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WPT Venice Main Event Day 1b: Ricciardelli Leads

Day 1b of the WPT Venice Main Event has just drawn to a close and we had a much better turnout today with 135 eager poker players exchanging €3,300 for 30,000 tournament chips and the chance to become a World Poker Tour Champion.

Of the 135 who started only 66 have survived to make it through to Day 2 and they are lead by Raffaele Bertolucci with 169,400 chips. A relative unknown in live poker terms, Bertolucci has winnings of just $9,788 but he is on course to eclipse that total if he continues in this vein of form.

Also well stacked are Nicola Ricciardelli (140,600), Fernando Cimaglia (135,600) and Roberto Romanello (133,200), whilst other notables including Arnaud Mattern (92,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (77,000) and PartyPoker pro Giovanni Rizzo (33,800). These 66 survivors will meet up with the 29 from Day 1a meaning 95 players will return to their seats tomorrow and play for five 90-minute levels and who knows, we may make it to the money places!

To end the night why not have a look at the last video of the day from out excellent team?


Pescaglini Pushed Out

The WPT Venice Main Event will no longer witness Cecilia Pescaglini’s crazy antics as she has just been sent to the rail by Alfonso Amendola.

The action folded around to Amendola in the hijack seat and he makes it 2,000 to play. To his direct left is Pescaglini and these two have been tangling all day long and this hand is no different. The loose-aggressive Pescaglini three-bets to 5,100 and Amendola quickly calls when it is his turn to act.

The flop comes down and Amendola checks to his opponent and she moves all in for 25,600 and Amendola calls within 20 seconds.


A hand that will have internet forums buzzing we are sure. The turn improves both to a flush but Amendola has the best hand but could still be counterfeited but that does not happen as the river is the and with that Pescaglini is eliminated.


Nitsche Doubles

Dominik Nitsche is looking a little more happy and comfortable out there after doubling up to his starting stack again. When we quizzed how he acquired his new stack he said he had sevens versus threes. Go Dom.


Rizzo Back To Starting Stack

PartyPoker pro Giovanni Rizzo is back above the starting stack and find himself with 35,200 little ceramic discs. The action folded to the popular Italian in the small blind and he raised to 1,800 and Maurizio Saieva called in the big blind.

The dealer put out the flop and both players checked. A second ten, the hit the turn and when Rizzo bet 2,100 Saieva instantly folded.


Rettenmaier Busts Alessandro Meoni

Marvin Rettenmeier has sent Alessandro Meoni to the rail after his [Ax][Tx] improves to crack the [9x][9x] of the Italian.


Last Break Of The Day

The players have been sent on their last 15-minute break so rejoin us then.


Chips Mean Prizes

The top 27 players in the WPT Venice Main Event will be paid and paid as follows:

1st: €175,000
2nd: €95,550
3rd: €66,090
4th: €43,120
5th: €34,245
6th: €27,035
7th: €20,425
8th: €15,020
9th: €10,810
10th-12th: €7,510
13th-15th: €6,905
16th-18th: €6,305
19th-27th: €5,705


John Eames Eliminated

John Eames has been sent to the rail at the hands of Luca Fiorini. Eames opened to 1,325 from the cutoff and Fiorini three-bet to 3,200 in the cutoff. With the action back on Eames he four-bet shoved for 15,200 and Fiorini made the call.


The flop gifted the young Brit the lead but the cruel on the turn left him drawing to a queen and only a queen. She did not arrive as the river was the and Eames heads for the exits.


Misdealt Turn Leads To Drama!

We were drawn to the commotion over on Table 1 where we discovered a board reading and three Italian players, Riccardo Marchini, Alexander Novitskiy and Federico Cipollini were in a heated discussion. Although we do not speak Italian but we figured out Marchini had raised on the flop and Cipollini said “Should I call or raise,” only to see Novitskiy call and the dealer put the on the turn before Cipollini had acted.

The floor ruled the turn was dead but this angered Cipollini who showed he held and he was angered even more when he was told he would face a penalty. He actually folded and a new turn was dealt, the . Marchini checked, Novitskiy bet 6,200 and Marchini folded.

Novitskiy showed and the drama had all but gone.


Sighinolfi Doubles Up

Everyone folds to Christopher Creus and he raises to 1,500. To his direct left is Andrea Sighinolfi and he flat calls. On the button is the diminutive Giorgia Tabet and she squeezes to 3,600. The blinds fold but Creus comes over the top and makes it 8,100 to play only to see Sighinolfi move all in for 17,550! Tabet folds but Creus makes the call.


The board runs out a rather dramaless and Sighinolfi doubles up.


Amendola Forces Pescaglini To Fold Best Hand

Alfonso Amendola sees the action fold to him in middle position and he raises to 1,100. Cecilia Pescaglini three-bets him, next to act in the hijack, making it 3,600 to play. The button and both blinds fold and the dealer puts out the flop and Amendola bets 6,000 within seconds of the cards hitting the felt. Pescaglini lets out and audible sigh, turns off he pink MP3 player and starts quizzing her opponent.

Both Amendola and Pescaglini chat for close to five minutes because this is an all-in or fold scenario as she only has 13,700 behind. She eventually folds, showing pocket eights. Amendola turns over a pair of sevens and he scoops the pot.

Our roving cameraman Tomaso Vimercati overheard part of the conversation and translated for us, saying Pescaglini said something along the lines of “I read you correctly. I thought you probably had sevens.”


Novitskiy Takes On Romanello

Alexander Novitskiy opens from late position with a raise to 1,500 and his only customer this time around is Roberto Romanello in the big blind. The flop reads and Romanello leads out with a small bet of 800, a bet that is instantly called. The dealer puts out the turn and Romanello bets just 800 again and is called once more.

The on the river is met with a 2,000 bet from Romanello but he snap-folds when Novitskiy clicks it back and makes it 5,000 to continue.


Revive Touch Owner Liza Lim Talks About The Benefits Of Massage At The Poker Table


Speranza Sent Packing

In one of the first hands back from the dinner break Gianluca Speranza has been eliminated. Arnaud Mattern opens with a 1,300 raise from UTG+1 and his only caller is Speranza in the big blind. The dealer puts out the flop, Speranza checks to Mattern and the Frenchman makes it 1,850 to play. Speranza is prepared to pay this to see the turn and he calls.

The turn card brings the into play and Speranza checks again. Mattern fires a second bet, this one 4,250 and Speranza check-raises all in for 14,400. Mattern instantly says “I call” and flips over which is way in front of the of the Italian.

The on the river is no help to Speranza and he heads for the rail.


Amendola Correctly Folds Top Two

On a board of Mario Adinolfi checks to Alfonso Amendola and he bets 5,200. Adinolfi responds by check-raising all in for a shade over 30,000 sending the shaven headed Amendola, who is having a massage, into the tank.

They speak to each other in English, Amendola saying “top two, top two,” before he folds his hand. Adinolfi shows and receives a nod from Amendola.


Mattia Becomes Most Unpopular Man In The Room

Gianluca Mattia has become the most unpopular man in the room, at least in our photographer Francesco Rizzo’s eyes, because he has just eliminated Darya Hulyk. The bombshell was down to her last 8,250 and decided to move all in from middle position with and Mattia called in the small blind with a dominating .

The board ran out and with that Hulyk was eliminated and suddenly the tournament area is a darker place!

Luckily our camera team caught up with her before her untimely demise:


The Romanello Show

Roberto Romanello has plenty of chips and we knew that without counting them because he won’t shut up! Over on Table 1 he saw the player in Seat 1, who was also under the gun, make it 700 to play. Two players folded and Romanello three-bet to 1,700, which was enough to fold out everyone except the original raiser. He then four-bet to 4,700 and Romanello instantly called.

“Good luck,” said the Welshman as the dealer put out the flop. The UTG player checked and Romanello asked, “Your ace-king didn’t hit then?” before adding “That means I have the best hand. Put another card out dealer, no ace, no king or ten.”

The dealer put out the on the turn and both players checked. The river was the and again it was checked to Romanello who quizzed, “ace-king?” before betting just 675. His opponent nodded and called.

Man with the obvious ace-king:
Romanello: and the win.

The WPT Bratislava champion now has 85,000 chips.


Pescaglini Soars to 73,000

Cecilia Pescaglini is up to 73,000 after scooping a large pot that also saw Salvatore Biancho to the rail. The board read and there was 20,000 in the pot and Pescaglini was facing an all in bet of 8,550 and was in the tank. After two and a half minutes she called and the cards were revealed.


The turn card was the and the river completed the hand and Pescaglini is well stacked now and that is not good news for anyone in this tournament.


Max Pescatori Talks About Busting Massimo Di Cicco


Pescaglini Wins One, Loses One

Raul Paez opens from the hijack to 700 only to see Maurizio Agrello three-bet, from the button, to 2,750. Next to act is Cecilia Pescaglini and she four-bet from the small blind to 6,250. Paez instantly gets out of the way but Agrello think for two minutes before letting his hand go.

Immediately after the hand the tournament director spoke to Pescaglini at length over a matter presumably in a previous hand, she became rather heated and her cheeks started to flush.

The very next hand Marco Petrocchi opened to 00 from middle position and then called when a possibly tilting Pescaglini three-bet to 2,100 on the button. Both players checked the flop and Petrocchi checked again when the landed on the turn. Pescaglini did not check, instead she bet 2,000 and was snap-called.

The river was the and Petrocchi checked. Pescaglini reached for chips then took one last look at her opponent, smirked and tapped the table instead. It is a good check because her opponent showed and she mucked her hand.


Not Very Lady Like

PartyPoker Pro Giovanni Rizzo raises to 700 from middle position and finds a caller in the shape of Vito Pomes who is seated in the cutoff seat. The button folds but Madga Barczak in the small blind raises to 2,000. Both Rizzo and Pomes call and it is three-handed to the flop.

Barczak makes it 5,000 to play, which is far too much for his two opponents to even consider calling and their cards hit the muck. Rizzo asks to see what hand she would bet 5,000 with but she quickly moves her hand into the muck.


Baumstein Grounded By Parent

Scott Baumstein has been eliminated for the WPT Venice Main Event with nothing but memories to show for his efforts over the past couple of days. We could not find him in his seat so asked the delectable Darya Hulyk who confirmed that Baumstein had been eliminated at the hands of Matthieu Parent. According to her Baumstein held [Ax][Ax] but ran into Parent’s set. Parent now has 106,000 chips.


Break Time

The players have gone on a 15-minute break, which if previous breaks are to go by will take closer to 25!


Speranza Gets “Speranzaed”!

Due to his lunatic, sorry loose approach to the game Giunluca Speranza is used to dishing out bad beats to his opponents but it was his turn to be on the receiving end just now.

Vito Pommes opened the betting from late position with a raise to 475 and Speranza, to his direct left, called. The action then folded to Alessio Sterace in the big blind and the young man who is wearing the brightest orange Adidas tracksuit top ever made the call.

The flop saw all three players quickly check but the turn ignited something and the bets started to fly. First Sterace checked, Pomes bet 750, Speranza called and Sterace min-check-raised to 1,500. Despite getting ridiculous odds Pomes somehow found a fold but Speranza stayed in the hand and called.

The was the river card and it was greeted by a check from Sterace, a 6,950 bet from Speranza and a quick call.

Speranza: – for bottom set
Sterace: – for a flopped straight


Pirate Busts Di Cicco

Max Pescatori just send Massimo Di Cicco to the rail after his pocket fives were somehow good on a nine-high flop. The chips started flying on a with Di Cicco moving all in for 18,000 and Pescatori reluctantly calling.

Di Cicco:

The turn failed to change anything and when the landed on the river Pescatori had somehow missed a million and one outs to bust Di Cicco and continue his climb up the chip counts.


Revive Touch Massages Are Good For You

If you find your fortunes are flagging somewhat in the WPT Venice Main Event then just book yourself a massage at the table from one of the Revive Touch massage girls. Yesterday Roger Hairabedian had one only to go on a big heater to end amongst the chip leaders, early Roberto Romanello was being massaged whilst he climbed to 52,000 chips and now Federico Cipollini has just started his heater the second his massage ended! Coincidence? Probably!

Ronnie Bardah opened to 400 from under the gun and then the next to players to his left got jiggy and started raising. First Jessy Marillaud three-bet to 750 then Cipollini four-bet to 1,900. Bardah and Marillaud quickly folded and the magic massages work again!


Pescatori Picks Up Pot

Max Pescatori is in the house, fresh from his fourth place finish in the recent PartyPoker Premier League Mixed Game Championship and it looks like he has started as he means to go on here in Venice after helping himself to a pot of at least 12,000.

We were passing his table as he was taking his uncalled 9,000 bet back with the board reading and he looks to have around 43,000 chips. The Pirate wants more treasure!


No Customers For Nitsche

Dominik Nitsche chose not to play Day 1a but flew out for Day 1b of WPT Venice possibly because of all the stories about the extremely loose play. But so far the young German is yet to witness any crazy three-bets or loose action because nobody will play with him.

Nitsche was sat in the cutoff and when the action folded to him he made it 400 to play, a min-raise but the button and blinds both folded. Then the very next hand he was first to act in the hijack and he min-raised again but once more he just picked up the blinds.


Novitskiy Straightens Out Romanello

Alexander Novitskiy is seated in the cutoff seat and he is first to act. He takes a peak at his cards and then throws 525 across the betting line. The cutoff makes the call as does Roberto Romanello who is sat ther ein the big blind, no longer being massaged.

Flop: – Romanello checks, Novitskiy bets what looked like 1,025 but when the cutoff folds and Romanello calls he receives 200 chips change so the bet must have been 825.

Turn: – Romanello checks once more but Novitskiy keeps up his story and bets 1,400, a bet that Romanello ponders for a short while before making the call.

River: – The WPT Bratislava champion checks for a third time but Novitskiy keeps the pedal to the metal and bets again, though not as large as one would expect, making it 2,100 to call. The bet size seems to throw Romanello and he makes the call but mucks when he is shown that has made a straight.


Rizzo Pays Off Speranza

PartyPoker Pro Giovanni Rizzo has just paid off a sizeable to his fellow countryman Gianluca Speranza. The board read and Rizzo had checked to the hyper-aggressive Speranza, who then bet 5,050. Rizzo tanked for a good minute before making the call.

“Nice hand,” said Rizzo without even seeing his opponent’s hand.

Speranza turned over one card, and then the other in a weird sort of slowroll. Rizzo cannot beat a set of fours and the pot slides to Speranza.

Speranza narrowly missed out on winning a World Series of Poker bracelet at this year’s WSOPE in Cannes. He finished second to Andrew Hinrichsen in the €1,000 event, a tournament that saw John Eames and Roberto Romanello reach the final table.


Roberto Romanello Hoping Not To Be Dealt Aces In Venice!

Check out this interview with Roberto Romanello to see why he will be happy to avoid being dealt pocket aces here at WPT Venice!


Big Bets Work For Gatto

Joining the action on a board that reads we see British pro John Eames calling what looks like a 2,500 bet from Simone Gatto. The dealer burns a card before carefully placing the onto the turn. Gatto, seated in the big blind, bets 3,300 his second substantial bet in the hand. It will not be the second big bet Eames calls though because he folds.


Back To Back Pots For Romanello

WPT Bratislava Champion Roberto Romanello is flying high at the moment with 52,200 chips, a stack that was partly built by winning back to back pots.

The first hand saw Romanello, in the hijack, check to Ronnie Bardah (cutoff) on a board and then check again when the peeled off on the turn. Bardah fired a bet of 2,100 at the Welshman and it did not take him very long to call.

Bardah turned over but the eights were second best to the of Romanello.

The very next hand Marek Tatar open limped from middle position and Romanello, next to act, raised to 825. Alexander Novitskiy called in the small blind and Tatar put in the extra chips required to call. The dealer put out the flop and all three players checked.

The turn was the and Novitskiy checked, Tatar checked, Romanello made it 700 and only Novitskiy made the call. The final community card was the and now Novitskiy came out betting to the tune of 1,500 but it was bad timing on his part as Romanello quickly called and showed which was a much better hand than the his opponent held.


Pescaglini Up To Her Old Tricks

Everyone folds to spiky haired Alessandro Meoni in the hijack seat and he wastes very little time in raising to 350. To his direct left is the extremely unorthodox Cecilia Pescaglini and she makes the call. On the button is Vito Pomes and he announces “raise” before putting in a rather small raise to just 875. Meoni folds but of course you already knew Pescaglini was going to call.

Flop: – Pescaglini checks and almost immediately afterwards Pomes checks behind.

Turn: – Pescaglini has had enough checking for one day and gets back to doing what she does best, splashing chip around. She makes it 1,550 to play and Pomes quickly calls by grabbing two yellow 1,000 chips and spinning them into the pot.

River: – Pescaglini continues with her trademark aggression and sets the price to continue at 4,000 and Pomes quickly calls.

Pescaglini turns over and Pomes looks towards the rainy sky as if to say “mamma mia” before sending his cards, unseen, towards the dealer.


Tabet Takes On The Men

There have not been too many female poker players here at WPT Venice but there is one of the fairer sex seated over on Table 11, Giorgia Tabet, a real diminutive little thing.

Despite her tiny size she is not afraid to take on the big boys and in a hand just now the action folded to her in the cutoff and she made a raise to 225. He only customer was Armando Graziano on the button and once he called and the blinds folded the dealer got busy putting out the flop.

Tabet contuned with a bet of 375 and after 30 seconds thinking time Graziano called. The on the turn spiked no interest in either player and they both checked but when the fell on the river Tabet bet 675 and Graziano folded. Although we do not speak Italian we think he said something along the lines of you have nothing but I have even less.


Candio Busto

Italian pro Filippo Candio may have started the day with high hopes but those hopes are now laying in tatters as he has busted out of this tournament in just three hands.

In his first hand Candio opens for 275 and his opponent in the small blind calls. The flop is and both players check. The turn is the and the small blind bets 350, Candio raises to 1,350 and the small blind calls. On the river we see the and the small blind bets 2,000 forcing Candio to fold. Candio later told us that he held ace-king.

As we were writing this hand up Candio appeared behind us.

Candio lost 7,000 when he had hit the nut flush on a board of [Kx][Tx][5x][Tx][6x] and his opponent held [Tx][5x]. Then with 17,000 remaining Candio four-bet with [Ax][4x] and received one caller. The flop was [Ax][4x][3x] and Candio’s opponent held [Ax][Ax]and that we the end of that.


Bardah Makes His Presence Felt

Marek Tatar opens to 250 from early position and finds callers in the shape of Ronnie Bardah in the cutoff and Jessy Marillaud on the button. The flop comes down and Tatr checks to his two opponents. Bardah picks up chips worth 350 and bets them, a bet that Marillaud calls but Tatar has seen enough and he gets out of the way.

The dealer puts the onto the turn and Bardah bets again, this time increasing the amount to 900 but Marillaud must think the American is bluffing because he raises to 2,100. But that is not the end of the action, no. Bardah takes back his original bet and replaces it with 7,200. Marillaud now believes his opponent’s story and quickly flicks his cards towards the dealer.


Third Pair Good For Piersigilli

Over on Table 3 the action folds around to John Eames on the button and he makes it 250 to play. The small blind gets out of the way but Alessandro Piersigilli makes the call in the big blind. The dealer puts out the flop and Piersigilli checks to Eames, who makes a continuation bet of 250. Almost instantly Piersigilli reaches for chips and check-raises to 650, a bet that Eames calls.

The turn card is the and Piersigilli checks for a second time and after 20 seconds or so Eames checks behind. Our river is the and Piersigilli quickly bets 975. Eames sits riffling a pile of green 25 denomination chips for a few moments before re-checking his cards and making the call.

Piersigilli: for third pair and a missed gutshot
Eames: Muck


Famous Faces

There are a lot of well-known faces amongst the crowd today including Salvatore Bonavena, Roberto Romanello, Nicola Calia, PartyPoker pro Giovanni Rizzo, Arnaud Mattern, John Eames and Marvin Rettenmaier.


Man Down Already!

You would think anyone entering a tournament that costs €3,300 to enter and gives you 30,000 chips (300 big blinds) would at least last five minutes but not Fausto Cheli who is now on his way home! We did not see the hand but a triumphant Mario Adinolfi sitting with in front of him and the board reading .


Shuffle Up And Deal

The cards are in the air and Day 1b of WPT Venice is under way.


Welcome To Day 1b Of WPT Venice

Hello and welcome back to the Casino Di Venezia Ca’ Noghera where shortly Day 1b of the World Poker Tour Venice Main Event will begin.

Yesterday a smaller than expected crowd of 78 players entered Day 1a with 29 of those progressing through Thursday’s Day 2 but we expect a much bigger field today with word on the tournament floor telling us to expect closer to 200 runners.

Amongst those who we know are playing today include Roberto Romanello, EPT Loutraki winner Zinman Ziyard, Dominik Nitsche and John Eames who has re-entered after busting out during Day 1a.

Join us at around 14:00 CET when we should be just about ready to kick off here in Venice. Ciao!


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