WSOP Event #26: Spiro makes final table

Today's reading:
Spiro makes final table
WSOP Event #27 Photo Gallery
Oh, Mercy Mercy Me
New week at the Rio
WSOP Event #27 begins

He has been described as the nicest man in poker. An ever-ready smile, a warm handshake, and a willingness to teach others the game he loves has turned Spiro "55lucky55" Mitrokostas into one of PokerStars' greatest ambassadors.

I found him this afternoon in the PokerStars hospitality suite.

"I came down to relax," he said, his smile as welcoming as I've ever seen it.

It was funny to hear him say he wanted to relax. There has rarely been a time I've seen the man look anything but at ease.

"Hopefully, I can win PokerStars a bracelet," he mused.

That's the thing about Spiro. As much as I know he wanted to win today's $1,500 PLO bracelet for himself, he was also thinking about the PokerStars community. That's just the kind of guy he is.

Photo copyright Rob Gracie -- IMPDI

I wrote this about him earlier this year after he final tabled a WPT event and busted just short of the WPT televised table:

We would continue to cross paths both online and live, including at this year's PCA. It was then, during a marathon blogging session, that my boss Dan Goldman got me on a walkie-talkie and said, "You gotta get in here. Spiro and his wife are heads-up in an SNG."

Something blog-related kept me from making the run into the poker room, but later I ran into Spiro in the hotel lobby. I was having a post-tournament drink with my wife and some friends when Spiro walked in with his laptop.

"How did that SNG with your wife turn out?" I asked.

A huge smile spread across Spiro's face. "She beat me!" He then went on to say how the win had inspired his wife to learn more. Before long, Spiro was playing a PokerStars SNG on his laptop while his wife sweated him and he gave her a lesson.

In short, Spiro is one of the nicest guys you'll meet in the poker world. He's a loyal PokerStars players, and you'll find dozens--if not hundreds--of people who will say that Spiro introduced them to PokerStars.

Today, Spiro made a run for the bracelet. I found him just as the play consolidated to one table. He held up five fingers on both hands.

"Down to ten," he said over the noise in the room.

At the time, he was right in the middle of the pack. I had high hopes and knew he would get his money in at the right time.

A few minutes later, I ran into Greg Raymer.

"What's the news today," he asked?

"Spiro just made a final table," I offered.

Within seconds, Greg was out the door and on his way to sweat Spiro. See, that's what I mean. Spiro is the type of guy that even a WSOP main event bracelet-holder wants to run to support.

Photo copyright Rob Gracie -- IMPDI
Raymer sweats Spiro

With six players remaining, things took a turn for the worse, though. Spiro saw a flop with AQJ6. The flop of AQJ couldn't have looked much better for him. He got the rest of his money in the middle before the turn and saw his opponent turn up AKQ7. Both players had two pair, but his opponent, Ralph Perry, had a flush draw as well. The flush came on the turn. Spiro had a couple of outs for a split pot, but they didn't come. He exited in sixth place.

Once again, our man exited with grace, earning more than $35,000. I'm proud to say I know the man and I can't wait to see how he does in the rest of the WSOP.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker