Festa Al Lago

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Festa Al Lago
WPT Season 7

Bellagio Hotel and Casino
October 20 - 25, 2008

The Festa Al Lago WPT Tournament was held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Being one of two WPT events that took place in October, big names made their way to the tables and it was an exciting meeting for poker fans to witness. Here is what went on during the 6 days of action.

WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 1A

The first day of the WPT event will be split into two pieces, Day 1A and 1B. All players will begin with stacks of 45,000 chips for their raised entry fee of $15,000 instead of the regular $10,000. Last year did not see the Festa Al Lago tournament with that champion being crowned in 2006 which was Andreas Walnum. But the top level players in this field today mean that fights for survival will be genuine. Seen at the tables are Doyle Brunson, Carlos Mortensen, Lee Markholt, Chau Giang, Jennifer Tilly, James Woods, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, David Singer, Jennifer Harman, Hoyt Corkins, John Gale and Olympic Gold Medalist Champion Michale Phelps. (Michael won $5,000 in the event held just before this one.) And that is to name just a few. Official player count for Day 1A was 153.

One of the first to bust was Anna Wroblewski after her full house was crushed by another player who made quad 2's. Following Anna were James Mackey, David Singer, Phil Laak, Andy Bloch, Eli Elezra, Gavin Smith, James Van Alstyne, Ray Davis, Dan Shak, Shawn Buchanan and Phil Hellmuth Jr. who was sent to the rail when his all-in bid with AQ was stopped by the pocket K's of Will Failla. After playing for 5 levels, the action stopped for the remaining 105 players. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:
  1. Antonio Esfandiari -- 313,000 chips
  2. Nicholas Sliwinski -- 209,800 chips
  3. Jennifer Tilly -- 190,050 chips
  4. Jeremiah Vinsant -- 184,575 chips
  5. Andrew Robl -- 173,450 chips
  6. Johan Til -- 151,000 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 1B

Again the field was full of top talent that will play for five levels of 90 minutes each. Faces seen in the field were Mike Matusow, Hevad Khan, David Benyamine, Nenad Medic, Tuan Le, Sabyl Cohen, Vinny Vihn, Robert Mizrachi, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Binger, Vanessa Rousso, Mark Seif, Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein, Howard Lederer, Bill Edler and David Williams. (I think the smart ones came yesterday!) Number of players for Day 1B was 215 for a grand total of 368 entrants.

The prize pool grew to $5,345,400 that will be split between the top 50 finishers. Here is the payout schedule for the final table:
  1. $1,411,015
  2. $943,215
  3. $506,245
  4. $373,010
  5. $266,445
  6. $186,510
Some of the names of the busted are Patrick Antonius, Barry Shulman, John Phan, Jeff Madsen, Michael Mizrachi, Kelly Kim, Brandon Cantu and David Williams. At the end of the day there were 155 remaining, which meant that 260 will move on to Day 2.
  1. Bryan Rast -- 177,000 chips
  2. Ryan Young -- 156,000 chips
  3. Nenad Medic -- 137,050 chips
  4. Brad Booth -- 130,000 chips
  5. Bertrand Grospellier -- 112,000 chips
  6. J.C. Alvarado -- 111,000 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 2

The 260 players came to the Fontana Room at the Bellagio to continue play to see who will become the next champion. Action began with blinds at 400/800 with a 100 ante and the busts began quickly. Jeff Shulman was gone after his allin move with K Q J on the board. Jeff moved with K J only to become bested with a higher pair of K Q from another player. Chris Ferguson went to the rail after meeting the pocket Aces of another player. Joining them were David Benyamine, Steve Sung, Johnathan Little, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, John Hennigan, Ralph Perry, Kathy Liebert, Hevad Khan, Antonio Esfandiari and Erick Lindgren.

But lots of big names made the cut for Day 3. They include Allen Cunningham with 187,500 chips, Mike Matusow with 184,900, Mike Wattel 180,000, Bertrand Grospellier 161,000, Erica Schoenberg 186,400, Doug Lee 164,500, Chau Giang 136,500, Ted Lawson 131,000, Jimmy Tran 139,300, Johnny Chan 94,200, Toto Leonidas 92,700 and Alan Smurfit 62,600. At the end of the day there were 104 left. Here are the top 6 chip leaders:
  1. Daniel Negreanu -- 513,000 chips
  2. Blake Cahail -- 467,500 chips
  3. Justin Bonomo -- 383,300 chips
  4. Nenad Medic -- 345,600 chips
  5. J.C. Tran -- 337,900 chips
  6. Jennifer Tilly -- 330,800 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 3

Here are the top 6 players with chip counts for Day 3.
  1. Ryan Fair -- 1,331,000 chips
  2. Will Mietz -- 1,217,000 chips
  3. Bertrand Grospellier -- 1,151,000 chips
  4. Joe Sebok -- 1,100,000 chips
  5. Nenad Medic -- 925,000 chips
  6. Osmin Dardon -- 703,000 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 4

Here are the top 6 players with chip counts for Day 4.
  1. Bertrand Grospellier -- 2,039,000 chips
  2. Osmin Dardon -- 1,959,000 chips
  3. Will Mietz -- 1,840,000 chips
  4. Michael DeMichele -- 1,717,000 chips
  5. Olav Von Sachsen -- 1,613,000 chips
  6. Joe Sebok -- 1,470,000 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Day 5

These are the final table players.
  1. Bertrand Grospellier -- 6,420,000 chips
  2. Nenad Medic -- 3,025,000 chips
  3. Nam Le -- 2,275,000 chips
  4. Osmin Dardon -- 2,070,000 chips
  5. Will Mietz -- 1,400,000 chips
  6. Adam Levy -- 1,370,000 chips
WPT Festa Al Lago -- Final Table

Well the only way to describe the final table was devestation dished out by Bertrand Grospellier. It seemed that no one else stood a chance since he started playing on Day 1B. First victim to go was Will Mietz in 6th after he lost to the Ace high hand of Bertrand. Adam Levy grabbed the cash for 5th after Bertrand turned a pocket pair of Queens into a set. Nenad Medic claimed 4th after his pocket 6's were punished by the paired Jacks of Bertrand. Osmin Dardon left the table with a 3rd place finish after Bertrand won by pairing his 2 card! But Osmin did walk away to pick up over a half a million dollars for his performance in this tournament.

The heads up was really one sided between Bertrand Grospellier with 15,635,000 chips and Nam Le with 925,000. On the third hand both decided to go all-in. Nam Le had A Q and Bertrand who has had the poker angel on his shoulder the entire tournament showed pocket 10's. The first card on the flop was another 10 and that was all it took for Bertrand to win his first WPT title.
  1. Bertrand Grospellier -- $1,411,015
  2. Nam Le -- $943,215
  3. Osmin Dardon -- $506,245
  4. Nenad Medic -- $373,010
  5. Adam Levy -- $266,445
  6. Will Mietz -- $186,510
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