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Italy's Hottest Player Just Misses in Malta
February has been a big month for Alessio Isaia, a 24-year-old from Cuneo, Italy who has suddenly emerged as the hottest player in Italian poker.
Isaia began the month with a win at WPT Venice for €380,000 and fell just short of a second victory on the Malta leg of the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour this weekend.
ITP Malta drew 237 to the Portamaso Casino for the €2000+€200 main event, generating a €459,780 prize pool.
Isaia made it all the way to heads-up, but failed to get past fellow Italian Giacomo Loccarini and had to settle for the €80,000 runner-up prize as Loccarini locked up the title and €122,000.
Isaia, who already has two World Series of Poker final table appearances on his resume, was caught bluffing in the final hand by Loccarini, holding nothing more than ace-high.
The win marked the biggest score of Loccarini's poker career after he finished runner-up in the Italian Championship of San Remo to Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri.
Isaia now has more than $1.5 million in career earnings, and with more than $500k in the first two months of the year, 2011 is already his best of five years as a pro.
The next stop on the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour will be in Nova Gorica March 17-21.
Here's how the IPT Malta final table finished up:
1 Giacomo Loccarini €122,000
2 Alessio Isaia €80,000
3 Nicola D'Arrigo €50,000
4 Gavino Bechembauer Virdis €37,000
5 Gianluca Speranza €23,000
6 Pontus Nima Khosravi €18,000
7 Johan Matias Gunnar Mattsson €14,000
8 Pirrotta Litterio €11,500