Swedish Player Wins World Poker Tour Venice

November 13, 2009 |

Last week, 397 players participated in the first ever World Poker Tour event in Italy – WPT Venice™, powered by bwin. The €4000 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 Sven 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, Per 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,” says Manfred Bodner, Co-CEO of bwin. “The combination of the online poker and offline poker player experience coupled with the information systems and being able to offer bets on the tournament adds a whole new dimension to both sides.”

“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—especially for a non-televised event—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.

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