Venice was the destination for the WPT Tour this past week and it was an Italian by the name of Alessio Isaia who walked away with the €380,000 1st place prize as he defeated 523 participants to become the first Italian to record a major WPT title win.
Commanding a buy-in of €3,300 and a total prize pool exceeding €1.5m, this 13th tournament leg of the WPT Tour at the Casino de Venezia in Venice was creating quite a stir in the poker world.
It was Scottish player David Vamplew who went into the final table as chip leader. Coming off the back of strong finishes in the London leg of the EPT in October and the UKIPT Champions Event shortly after, the 23 year old was looking sure to add to his rising market value. Isaia was a close second and Hungarian Szabolcs Mayer was in third. This final table would be all about those three poker players.
As players slowly got eliminated we were down to the final three players. Nobody else had really mattered during this intriguing event. Max Lykov, Adrien Camille Garrigues, Emmanuel Rodrigues, Luca Fiorini and Renatio Paolini all failed to steal the show and as Mayer, Isaia and Vamplew prepared to lock horns, nobody could have anticipated what would happen.
It only took a couple of hours before David Vamplew’s dreams of taking away a World Poker Tour title were shattered. Vamplew called Mayer all-in after a series of raises. Vamplew had King and Queen suited in spades whilst Mayer had Ace and Jack suited in hearts. Mayer hit the Ace on the turn and he won the hand condemning Vamplew to pain-staking 11th hour elimination. Little did everyone know this poker tournament was far from being over.
Eight hours of heads up action followed. Mayer and Isaia exchanged blows in a match that made chess look quick fire. With each player so close to achieving a personal best neither man wanted to risk too much and folding was the name of the game. Finally a victory hand came. Mayer called all-in with a Queen and a 6 of clubs. Unfortunately for him, Isaia had an Ace of hearts and Queen of diamonds. This game was looking over. Mayer failed to hit anything and Isaia gave the partisan crowd what they wanted and took home the €380,000 first place prize. Both men were exhausted and it had been an epic heads up, one that neither would easily forget.