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It was the World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) last day one and it was set to be a monumental humdinger of an affair. Saturday saw the overall field size rise to 4,063 entrants after 2,181 turned up for day 1c and with day 1d always giving us the biggest field size of the year the WSOP officials were expecting over 3,000 people to turn up at the Rio hoping to have some plastic chips in a plastic bag by the end of the evening.

For the PartyPoker intrepid reporting team the day starts with a saunter around the Amazon room to see who has turned up for a duel. First stop was the blue section and Phil Laak was sharing a table with James Van Alstyne and just a few feet away was Laak’s other half Jennifer Tilly. Also hanging around feeling blue were the likes of Shawn Buchanan, Beth Shak and Jeff Shulman.

The purple turtles were Kathy Liebert, Alex Kravchenko and David Vamplew. Joining them were the PartyPoker qualifiers Greg Howard, Jan Phillipi, Age Spets and Ahras Karum. Also seated in the purple section was our very own Mike Sexton.

In the orange section we had the likes of Ivan Demidov, Darvin Moon, Cyndy Violette, Greg Mueller and sharing a table were fellow Brits John Eames and Andy Black. The PartyPoker qualifiers sharing air space with them were Lodewijk Debets, WPT Bratislava final tablist Frank Dollinger and Stefanita Fechete. Finally, our Amazon Room walk-a-bout was completed after a browse around the tan section. Ben Wilinofsky and Freddy Deeb were seated in and around Party qualifier Primoz Cimerman.

The recipe for success – just flop quads

Into the Pavilion next and there is an interesting table in the white section with John Juanda, Jamie Gold and Max Heinzelman all seated next to each other. Other notables in the white section include Jeff Madsen, Rupert Elder, Huck Seed and Bluefirepoker duo Jason Senti and Phil Galfond.

Slipping from white to black and PartyPoker Team Pro Giovanni Rizzo has not had the best of starts as the following hand testifies. There was a raise to 300 and a cold call before Rizzo squeezed out an 850 three-bet from the button and both players called. The flop was a good one for Rizzo’s [ax][qx]because it was [5x] [7x] [qx]rainbow. The action checked to Rizzo who c-bet 1,325 and the initial raiser was the only caller. The turn was the and a heart flush draw was now present. Rizzo was again allowed to take the betting lead and his opponent quickly called his 1,925 bet. The river was the and for the third time Rizzo was allowed to bet and this time he made it 4,400 and his opponent check-raised to 15,000. Rizzo mucked his hand and his opponent showed him the runner-runner flush. Rizzo down to 23,000.

Other notable’s playing cards in the black area were Liv Boeree, Max Pescatori, Kevin MacPhee, Jack Elwood and Vanessa Rousso.

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Back into the Amazon room and Jan Philippi must have been using chip fertiliser because his stack had grown from 30,000 to 100,000 in one level! A quick chat with Philippi revealed that he stacked one player after hitting his nut flush on the river and then extracted around 16,000 from another opponent, again after he had hit his nut flush.

The yellow section in the pavilion is seriously lacking in PartyPoker patches but it is not lacking in aesthetic beauty with Shannon Elizabeth, Isabelle Mercier, Catherine Hong and Sandra Naujoks all thinking beautifully.

Deep into level two and Jan Philippi just continued to go from strength to strength. He had just moved up to around 110,000 after beating up a pair of queens using a pair of kings as a meat cleaver. Age Spets was not doing so well. The Norwegian hit an open ended straight draw and flush draw on a board of [5x] whilst holding . The action went check, bet, call, Spets raised to 1,200 and his opponent re-raised to 3,500 and only Spets called. The turn was and both players checked. The river was the and Spets bet 3,500 and folded to a 9,000 raise. Spets had 25,000.

WPT Bratislava final tablist, Frank Dollinger found the recipe for success – just flop quads. He cold called a raise with [9x] [9x] and was pretty delighted to see a flop of [9x] [9x] [6x]. Dollinger got well paid for his efforts and had 39,000. Elsewhere during level two Mike Sexton had 35,000, Ahras Karum 26,000, Lodewijk Debets 22,000, Stefanita Fechete 25,000 and Primoz Cimerman 24,000.

The image of beauty across the table

PartyPoker Team Pro Giovanni Rizzo was heading to the level two break a much happier Italian than the one we saw late in level one. The stack he was leaving behind had doubled and was now a slightly wobblier 45,000. A semi-bluff shove winning a decent chunk without the necessity of a showdown and then this following hand. Rizzo three-bet from the button holding and the raiser called. The board ran out for a straight for the Rizzo and top two pair for his opponent, and Rizzo took his stack into permanent care.

Heading into level three we lost Age Spets after The Norwegian found himself on the wrong end of a suck out. Spets had flopped a set of eights on a [6x] [8x] [9x] board and his opponent was holding . The guy bet, Spets three-bet, guy four-bet and Spets called. The turn was [kx]and guy moved all-in and Spets called. The river was the [5x] and that was all she (or more accurately I) wrote. Giovanni Rizzo was back down to 37,000 after an unsuccessful bluff, Frank Dollinger was still in great shape on 58,000, Ahras Karum was dropping down a bit with 14,000, Lodewijk Debets was sat on 26,000, Stefanita Fechete 28,000, Mike Sexton was on 33,000 and finally Primoz Cimerman was on 34,000.

WPT Bratislava final tablist Frank Dollinger is one of the most affable men in the game. Just after the break he was telling us how he had 50,000 in chips.

“Anything interesting happened recently?” We asked.

“No,” sighed a dejected looking Dollinger.

We looked across the table and his eyes followed ours, all four of them locking on the image of beauty across the table from him.

“Isn’t that interesting?” We asked.

“Who is that?” He said.

“Shannon Elizabeth, the actress from American Pie,” we told him.

“Oh yeah,” he said.

It is a nice life being Dollinger. Not only is he sat opposite one of the hottest girls in poker but also the other lady at the table seems to have taken a liking to Dollinger. The unnamed lady limped into the pot and Dollinger over-limped with [tx][7x]. The flop came down [tx][7x] [7x] and the lady bet 300 and Dollinger called. The turn was the [kx]and the lady again bet, this time 500. Dollinger raised to 1,500 and the lady called. The river was the [6x] and the lady bet 500 again and again Dollinger raised; this time to 4,800 and the lady just called before calmly turning over rolled up kings for kings full!

Just moments after Dollinger became aware of the presence of Elizabeth she had moved her last 4,500 into the middle from under the gun and Dollinger called on the button. Dollinger had and Elizabeth had . Moments later everyone at the table was breathing a sigh of relief as the board of doubled the actress up.

Mike Sexton using all of his experience

Stefanita Fechete was moved to a tough table featuring Andy Black and John Eames. Fechete had 35,000 deep into level four. Other chip counts include Primoz Cimerman climbing to 46,000, Ahras Karum still holding 30,000, Mike Sexton doing pretty much the same with 34,000 and unfortunately Jan Philippi slipping down to 63,000 after losing quite a few successive small pots. Over in the pavilion and Giovanni Rizzo was down to 22,000 after losing [qx][qx]v [ax][qx]and having his trips crushed to a rivered flush.

Into the final level of the day and Giovanni Rizzo had stepped on the gas and moved up a gear. A player raised to 700 from the cut-off and Rizzo three-bet to 2,500 from the small blind and his opponent called in position. The flop was [jx][3x] [7x] and Rizzo overbet the pot and his opponents reaction was to shove and Rizzo called. Rizzo back up to 55,000.

Mike Sexton was using all of his experience to shift his chip stack slowly in the upward direction – Sexton was sat on 50,000. One time chip front-runner Jan Philippi was continuing to head in the opposite direction of Sexton as he now had 47,000. Ahras Karum has had a steady day and was now on 38,000, Shannon Elizabeth must have been having an effect on Frank Dollinger as he was now sitting with 25,500 and Stefanita Fechete was up to 55,000.

As the crowds were told to leave the area and the clock fell to zero it was PartyPoker Team Pro Giovanni Rizzo who was the highest-ranking PartyPoker player with 102,025 chips.

  • Giovanni Rizzo 102,025
  • Patryk Hopner 81,575
  • Mike Sexton 49,600
  • Stephanita Fechete 57,000
  • Ka Yung 51,350
  • Jan Philippi 42,025
  • Franck Boyer 39,050
  • Frank Dollinger 32,350
  • Mads Hansen 22,425
  • Primoz Cimerman 20,475

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