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Ticket Triumph: @ResortsWorldLV casino valet reflects on winning $10,000 Copag seat into @WSOP Main Event

Ticket Triumph: @ResortsWorldLV casino valet reflects on winning $10,000 Copag seat into @WSOP Main Event

Copag WSOP $10,000 Main Event Winner Reflects on the Opportunity of a Lifetime


A “hand-me-down” contest ticket paid off in a big way for Nicco Festa. The 27-year-old valet at Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas was the winner of the Copag World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event seat after a co-worker gave him a ticket that was actually given to him by a friend who isn’t a U.S. resident and lives in Colombia.


That eventually led to a single table, one-hand poker showdown against six other winning contestants. Ultimately, Festa’s queen-jack suited caught another queen on the flop and held up for the win.


“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” he told PokerGO afterward. “I didn’t even think I was going to be close.”


WSOP Journey

The win included some Copag gear to wear at the tables, and Festa was soon living a dream and playing in the Main Event field on July 6. The tournament eventually set a new record with 10,112 players and Festa was pleased to be right in the middle of the action.


“It was honestly a dream come true to play in the Main Event,” said Festa, who is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and has been living in Las Vegas for about 20 years. “I knew eventually I would attempt to do it, but to come so soon in my poker journey is truly a blessing for someone like me.”


A longtime poker fan, Festa only seriously started playing tournaments and cash games about six months ago. A friend on his college baseball team taught him to play and he’s been hooked ever since. He describes the Main Event as an amazing experience.


“Every single moment I took in and made the best of it,” he said. “I definitely had a lot of big hands in the tournament like pocket aces, jack, and queens twice.”




Run of Tough Luck

That run of big hands unfortunately included some tough luck along the way. He was dealt pocket kings in the big blind very early. Festa lost that hand to an ace on the river and his final hand saw his pocket aces against another player’s 4-5 with the opponent flopping a full house. The contest winner took the disappointing run of cards in good spirits, noting: “Hey, that’s poker.”


Despite that ending, Festa made a poker memory that will last a lifetime.


“My family, friends, and even co-workers were so excited for me that I had won the ticket giveaway for the Main Event seat,” he said. “I think a lot of them just honestly couldn't believe it because it is very rare that you hear someone you know winning stuff this huge. All in all, this was the best experience of my entire life and truly the biggest blessing ever. I cannot wait to strive and work hard just so I can make it back to the WSOP. I will never forget this.


“Honestly, I would just like to add that I am so grateful for this opportunity and that I would like to give a huge thank you to Copag and everyone who was involved in the giveaway for giving me the best experience I could have possibly asked for and I hope next year to do it again!”

By Sean Chaffin

Copag USA

Jul 9, 2024