minutes later, he busted against seven-deuce. Brutal.

He had already recorded half of a video’s worth of content for his channel though. Deciding to put it to good use, he went for the re-buy.

world poker tour rampage

Photo: WPT

The High-Roller Tournament

High-rollers are full of the best players—significantly more-so than the 10k main event. That means that, no matter where he ended up sitting, Rampage would have to face down a lot of great players.

With the min-cash at 3x buy-in and first place at around $900k, the stakes were high. “It’s a really big spot,” Rampage told his teammates. “I’ve got to play well and hopefully run good.”

It came down to the wire. As a short stack on the bubble, Rampage checked back in, saying “situation right now: sweat. 14 players left, one short stack, 11 make the money. It’s a f---ing s---show right now.”

After a couple clean double-ups, the field was down to nine. He went from the shortest stack on the bubble to running deep. At first he was “happy to be here,” but then he went to “I need to win this thing.”

The Final Table

With only eight players left, Rampage found himself 2nd in chips in the biggest spot of his life. Despite the nerve-wracking tension, he stole a pot from an opponent holding KK with a big bluff on the river. He also made a huge hero fold that was incredibly difficult to spot.

Then he goes all-in with J8s vs A9s. The flop comes Qs7hKs—he needs a jack or an eight. When the turn brings in the jack of diamonds, Rampage takes it down and finds himself heads up for the title.

After some play back and forth, he goes all-in with KJh against QJs, meaning that he dominates with 70% equity. After a clean run-out, Rampage hoists the trophy and wins $894,240.

He went from seven big blinds on the bubble to winning the whole thing. But even more so, he went from playing low-stakes two years ago to becoming one of the most influential poker voices and a huge winner.

“The past few years have been pretty cool,” reflected Rampage. “It’s been a pretty insane ride, obviously, climbing the ranks… I had no sense of bankroll management, and luckily it paid off. But I was stubborn and dumb enough to keep betting on myself, playing way outside my bankroll and comfort zone.”

Now that he has a massive bankroll, Rampage is free to do absolutely anything that he wants to. Most of all,just like Chris Moneymaker before him, Rampage is poised to bring an entirely new generation of players to the game.


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