The 2011 World Poker Tour Venice had its final table on Sunday and the final six players were vying for the title plus €175,000 in first-place prize money. Leading the way into the last day was Michele Caroli, but he wouldn't be the one walking away with the title. The man who claimed victory at the end of it all was Edoardo Alescio after he defeated Steve O'Dwyer heads-up.
Alexander Dovzhenko was the second-shortest stack coming into the final table, but ended up as the first one out. According to the WPT Live Update Team, during Level 23 with the blinds at 10,000/20,000/3,000, Dovzhenko raised from early position before action folded to O'Dwyer in the big blind. O'Dwyer reraised all-in and Dovzhenko made the call.
When the hands were revealed, it was Dovzhenko's versus O'Dwyer's . From there, the board ran out and Dovzhenko was eliminated in sixth place.
Next to go in fifth place was Andrea Benelli. He was very short-stacked, with just 76,000 in chips, when he moved all-in preflop. O'Dwyer made the call and then Caroli called as well. Both O'Dwyer and Caroli checked down the board before all three players opened their hands.
O'Dwyer tabled for trip queens, Caroli showed for king high and the at-risk Benelli showed for king high as well. O'Dwyer's hand was the winner, eliminating Benelli and leaving four players at the table.
O'Dwyer also eliminated the fourth-place finisher, Andrea Dato, during Level 24 with the blinds at 12,000/24,000/4,000. Dato raised all-in preflop with 249,000 on the button and O'Dwyer called from the small blind. Dato held for a worse-but-live hand against O'Dwyer's . The board ran out and O'Dwyer's ace high held up to give him the win.
With three players left, Alescio was doing a lot of shoving, oftentimes over a raise from one of his opponents. Eventually, Caroli decided to make a stand and called holding . Unfortunately for him, Alescio held . The flop didn't give much help to Caroli, and neither did the on the turn. The river also missed Caroli, and he was sent out the door in third place.
With the tournament down to just two players, O'Dwyer was pitted against Alescio for the title. This was the 12th final table of the year for O'Dwyer and a big one at that. In the previous 11 contests, he had made it to heads-up play a whopping five times, winning three of them. He went into the battle with Alescio holding a big lead in chips and even drew first blood, but things didn't go his way from there.
After grinding back a bit, Alescio was all-in against O'Dwyer on the board with . O'Dwyer held and just needed to fade the river card in order to win the title. The dealer smacked the on the river, giving Alescio the winning flush he needed to spike a big double and take a two-to-one chip lead.
On the final hand, the blinds were 40,000/80,000/10,000 in Level 29. Alescio and O'Dwyer put all the money in preflop to flip it out. Alescio held and O'Dwyer . Although O'Dwyer hit an ace, Alescio also hit a five to seal the deal and walk away as the winner.
Final Table Payouts
*Winner also awarded a $25,500 WPT Championship Seat
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.
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