Season XI of the World Poker Tour continued on Tuesday with Day 1b of the WPT Venice Grand Prix. A total of 108 players registered for the second flight, bringing the field size to 173, and only 91 will return for Day 2. Leading the entire field is Day 1a chip leader Stephen Behm, and in second place is Day 1b chip leader Fernando Cimaglia.
Joining those two atop the counts are two-time WPT Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier, the WPT's own Mike Sexton and Season 9 European Poker Tour Sanremo Main Event champion Ludovic Lacay.
Top 10 Counts Entering Day 2 of WPT Venice Grand Prix
|7||Quoc Trung Nguyen||113,800|
To start the day, several players who busted on Day 1a re-entered, including Guillaume Darcourt, Sandor Demjan, Martin Staszko, Andrea Dato, Sergio Castellucci, Gaelle Baumann, Jackson Genovesi and Lacay. Darcourt's day didn't last long; he was eliminated in Level 2.
Darcourt found himself all in preflop holding two kings, only to be crushed by Demjan's pocket aces. The aces held, and Darcourt was off to traverse the canals of beautiful Venice, Italy.
Galen Hall also was unable to make it out of Day 1b, taking a huge beat from Eros Mossali. With the blinds at 100/200/25, a player in the hijack seat opened for a raise. Hall three-bet in the cutoff, Mossali four-bet to 4,000 on the button, and the player in the hijack seat folded. Hall five-bet to 9,125, Mossali moved all in, and Hall snap-called with aces.
The flop came , giving Mossali a miraculous set of kings and the lead in the hand, and it was all over for Hall when the turn and river came the and , respectively.
Staszko, the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up, was the recipient of a massive triple up during Level 5. He, Jurgen Paulisch and Bledar Pajana saw a flop of in a three-bet pot. The action checked to Pajana, who fired 5,000 (a pot-sized bet). Staszko check-raised to 10,000, Paulisch moved all in, Pajana quickly re-shoved, and Staszko instantly called.
Staszko's top set of queens held when the turn and river bricked with the and , respectively, eliminating Pajana. Staszko crossed the 60,000-chip threshold, and finished the day with 50,900.
En route to bagging the most chips on Day 1b, Cimaglia won a massive pot off of Giuseppe Cristaudo. The two were heads up on a board of . Cristaudo fired 6,300, and Cimaglia called. The river was the , Cristaudo fired another 8,100, and Cimaglia instantly called. Cristaudo showed for tens and fours, which Cimaglia had crushed with for trip tens.
The story of the day took place off of the felt, however, when Phil Hellmuth made a grand entrance via one of the historic gondolas in Venice. Hellmuth, dressed in festive Carnevale di Venezia garb, floated to the back dock of the famed Casino di Venezia and strolled into the poker room.
Unfortunately for Hellmuth, his performance on the felt wasn't as memorable. With the blinds at 300/600/75, Hellmuth opened to 1,700 in middle position. Cristaudo called on the button, and Cimaglia defended from the big blind. The flop was , and Cimaglia checked to Hellmuth who fired 4,000. Only Cimaglia called. The turn was the , Cimaglia checked again, and Hellmuth tossed out 8,000. Cimaglia tanked for quite some time before check-raising all in for effectively 34,000. Hellmuth thought for a bit, then called.
The completed the board, and Hellmuth was off to take a few more gondola rides.
Day 2 of WPT Venice will begin on Wednesday at 14:30 CET. Be sure to check back in at PokerNews.com for a recap of the day's events upon the completion of play.
Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.