We started the day with eight hopeful souls all hoping to become the World Poker Tour (WPT) Malta Season X Champion. The Portomaso casino has been an amazing venue and one that players will continue flocking to in the future and the final table set looked stunning. Unfortunately, only six players would be gracing it meaning that our first task of the day was to eliminate two players. The first to be eliminated was Mats Karlson who fell victim to the pocket nines of Tristan Clemencon. Then the final table bubble boy was WPT Bratislava Season IX final tablist Christofer Williamson, Williamson becoming another one of Cecilia Pescaglini's many casualties of this tournament.
So we had our final six players and leading them was our Golden girl Cecilia Pescaglini with 2,245,000 chips. Pescaglini had been giving Fabien Sartoris a torrid time all day and eventually it was Sartoris who was eliminated in 6th place after Simon Trumper called his short stack shove with pocket fives. Next to be eliminated was the man who started the day as the chip leader. Tristan Clemencon must have thought his chances of holding aloft that trophy were good but they were dashed by the woman on the amazing run. Clemencon had set a perfect trap for Cecilia Pescaglini but her A K triumphed over his K K when she rivered the A.
Cecilia Pescaglini was on course to be the first ever-female WPT Champion in its ten-year history. She seemed to have all of the momentum and so it was the case when she eliminated Simon Trumper in fourth place. Once again Pescaglini took a chance and once again she hit her cards to send the experienced UK pro back to England €53,430 the richer.
Then the competition hit a bit of a stale patch when it went three-handed. The pace was almost pedestrian at times with only Pescaglini trying to push the pace. Then it looked like Matt Giannetti would be the finishing third when he found himself short stacked and all-in with pocket sevens against the pocket kings of Pescaglini. But just when it seemed as though he was a goner he spiked a full house on the turn and he was back in the game. Then after five hours of play Filippo Bianchini was eliminated by Matt Giannetti, but not after having most of his chips stolen away from him by the young Italian woman.
Going into the heads-up confrontation and Pescaglini had a slight chip advantage and in fact won the first five hands. But any chances of being the first ever-female WPT Champion were dashed after she called an all-in holding Q T on a T 8 2 board. Giannetti was holding 9 7 for the open ended straight draw and the J on the river sent Giannetti into exultation and Pescaglini into floods of tears.
Congratulations to Matt Giannetti who wins a €200,000 first prize and consolation to Cecilia Pescaglini who won €116,700.
Matt Giannetti Talks to Matt Savage About His Victory
Level 31: 60,000-120,000, 20,000 ante
What is it with November Niners and the run good period between the end of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the final table itself. Last year nearly all of the November Nine had phenomenal run ups and so it continues with Matt Gianetti's wonderful performance here at the Portomaso casino.
Giannetti played some superb poker throughout the competition but had to rely on the luck of the poker Gods when his pocket sevens came up against the pocket kings of Cecilia Pescaglini while three-handed. The seven popped up on the turn and the rest is now ancient history.
Hand #132: Matt Giannetti Wins WPT Malta! (€200,000)
Level 31: 60,000-120,000, 20,000 ante
After a preflop raise and call, the final two saw a flop of 10 8 2. Cecilia Pescaglini bet 550,000 and Matt Giannetti moved all-in having Pescaglini covered. She rose to her feet like she had done on so many occasions this evening. Pescaglini called and the players turned their hands over.
Pescaglini: Q 10 for top pair
Giannetti: 9 7 for an open-ended straight draw
The turn brought the J, giving Giannetti his straight and putting him out fron with one card to come. Pescaglini needed to hit a nine on the river to make a better straight in order to stay alive.
The river brought the 2 and Giannetti's straight held to give him the pot and the first-ever WPT Malta title. Giannetti remained stoic, even in victory, while Pescaglini shed some tears over coming up just short of being the first-ever female WPT open event winner.
The November Niner earns €200,000, his name etched on the WPT Champions Cup, and entry into the season-ending $25,500 WPT World Championship at Bellagio which is included in his prize money.
Matt Giannetti raises to 200,000 and Cecilia Pescaglini calls. The flop is J 4 5 and Pescaglini checks to Giannetti who bets 250,000. Back to our Italian and she check-raises to 600,000 and Giannetti makes the call. The 10 turn is checked through and we have the 9 on the river. Once again Pescaglini checks but this time Giannetti bets 750,000 and Pescaglini calls. Giannetti turns over pocket aces and Pescaglini mucks her hand.