397 poker players competed for more than $2 million in prize money at
the first-ever World Poker Tour® tournament in Italy.
Last week, 397 players participated in the first ever World Poker Tour® event in
Italy — WPT Venice™, powered by bwin. The €4,000 tournament kicked off May 6
at Casino di Venezia, with a diverse international playing field, including poker pros
Carlos Mortensen, Vanessa Rousso, Chad Brown, Surinder Sunar, Steve Sung,
Patrick Bruel, Max “the Italian Pirate” Pescatori and WPT Season VII Player of the
Year, Betrand “Elky” Grospellier.
After five days of play, 22-year old Ragnar Astrom took home more than
$542,000, a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas, and an
official WPT bracelet on Sunday when he defeated fellow Swede, Martin Jacobson.
Jacobson received $325,000 as runner-up, and Frenchman Vincent Pasdeloup
placed third to win $217,000, having reached the final table after qualifying for
WPT Venice as a freeroll qualifier on bwin.
“This was our first event with World Poker Tour, and we are delighted with how
well things worked out,” said Manfred Bodner, Co-CEO of bwin. “The combination
of the online and offline player experience coupled with the information systems
and being able to offer bets on the tournament adds a whole new dimension to
“We are thrilled that our first event in Italy was a success and well-received by the
players,” said Steve Lipscomb, WPT CEO and Founder. “We are pleased with the
high player and pro turnout and also with the unique elements that bwin brought
to the table for this event. We hope to continue this level of success as we expand
further into Italy, the rest of Europe and into other continents.”
In addition to holding the event in the oldest casino in the world, bwin developed
and introduced a Live Tournament Information System, which provided real-time
streaming information such as leaderboards and bust-out updates throughout the
tournament. bwin also created “Tournament Achievements,” which awarded
players who reached certain milestones, such as certain chip levels, first player to
knock out an opponent, and the “Bubble Buster” award.
The May 10 final table was videostreamed live, and bets on the final table were
offered on bwin.com, including overall winner bets, country bets and head-
Photos and videos from the WPT Venice, powered by bwin can be found at