Cecilia Pescaglini Bluffs to the Top of WPT Malta Day 2
Cecilia Pescaglini enjoyed a sensational Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Main Event at the Portomaso Casino in Malta – finishing the day with more than double the chips of her closest rival, recent Partouche final tablist Marvin Rettenmaier.
Behind Rettenmaier, a truly international field is queuing up to make an ascent to the top of the leaderboard. The “pack” includes Canadian Manfred Sierke, November Niner Matt Giannetti and Nottingham´s finest – Simon Trumper
Don´t Always Believe What a Woman Tells You!
Cecilia Pescaglini´s defining moment came in the very last hand of the day when holding J♣ 3♣ on a board of Q♣ 10♣ 6♣ / 10♠. Marvin Rettenmaier (A♣ 8♣) had just bet 72,500 chips on the turn and Cecilia moved all-in over the top. Rettenmaier pondered for a moment before folding his nut flush and elevating Cecilia into the lead. Prior to that hand, Cecilia had enjoyed a fair amount of good fortune during the day – coming from behind to river a flush against Aleksandr Konstantinov, catching an ace on the turn when her A♥ K♥ was looking second best against Georges Georgiou´s J♥ J♣ and flopping a flush when all-in pre-flop with J♦ 9♦ against Thomas Brauner. Cecilia also bust out Julian Herold (A♦ A♣) when flopping K♥ 10♣ 10♦ to catch trip 10s, and with luck like that running for her, Cecilia could easily become the first ever female WPT champion.
Phil Hellmuth Sick …
Phil Hellmuth caused a stir by turning up to play just 4 minutes late on Thursday (rather than 4 levels) and was rewarded for his punctuality on the very first hand when finding aces and doubling up against Mats Karlson´s Jacks. Thereafter Phil´s day went progressively downhill. First he was bluffed out of a 40,000 chip pot by Sofia Lovgren (these girls!), then he was slow-rolled by Alexander Kuhn for another 20,000 (who later took a 100,000 chip pot off him with a flopped straight), and then needed a doctor to provide him with drugs to combat a spider bite and an ear infection.
… and then Sickened
Phil´s elimination from the tournament came in back-to-back bizarre circumstances. First he lost a monster pot, bluffing with Q-5 against Salvatore Bianco´s 9-7 (Bianco catching a pair on the flop) and then called Andras Fekete´s flipped over K♥ J♠ with A♦ 9♣ – pushing all-in when the flop fell A♠ 10♥ 6♠. Phil looked a strong favourite at this point, but the 9♠ on the turn gave Bianco the chance of a runner-runner flush and, just to complete Phil Hellmuth´s misery, the 10♠ river card despatched him to the role of onlooker. This will not be Phil´s last appearance at the WPT Malta however, as he is set to commentate on the final table live stream.
The Long Night at the Portomaso Casino
154 players started Day 2 of 4 in Malta´s Portomaso Casino, with the tournament director´s goal of playing down to the last 27 over seven 90-minute levels. Eventually that plan was abandoned at 4.30am, with 30 players still remaining in the event – three still to be eliminated before the bubble bursts. When play starts again this afternoon, blinds will be 1,500/3,000 (ante 500) with the average chip count 240,000. The intention is to play down to the final table of six for Saturday´s climax, but who knows what will happen.
WPT Malta End of Day 2 Chip Count
Cecilia Pescaglini was not the only female poker player to enjoy a good day. With the sole set-back of losing with Queens against Aces, Nesrine Kourdourli – who ran deep in the WPT Paris – managed to safely negotiate Day 2. Simon Trumper will not be the lone UK representative either. Mark Norman, who final tabled in the English Poker Championship this time last year is still in contention, as are Epic Poker´s Justin Bonomo, Day 1 chip leader Fabien Sartoris and last Party Poker sponsored pro, Tony G.