James Akenhead In Hunt For WPT Title

James Akenhead (Photo: Francesco Rizzo / WPT)

The World Poker Tour is currently in the beautiful and historical city of Venice, Italy for the WPT Venice Grand Prix and one of our own is deep in the €4,950 Main Event, a certain James Akenhead.

Akenhead is full of confidence after taking down the PokerStars Sunday Million a couple of weeks ago and that confidence has been shining through all week in Venice. The 28-year old has a spring in his step, a smile on his face and more importantly stacks of chips in front of him.

When play resumes at 1300 CET at the Casino Di Venezia Akenhead will unbag and re-stack 336,000 chips, which are enough to put him in fourth place with just 27 players remaining. This humble scribbler witnessed Akenhead take control of each of the table he was sat on yesterday and it was a joy to watch, even without holecard information, though one hand was seen. Take it from me Akenhead is in the zone and that is bad news for the rest of his opponents.

Our hero will start the day on Table 1 and he will be pleased with how the draw went. He will be seated with five short stacks, one of which is the delectable PartyPoker Pro Kara Scott but the others are relative unknowns in the poker world. Akenhead will have to be weary of Andrea Dato who is in Seat 1 as he is a talented player who reached the final table of the WPT Venice event that was run in December. Dato starts with 309,900 chips and will be a threat to Akenhead, as will Gianluca Trebbi who has 323,500 chips when the tournament kicks off.

Akenhead's starting table is as follows:

SeatNameChips
1Andrea Dato309,900
2Massimo Mosele148,000
3Kara Scott60,100
4Andrea Carini83,000
5Giacomo Valenti50,500
6James Akenhead336,000
7Viachevslav Goryachev50,500
8Gianluca Trebbi323,500
9Konstantin Streletskiy44,400

Standing between Akenhead and WPT glory are 26 other players who are currently being lead by Marcel "p3rc4" Bjerkmann of Norway. Bjerkmann's 436,300 stack has over 50,000 more chips than his nearest rival though he is by no way the runaway leader, especially when you consider he is capable of running 100,000-200,000 chips bluffs as he showed on a couple of occasions during this event.

But before anyone can think about winning the WPT Venice Grand Prix they need to get the bubble burst and the money flowing. The top 18 finishers all receive money with a min-cash being worth €7,225 and by the time play comes to an end later today each of the surviving players will be one step closer to the €229,800 first place prize.

Here's how the other two tables line up:

Table 2

SeatNameChips
1Carla Solinas38,600
2Dario De Paz94,900
3Erion Islamay140,600
4Rinat Bogdanov167,600
5Andrey Gulyy326,000
6Jason Wheeler348,200
7Gianluca Speranza134,000
8Alessandro Longobardi221,200
9Marko Neumann384,400

Table 3

SeatNameChips
1Marcel Bjerkmann436,000
2Maurizio Saieva38,800
3Zoltan Szabo91,300
4Guido Chiodo75,700
5Simon Ravnsbaek78,100
6Gabriele Lepore233,200
7Jeremie Sochet232,500
8Lionel Tran39,000
9Giacomo Fundaro195,700

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