The World Poker Tour returns to the beautiful coastal city of San Remo, and Lee Davy sits down with their European Tournament Director to ascertain why players should get on a plane and join in the fun.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) will partner with Gioco Digitale to host the WPT National San Remo April 22-25. The main attraction will be a €900+€90 buy-in Main Event with a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000.
Lee Davy sat down with the WPT European Tournament Director, and San Remo native, Christian Scalzi, to talk poker, bars, and bicycle tracks.
What are the highlights for your season thus far?
“This season the WPT did very well including new stops at places such as Rozvadov. It’s always my pleasure to see all this poker action around Europe. And I also loved my first opportunity in Vegas where I officiated at the WPT500 Aria.”
Who have been the players who stand out in your mind and why?
“Nobody, in particular, stands out to me. In general, I have a good contact with players. You meet a lot of them on the circuit. It feels like family and I share a meal or a couple of drinks with a lot of them, some of whom are amusing guys, some others are sometimes too serious.”
I want to talk to you about your upcoming event in San Remo. Take me through the events you have available?
“I am proud to announce that the WPT will be heading to San Remo because I was born and continue to live there. For me, it’s a little corner of heaven where I can relax and chill out after events.
“San Remo Is a small town, and the casino is located in the center, very close to shops, bars, restaurants and the beach. Players like coming here because there are lots to do for their family.
“We already have a lot of players who have confirmed their intention to play such as Matas Cimbolas, November Niner Pierre Neuville, Morten Mortensen, Daniel Duthon, Paul Testud, and Mustapha Kanit. We think we shall see 80-100 live satellite qualifiers thanks to our Partner Tilt Events and 40-50 online qualifiers.”
What options are there for people to qualify online?
“Online satellites are already running on Giocodigitale.it.”
Why should players visit San Remo? Tell me some of the city’s secrets?
“My family bar Astra is five mins walk from the casino, and I think the 30km bicycle path by the sea is fantastic. I go jogging or take a bike ride along this stretch every time I am home. Also, the food is excellent.”
What’s the wildest thing you have ever seen happen in and around a poker event in your lifetime?
“Too many weird things happen but if I have to choose I will say in Ireland during a €1/2 cash game all players decided that the winner of each hand would have to buy beers for everyone. It was so funny to see players winning €5-10 and then paying for beers for everybody; it was a strange moment and I love that kind of friendly atmosphere at my tournaments.”
Who is your mentor?
“Matt Savage gave me this opportunity, and I am always in contact with him, he deserved his Hall of Fame nomination. I have learned so much from him. He loves the job, and is always looking to improve our industry every single day.”
What is the one thing you are proudest of in your career?
“To start as a dealer 20 years ago and little by little through all the steps getting my WPT Europe job. I am also proud to get invited and to talk about poker in Europe in our last TDA meeting in Vegas at Aria. To be together with those great guys made me feel superb.”
What’s the worst abuse you have received as a TD in your career?
“Sometimes bad things happen with impolite players, and I would like to thank pro-Mickey Petersen for his great articles about dealers and staff. There was a time when a player made a new dealer cry for an unfortunate mistake, and when I arrived, he tried to be kind to me but still inappropriate to my dealer. I would like to let them understand we are part of a team, and everybody deserves respect because we work hard.”
What are your career goals?
“My family is my priority. Regarding career goals, I would like to do what I can to help poker become a sport and thank Alex Dreyfus for his great project. I am also very happy with my WPT family.”