WPT Venice Winner

Rocco Palumbo - WPT Venice

The Italian economy is going through one of its toughest periods with 1,000 small businesses closing each day. Yet despite this disastrous economic episode, 173-players still managed to find €3,000+€300 to participate in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Venice Grand Prix, creating a total prize pool of over €500,000.

The tournament attracted a host of stars that included the Global Poker Index (GPI) world number one Marvin Rettenmaier, Kara Scott, WPT Commentators Mike Sexton and the most decorated WSOP player of all-time Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth made the short trip from the U.K after playing in the Premier League VI, but neither trip proved fruitful for a man still searching for his first WPT title. But where his cards may have been lacking, his superstar aura was not. Hellmuth entered the fray on the back of a Gondola; the most famous face in the poker world hidden by a Venetian style mask and a long black cape draped on the ground behind him. He is ever the showman.

As the play entered the business end of the competition there were still some high profile names left in, providing thrills and spills for those fans watching online with their poker bonus. European Poker Tour (EPT) Champion Ludovic Lacay, WPT Champions Club member Matt Salsberg, Kara Scott and Mike Sexton were all still in contention. But by the time the final table bubble was burst by Matt Salsberg, only Mike Sexton had made it to the final six.

The Italian WSOP bracelet holder Rocco Palumbo won the event, and the €140,000 first-prize, after a masterful performance of aggressive, forward-thinking poker. Sexton finished in third, and even dusted off his disappointment to finish of the heads-up commentary with his long-time cohort Vince Van Patten.

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