A huge field of 1,032 teams turned out for WSOP Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team NLHE and for the second year in a row a gold bracelet went to India as Nikita Luther and her German teammate Giuseppe Pantaleo took home the championship and $175,805 in prize money.

The victory enabled Pantaleo and Luther to each capture their first WSOP titles, splitting the prize money down the middle for a payday of $87,902. It was the largest cash of Luther’s career and allowed her to surpass $200,000 in lifetime winnings.

She also followed her fellow countrymen, Nipun Java, and Aditya Sushant, who won the Tag Team event at the 2017 WSOP, each bagging $75,318. Java went on to win another gold bracelet in an online event last year, claiming $237,688 in the process.

Social Media Hookup

Pantaleo and Luther connected on Twitter after meeting each other at the 2017 WSOP. The idea to team up sounded like a good plan to both and was solidified at the Rio this year despite some issues of being entered in other events simultaneously.

Nikita Luther found herself multi-tabling, running back and forth between the Tag Team tournament and Event #54, a $3,000 buy-in NLHE. She finished 17th in the $3K for $18,495 and has cashed four times this summer.

“She mostly wanted me to play, but it worked well when we tagged in and out,” Pantaleo told WSOP reporters, adding that momentum “was with us a lot of the time.”

For Pantaleo, the title was the third best cash of his career dollar-wise. Sixth place in last year’s $1,111 Little One For One Drop was good for $101,041, while a 5th place finish at the 2010 EPT Main Event in Barcelona added $232,355 to his bankroll. His lifetime cashes equal $1,306,855, according to the Hendon Mob database.

Deuce on the River

Heads-up action against Team Iwata saw Pantaleo and Luther ahead by almost twelve big blinds. After battling for five dozen hands, Team Pantaleo finally sent their opponents to the cashier cage to collect $108,608 in runner-up prize money, their share from the total prize pool of $928,800.

The final hand saw the German shove all in pre-flop with a pair of deuces. Team Iwata called with ace-nine and was ahead when the flop produced an ace for a higher pair. When the dealer peeled a deuce on the river, the set was the winning hand and made WSOP champions out of Luther and Pantaleo.

Final Table Results – Event #55 – $1,000 No Limit Hold’em – Tag Team

1 Giuseppe Pantaleo – Nikita Luther $175,805

2 Kazuki Ikeuchi – Hiroki Iwata – Sho Mori $108,608

3 Manig Loeser – Joelle Parenteau – Daniel Weinand $76,797

4 Alex Rocha – Megan Milburn – Joanne Milburn $55,016

5 Gabriel Neto – Carlos Caputo $39,936

6 Adam Lamphere – Ao Chen – Yijie Zhang $29,380

7 Salah Levy – Frank Mariani – Cord Garcia $21,910

8 Bon Koo – Bienvenido Caballero $16,565

9 Loni Harwood – Haixa Zhang – Kelly Minkin $12,700