Priamo Carta Wins WPT Prime Sanremo Championship Event

Poker News

Priamo Carta of Italy is the newest member of the WPT champion’s club, after he emerged victorious here at the WPT Prime Sanremo Championship Event at Casino Sanremo, after around eight hours of play on the final day.

Carta triumphed on home soil after overcoming Romanian Traian Stanciu in a back and forth heads-up battle that spanned 60 hands.

Traian Stanciu
Traian Stanciu

Carta takes home the trophy and the first place cash prize of €115,000, and has also earned a seat to the WPT World Championship in December 2024 at The Wynn, Las Vegas. His first place prize dwarfs his previous recorded lifetime live tournament cashes of $22,795.

Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (EUR)
1 Priamo Carta Italy €124,700*
2 Traian Stanciu Romania €77,000
3 Uladzimir Luchkou Belarus €57,000
4 Giuseppe Zarbo Italy €43,000
5 Luigi Pignataro Italy €32,500
6 Erico Iervasi Italy €24,700
7 Kym Nguyen France €19,000
8 Vladas Burneikis Lithuania €14,700

*Includes seat to WPT World Championship worth €9,700.

Final Day Recap

Eight players returned for the final day, with Stanciu holding a 22 big blind advantage to his closest challenger, while Carta came into the final table sitting in third place.

It appeared Stanciu may make light work of the final table, after he promptly set about disposing of short-stack Vladas Burneikis in eighth with a dominating king and Kym Nguyen in seventh with pocket queens to increase his lead.

Carta had to overcome some misfortune early on, after his turned straight was usurped by Erico Iervasi‘s rivered full house.

Giuseppe Zarbo halted Stanciu’s early momentum when he won a flip with ace-king versus Stanciu’s pocket eights.

Giuseppe Zarbo
Giuseppe Zarbo

Uladzimir Luchkou ended Iervasi’s run in sixth place when Iervasi’s flush draw bricked. Luchkou also disposed of Luigi Pignataro in fifth when his pocket jacks held. Suddenly, after barely two hours of play, half the field had gone.

Matters slowed down thereafter, and Carta secured a crucial double-up when his pocket queens held against Luchkou’s eights. Carta then took the chip lead when he found a tough river call against Stanciu, on a board with one-card flush possibilities.

Stanciu busted Zarbo in fourth after leaving him with crumbs when Zarbo ran his pocket nines into Stanciu’s pocket kings.

After putting up a valiant fight as the short-stack three-handed, Luchkou departed in third when Carta left him drawing dead on the turn with king-jack against ten-nine suited.

Stanciu and Carta were almost dead-even in chips at the start of heads-up, Stanciu holding a slight lead. Although Stanciu had been the most aggressive player at the final table, Carta showed early doors that he was not prepared to be pushed around when he check-raised with queen-high.

Carta soon established a 3:1 chip advantage, and although Stanciu threatened a comeback at various points, when Carta took a three-bet pot to establish a 4:1 lead, the writing was on the wall for Stanciu.

The battle eventually came to an end when Carta flopped a king versus Stanciu’s ace-high, Carta turning to celebrate with a friend and then giving his vanquished opponent a big hug.

Winner’s Reaction

PokerNews grabbed a word with the champion, who was understandably overwhelmed by his victory, asking him how it felt to be called a WPT champion and to take the trophy after three tough days of poker. “First of all, it sounds good! To be a WPT champion, it means a lot, I started a few months ago to make live poker trips again, this is my second live event and to win the trophy and title, for any poker player it would be great, but for me it’s a dream.”

After complimenting Carta’s composure and focus on the big stage, PokerNews asked how it felt to dwarf his previous lifetime poker earnings in one score, and whether he felt any pressure from a lack of experience. “You know I’m not so young anymore, around 50, and in life you learn to be patient, and in poker this is very important, to be focused and take it serious.”

In terms of key hands throughout the event, Carta said “I won some flips on Day 1, Day 2 was very good, very strong, I started with 260,000 and finished with 6,700,000. It was a great day. At the start today I lost a crucial hand ace-jack against ace-ten, and I was short when it got to four-handed, and then yeh, I made some good moves, good timing, and for me this is very important in poker.”

PokerNews then asked about the heads-up battle with Stanciu, a tough opponent to crack who battled hard the whole day, asking whether Carta went in determined not to let him take the initiative. “First of all, congratulations to him, he’s a great player. I met him yesterday in Day 2 and I saw how he plays, very focused, very professional, very strong player and a tough opponent, who played excellent poker to the end. He was probably many people’s favorite to win today, but yeh fortunately I guess it was my time today.”

As regards any plans for his winnings, PokerNews asked whether there might be a last minute trip to Vegas arranged for the World Series given his new found wealth. “No, I’ll save the Vegas trip for The Wynn in December! I intend to make a lot of poker trips in Europe in the next year and this will help with that, I will be back in Sanremo next year for sure. I love WPT events, congratulations to everybody, all the staff, they did a great job here, very professional, and it’s such a beautiful place to play poker.” With that, Carta and his friend departed to presumably indulge in some serious celebrations.

That concludes PokerNews coverage of this event, but be sure to check out our coverage of tournaments across the world.

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