Alessio Isaia Wins WPT Venice 2011

Alessio Isaia Wins WPT Venice 2011After five action-packed days and the longest heads-up duel in WPT history, the 2011 World Poker Tour Venice Main Event has finally come to a close. The sponsored event had a buy-in of €3,300 and attracted 523 players which created a total prize pool of €1,569,000 with €380,000 set aside for the eventual winner who turned out to be Full Tilt Poker Pro Alessio Isaia.

The tournament had two starting days and when they had both been completed the 523 player field had been cut to 219 players, with Alessio Isaia holding the chip lead. He failed to hold on to the chip lead on Day 2 though as David Vamplew (winner of the 2010 EPT London Main Event) took the lead after the field was cut to 57 players and Vamplew managed to keep the chip lead when Day 3 was over, after the 57 remaining players were cut down to the final eight who would take their seats at the final table on Day 5 of the event.

Vamplew entered the final table as chip leader holding 4.1million chips while Renato Paolini entered as the short stack holding just 405,000 chips. Paolini just couldn’t get going and found himself to be the first player eliminated from the final table. During the very first hand he moved all-in but nobody called, but the second time he moved all-in he received a call from PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov. Paolini showed his KJ but was dominated by Lykov’s AK and with no help from the board Paolini was out in 8th place for €31,960.

The next player to go was Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov. He lost a big pot when he ran into the pocket Aces of Emmanuel Rodrigues, and soon after he found himself involved in a three-way pot along with Szabolcs Mayer and Adrien Garrigues. Both Mayer and Garrigues held big slick (A-K) and the hand saw Lykov eliminated in 7th place for €43,370.

Next to go was the short stack, Luca Fiorini – the oldest player at the final table. He moved all-in holding A10 and was called by Alessio Isaia who held A7. It was looking great for Fiorini as the board was blank, however a 7 on the river crushed his hopes of doubling up and saw him eliminated in 6th place for €57,830. Adrien Garrigues soon followed him when he made an all-in river bluff which was called by Szabolcs Mayer, meaning Garrigues was out in 5th place for €73,180.

Down to four players it was Rodrigues who was the next to hit the rail. He moved all-in holding A2 after a raise from David Vamplew who called holding 88 and Vamplew managed to hit another 8 on the flop giving him a set and eliminating Rodrigues in 4th place for €101,960. Vamplew was eliminated soon after at the hands of Mayer, finishing in 3rd place for €149,910.

It was now down to heads-up between Alessio Isaia and Szabolcs Mayer. Mayer began as an overwhelming favourite holding 12,865,000 chips compared to Isaia’s 2,800,000 chips however Isaia managed to claw his way back into the match. After an incredible 8 hours 20 minutes heads-up battle (longest in World Poker Tour history) the final hand of the tournament took place. Mayer moved all-in for his final 2.6 million chips holding Q6 and was called by Isaia who held AQ, and with no help on the board for Mayer the tournament was over and Isaia was crowned 2011 WPT Venice Champion.

After his gruelling heads-up battle, Isaia had this to say:

“I’m very happy. I’ve been trying to win a big tournament for three or four years. I came close in the EPT, but I never achieved it. I’m even more happy to win it in Italy, my home country. I’m very very tired. We played for eight hours heads-up, which was exhausting. Mayer is a very good opponent. The money will enable me to play other tournaments, but I’m more happy with the title and the bracelet.”

2011 WPT Venice Main Event Final Table Results

1st was Alessio Isaia winning €380,000

2nd was Szabolcs Mayer winning €228,990

3rd was David Vamplew winning €149,910

4th was Emmanuel Rodrigues winning €101,960

5th was Adrien Camille Garrigues winning €73,180

6th was Luca Fiorini winning €57,830

7th was Max Lykov winning €43,370

8th was Renato Paolini winning €31,960