WPT: Marcello Montagner Leads Venice Grand Prix Final Table

Mike Sexton

The fourth day of the World Poker Tour Venice Grand Prix Main Event wrapped up after the 18 returning players was trimmed to a final TV table of six players. Leading the contenders for the title is Marcello Montagner with a 1.8 million chip stack.

Following Montagner is Roberto Begni with 1,203,000. Sitting behind them with a seven-figure stack is the mouth of the WPT itself and the poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton. Rounding out the final table are Erion Islamay, Rocco Palumbo and Xia Lin.

Sexton will earn his first tournament cash since his final table appearance at the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop final table. Sexton has never won a WPT event but did make a final table at the 2011 Bay 101 Main Event and cashed in 20th place at the Borgatta Poker Open in 2010.

Finishing short of the TV table were Matt Salsberg in seventh, Martin Staszko in tenth. Ludovic Lacay in12th and Kara Scott in 13th. Bowing out earlier in the day were Giuseppe Pastura, Giorgia Tabet and Lauri Pesonen.

Scott was on bad end of two short stack double ups early in the day – Matteo Fortunato and Stazsko. Her final hand came when she open-shipped with K 8  from middle position and Robert Begni called with A K. Scott watched the board run A K 9 Q T and exited in 13th place for $9,261.

Staszko’s double up through Scott occurred when he opened on the button and Scott raised out of the big blind and Stazsko called. The flop fell 8 7 4, Scott bet 35,000 and Staszko called. The turn came 9, Scott shoved having Staszko covered and he called after a three minute tank. Scott tabled pocket sixes and Staszko had J 9 and the river brought the former November Niner a second pair with the J.

Staszko’s momentum wouldn’t last all day as he bowed out in tenth place. His final hand came when Sexton opened for 25,000 and Staszko shoved from the big blind for just under 11 big blinds. Sexton called with K Q and Staszko’s tournament life hinged on his A J. The board ran Q 6 4 K K and Staszko’s day was done.

Salsberg had been grinding short stack seemingly since Day 1. He found a key double up through Lauri Pesonen when he open-shoved on the button and Salsberg called from the big blind with pocket jacks. Pesonen tabled A 2 and saw Salsberg further his advantage when a jack appeared in the window. Pesonen didn’t catch anything to overcame a flopped set, dropped down to four big blinds while Salsberg gained a little breathing room with just over 200,000.

Salsberg was down to six big blinds a short time later and moved all in blind and Palumbo called with K 8. Salsberg flipped up his cards to reveal pocket kings and doubled up after the board ran all rags.

Lacay continued his up and down day after having a yoyo day on Day 3. He called Marcello Montagno’s all in with pocket aces and Montagno had A K. The board ran Q T 9 7 J and the rivered straight set Lacay back to 13 big blinds while Montagno was up over 500,000.

Lacay’s day didn’t get better and he was eliminated in 12th place by Montagno. Lacay open-shoved on the button with [Ax] [3x] and Montagno called with [Ax] [Kx]. Montagno paired his king and sent Lacay to the payout desk.

Venice Grand Prix Final Table Chip Counts

  1.  Marcello Montagner – 1,805,000
  2. Roberto Begni – 1,203,000
  3. Mike Sexton – 1,079,000
  4. Erion Islamay – 406,000
  5. Rocco Palumbo – 406,000
  6. Xia Lin – 309,000
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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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