305 people, worldwide, descended on the Gorgeous Casinò Muncipale di Venezia all hoping to join the 101 people already penciled in for day two. The World Poker Tour (WPT) Venice Main Event is a five-day extravaganza of poker. The world’s best players understand this and they plan for the long haul but there are some players who just fly straight out of the traps like a greyhound chasing a rabbit.
“The big blind is 200 and yet people are betting 2,000, 4,000, 6,000, 10,000. This is a five-day event man!”
That was a quote from Party Poker Pro, and long time chip leader, Dragan Galic after he faced an early barrage of massive bets from a series of opponents. But it is this mixture of the experienced and the less experienced that make this game one of the most intriguing pursuits in the world.
We always find a table that can make your mouth water and right at the start we had our wish as Party Poker Pro Dragan Galic, Arnaud Mattern, Salvatore Bonavena and Party Poker online qualifier Ben Carpenter all found themselves seated together. We also had a table for a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner as Scott Shelley arrived in this wonderful venue and will be bringing back a stack of 158,000 as he returns for Day two.
Most of our early attention was on the Table of Death. Ben Carpenter won most of Arnaud Mattern’s stack very early on and then passed a sizeable chunk onto Dragan Galic to put him at the top end of the chip counts. Galic was our chip leader for most of the day but Mattern, on the other hand, was eliminated soon after and Party Poker Pro Giovanni Rizzo, Emiliano Bono and Padraig Parkinson joined him.
Going neck and neck with Galic at the top of the leader board for most of the day was Simone Petrini, and his battles with Joe Ebanks and James Sudworth were another highlight of the day – all three will also be returning for day two.
The Dario Minieri table was fun to watch all day. It was christened the Dario Minieri table because every time we were at the table Minieri was involved in a pot. The action swung one way and then the next as he battled it out with Max Lykov, Nicolo Calia and chip front-runner Michel Jagerving.
In the end, 118 people survived giving us a field of 219 for day two. Day two starts at 13:00 (CET) and topping that list was Giuseppe Gagliardi who amassed 211,000 chips.
Top 10 chip counts at the end of the Day 1B
- GAGLIARDI GIUSEPPE211.000
- JAGERVING JOAKIM MICHEL207.000
- STENBERG MAX PHILIP199.900
- LYKOV MAXIM185.800
- MAYER SZABOLCS SANDOR179.200
- DI CASTRO ARIEL175.500
- MARCUCCI GIANLUCA170.000
- SERENELLI MARINO164.000
- LA GUARDIA GIUSEPPE161.800
- SHELLEY SCOTT MARTIN158.000
- FRANCHINI FRANCESCO141.600