2012 World Poker Tour Venice Grand Prix Day 1: Candio Leading the Pack

Filippo Candio

The World Poker Tour continued this week with Day 1 of the WPT Venice Grand Prix from the Casino Di Venezia. Last year, the same event drew 523 players, and Alessio Isaia defeated Szabolcs Mayer in an eight-hour heads-up battle to claim the $518,832 first-place prize. This year, 155 players entered the field, and Filippo Candio emerged as the Day 1 chip leader with 227,900.

Candio amassed most of his stack in the later levels, partially because of his willingness to mix it up with big stack Marcel Bjerkmann. In one hand, Bjerkmann raised to 1,800 from the cutoff, the button called, and Candio three-bet to 3,200 from the small blind. Both Bjerkmann and the button called, leading to the {5-Clubs}{4-Spades}{2-Clubs} flop. Candio wasted little time in firing out 8,000, Bjerkmann raised to 18,000, and the button got out of the way. Not to be outdone, Candio moved all-in. Bjerkmann, who began the hand with around 100,000, folded his hand, prompting Candio to reveal {k-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}.

Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as Candio. Scott Montgomery was an early elimination after his {a-}{q-} failed to overcome Alexander Popp's {k-}{k-}. Likewise, Jack Ellwood hit the rail after he got his money in holding {j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} on a {6-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} flop against Guillaume Darcourt who was holding {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}. Neither the turn nor river helped Ellwood, who was eliminated in Level 6. Other eliminations included Giovanni Rizzo, Mario Adinolfi, David Nicholson, James Dempsey, Arnaud Mattern, Dragan Galic, Max Pescatori, and Isaia, meaning there would be no repeat champion.

Some of the players who managed to survive included members of Team PartyPoker Tony G (78,800), Kara Scott (35,700), Mike Sexton (24,200); as well as Melanie Weisner (31,100), James Akenhead (78,000), Roberto Romanello (43,900), and Marvin Rettenmaier (21,200).

Only 89 players remain in action for Day 2. Play is set to get back under way at 1300 CET (0400 PST) on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the top ten chip counts when play resumes:

World Poker Tour Venice Grand Prix Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Filippo Candio227,900
2Gabriele Lepore172,000
3Andrea Dato121,700
4Andrey Gulyy107,600
5Danilo Donnini105,200
6Dario De Paz103,700
7Alexander Popp101,900
8Mustapha Kanit99,600
9Nicolas Levi96,300
10Matteo Amore89,900

For more on the WPT Venice Grand Prix, be sure to visit the Party Poker Blog to see what Tony G and Mike Sexton have to say from the Casino Di Venezia.

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*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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