SCOOP is gone. The LAPT main event is Punta del Este is over. The World Series has yet to get underway. This should be a time we can all take a breath and collect our thoughts. Instead, we decided to dive right back in to the PokerStars weekend majors. And why not, right? This is where all the champions of those big series really get their experience anyway.
This was he the last weekend of May, which meant a ton of big stories as people looked to close strong on the month. The best story out there this weekend was Brazilian diegokeep's chance at redemption. It's barely been a few weeks since he almost won the Sunday Million but ended up finishing in the runner-up spot. This weekend, he did himself one better and notched the title.
Here are the biggest stories from the past couple of days.
Finally, for some important and educational reading about how good poker tournaments work, please do check out Lee Jones' piece from the weekend: Tournament decisions: not black and white
For a complete look at all the big weekend final tables, see the 5-27-12 PokerStars weekend majors results.
Good luck in the coming week. Bring on June!
It was deja vu all over again tonight for diegokeep. Only eight weeks ago, the Brazilian was living the dream, playing heads-up for a Sunday Million title while his poker idol Andre Akkari cheered him on from the rail. Although he fought his way back from a 3 to 1 chip deficit and was poised to take control after getting his money in with the nut straight against two pair, his opponent spiked a full house on the river and diegokeep had to settle for second place. Little did he know that he'd shake that monkey off his back less than two months later, taking down his first Sunday Million title and nearly $196,000 in prize money.
6,977 players turned out for this week's Million, creating a $1,395,400 prize pool. 1,080 places were paid with first place set to earn $209,315.40. Among the dozen Red Spades in the field were Nacho Barbero, Maxim Lykov, Johnny Lodden, Ana Marquez, and Shane "shaniac" Schleger. Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman made the money in 1,074th place while Henrique Pinho made a deep run, busting out in 53rd place when he ran his pocket kings into pocket aces.
With ten players remaining, the average stack was less than 20BB with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000. The action folded to Luigi da BP on the button and he open-shoved for 5.3 million holding [As][2s]. Stknsidewayz called all-in for 2.3 million with pocket sixes in the big blind, but Luigi da BP hit trips on the [Ad][Ac][Jh] flop. Stknsidewayz did not improve and was eliminated on the final table bubble.
Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: joszunabot18 (4,062,030 in chips)
Seat 2: DOCTORB911 (8,256,279 in chips)
Seat 3: Luigi da BP (8,265,284 in chips)
Seat 4: Grindation (10,036,720 in chips)
Seat 5: Houbanan (4,335,558 in chips)
Seat 6: montjeu8 (5,174,104 in chips)
Seat 7: ˝arje (7,593,128 in chips)
Seat 8: dlflorin (8,252,692 in chips)
Seat 9: diegokeep (13,794,205 in chips)
About ten minutes into the final table, Grindation put narje to the test for his tournament life. After three-betting to 1.37 million preflop, Grindation led out for a very small bet of 494,665 on the [9h][9d][4c] flop. Narje raised to 2 million straight and Grindation shoved, having narje well-covered. After a long tank, narje called with [8c][8h] and Grindation turned over [Kd][Qd]. Narje made the right call but got the wrong result, the [Qh] spiking on the river to send him to the rail in ninth place.
With the blinds up to 250,000/500,000, diegokeep opened for a min-raise to 1,000,000 and was met with a three-bet to 2.25 million from DOCTORB911. Diegokeep shoved his [Jc][Jh] and DOCTORB911 called with [Ad][Ac] only to watch the flop fall [Kh][Js][Kd]. Diegokeep made jacks full of kings to snap off DOCTORB911's aces and ended his run in eighth place.
Only four hands passed before dlflorin put in his last 15 big blinds, shoving 7.4 million from the button with [Ah][3h]. Diegokeep, however, woke up with [Ts][Tc] in the small blind, the pocket pair holding up on an eight-high board to eliminate dlflorin in seventh.
That's pretty much when all hell broke loose, three more players following dlflorin out the door in the next three hands. The next deal saw Houbanan move in for 4.5 million with [8d][9h] and montjeu8 reshove from the cutoff with [Ah][Js], having Houbanan slightly covered. Although Houbanan flopped an eight, montjeu8 caught running spades to make a flush. Houbanan exited in sixth place, earning $43,257.40.
On the next hand the action folded around to Luigi da BP in the small blind. He looked down at [Ah][Qh] and made a no-brainer shove for 6.1 million. Grindation called with [As][3s]. It was another case of "right move, wrong result" as once again, the underdog managed to squeak out a win. Grindation hit a gutshot wheel draw on the [7h][5s][4c] flop and made it on the turn with the [2c]. Luigi da BP hit the rail in fifth place, his deep run earning him $57,211.40.
Another hand, another elimination. This time montjeu8 opened the action, min-raising to 1.2 million with [Kc][Tc]. Diegokeep defended his big blind with [Kh][7s]. Both players hit top pair on the [Kd][4d][4s] flop, but diegokeep caught two pair on the turn when the [7h] fell. All the money went in and montjeu8 did not improve on the river, the [Ah] landing to send him home in fourth place with $73,956.20.
Our final three managed to play four whole hands before the money was in the middle yet again. Down to his last 11 big blinds, joszunabot18 open-shoved for 6.8 million with [8d][8h] and Grindation called with [Kh][Qs] in the big blind. The [Qd][Td][9d] flop hit both players, joszunabot18 flopping straight and flush draws while Grindation made top pair to go with his straight draw. The [js] on the turn made both players' straights, Grindation's king-high straight outpipping joszunabot18's queen-high straight. Joszunabot18 was out in third, taking home $111,632.00 and our heads-up match was set.
Heads-up chip counts:
Seat 4: Grindation (26,444,068 in chips)
Seat 9: diegokeep (43,325,932 in chips)
Diegokeep wasn't the only one at this final table with recent success. Grindation won the Sunday Kickoff five weeks ago, banking $25,594. Almost immediately, they agreed to pause the action and discuss a deal. Both parties quickly agreed to a chip count chop deal that left $20,000 on the table for the winner.
Diegokeep quickly expanded his chip lead, moving up to 55.6 million after he turned top two pair and rivered a full house, getting value on both the turn and the river. Grindation, however, wasn't going down so easily, and doubled through diegokeep when his [Qc][9s] turned top pair against [Ad][2c]. Down to 20.9 million, diegokeep won 10 of the next 12 hands to grind his stack back up to 30.5 million, then got a fold on the river from Grindation to take down a 19.5 million pot and move past 40 million in chips. Grindation reversed the counts one more time, check-raising a [9c][7s][5d] flop in a four-bet pot, but got caught bluffing a short time later, diegokeep calling him down in this 37 million-chip pot:
Back out in front with 51.4 million, Diegokeep called Grindation's button min-raise with [6h][7h] and saw a [Ad][6d][5s] flop. Diegokeep check-called 1,008,000 from Grindation, then check-called another 1.9 million on the [Qh] turn. The [6s] on the river was gin for diegokeep and he checked one more time. Grindation bet 8 million, diegokeep raised to 16 million and Grindation called. Grindation showed [Ac][9h] for aces up, but it was no match for diegokeep's trip sixes. This time, the lucky river card (and all the VAMOOOOOS that came with it) were his, and diegokeep locked up his first Sunday Million title, along with $195,933.52 in prize money. For his runner-up finish, Grindation earned $167,391.17.
PokerStars Sunday Million results for 5/27/2012:
1. diegokeep (Brazil) $195,933.52*
2. Grindation (United Kingdom) $167,391.17*
3. joszunabot18 (Poland) $111,632.00
4. montjeu8 (Lebano) $73,956.20
5. Luigi da BP (Hungary) $57,211.40
6. Houbanan (Denmark) $43,257.40
7. dlflorin (Romania) $30,001.10
8. DOCTORB911 (Canada) $16,744.80
9. narje (Spain) $10,814.35
Prize pool: $1,395,400
Places paid: 1,080
*= reflects the result of a two-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner
Want to take on the Sunday Million but are a little short on bankroll? Hit up the Sunday Million page to learn how you can win your way in for as little as 400 FPPs.
The poker corner of the Twitterverse is currently abuzz after a ruling at the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), which is sponsored by PokerStars. I'll get to the specific ruling in a minute, but I'd first like to discuss tournament rules and rulings in general.
Poker tournaments, like virtually every other competition or contest, have rules. They help things proceed smoothly, give everybody an idea of how to act, and prevent confusion. Unfortunately, for a long time, poker tournaments had no central rule book on which most people agreed. However, a handful of people including Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and Matt Savage got together and created a generally accepted set of rules via the "Tournament Director's Association" or "TDA". The TDA rules serve as a starting point from which most tournament rule books work; that includes the LAPT's rules.
Now a brief note on the nature of rules: no rule book can cover every possible way that humans dream up to interact with each other. That's why there are lawyers and judges and stuff - making rules and enforcing them is hard. Both the TDA and LAPT bosses realized this and made their rule #1 the following:
The Tournament Director and Floor Personnel are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness as the top priority in the decision-making process. Unusual circumstances may on occasion dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over the technical rules. The decisions of the Tournament Direct and/or Floor Personnel are final.
This first rule goes by a lot of names: "Best interest of the game", "Fairness", and "Common sense". I like to call it the "Do the Right Thing" rule. It empowers the floor staff and tournament directors to do the right thing, as their judgment dictates. In fact, I was there when the TDA decided to make this Rule #1 - I couldn't have been happier.
And it's a good thing we have Rule #1. Despite the 30-odd rules that follow it in the LAPT rule book, there are still plenty of circumstances that require intelligent interpretation. In fact, the aforementioned Matt Savage (a friend and former neighbour of mine) has a bustling (albeit non-paying) cottage industry answering tournament ruling questions on Twitter (@savagepoker).
To give you an idea of what we're talking about, I recently had a tournament director (TD) throw a question at me over breakfast: in a four-card Omaha tournament, there was a raise in early position. Action folded to the blinds and, oops, one of the blinds had three cards and the other had five; somehow one card had ended up in the wrong place. The black and white interpretation of the rule is that both blinds have dead hands (a valid Omaha hand is exactly four cards, no more, no less). But wait - is that the fairest ruling? "Had either of the blinds looked at his cards?" "No," she smiled, seeing where I was going. "Easy then," I replied, "Dealer mixes up the cards in the five-card hand, slides one card over to the player with three cards and we're off to the races." "That's what Linda (Johnson) said!" the TD said with glee. Unfortunately, that's not how the actual ruling went, which involved agonizing delays as they attempted to recreate the action, determine who had done what, and somehow sort the mess out.
Do the right thing, be as fair as possible to all concerned, and move along - we've got a poker game to play.
And that brings us to the current kerfuffle on Twitter. Our hero was in an LAPT tournament and woke up with pocket kings in early position. This is the sort of hand that will make or break a tourney and he eagerly raised to T750 (that is, 750 "chips"). A player behind him called, putting out a T500 chip, two T100 chips, and two T25 chips. Then a third player announced "Raise." But wait, there was a problem. The player who had called had confused one of his chips. Rather than two T100 chips, he'd put out one T100 chip and one T5000 chip (the two are apparently somewhat similar in color).
According to the black and white reading of the tournament rules, this is absolutely a raise (multiple chips comprising a valid raise amount).
The floorman was called over and asked to make a ruling. Though I haven't spoken to this floorman, it was presumably clear to him that the caller had meant to do just that - call. He ruled that the second player had called. I'm not sure what the action was after that or how it was ruled, but that's not important. What's important is that the floorman ruled the T5000 chip an honest mistake and let the player correct it.
And good for him, I say. It's not in the best interest of the game for tournaments to be decided (or shifted) by an honest and understandable mistake of which color chip a player picks up.
Of course, our hero is upset. Had the floorman ruled that the "caller" had actually raised, then he might have felt obliged to rule that the next player's "raise" announcement was binding as well. Our hero would have had the opportunity to put in a massive fourth preflop raise holding the second most powerful hand in hold'em; that's how you win poker tournaments.
I certainly understand his disappointment, but frankly, not his outrage. Had he been the one to accidentally put out a T5000 chip, the ruling would have certainly been the same, and saved a significant chunk of his starting stack.
Floormen have difficult jobs - they get called in exactly when the rule book isn't necessarily sufficient to solve the problem. Whatever ruling they make is going to upset one or more people. And of course there are cases in which a floorman (or even a TD) makes a ruling that cannot be supported by either the rule book or common sense. That happens - they're human, just like the players.
But let's keep some perspective here - tournament directors and floor staff are there to interpret the rules, not blindly quote chapter and verse of a long-standing rule that we all know. When they make a ruling that bends the rules in favor of common sense, I think we should all be grateful for the job they do.
Late breaking edit: I've gotten direct confirmation that LAPT tournament director Mike Ward made the ruling and said at the time that he was ruling, "in the best interests of the game."
Mike is one of the top TD's in the business; I'm delighted to hear that my theory about the logic he followed was pretty much spot on.
Lee Jones is the head of Home Games at PokerStars and has been involved in the professional poker world for over 25 years. You can read his occasional Twitter-bites at @leehjones.
120 tournaments in two weeks and you might be worn out too. Unless you are Shaun Deeb of course. The 2012 SCOOP player of the series was collecting watches like he was trying to outfit a pet octopus with PokerStars jewelry. But, not all players have the stamina to play through all those deep runs as seen in tonight's $500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-up. A lighter than usual crowd gathered, as perhaps the players needed a little R & R from the series overload. 2,996 players did however find an extra Red Bull or five to power up the PokerStars lobby and break the guarantee with a $599,200.00 prize pool.
Team PokerStars Pros and Team Online were not allowed to claim one of the 432 prizes on the board tonight as Team Online Shane "shaniac" Schleger flew the Red Spade flag the longest finishing in 788th place.
Players like Chris "ImDaNuts" Oliver were back in the money tonight, just like his 4th place finish for $52K in SCOOP Event #39-H Tonight there would be no final table run for Oliver after finishing in 211th place ($539.28).
Down to two tables the final 18 had no problem removing eight people from their seats quickly but the second hand-for-hand portion of tournament would take a little longer than people realize. It would start with the blinds at 50K/100K ante 10K but did not finish until two blind level later. 80K/160K ante 16K blinds meant utreg's 643,182 chips were not going to last long as utreg min raised from the cutoff and lonxs told utreg from the big blind that the rest of those chips are going into the middle by three-betting. No choice here as utreg made the call holding [4s][Kd] and slightly ahead of lonxs' [Tc][9d]. The flopped straight [7h] [8d] [Jh] [Qc] [Ac] put an end to any discussion about a comeback tonight as utreg hit the rail in 10th place ($3,745.00) starting up the final table below:
Seat 1: herby5 (3906014 in chips)
Seat 2: Ciejas (4365560 in chips)
Seat 3: orange6 (2040862 in chips)
Seat 4: SteenD (3043989 in chips)
Seat 5: lonxs (4587632 in chips)
Seat 6: belmondo78 (1797288 in chips)
Seat 7: bartels30 (5357549 in chips)
Seat 8: chrispker23 (2843406 in chips)
Seat 9: Palmero92 (2017700 in chips)
Another sign that hand-for-hand was a bit long winded, the blinds immediately went up to 100K/200K ante 20K once the special final table outlay was spread across the virtual felt and Team Online's Kevin "WizardofAhhs" Thurman dropped in on the final nine to congratulate them on making it this far.
Peeled from the table
The final table would start innocently enough with a "raise-it and take-it" loop around the oval but two hands after belmondo78 doubled up off lonxs, Palmero92 saw an opening to grab the hefty blinds and shoved just under two million chips from the cutoff. orange6 sitting in the big blind sitting on just over two millions made the call holding [As][Js]. It was a good one as Palmero92's [Ah][7d] was a heavy underdog. Three wheel cards on the [3h] [8d] [5h] [2s] [3c] threatened to chop up the pot, but 4.2 million chips found their way to the big blind as Palmero92 was finished in ninth place ($4,793.60). It would denied Palmero92 to add a second Sunday Warm-Up title in two months as the German took down this tournament last month for $72K.
The final table tonight would be a fast one as the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K as back-to-back preflop shoves broke out. First, chrispker23 had major kicker issues after SteenD called the British player's shove from the small blind. [Kh][Ad] for SteenD rolled to victory over chrispker23's [Ah][Qd] as king flopped [Kc] [5s] [2s] [5h] [8c] for a 4.1 million chip pot.
On the next hand bartels30 would min raise UTG and lonxs shoved from the small blind for 2.4 million chips holding pocket queens [Qc][Qd]. Back to bartels30 holding big slick [Kh][Ac] to make the call as big slick was looking to go two-for-two. It did. Ace on the turn [Tc] [3h] [6s] [Ad] [5d] would lock in the 5.4 million chip pot and lock lonxs out in eighth place ($7,789.60).
Nines are not fine
Still in the 125K/250K ante 25K blind level herby5 would lead off for a 785,500 chip raise as belmondo78 in the small blind (again???) shoved for 2.5 million. Back to herby5 who started with 3.2 million would make the call holding [Ah][Jh]. Up against the pocket nines [9s][9d] of belmondo78, the ace would waste no time hitting the flop [5c] [5d] [As] [6h] [3d] to ship the 5.6 million chip pot to herby5 and $13,781.60 to belmondo78 in seventh place.
The final six would stir the idea of a chop for a bit but all attempts were veto'd to stop the clock as play moved through the 150K/300K ante 30K level with all six holding a chair.
chrispker23 took a massive hit earlier after doubling up SteenD but rallied from that low to over 3.6 million chips when this 6.1 million chip preflop pot broke out against bartels30:RSS readers please click through to view video
After chrispk23 shoved over the top of bartels30's min-raise from the small blind, bartels30 made the call holding [Jd][As] flipping against the [Td][Kd] of chrispk23. The three diamond flop [2d] [3d] [6d] locked down the hand (yes the [4d] and [5d] COULD HAVE shown up, but they did not) for chrispk23 as bartels30 exited in sixth place ($19,773.60).
More chop talks, more chop nots
After the big pot chrispk23 tried to rally the table again for a chop but herby5 was still having none of it despite the play starting to get a little "shovey". Then, the blinds moved up to 200K/400K ante 40K and SteenD would give up a double up to herby5 after SteenD's [Kd][Qs] ran face first into herby5's big slick [Kc][As] for a 6.2 million chip pot. Left with 1.3 million, two hands later SteenD tried to min-raise from the small blind as chrispk23 in the big blind was happy to three bet SteenD all-in. Holding [7c][Qc] SteenD needed some clubs or a seven to stay alive versus chrispk23's [Qs][Tc]. The only club to show up for the party was on the door [6c] [3d] [Ts] [Ks] [3s] as chrispk23 sent SteenD packing in fifth place ($25,765.60). A little bit better performance today from SteenD as the Dane scored a seventh place in the Warm-Up in February.
As the 11th hourly break hit, all four decided to query Mr. Thurman about chop numbers. While Kevin calculated chip chops and ICM numbers, the players could not agree and turned the poker machine back on. Right away herby5 would double up off orange6 holding ducks against orange6's big slick for a 8.1 million chip pot and flattening out the chips even further.
No chop means more money
Good thing the chop did not go through as herby5 would have taken below third cash. Now bolstered with 7.5 million chips and blinds at 250K/500K ante 50K herby5 waited calmly in the small blind as chrispk23 shove slightly more chips from button holding [Ks][Ts]. herby5 was calm due to holding big slick [Ac][Kd] and made the call. Despite the evil [6c] [6s] [6h] [Qd] [3c] flop, big slick held for the win and the 15.7 million chip pot. 145,318 chips left over would go to Ciejas on the next hand as chrispk23's comeback was enough to grab fourth place cash ($34,454.00).
The very next hand Ciejas would min-raise from the button as orange6 shoved 4.6 million from the small blind holding [Qd][Ac] and Ciejas was there for the call with pocket fives [5h][5s]. The board was clean for the fives through the turn [8h] [Kh] [Kd] [Ks]. But, the river [Ah] would ship the 9.9 million chip pot to orange6. Three hands later herby5 would be there to call out of the big blind as Ciejas, now down to under four million chips, shoved from the button holding [Kh][Td]. [Js][Ad] for herby5 who could not seem to do anything wrong as the Swiss flopped a jack [6h] [5d] [Jh] [Ts] [9h] to the 8.2 million chip victory. Ciejas could have had $67K in the chop, took home $49,745.58 in third place.
Face your partner and shake hands
"I agree" and "I agree". No drawn out listing of poker achievements or chip counts, just two short words in the chat box got our remaining two their deals below:
As fast as the chop talks were, heads-up play would take a bit longer as there was still $10,000.00 on the table for the champ. In four short minutes orange6 would flip the chip lead after notching an unlikely straight holding [Kd][7h] as value bet herby5 on the river to claim a 24.6 million chip pot. Five hands later it was herby5's turn to win. Down to 5.5 million, herby5 called all-in preflop with [Ad][3c] as orange6 applied the pressure with a real hand, pocket sixes [6d][6s]. Ace on the flop [8d] [2d] [Ac] [Qh] [Qc] and the battle continued.
Then, with the blinds up to 300K/600K ante 60K the two players shoved 20.8 million chips into the middle in the hand below:
RSS readers please click through to view video
Deuces [2c][2d] for herby5 and big slick [Ah][Kh] for orange6 would name our champion today. It did not take long for the ace [Ad] [Js] [Th] [5h] [5d] to spoil herby5's chances at a late run comeback as orange6 took down the final 20.8 million chips and claimed this week's Sunday Warm-Up title!
Players Entered: 2,996
Entry Fee: $215.00
Prize Pool: $599,200.00
$500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up results (05-27-12):
( * denotes part of two-way deal )
1. orange6 (Israel) *$86,155.43
2. herby5 (Switzerland) *$78,025.95
3. Ciejas (Poland) $49,745.58
4. chrispker23 (United Kingdom) $34,454.00
5. SteenD (Denmark) $25,765.60
6. bartels30 (Denmark) $19,773.60
7. belmondo78 (Switzerland) $13,781.60
8. lonxs (Spain) $7,789.60
9. Palmero92 (Germany) $4,793.60
Only eight players are left on the shores of Lake Lugano, as the Italian Poker Tour's Campione main event prepares to crown a champion. The showdown is expected to run all night tonight before first place walks away with a hefty CHF 140,000.
Chip leader Antonino Venneri, a 58-year old player from Italy sits with a gigantic chip lead headed into the final showdown.
Here are the final table players.
Massimiliano Bellon Bellucci - 505,000 chips
Massimiliano is a 42 year-old-player from Italy who's been playing poker for only one year. His best results include a third place at the EPT Berlin ?2,000 Side event (for a ?45,000 prize), a 7th place at the ?300 Side event during EPT Campione, 54th place at the EPT Campione 2012 (?9,000), 36th at the Mini IPT Campione 2012 (? 680), 2nd at the Italian Poker Open in Campione d'Italia (CHF 66,000). When he doesn't play poker, he works in IT. His favourite poker game is Texas Hold'em and his favourite player is Tom "Durrr" Dwan. His style is tight aggressive.
Palumbo Rocco - 421,000 chips
Rocco is a 23 year-old-professional poker player from Italy who's been playing poker for five years online on PokerStars as "roccoge". His best poker performances include a 6th place at the IPT Sanremo ?5,250 High Roller (?14,050), a 10th place at the ?1,000 Side event "win the button" during the EPT Montecarlo Grand Finl (?2,250), 3rd at the ?1,000 Side event "turbo bounty" during EPT Grand Final Montecarlo (? 7,050), 13th at the EPT Campione 2012 (? 5,600), 2nd place at "La notte degli assi" (CHF 58,000), final table at the EPT Sanremo (7th place for ? 95,000 - October 2011), 34th place at the EPT Sanremo 2011 (? 20,000), 17th place at the Mini IPT Sanremo 2009 (?1,100). He's planning to spend his next winnings to increase his poker bankroll and to take care of his family. His favourite game is Texas Hold'em tournaments, his favourite player is Phil Ivey, and his biggest dream is to live happy.
Massimiliano Patroncini - 210,000 chips
Massimiliano is a 42-year-old player from Italy who's been playing poker for four years on PokerStars as "DaPapiii". This is is first serious cash at a live tournament. He is planning to use his first poker winnings for his family and to increase his poker bankroll. He won a ticket to IPT Campione after he played a live satellite here at the Casino, the night before day 1A. When he doesn't play poker, he works as manager at a restaurant in Milan and at a shop called "Poker bum bum". The shop sells poker items of any kind. His favourite poker game is hold'em. His favourite players are Barry Greenstein and Amato Landi. His poker style changes according to his opponent
Silvano Peracchi - 327,000 chips
Silvano is a 52 year-old-player from Italy. This is the first time he has cashed at a live poker tournament. He is planning to use his first poker winning to take care of his family. He works as a business man. His favourite game is Texas Hold'em, and his style is tight and relaxed.
Michele Bianchi - 345,000 chips
Michele is a 38-year-old player from Lugano (Switzerland) who's been playing poker for 10 years. His best performance at a live poker tournament was at IPT Campione in January 2011 (14th place for a ?7,597 prize). He reached this final table after he won with aces against opponent's aces (flush on the river). His dearest memory about poker is the day he went to Caribbean to play poker. His favourite poker game is Hold'em. His style is "relaxed."
Marco Pistilli - 646,000 chips
Marco is a 44-year-old player from Italy who's been playing poker since 2006 and online on PokerStars as"scalinger". His best results so far: 83rd place at the EPT Campione (?7,500), 1st at the 1st ?300 Side event during EPT Prague (?3,050), 12th place at the IPT Nova Gorica March 2010 (?8,410), 22nd at the IPT Sanremo December 2009 (?4,000), 2nd at the IPT Nova Gorica October 2009 (?95,000), 23rd at the IPT Sanremo 2009 (? 5,500). He works as a manager.
Antonino Venneri - 2,071,000 chips
Antonino is a 58 year-old-players from Italy who plays online on PokerStars as "vennerux." His best results are: 12th at IPT Campione November 2011 (CHF 10,200), 20th at the IPT Sanremo October 2011 (? 2,370), 10th at the EPT Sanremo April 2011 (? 50,000). He is planning to use his next winnings to increase his poker bankroll. He works as a business man. He reached the final table after he won all-in preflop with aces against the kings of Oleksii Kovalchuk for 1.3-chip million pot. His favourite poker game is Texas Hold'em. His favourite player is Salvatore Bonavena. His style is aggressive. His dream is to win a bracelet at the WSOP.
Ivan Losi - 1,080,000 chips
Ivan is a 38 year-old-player from Italy who's been playing poker for six years. His best results include a 35th place at the Mini IPT Sanremo and a final table at the "La notte degli assi". He works as a tattooist. His favourite game is Omaha. His favourite player is Daniel Negreanu. His biggest dream is to win the WSOP.