Festa al Lago VI, Bellagio’s month-long poker tournament, ended late Sunday night when Frenchman Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier defeated former World Poker Tour (WPT) champion Nam Le to win his first WPT title. Grospellier earned the $1,411,015 first place prize as well as a seat in the April 2009 WPT World Championship at Bellagio.
The annual event featured 17 no limit hold ‘em tournaments held in the Bellagio poker room and the Fontana Lounge. The entry fees ranged from $500-$5,000 with the WPT main event requiring an entry fee of $15,000. A Bellagio gold bracelet was awarded to the winners of all 17 events.
“It feels great to win a WPT event at Bellagio,” said Grospellier, who was raised in Paris, France and now lives in London. “I felt confident throughout the tournament but once I took over the chip lead (a couple of days ago) I knew I needed to adapt to each hand and play smarter.
“I was making the right moves and once I opened a large lead, the other players were never really able to fight back. I definitely will return to Bellagio in December to play the Five Diamond event.” Grospellier defeated 367 other competitors on his way to earning the second largest payday in his young career. Earlier this year he won a European Poker Tour title for more than $2 million.
Le, who was able to fight off defeat numerous times throughout the final table action, earned $943,215 for second place. California residents Oddie Dardon and Nenad Medic finished third and fourth and took home $506,245 and $373,010, respectively. Adam Levy, hailing from Orlando, Fla., cashed $266,445 for fifth while William Mietz of Littleton, Colo., won $186,510 for his sixth place finish.
“We were extremely pleased with the number of participants in this year’s Festa al Lago,” said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations at Bellagio. “The month-long tournament was an incredible success and with the tremendous support from our executives and all of the poker players, we anticipate an even larger turnout for our Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December.”
The Festa al Lago VI main event’s final table will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net (FSN) as part of the WPT Season VII television lineup, scheduled to begin airing during the FSN Sunday night sports block later this year. For more information, visit www.worldpokertour.com.