WPT: Erion Islamay Leads Venice Grand Prix Final 18

Erion Islamay

The World Poker Tour Venice Grand Prix Main Event wrapped up Day 3 after bringing back 36 players from Day 2. When the dust settled the field was trimmed to two tables of 18 players and leading them all is Erion Islamay after bagging up 470,000.

Right on Islamay’s heels is Marcello Montagner with 460,000. The stacked field includes Mike Sexton, Kara Scott, Ludovic Lacay and Martin Staszko in the top ten alone. Accomplished players Rocco Palumbo and Matt Salsberg remain as well.

Several big time pros were eliminated throughout the days’ action including Dan Cates, Marvin Rettenmaier, Liv Boeree, Giacomo Fundaro, Max Pescatori, Steve Behm and the colorful Club WPT qualifier Socrates Ioannides. Davor Lanini, Francesco Delfoco and Daniele Mazzla all earned a min-cash of $6,964 before being eliminated.

Pescatori was the unfortunate bubble boy of the tournament and his elimination hand came when he open-shoved in late position and Salsberg called. Pescatori turned up K 5 and Salsberg tabled pocket eights. Salsberg hit a set on the flop that ran 9 8 4 and Pescatori was eliminated after he couldn’t catch up.

Lacay began the day with a commanding chip lead but saw it dwindle away in the opening levels of the day. He earned a double up against Angelo Recchia to put him back in contention when he held pocket queens and Recchia called with A K. The board ran with all small cards and Lacay was near 200,000, but ended the day with twice that at 402,000.

Another Lacay hand began when Palumbo opened for 8,000, Sebastiano Giudice three-bet to 20,000 and Lacay bumped up the action to 55,000 from the small blind.  Palumbo got out of the way but Giudice called to see the K J T flop. Lacay fired away all in and Giudice called with A K. Lacay was behind, but with a solid draw holding pocket queens. The turn came 9, giving Lacay the advantage and the river bricked for Giudice. Lacay was up around 400,000 and Giudice was eliminated.

Rettenmaier was eliminated in a hand that saw an unknownplayer open on the button, Rettenmaier raised to 18,500 from the small blind and Xia Lin made it 40,000 from the big blind. The button folded, Rettenmaier moved all in for 180,000 and Lin called with pocket queens. Rettenamier tabled [Ax] [Kx], flopped two pair but the river produced a queen and shipped the pot to Lin. Rettenmaier was crippled after the hand and was eliminated a short time later when Lin called his shove with pocket aces.

Cates fell victim to back-t0-back hands that ousted him from the tournament. Cates saw a limped flop of A Q 9 with Eddie Tasbas and Cates check-called to see the 6 on the turn. Cates checekd, Tasbas bet and Cates shoved. Tasbas snap-called with Q 9 and was well ahead of Cates’ T 8 straight draws. The river fell Q and Cates was left with 14 big blinds. The next hand Cates open-shoved with K Q and Ivan Gabrieli called with pocket deuces. The board ran all rags and Cates was eliminated.

Boeree was eliminated a few spots from the money bubble when she shipped her short all in preflop holding [Qx] [9x]. Antonio Zito called with [Kx] [Jx], Boeree never improved and was free to spend the rest of her day exploring Venice.

Ioannides was eliminated after a run in with Pescatori. Pescatori opened, Ioannides called defended his blind to see a 9 9 3 flop. Ioannides moved all in with a questionable T 3 and Pescatori called holding [Ax] [3x]. The board completed with blanks, sending Ioannides to the rail.


WPT Venice Grand Prix Top Ten Chip Counts

  1.  Erion Islamay – 470,000
  2. Marcello Montagner – 460,000
  3. Giuseppe Pastura – 432,000
  4. Xia Lin – 425,000
  5. Mike Sexton – 414,000
  6. Kara Scott – 414,000
  7. Ludovic Lacay – 402,000
  8. Rocco Paulumbo – 378,000
  9. Ivan Gabriell – 295,000
  10. Martin Staszko – 251,000
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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