On Wednesday, the remaining players of a 173-player field returned for Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Season XI Venice Grand Prix. Surviving players from flights Day 1a and Day 1b returned to the Casino di Venezia, the oldest casino in the world, and sought to make the top 21 to claim their shares of the $643,000 prize pool, with $180,097 of that going to the eventual winner.
After 13 levels of play, the man best positioned to do so is European Poker Tour Sanremo champion Ludovic Lacay, who leads the remaining 36 players with 351,400 in chips.
WPT Venice Grand Prix End-of-Day 2 Top 10 Counts
Lacay got many of his chips simply by playing power poker. For example, in Level 12 (800/1,600/200), Raffaele Castro opened for 3,600 on the button and then called when Lacay three-bet to 8,600 from the big blind. The flop saw Lacay lead out for 9,000, Castro call, and the hit the turn. Lacay proceeded to bet 17,000, and Castro woke up with a raise to 37,000. Not to be outdone, Lacay three-bet all in, and Castro, who had the smaller stack, thought for a few minutes before folding his hand.
Day 2 started off well for Team Ivey’s John Eames, who eliminated three players in Level 9 (400/800/100) to chip up to 70,000. One of the fallen was Giuseppe Alfano, and his demise happened after Eames opened for 2,000 and Filipo Bergamasco flatted from the button. Alfano then three-bet to 4,400, Eames four-bet all in for 17,600, and Bergamasco folded. Alfano called off for approximately 12,000 with the , and he needed help to overcome the of Eames. The flop was kind to Eames by pairing his ace, and then the turn and river secured the pot for him.
Unfortunately for the Brit, his momentum suddenly slowed in Level 11 (600/1,200/200) courtesy of WPT host Mike Sexton. According to the WPT Live Blog, Eames’ tournament ended when he held suited in a blind-versus-blind against Sexton, who held . A jack on the flop gave Sexton a set and sent Eames to the rail.
Also in Level 11, Grzegorz Wyraz fell to the aforementioned Castro. It happened when an under-the-gun player opened, and Castro three-bet to 6,000. Wyraz then moved all in for 30,000 holding the , the original raiser folded, and Castro called with the . It was a flip, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Wyraz had a 55.12% chance of surviving the hand. Much to Wyraz’s dismay, that dropped to 15.15% when the flop paired Castro’s king. The turn brought Wyraz’s chances up to 31.82% with an added flush draw, but the missed it. “Nice call. Well done, fish,” Wyraz steamed before taking his leave.
Others who left on Day 2 were Dario Alioto, Artem Litvinov, Carla Solinas, Alessio Isaia, Alessandro Longobardi, Andrey Pateychuk, Andrea Dato, Salvatore Blanco and Marco Bognanni.
While many fell, a few notables advanced to Day 3 including Club WPT qualifier Socrates Ioannides (28,500), Eddie Tasbas (38,000), Martin Staszko (43,900), Max Pescatori (57,800), Daniel Cates (87,600), Liv Boeree (93,600), Giacomo Fundaro (97,400), Matt Salsberg (100,100), Kara Scott (113,400) and Marvin Rettenmaier (187,700).
Day 3 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. In the meantime, check out this WPT video of Phil Hellmuth’s “White Magic” grand entrance:
Data and photo courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.