2013 WPT Venice Grand Prix Day 1A: Stephen Behm Leads Field

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The World Poker Tour got back to it yesterday as the first of two starting flights of the WPT Venice Grand Prix kicked off at Casino di Venezia Ca Vendramin Calergi in Venice, Italy. As expected, it was a small field, with just 65 players paying the €3,300 to play in the single re-entry event. Leading the 32 players who remain after Day 1A is Stephen Behm with 188,000 chips.

This technically just the second year of the WPT Venice Grand Prix, though the city of Venice has been on the tour longer than that. WPT Venice (just WPT Venice, not Grand Prix), was made its debut as the first stop on the World Poker Tour in Season VIII back in 2009. Almost 400 players participated in that one, with Sven-Ragnar Arstrom taking the title and $532,388. The tournament was moved to the second half of the WPT schedule the following season and it grew bigger; Italy’s Alessio Isaia topped the 523 player field to win $518,382 after the longest heads-up match in WPT history. It took him eight hours to beat Szabolcs Mayer. Last season was when the WPT Venice Grand Prix was introduced and, as appears will be the case this year, the field was small, just 155 entrants. Rinat Bogdanov won that tourney and $301,909. WPT Venice was held just two stops prior and was not much bigger, with 213 people playing.

Our chip leader, Stephen Behm, has virtually no live tournament resume whatsoever. The American has just one cash listed on his page on TheHendonMob.com, but it was a good one. Just this month, he finished seventh in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, good for $124,460.

Despite the small field, the rest of the top ten chip leaders has several recognizable names. Marvin Rettenmaier, best known for being the only player to win back-to-back WPT titles (2012 WPT World Championship and 2012 WPT Merit Cyprus Classic), is in second place with 129,600. WPT announcer Mike Sexton is in third place with 99,900 chips and Kara Scott is in ninth with 81,200 chips.

After Behm and Rettenmaier, it is a tight race at the top, as just 19,900 chips separate third from tenth place.

Day 1B of the WPT Venice Grand Prix is already underway as another group of players try to join the Day 1A survivors in Wednesday’s Day 2. This a re-entry event like most WPT events nowadays, so players who were eliminated on Day 1A are allowed to give it one more shot on Day 1B.

2013 WPT Venice Grand Prix – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1.    Stephen Behm – 188,000
2.    Marvin Rettenmaier – 129,600
3.    Mike Sexton – 99,900
4.    Raffaele Castro – 96,000
5.    Gianluca Rullo – 95,100
6.    Armando Donnini – 85,500
7.    Lauri Pesonen – 83,800
8.    Ivan Losi – 81,300
9.    Kara Scott – 81,200
10.    Martino Favaretto – 80,000

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