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2011 World Poker Tour Venice Day 1a: Dato Leads After Small Turnout

Andrea Dato

The World Poker Tour is in Venice this week at the Casino Di Venezia for another stop on its Season X tour. Action for the €3,300 re-entry Main Event kicked off Tuesday, and Day 1a drew 78 players. At the end of the day, 29 had survived and Andrea Dato led the way with 217,300 in chips.

Although the first day of the event didn't attract record numbers, the field was scattered with some well-known faces. Former WPT champions Sam El Sayed and Taylor von Kriegenbergh were both in action, but only von Kriegenbergh was able to advance. Other familiar faces that joined El Sayed on the rail were Marvin Rettenmaier, John Eames, Scott Baumstein and Nicolo Calia.

Eames was all-in with the {A-Hearts}{10-Spades} against the {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} for his opponent. A flop of {Q-Spades}{J-Hearts}{9-Spades} gave Eames some extra outs with an open-ended straight draw and the turn added even more outs with the {Q-Clubs} pairing the board. Eames was unable to hit his straight, two overcards or a jack or nine when the {2-Spades} hit the river and he was eliminated. Nevertheless, he'll get a second chance on Day 1b.

Another familiar face in the field was Steve O'Dwyer. According to the WPT Live Update Team, O'Dwyer finished with 159,000 in chips and was even the chip leader at a few points during the day.

On one hand during Level 6 with the blinds 200/400/50, O'Dwyer got all-in on an {8-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{2-Spades} flop against Andrea Darduin. O'Dywer held the {J-Diamonds}{J-Clubs} to Darduin's {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}. The turn brought the {6-Diamonds} and the river was the {10-Hearts} to give O'Dwyer the win. That pot catapulted him into the chip lead once again and sent Darduin to the rail.

Roger Hairabedian also had a solid day on the felt and went on to finish with 120,600 in chips despite being down rather early. During Level 6, Hairabedian spiked a nice double up with trip eights on the {K-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{8-Spades}{8-Diamonds} board holding the {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}.

A few more eliminations on the day included Manuel Novello, Raffaele Carnevale, Dario Alioto, Gianluca Speranza and brother Alessandro Speranza, Giovanni Rizzo and Leonard Domi.

Day 1b will kick off at 1300 CET (0600 PST) with another hungry group of players and with the re-entry format, many of the same faces with be back, as well. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for the daily recap of the event.

*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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