Today, 218 of the world’s finest poker players descended on the Casinò Municipale di Venezia all hoping for World Poker Tour (WPT) glory.

We are not sure how many of them broke into their piggy banks to find the €3,300 and how many of them qualified online? What we are sure about is this has to be one of the most magnificent and salubrious settings in the world of poker. The walls of the tournament area were adorned with paintings and portraits, jeweled chandeliers hung sparkling from the ceiling and the views of the waterways were just out of this world.

Just outside of these fine walls fish are being eaten by bigger fish and bigger fish being eaten by sharks. It is a battle for survival and that is exactly what day one’s are all about. Don’t be a fish and end up getting eaten by a shark. Day one’s are about survival and out of the 218 hopefuls that started the day 101 finished it.

The biggest shark of the day turned out to be Alessio Isaia who finished the day as our chip leader with 200,300 chips. There were many notable casualties along the way as well. Yordan Mitrentsov started like a house on fire but eventually had his flames doused by Armando Graziano in the last level of the evening.

It must be difficult living and working with your partner? Well spare a thought for Fabrice Soulier and his partner Claire Renault who spent most of their day playing on the same table and unfortunately neither of them made it through the day. Other notable casualties included Claudio Rinaldi, Kent Lundmark, Daniele Mazzia, David Sonelin and Lucille Cailly.

The Party Poker Qualifiers also had a better day with Russel Bladon, Fabian Holling, Stefano Ricci and Francesco de Martini some of the qualifiers making it through to day two. Party Poker Pro Giovanni Safina also made it through to day two in 22nd place with 92,000 chips.

Top 10 chip counts at the end of the Day 1A

  1. ISAIA ALESSIO 212.300
  2. MALINOV RADOSLAV DIMITROV 165.000
  3. ARENA SALVATORE 130.000
  4. GIACOMINO MICHELE 127.000
  5. POLCHLOPEK MICHAL 125.000
  6. DANUT RADU 125.000
  7. RODRIGUES EMMANUEL ALEXANDRE 120.000
  8. AHMADZADEH AMIR HOSSIEN 120.000
  9. SPURIO MARIO 120.000
  10. GRAZIANO ARMANDO 120.000

With all the seriousness of the WPT title to think of, their was also a charitable side shown today, as Italian Soccer Legend Francesco Totti played three heads up matches against Party Poker Pros all in the aid of charity.

So it’s a wrap and time to leave this wonderful venue but only for a few hours and we will be back with a bigger and better day 1b. Please make sure you don’t miss a hand and join us at the Party Poker blog day 1b updates.

You can catch all of the Day 1a action here and the picture gallery is below:

[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157625842976371″]

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