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Day 1a Completed: Filippo Candio Leads

Filippo Candio playing poker

The former World Series of Poker November Nine member Filippo Candio is out overnight chip leader after he turned his 30,000 starting stack into a colossal 227,900. The aggressive Italian is a royal pain in the backside at the best of times, to his opponents of course, and he will be even more so now he has a massive stack.

From our contingent of PartyPoker Pros and qualifiers we have six survivors. They are:

  • Alexander Popp: 121,000
  • Tony G: 80,000
  • Kevin Green: 70,000
  • Kara Scott: 35,000
  • Sergey Vasilev: 25,000
  • Mike Sexton: 24,200

Play resumes at 1300 CET Tuesday and the plan is to play to around 2100 CET and pause the tournament at that point so the players and staff ca go and what the phenomenal magician Dynamo!

Dynamo was the man who started the WPT Venice Grand Prix Main Event, take a little look at his shuffle up and deal technique.

Until then good night, or good morning!


Here’s What They Are Playing For

1st: €229,800.00
2nd: €111,700.00
3rd: €72,275.00
4th: €52,565.00
5th: €42,705.00
6th: €32,195.00
7th: €25,625.00
8th: €19,055.00
9th: €13,795.00
10-12th: €9,855.00
13-15th: €8,540.00
16-18th: €7,225.00

It could be you winning one of these sums of money, just download PartyPoker, enter one of the many WPT satellites and take on Europe at a future WPT.


Romanello The Younger Adds To Stack

Antoni Romanello, brother of WPT Bratislava champion Roberto, has just added to his stack to climb to 21,300 chips.

The action folded around to Mathew Frankland on the button and he min-raised to 1,600. Romenello called in the small blind, and Simone Ferretti calls from the big blind. Romanello’s call surprises Guillaume Darcourt as he only has around 12,000 behind.

“I don’t know how you can call that,” says the Frenchman

But Romanello does not look bothered at all.

The flop comes down and Romanello checks, Ferretti checks too but Frankland bets 3,300. Romanello jumps into action and check-raises all in, forcing both of his opponents out of the pot.


Roberto Nulli Sent Packing

Italian pro Roberto Nulli has just been spotted gathering his belongings and heading for the exits.


Break Time

It is the last break of the evening. There are some very tired looking poker players in the tournament area, hopefully they’ll start splashing around in pots in an attempt to keep themselves awake!


Top Five Chip Counts Going Into The Break

As the title says:

  • Tomasso Briotti: 140,000
  • Andrea Dato: 110,000
  • Dario Alioto: 110,000
  • Erion Islamay: 96,000
  • Filippo Candio: 95,000


Kings Good For Pescatori

From early position Andrea Sighinolfi opens to 1,650 and then calls when Max Pescatori, on the button, three-bets to 3,350. The first three community cards read and when Sighinolfi checks “The Pirate” checks behind.

The turn is the and now Sighinolfi leads into his fellow countryman with a 4,000 bet and Pescatori instantly calls. The river is the and Sighinolfi instantly reaches for chips, grabs 4,500 of them and bets them. Pescatori snaps him off and his is the best hand as Sighinolfi shows .


The Kings, The Flush and The Quads

Marvin Rettenmaier

A massive hand just took place that saw Marvin Rettenmaier triple up and left PartyPoker pro Mike Sexton with 24,000 chips.

We did not actually see the hand take place but the TV crew did and told us Sexton raised preflop with [Kx][Kx] and the player two to his left three-bet all in with [Ax][Qx]. The action then folded to Rettenmaier who re-shoved for 24,000 in total with what turned out to be pocket eights. Sexton made the easy call and the dealer got busy putting out the community cards.

By the river Sexton’s kings, which started off as favourites, were the third best hand because the [Ax][Qx] made a flush but ‘Mad’ Marvin Rettenmaier had made quad eights! Must be nice etc!

Sexton is now on 24,000 whilst the German Justin Beiber soars to the 70,000 chip mark.


‘Lil Dave Nicholson Busted

Dave Nicholson has become the latest casualty of the Main Event after losing a 130,000 chip pot despite getting his chips in good with pocket kings against the Big Slick of Tommaso Briotti. The young Brit managed to avoid an ace on the flop but he was far from being home and dry because a dreaded ace appeared on the turn. No king on the river and ‘Lil Dave is on his way home.

Actually that last part is a bit of a lie because he’s currently sat playing, what will probably be Chinese poker, with the recently busted James Dempsey.


PartyPoker Pro Watch

partypoker sponsored pros

PartyPoker’s stable of sponsored pros were in full force here on Day 1 of WPT Venice, with Tony G, Mike Sexton, Kara Scott, Giovanni Rizzo, and Dragan Galic all taking to the tables.

Dragan Galic and Giovanni Rizzo bowed out right around the dinner break but Kara Scott, Mike Sexton, and Tony g are all still in the hunt with the following stacks.

  • Tony G: 50,000
  • Kara Scott: 40,000
  • Mike Sexton: 30,000

Tony G got a very late start — taking his seat right before late registration closed — but made up for lost time quickly to get up 50,000 chips.

Check back soon for video footage from Tony G’s Hellmuthian late entrance, as he caused quite a ruckus when he finally made his way over to the casino tonight.


James Dempsey Eliminated

James Dempsey, fresh from his exploits in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will not be adding WPT Venice to his growing list of achievements because he has been eliminated. We don’t have the details but “Flushy” didn’t seem too bothered about being on the sidelines, joking that he is just not a Venetian player.


Good Call By Frankland

PartyPoker qualifier Mathew Frankland has been nursing a shortish stack for most of the day and his efforts have not been helped by the fact he is having to share a table with Guillaume Darcourt, James Akenhead, Simon Ravnsbaek, Tony G and David Baker but he now has some extra chips after a solid call in a hand with Darcourt.

The pink-haired Frenchman opened to 1,100 from the hijack and only Frankland, in the big blind, called. The flop came down and both players checked. The turn brought the into the equation and now Frankland lead for 1,600 and Darcourt instantly called the young Brit. After burning a card the dealer put the out on the river prompting Frankland to check.

Darcourt did not check behind though instead he fired a bet of 3,600 right into Frankland sending him into the tank. Around a minute later Frankland had thought for long enough and decided to call. No sooner had he done so Darcourt flicked his hand into the muck.


Giovanni Rizzo Departs

Giovanni Rizzo

Poker is a funny old game. Only moments ago Giovanni Rizzo was staring at a dream flop of while holding [Tx][9x] and now he is outside facing the cold icy water of the Venetian canals.

Rizzo was in fantastic shape when a raising war developed with the net result being an all-in confrontation with Sean Jazayeri who was holding [8x][8x]. Then poker showed how cruel it could be when the turn and river handed Jazayeri an unlikely straight eliminating Rizzo from the competition.

Jazayeri ~ 50,000


PartyPoker Player Watch

Our PartyPoker heroes are still going strong in the Main Event though we have lost Dragan Galic who Kara Scott told us shoved with a medium ace and ran into a larger ace that held.

A quick glance reveals the following chip counts:

Alexander Popp: 56,000
Mike Sexton: 52,000
Kevin Green: 49,050
Kara Scott: 43,250
Sergey Vasilyev: 28,000
Mathew Frankland: 25,300


Vasilyev Doubles Up!

The PartyPoker qualifier Sergey Vasilyev has doubled up to around 28,000 an has much more breathing room over on Table 3. The chips went flying in on a board, Vasilyev holding to the of Andrea Carini. Our river card is the and although Carini improves to two-pair it is still beaten by the set of nines of Vasilyev.


Kourdourli Wins Three-Way Pot

Nesrine Kourdourli

Things should get a little more interesting over on Table 1 because Irene Baroni has joined the action and she certainly loves to splash around in pots. She was involved in a hand just now but was rather passive allowing the other aggressive woman, Nesrine Kourdourli, to scoop the pot.

On a flop Kourdourli checks from the small blind, Andras Kovacs checks in late position and Baroni checks on the button. The on the turn was always going to be bet by someone and Kourdourli was that someone. She bet 5,500 into the 7,600 pot and it was enough to force a fold from her opponents.


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Dinner Time

The players have been sent on a 75-ish minute break.


Ellwood Eliminated

Jack Ellwood’s tournament is over after running into the pocket aces of Guillaume Darcourt. Ellwood had raised preflop from late position then called the Frenchman’s three-bet to his immediate left. The chips went in on the flop with Ellwood holding and Darcourt .

The turn and river were the and respectively and Ellwood heads for the exits whilst Darcourt climbs to around 51,000.


Sapiano Takes On PartyPoker Qualifier

The action folds to Albert Sapiano in the small blind and he min-raises to 800. PartyPoker qualifier Kevin Green tosses in the extra chips from the big blind seat and makes the call.

A flop sees Sapiano bet 500 and green instantly call. The turn is greeted by a 2,000 bet from Sapiano, which seems to puzzle Green. He stares at the board for a around a minute before mucking his hand, still with a puzzled luck on his face.


Ascani Busts Out

Luca Ascani has been eliminated at the hands of John Passfield. The money went in preflop with Ascani holding and finding himself up against . Passfield flopped the world on a flop and hit one of million out when the landed on the turn. The river was not what Ascani was looking for and it is game over for Ascani.


Lucky Escape For Akenhead?

A massive hand just went down over on Table 10 that saw Simon Ravnsbaek almost triple up. James Akenhead opened with a raise to 700 from middle position only to see David Baker three-bet to 1,750 from the cutoff. Ravnsbaek, on the button, four-bet to 3,850 putting the action back on Akenhead.

He paused for 30-45 seconds before five-betting to 7,750. This was not the end of the hand though! Baker now moved all in for around 41,000 and Ravnsbaek called off his 21,275 chips and a disappointed Akenhead flicked his cards into the muck.


Final board:

One feels Akenhead dodged a few bullets in that hand.


PartyPoker Player Watch

Kevin Green

Six PartyPoker online qualifiers were among the 150+ players who’ve registered so far here at WPT Venice, with each winning their $10,000 WPT Venice trips via online satellites at Party.

Below are the six qualifiers, headlined by Mathew Frankland who has nearly $300,000 in live cashes to his credit:

Mathew Frankland – UK
Alexander Popp – Germany
Serget Vasiliev – Russia
Markus Ross – German
Antony Cowen – UK
Kevin Green – UK

Through the first four levels of play, only Antony Cowen has bowed out of action, with Kevin Green currently leading the PartyPoker qualifier charge with around 50,000 chips.


Darcourt On The Run

Guillaume Darcourt is currently occupying his time between hands by playing the latest iPhone craze, Temple Run. So boys and girls, if you want to become a poker pro practice on Temple Run. You heard it hear first.


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Romanello Three-Bet Shoves

Nesrine Kourdourli opens from the button and next to act is Robert Romanello and he three-bets all in for 8,900. Rodrigo Milo is the big blind and he looks like he is considering a call but as the WPT camera crew circle like vultures around the table he folds and Kourdourli follows suit.

“What did you have?” quizzes Romanello

Milo replies but we didn’t hear what he said.

“King-jack?” said a surprised Romanello, “I don’t believe you.”

Romanello back past 10,000, around 33 big blinds.


Kourdourli Not a Happy Bunny

Nesrine Kourdourli

Nesrine Kourdourli is less than happy over on table partly because of running into quads but also because of a ruling that didn’t go in her favour.

There was some commotion on Table 1 and we headed right over to what was causing it. We got there to discover a board reading and Kourdourli turning over but finding it completely crushed by the of Sandro Hirn.

Kourdourli still has 51,000 whilst Hirn climbs to 82,500.

Apparently Hirn had bet on the river and Kourdourli maybe misheard him and quickly called only to discover she actually owed another 10,000+ to her opponent. The floor ruled she must call, she did and was not best pleased at the situation.

Francesco Bullo joked, “Thanks to the floor call, huh?”

“NO! No thank you, no thank you,” said Kourdourli.


Akenhead Shoves On Darcourt

Everyone folds to Guillaume Darcourt on the button and he min-raises to 800. James Akenhead is in the small blind and he makes the call.

It is heads up to the flop, a flop that Akenhead checks. Darcourt makes a continuation bet of 1,250 only to see Akenhead check-raise to 2,900. Darcourt beats him into the pot and calls. The lands on the turn and Akenhead bets again, this time his entire stack of 8,900. As he does the pink-haired Darcourt gets out of the way and Akenhead’s rebuilding mission continues.


Break Time

The players are now on a 15-minute break.


Speranza Learns From His Brother

Alessandro Speranza must have been taking lessons from his hyper-aggressive brother judging by his preflop five-bet.

Heinz Kamutzki opens from the cutoff but his plans on stealing the blinds falter when Speranza three-bets from the big blind. Kamutzki reacts by four-betting to 6,000 but Speranza is having none of it and he five-bets to 11,300. After two minutes Kamutzki folds, leaving his 25,000 stack intact.

“I wasn’t planning on folding,” said the German as he folded!


Mattern Claws Some Back

Arnaud Mattern is in mid-massage, a position you will commonly find him in during poker tournaments, and it seems to be doing him some good because he is back up to around 15,000.


Weisner Fails To Slay The Dragan

Melanie Weisner and partypoker pro Dragan Galic

Melanie Weisner opens from the cutoff and partypoker pro Dragan Galic defends his big blind with a call.

Flop: – Galic checks, Weisner bets 600 and Galic calls.

Turn: – Galic checks and Weisner checks behind.

River: – Galic now leads for 1,000 and when Weisner folds he throws a card towards the Texan, the . Weisner does not look too impressed and sends it towards the dealer.


Natale Rivers Winning Two Pair

On a board reading the runner-up of WPT Slovenia, Vincenzo Natale checks from the big blind seat. PartyPoker qualifier Sergey Vasilyev checks his holecards and bets 2,000. Natale instantly calls so the the hand progresses to the river, which is the .

Natale checks again but when Vasilyev bets 2,800 he springs back into action and check-raises to 6,100. Vasilyev ponders his options before taking back his original bet and replacing it with 6,100.

Vasilyev: muck


Ognjon Sekularac Sent Packing

Ognjon Sekularac’s WPT Venice Grand Prix Main Event is over. We don’t have the hand details but he is heading out of the door with his belongings.


Mike Sexton Nodding Off

PartyPoker Pro Mike Sexton sees a little sleepy over on his table, his head dropping then rising sharply when the feeling of falling asleep takes over. The second time he did this he gave a little smile to himself. Can we get some coffee to Mike please? Thanks.

For your chance to play with Mike, one of the legends of the game, download PartyPoker and get qualifying for future WPT Main Events such as the upcoming WPT Vienna.


Akenhead Left With Less Than 5,000

On the flop Guillaume Darcourt checks from under the gun an to his direct left is James Akenhead who removes his left earphone, announced “sixteen hundred” and places two yellow 1,000 chips forwards. Aldo Lorenzo snap calls and Darcourt comes along for the ride too.

The turn brings the into play and Darcourt checks again. Akenhead takes another stab at the pot, making it 3,600 to play. Lorenzo instantly calls again, Darcourt gets out of the way though. The river is another five, the and Akenhead bets again, this time 4,500 and Lorenzo calls quicker than ever before.


Akenhead is left with 4,900 whilst Lorenzo surges to 47,000.


Speranza Takes On Nicholson

The hyper-aggressive Gianluca Speranza opens the betting from late position with a raise to 425, just a single 25 chip more than the min-raise. A couple of players fold and the action is now on David Nicholson on the button. He calls and it is heads-up to the flop.

Speranza leads with a 425 bet and Nicholson, with his red hoodie pulled over his head, opts to just call. The on the turn seems innocuous enough but these two like it because Speranza bets 1,025 and Nicholson sticks in a raise to 2,800 sending the Italian into the tank. He stays here for more than 90 seconds before emerging with a raise of his own, he makes it 6,075. Nicholson suddenly doesn’t like his hand as much anymore and after 30 seconds or so he lays it down.

Speranza mucks and Nicholson twists his face a little as if he expected Speranza to show his holding.


Alexsandrov Represents Ellwood’s Hand

On a board that reads British pro Jack Ellwood checks to Michail Alexsandrov who wastes very little time in betting 2,400, a bet that Ellwood calls. The river is the and Ellwood checks to his Russian opponents who increases his bet size to 4,000 and Ellwood quickly calls.

Ellwood: – and the win


Mattern Crippled

We didn’t see the hand but Arnaud Mattern is sat shaking his head and counting his 3,300 chips and it looks like Erio Islamay is the beneficiary as he has a monster stack of 67,350 chips and is out chip leader.


PartyPoker Player Watch

We have a number of players seated around the tournament area sporting PartyPoker patches and other attire. Here is how they stack up:

  • Alexander Popp: 39,500
  • Kara Scott: 38,400
  • Kevin Green: 28,725
  • Sergey Vasilyev: 26,300
  • Dragan Galic: 23,250
  • Giovanni Rizzo: 22,125
  • Mathew Frankland: 20,400


Check It Around

The action is on Andrea Dato and he min-raises to 400 from middle position prompting three players to call. Giovanni Maresca to his immediate left calls, to his left is Sam El Sayed and he calls on the button. The third and final caller is Maurizio Saieva in the big blind.

After burning a card the dealer spreads out the flop and the action goes check, check, check, check! Which is exactly how it goes when the lands on the turn. Guess what happens with the arrival of the on the river? You guessed it, four checks.

Saieva reluctantly turns over thinking he has a pair of fives but El Sayed bellows,

“Flush! Did you not see the flush?”

Saieva shakes his head and smiles and as he is doing so his three opponents fold and he scoops the pot.


Break Time

The players have been sent on a 15-minute break, which may take a little longer as Dynamo is performing some magic tricks for his new show!


Weisner Frustrates Solinas

Melanie Weisner raises to 400 from the hijack and picks up callers in the shape of PartyPoker pro Dragan Galic (small blind) and Carla Solinas (big blind). The dealer puts out the flop, Galic checks, Solinas checks and Weisner taps the table and makes it three checks.

The turn is the , Galic checks for a second time but Solinas makes a move at the pot with a 1,000 bet. Weisner springs into action herself, and makes it 3,000 to play, forcing out Galic but Solinas makes the call.

The river card is the and Solinas pauses for 20 seconds before betting 5,000. Weisner instantly calls and shows for a straight and a frustrated Solinas sends her cards into the muck.


Baroni Gives Up On The River

Irene Baroni raises to 350 from UTG+1 and after two players fold Andrea Corini makes the call. A couple more folds later and Manlio Iemina calls in the big blind.

Flop: – All three players check

Turn: – Iemina checks, Baroni bets 550 and Corini calls but does so with a 1,050. Iemina calls and after Baroni clarifies that Solinas called and not min-raised she makes the call herself.

River: – Iemina checks again, Baroni bets again making it 2,050 to play but Corini now springs into action with a raise to 5,125. Iemina mucks his hand and a few moments later, after checking her holecards again, Baroni folds.


No Customers For Elder

Rupert Elder’s reputation of being an EPT champion must proceed him because he has just raised to 400 from middle position and did not pick up a single caller. Not one. Nada. Zilch.


Todd Terry Takes On Mike Sexton

Mike Sexton

From under the gun Todd Terry raises to 250 and his only customer is Mike Sexton seated two to his left. The dealer puts out the first three community cards, and both players check. The turn is the and Terry bets 350 though does not seem confident about it. Sexton picks up on this and calls extremely quickly.

The final card is the and Terry announced “nine” meaning 900, in a much more confident manner and Sexton realises he is beat and relinquishes his hand.


Another Nasty Table Emerges

Lots of established pros are turning up fashionably late but it is working against them as they seem to be all seated on the same tables!

Table 15 is now the home to Dario Alioto, ‘Lil Dave Nicholson, Rupert Elder, Padraig Parkinson, Charles Chattha and Gianluca Speranza.


Kourdourli Feeling Flush

Joining the action on the flop, Szabo Sibor leads into Nesrine Kourdourli with a 450 bet from the big blind, a bet that she is more than happy to call. The dealer taps the table twice before placing the on the turn. Sibor now goes into check-call mode, checking then calling Kourdourli’s 1,025 bet.

The river card is the and Sibor checks again but Kourdourli does not need any excuse to bet and she puts 1,625 worth of chips across the betting line. Sibor quickly grabs some chips and makes the call.

Sibor: Muck

Kourdlourli up to around 34,000 right now.


Darcourt Off To a Flying Start

Guillaume Darcourt is now sat behind 41,400 chips after having his pocket kings nicely paid off by David Baker.

Joining the action on the flop, Aldo Lorenzo checks in the big blind, Baker takes a stab with a 525 from under the gun and Darcourt calls in the hijack. Lorenzo gets out of the way and the dealer gets busy putting out the on the turn.

Baker obviously likes his hand and he bets again, making it 1,025 to play but the pink-haired Darcourt almost immediately clicks it back and makes it 2,225 in total. Baker tosses in the few extra chips and makes the call.

The fifth and final community card is the and Baker now lets up on his aggression and checks but the flamboyant Frenchman is in no mood for slowing down and he bets 2,500. Baker makes the call but nods and mucks when he is shown .


Table 10 Getting Tougher

There are rarely any weak tables in a €4,950 buy-in event but Table 10 is starting to look a little tougher than most. Seated there are players such as Mathew Frankland, Jack Ellwood, Guillaume Darcourt and James Akenhead.



Huge Preflop Three-Bet Takes It Down

Who says size doesn’t matter? Try telling that to Bernd Gleibner who just made a massive preflop three-bet to win a 250 raise.

The initial raise came from Peter McFayden under the gun and when two players folded Gleibner three-bet to 1,525, which obviously takes down the pot.

The only thing we can think of is that McFayden opened the betting with a 500 chip and Gleibner must have thought he opened to 500 otherwise WOW and LOL spring to mind.


Marinoni Check-Raise Wins Pot

Roberto Romanello opens to 250 from UTG+1 and picks up two callers in the shape of Sandro Hirn and Gabriele Marinoni, the latter seated in the big blind.

The flop comes down and Marinoni checks his option to bet. Romanello quickly flicks a 500 chip into the pot prompting Hirn to question how much the bet is for.

“200,” comes the answer from Romanello, sticking two fingers up almost like Playboy Bunny ears.

With that information Hirn makes the call. No sooner has Hirn made the bet Marinoni check-raises to 575, instantly folding out Romanello and Hirn also folds after smirking to himself.


How Many Are Here?

The TV screens around the room are showing we currently have 111 players registers and climbing. Remember that late registration is open until the end of the sixth level.


Romanello In Early Clash

WPT Bratislava champion Roberto Romanello is in the house and he has wasted little time in getting involved over on Table 1. Joining the action on a flop, Romanello fires a bet of 250 into the 700 pot, a bet that Alexander Hirn instantly calls from the button.

The dealer puts out the onto the turn and Romanello, three seats to Hirn’s right, shapes to bet again. He does indeed bet, making it 350 to play. Hirn has already got two blue 1,000 chips in his hand and he tosses them into the pot. Romanello has seen enough and he mucks his hand.

Hirn waits until the pot is pushed his way before giving the dealer his cards.


Shuffle Up And Deal!

The WPT Venice Grand Prix Main Event is now underway! The cards are in the air, let’s go go go!

Registration is open until the end of Level 6, for those who plan on turning up fashionably late!


Hello and Welcome To The WPT Venice Grand Prix

Casinò di Venezia

As the title says hello and welcome to the WPT Venice Grand Prix being held at the historical Casinò di Venezia, the oldest running casino in the world having being in operation since 1638.

Whilst most of Europe is covered in a thick blanket of snow, Venice seems to have avoided the white fluffy stuff and instead exchanged it for sub-zero temperatures. It is currently minus one out there but that will pale into insignificance once the British magician Dynamo kicks the €4,950 Main Event off with those immortal words, “Shuffle up and deal” because the action will be red hot.

Although the horrible weather conditions have caused disruption to many players’ travel plans we still expect a bumper crowd to descend on this historic venue, including but certainly not limited to PartyPoker pros Tony G, Kara Scott and Giovanni Rizzo, circuit regular Arnaud Mattern, recent WPT Five Diamond winner James Dempsey, James Akenhead and current WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger.

The plan for the day is to play nine 60-minute levels, with play getting underway at 1300 CET.


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