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WPT Venice Day 1a: Dato Leads

Play has come to a end here at Day 1a of the WPT Venice Main Event, which is being held in the Casino Di Venezia Ca’noghera and it is Andreas Dato who has bagged and tagged the most chips, 217,300. Dato has a good record here in his home country of Italy having recently finished fifth in a €2,000 buy-in event for a cool €46,100, a score he will be determined to beat here in Venice.

Dato’s nearest rival is American Steve O’Dwyer who finished the day with 159,000 chips. O’Dwyer has been doing well for himself in Europe but will want to forget WPT Prague where he held a massive chip lead with 120 or so players left, in fact he had around five times the average and still failed to cash. Can he make amends here in Italy?

Others who were not too fortunate include John Eames who will be re-entering again tomorrow, Marvin Rettenmaier (ditto) and a whole host of others who saw their WPT dreams temporarily put on hold.

Day 1b kicks off at 1300CET on Wednesday and should see a much larger crowd than the 78 who participated today. Join us then for all the action, as it happens, in the WPT Venice Main Event.


Four More Hands

We have been informed there will be four more hands played tonight before the players bag up and tag their chips.


“Las Vegas Is Not A Real Place,” states Steve O’Dwyer

Over on Table 1, at the far end of the room, Steve O’Dwyer and Alessandro Fasolis are locked in conversation about their relative poker careers. O’Dwyer informed his new friend that he has lived in Vegas for five years now and Fasolis had a look on his face that you generally only see when a small child visits Santa’s grotto.

“I don’t even like it there,” started O’Dwyer, “It’s not even a real place. It’s like a giant amusement park,” he continued.

“I could adjust,” replied a giddy Fasolis.


Last Brit Sent Packing

We have no more Brits left in the field after Tamer Kamel was just eliminated. Hopefully some of the British contingent will buy in for Day 1b tomorrow. We already know John Eames is going to re-enter and we have see Roberto Romanello in the casino this afternoon so he will 99.99999% be playing too and adding some colour to proceedings!


Slowwwwww Downnnnn

With us rapidly approaching 0100am here in Venice the play has dramatically slowed down as the players grow more and more tired. Everywhere you look there are yawns, heads nodding and eyes closing. Everyone will be happy to hear the Fat Lady sing.


A Straight Flush? Probably Not

Joining the action on an extremely draw heavy board reading , Edoardo Alescio bets 3,200 from early position into the pot of almost 5,000. The action is now on Alessandro Fasolis, who for reasons only known to him is now sporting a yellow mask similar to what Robin wears in Batman. Honestly.

He moves all in for around 70,000 and Alescio thinks for two minutes before relinquishing his hand.

“Show the black!” demands Wanny Piazza but Fasolis refuses and mucks his hands. Surely he would have shown a straight flush? Maybe not.


Last Break Of The Day

The players are on their last break of the day. One more 60-minute level awaits the 35 players who will return from their little 15-minute rest.


John Eames Busted

John Eames has been eliminated from the WPT Venice Main Event. Details to follow because our excellent videographer Tomasso Vimercati caught the action on his camcorder. Here it is:


Top Pair For Piazza

Wanny Piazza raises to 1,250 from under the gun and it looks as if he will be picking up the blinds and antes, that is until John Eames, in the big blind, checks his holecards and makes the call.

The flop comes down and Eames checks to his opponent who then quickly bets 1,625. That is too much for Eames to call and he folds.

“Top pair,” says Piazza proudly, showing the to an unimpressed Eames or table for that matter. Piazza is up to around 154,000 chips and is amongst the leaders.


Eames Doubles Up

John Eames raises to 1,100 and Alessandro Fasolis three-bets to 3,100 on the button. Eames knew he only had two plays and he decided to make the more aggressive one which was to move all-in. Fasolis makes the call and we have a showdown with Eames at risk of elimination.

Eames : [Qx][Qx]
Fasolis: [Ax][Qx]


Eames doubles up to 27,000 and Fasolis now has 60,000.


Steve O’Dwyer Talks About A Big Hand


Domi Folds Queens To Hairabedian, Shocks Table

On a flop reading Leonard Domi is in the small blind and he bets 3,425 and the action is now on Roger Hairabedian and he raises to 23,000 sending Domi deep into the tank. He stays in the tank for two and a half minutes before folding, showing as he did so, much to the amazement of the rest of the table,


Minor Setback For O’Dwyer

On a flop reading Guiseppe Marsico checks in the small blind putting the action on Steve O’Dwyer and he bets 2,000. Marsico calls and the dealer puts the out on the turn. Both players check the arrival of the lady but when the lands on the river Marsico leads out with a 3,000 bet, which forces O’Dwyer to fold.

O’Dwyer will not be too bothered by this minor set back as he still has around 100,000 chips in his stack.


Eames’ Perfect Trap Fails To Go Off

John Eames has just set the perfect trap only for it to be foiled at the last moment by the Poker Gods (amen). Edoardo Alescio opened the betting to 500 from under the gun and to his direct left is Eames who flat-calls. One player folds before Wanny Piazza makes a tiny squeeze to 1,100. The action then folds to Istvan Csabai on the button and he cold-calls the 1,100, as does Gianluca Nardone in the big blind! Are you still following? Good because it is not over yet!

Alescio now announces “re-raise” and makes it 3,400 to play only to see Eames move all in for 13,350! Now players start to fold, all the way back around to Alescio who instantly calls.


The board ran out and Eames’ trap worked but unfortunately for him the payout was not what he would have liked.


Lorenzo’s Huge Over-bet Goes Uncalled

On a flop reading Luca Ascani had a bet of 3,125 in front of him but that was nothing compared to the 68,000 all in bet in front of Aldo Lorenzo in the small blind. The bet seemed to anger Ascani who was going more and more scarlet the longer her thought about what move to make.

He counted out his stack and if he called and was wrong he would have been left with just a few scraps, which must have come into his thought process because he folded his hand, reluctantly.


Wanny Wins All In

Francho Recchia has been sent to the rail in a hand involving Wanny Piazza. We missed the hand go down but we heard Piazza being extremely vocal and rather unsporting and classless in all honesty.

The board read and Piazza had the in front of him for top set and Recchia for a lone pair of aces.

We are down to around 40 players on Day 1a of the WPT Venice Main Event.


The Cards Are Back In The Air

The players are back from their dinner break and we are back under way.


Steve O’Dwyer Is The New Chip Leader

O’Dwyer raises to 1,100 in early position and there is a cold-caller before Andrea Darduin raises to 3,600 from the hijack. O’Dwyer peers around the side of the dealer’s head to take a shot at Darduin’s stack but it is difficult to see – Darduin is a mountain of a man! In the end O’Dwyer calls and the third player in the hand folds.


O’Dwyer checks to Darduin who is sat like a piece of granite with a cigarette dripping from his mouth and he bets 30,000. O’Dwyer tries to have another glance at the Darduin stack and this time he moves a complimentary arm and O’Dwyer can see that he has around 10,000 behind.

“I am all-in,” says O’Dwyer.

Darduin calls instantly and O’Dwyer turns over and he is ahead of Darduin and his . The turn and river brick off for Darduin and he can now light up that fag.

O’Dwyer meanwhile moves into the top spot with 130,000 chips.


Eames Runs Into A Gondola, Sorry, A Boat

John Eames is down to 10,600 after running into the boat of Edoardo Alescio. The action folded to Alescio and he raised to 1,000 from the cutoff. Eames is next to act and he three-bets to 2,700 from the button and after both blinds instantly mucked Alescio made the call.

The flop came down , Alescio checked, Eames made a continuation bet to 2,200 and Alescio quickly called. The turn is the and both players checked. The river was the and Alescio then lead out with a bet of 4,600 and after around one minute Eames made the call but mucked when he was shown .


O’Dwyer Shoves On Alioto

From the cutoff Giuseppe Marsico opens to 1,000 and next to act is Pier-Alvise Zovatto on the button and he calls. Steve O’Dwyer is in the small blind and he squeezes to 4,500 putting the action on WSOP bracelet winner Dario Alioto. He pauses for several moments before four-betting to 10,700.

O’Dwyer quickly moves all in and Alioto folds, just as quickly.


Kamel Rides Up the Chip Counts

Angelo Tarallo open limps from early position and to his direct left is Tamer Kamel and the Brit raises to 900. The next player folds then Giovanni Chiofalo calls in the button. The blinds fold but Tarallo now raises to 5,100 and amazingly both opponents call.

Flop: – All three players check

Turn: – Tarallo checks, Kamel bets 11,700 and only Chiofalo calls.

River: – Kamel quickly leads out for 31,000 and Chiofalo mucks his hand.


Andrulis Kristijonas Doubles Up

High stakes cash game guru Andrulis Kristijonas has just doubled up through chip leader Luca Ascani.

We join the table just as we hear the dealer say “all-in’ and Kristijonas is seated with an all-in bet of 6,000 in front of him. The two other players have 1,500 each in front of them and one of them folds before Luca Ascani calls. Kristijonas turns over and Ascani flips over . The turn is the and the river of confirm that Kristijonas will double up to 22,000 leaving Ascani with 115,000.


But It Was Suited!

Two players fold and it is American pro Steve O’Dwyer who is about to act. He checks his holecards before raising to 700. Two more players fold before Vito Labarile three-bets to 1,325 on the button. Both blinds ad fold but O’Dwyer is not done with his hand and he four-bets to 5,400. Labarile snap-calls and the dealer puts out the flop.

O’Dwyer checks to Labarile who also checks. The receives the same treatment and the on the river is also checked.

“Ace-queen?” O’Dwyer says showing his opponent his hand. Labarile can beat this though because he has called the four-bet with and had paired his six.


PartyPoker Pro Giovanni Rizzo Talks Us Through A Hand


Veneziano Calls Down Crosato

We are on Table 2 and the action folds to Giuseppe Veneziano who is seated in the cutoff seat. He peels back his cards, places them flat on the felt and raises to 700. The button and small blind get out of the way but Adriano Crosato, flush with chips after his elimination of Gianluca Speranza, makes the call from the big blind.

The blonde-haired dealer places a burn card to one side before sliding out the flop. Crosato leads into his opponent with a 1,500 chip bet but it will take more than that shake off Veneziano and he calls. Our turn card is the and Crosato tries again, increasing his bet size to 2,700 but that does not work either because his opponent calls.

The river is the and Crosato fires a third barrel, making it 4,200 to play but once again Veneziano calls.

Veneziano holds his hand over the muck but pulls his hand back when Crosato shows for king-high. Veneziano’s beats that and he scoops the pot.


Break It Up

Another break for the 58 players who remain from the starting 78.


Instant Min-Raise Wins Pot For Hairabedian

Roger Hairabedian completes his small blind over on Table 3 and Alessandro Speranza raises to 1,125. “Big Roger” calls and it is off to the flop. Hairabediam leads out with a bet of 475 and Speranza puts in another raise and makes it 1,425 to play. No sooner have those chips hit the felt has Hairabedian clicked it back and made it 3,475 to play.

The rest of the table heads out for a 15-minute break so they do not see Speranza fold his hand.


Blogger’s Curse

We just updated on how PartyPoker pro Giovanni Rizzo was doing OK for himself but it appears we have cursed him as he is no longer sat behind 57,000 chips, instead he has just 20,000.

As he was over at the water dispenser he told us he had just been involved in a huge hand where he had a straight flush draw and two over cards to the board and ran into a set for a 35,000 pot. Sorry Giovanni!


“Mad” Marvin Versus The Crazy Italians!


Nice And Simple For Rizzo

PartyPoker pro Giovanni Rizzo is doing OK for himself out on the tournament floor and he finds himself armed with around 56,000 chips. He has not really been involved in many big hands so far but whatever he is doing it is certainly working for him.

In a hand just now Giuseppe Marsico opened to 500 from the cutoff and then called when Rizzo three-bet to exactly 1,500. The flop was checked by Marsico, Rizzo bet 2,500 and his opponent immediately mucked. Keep it up Giovanni!


Baumstein Bounces Out

Scott Baumstein’s quest for World Poker Tour glory is over unless he decides to re-enter tomorrow on Day 1b. We did not see the hand but Mr Baumstein is nowhere to be seen. His table had been playing ridiculously loose, something he had been discussing with Marvin Rettenmaier just minutes ago.

“I have heard the stories but I never thought they were true!” exclaimed Baumstein, referring to the stories of very loose styles adopted by Italian players. Unfortunately with such play there is high variance, as Baumstein has just found out.


Speranza Eliminated

He may have only been playing in the WPT Venice Main Event for around 45 minutes but that was ample time for Gianluca Speranza to dust off his 30,000 starting stack. We missed the preflop action and the betting on the flop but it looked like Leonardo Berti had bet 1,700 and Adriano Crosato had called. Speranza then raised to 4,250 Berti folded, Crosato moved all in and Speranza called.


A set versus a plethora of draws! The actually makes no difference to the hand at all and neither does the on the river, and after the dealer counts out Crosato’s stack, 34,000, Speranza pushes his entire stack over the line as his opponent has him covered.


Maccatrozzo Making A Nuisance Of Himself

From under the gun Alessandro Speranza raises to 450 and he receives callers in the shape of Luca Maccatrozzo in the hijack, Sam El Sayed in the cutoff and Giuseppe Veneziano on the button. The flop reads and everyone checks to Veneziano who bets 1,250. Speranza folds but the other two active players call.

The turn card is the and now Maccatrozzo comes out firing with a bet of 3,625. El Sayed folds but Veneziano calls. The fifth and final community card is the and Maccatrozzo continues with his aggression and bets 9,025 which seems to rock Veneziano as he shuffles in his seat before going into the tank for over a minute. When he emerges he does so with a fold and he shows as he does so.


Csabai Straightens Out On Eames

John Eames is seated in the hijack seat and he sets the price to play at 500. Both Istvan Csabai and Clemente Cesarini in the small and big blind respectively. The dealer puts out the flop, Csabai checks, Cesarini checks, Eames makes a continuation bet of 800 and only Csabai calls.

The turn card is the and Csabai instantly leads out with a 1,700 bet. Eames makes the call by tossing two yellow chips into the middle of the felt and the dealer puts the onto the felt. Csabai checks and Eames taps the table and checks behind.

Csabai: and the win.


Speranza Straight Into The Action

Gianluca Speranza has just registered for the WPT Venice Main Event and only just taken his seat but he has delved straight into the action here at the Casino Di Venezia Ca’noghera.

The action started with a raise to 500 from America Spinozzi who was seated under the gun and after the player to his direct left folded Adriano Crosato made the call. The action then folded to Speranza in the big blind and he called.

Flop: – Speranza checked, Spinozzi checked but Crosato spoiled the party and bet a solitary yellow 1,000 chip. Only Speranza called and it was off to the turn.

Turn: – Speranza checked, Spinozzi fired a second bet, this one 1,700 only to see Speranza grab chips with both hands and check-raise to 3,675. Spinozzi called and the dealer put the river card onto the felt.

River: – No fancy tricks this time, just a bet, against two-handed, from Speranza, a bet of 4,225. Spinozzi looked like he had a real decision to make but in the end he decided the best course of action was to fold his hand.

First blood to Speranza.


A Hand That Shows Why You Should Be Playing The WPT Venice Main Event

Michele Cavoli limps in from under the gun and the player to his direct left folds but that is the last of the folding as Lauri Eramaja limps, Patrizio Riato limps in the cutoff, Maurizio Saieva limps on the button, and completes his small blind! But we are not finished yet, not by a long way! Now Raffaele Carnevale, in the big blind, raises to just 1,100 and everyone calls!

After burning a card the dealer gets busy putting out the flop. The first three players check but when the action is on Eramaja he moves all in for 8,050. Each of his opponents fold in turn but Cavoli makes the call.


It is the battle of the draws but Cavoli holds the advantage as he does not have to improve to win. The on the turn changes nothing but the on the river improves Cavoli to a flush and Eramaja’s tournament is over unless he re-enters tomorrow afternoon.


Fifteen Minute Break

The title says it all.


Kamutzki Shows Bluff

In the very last hand before the break Heinz Kamutzki raises to 525 in the hijack seat then calls when Alessandro Fasolis three-bet to 1,250. The dealer puts out the flop and both players check. The turn is the and Kamutzki leads out with a bet of 1,500 and Fasolis calls. The on the river completes a myriad of draws and Kamutzki makes it 3,700 to play.

Fasolis ponders his options for over a minute before turning over the and folding. As he does so Kamutzki shows for a complete bluff, animating Fasolis who almost certainly folded the best hand.


El Sayed Dropping F-Bombs, And Chips

We missed the action but we certainly heard Sam El Sayed shouting, “What the f*%k is that?” when Luca Maccatrozzo turned over .

The very next hand Maccatrozzo opened to 375 from the cutoff and El Sayed instantly three-bet to 2,000 from the button. The action folded back around to the initial raiser and he shaped to at least call but reluctantly gives up his hand.

El Sayed is back down to 24,900 after being as high as 48,000. The El Sayed rollercoaster continues.


Merlantz Cannot Pull The Trigger

Eeryone folds around to Manuel Merlantz on the button and he puts in a raise to 400. The small blind gets out of the way but Marvin Rettenmaier puts in the chips required the call.

The flop rains down , Rettenmaier checks and Merlantz checks behind. The turn received the same treatment, as does the river.

Rettenmaier turns over for nothing at all and Merlantz scoops the pot with his .


Late Registration Still Open

Registration is still open and will remain so until 1830CET here at the Casino Di Venezia Ca’noghera.


El Sayed Gives Some Back To Recchia

Sam El Sayed won a large pot from Franco Recchia when his backed into a straight on a board but he has just given most of them back in a hand that just took place.

El Sayed raised to 375 from under the gun then called when Recchia three-bet to 1,250 two seats to his left. The draw heavy flop saw El Sayed check his option to bet but Recchia bet 1,600. El Sayed sprung into action and moved a stack of around 6,000 into the middle and Recchia called off his last 4,600.

El Sayed:

Recchia’s hand is best but he needs to avoid a six, seven, eight or jack to stay in the tournament. The turn is the and the river the and El Sayed pays off Recchia.

El Sayed: 39,250 chips
Recchia: 11,900


Novello Donk-Bet Adds To His Stack

John Eames gets the betting started with a raise to 400 from under the gun and he smiles to us as he is called in three spots, Istvan Csabai (cutoff), Clement Cesarini (button) and Manuel Novello (small blind).

The first three community cards read and when Novello leads out with a 1,700 bet his trio of opponents toss their cards into the muck.


Baldassari And Massi Split Pot

Over on Table 8 the action folds around to Antonio Massi on the button and he opens the betting with a raise to 375. His only customer is his fellow countryman Fabrizio Baldassari in the small blind as Ognjen Sekularec folds his big blind.

The dealer burns a card before putting out the [7a] flop. Baldassari checks to Massi who continues with a bet of 375, a bet that Baldassari instantly calls. The turn brings the into play and Baldassari check-calls an increased bet of 625. The river card is the and this time when Baldassari checks Massi checks behind.


Split pot.


Rettenmaier Four-Bet Takes Down Preflop Pot

Cristian Poropat decides to limp from under the gun but there is no such passivity when the action reaches Anthony Von Kriengerbogh in the cutoff. He checks his cards and makes it 500 to play. Next to act is Marvin Rettenmaier and he rapidly riffles his chips as usual before stopping to make a four-bet of 1,500, which takes down the pot uncontested.


Big Roger Is In The House

“Big” Roger Hairabedian is in the house and has taken his seat over on Table 12, the same table as Steve O’Dwyer. Hairabedian and O’Dwyer were deep in conversation, O’Dwyer congratulating Big Roger on his recent runner-up finish at GSOP Live Prague.


WPT Venice Is In Full Swing


O’Dwyer and Eramaja Clash In Battle Of The Blinds

The action folds around to the Finnish player Lauri Eramaja in the small blind over on Table 12 and he looks to his right to see if there has been any action before him. There has not and he makes it 3,00 to play. The big blind in this hand is Steve O’Dwyer and the Las Vegas-based pro makes the call.

Flop: – Eramaja checks, O’Dwyer bets and Eramaja calls quite quickly.

Turn: – Eramaja checks for a second time but O’Dwyer instantly bets 1,000 and after 20 seconds Eramaja calls.

River: – Eramaja checks yet again but O’Dwyer shows not sign of slowing down and he bets 1,200. Eramaja thinks for a few moments before calling.

“I have a queen,” says O’Dwyer causing Eramaja to snarl and say “Aaarrrggghhh!” before adding “Nice bet.”

O’Dwyer: 32,500 chips
Eramaja: 32,600 chips


The Italian Pirate Cheers On His Horse!

The Italian Pirate, Max Pescatori is going to play WPT Venice Day 1b but he was recently in London for the PartyPoker Premier League Mixed Game Championship where during one of the breaks he was cheering his horse “El Capitano” on in race.


Open Limping Is the New Raising

There has been some, shall we say unorthodox play over on Table 1 if the reports of John Eames are accurate and there is no reason to doubt the British pro. We just saw Istvan Csabai open limp from under the gun at a five-handed table, Clemente Cesarini limp behind and Eames checked in the big blind.

The flop came down , Eames checked, Csabai made it 250 to play and his two opponents folded.


Giovanni Rizzo Finds Aces Early Doors

PartyPoker pro and all round nice guy Giovanni Rizzo has just woken up with pocket aces but the board contained more diamonds than a P. Diddy necklace, which prevented him from being paid off fully.

Joining the action on the , Rizzo leads out with a 600 bet and Alessandro Checchin makes the call. The river is the and both players quickly check.

Rizzo turns over and his set of aces beats the of his opponent.


Marvin Rettenmaier Early Chip Leader!

Marvin Rettenmaier just made us aware that he has been fast out of the blocks and is a very early chip leader. We understand he caught a flush on the river in the very first hand that added significant chips to his stack.

“I’m the early chip leader,” Rettenmaier informed us, “Make sure you right a big headline and article,” he added but we are not sure if he was serious or not!


The dealers have been instructed to shuffle up and deal and we are finally underway, albeit an hour later than scheduled. The WPT Venice Main Event from the Casino Di Venezia Ca’noghera has begun!


Interact With Us On Twitter

Throughout the tournament you can interact with us on Twitter by including the hashtag #WPTVenice in your tweets. Get involved!

WPT Venice Day 1a: Live Updates

Hello and welcome to the Casino Di Venezia Ca’noghera where today scores of eager poker players will pass through its doors and participate in Day 1a of the World Poker Tour Venice Main Event.

Venice may be one of the most romantic cities in the world but once the welcomes are completed and the pleasantries are out of the way expect there to be no love lost between those who are exchanging €3,300 for 30,000 tournament chips and the chance to become a World Poker Tour Champion.

Anyone who participates today on Day 1a and does not make it through to the end nine 60-minute levels can re-enter tomorrow on Day 1b. This system has been hugely successful both in Europe and across the pond in the United States and was one of the reasons the recent WPT Prague Main Event attracted a record-breaking field of 577 players.

This year’s WPT Venice is a six-day event and some of Europe’s biggest names are expected to turn out and make this a tournament to remember. Last year Alessio Isaia outlasted a 523 strong field, eventually defeating Bulgarian Szabolcs Mayer heads-up to claim the title and the €380,000 first place prize.

Who will become this year’s WPT Venice champion? Stay tuned over the next week to discover just that!


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