Salaburu Finishes 8th at the World Series of Poker Main Event

Salaburu entered Monday's final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event  at Las Vegas' Rio with the seventh-largest chip stack.

His run ended close to that predicted form.

The San Antonio native fell short of his championship aspirations, finishing  eighth and earning $971,360. It's life-changing money for a 27-year-old,  self-employed professional poker player.

It was a mixed bag of the highs and lows that come with playing the dangerous  game of no-limit Hold 'Em poker.

After staying out of the action through the first 10 hands, Salaburu went on  a run the following 20 that had him in complete control of the  final table.

He picked up all five pots he entered, as his chip stack grew from the  opening $15.15 milliion to $24.6 million, at the time the third-largest stack at  the table. None of the remaining eight players won more pots through  that span.

However, the downward spiral started to turn moments later.

The beginning of the end started three hours into the tournament when  Salaburu had the unfortunate timing of running his Qs-Qh into the Kd-Kc held by  Jake Balsiger.

Balsiger's hand held up after all the money got in before the flop,  transforming Salaburu from a position of comfort into a somewhat  desparate situation.

"Pretty hard to fold queens there," pro Antonio Esfandiari said on ESPN. "You  have to call. If you have jacks, 10s or nines it's one thing, but there was a  very good chance he was up against A-K."

Moments later, with Salaburu nursing a crippled chip stack, he moved all in  with a pair of sevens before the flop and was called by a Qc-5c by Jesse Sylvia,  the big stack at the table. Sylvia hit a queen on the final card to eliminate Salaburu from the tournament.

"I was real comfortable," a visibly shacken Salaburu said to ESPN. "All I can  do is try to go deep again (next year). We'll see what happens."

There was a huge difference in prize money at the WSOP. If Salaburu would  have finished in the chip position he started, he would have stood to take home  over$1.25 million.

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