Around the WSOP: Minieri helps Italy claim another WSOP bracelet

19 June 2008

Dario Minieri is best known for the orange and maroon scarf he wears in honor of his beloved soccer team, AS Roma. But after the completion of Wednesday night's $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em championship, the flamboyant 23-year-old Italian has something else to flaunt at the poker table: a World Series of Poker bracelet.

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Dario Minieri can be known for more than just his scarf from on now after capturing his first WSOP bracelet. (photo by IMPDI for the 2008 WSOP)

Minieri, who originally made his mark playing online, survived a topsy-turvy ride at the final table to capture his first-career bracelet while cashing in for $528,418. That should go a long way in helping him buy the Aston Martin he said he wants to add to his driveway, right next to the Porsche he bought last year with the points he earned playing at PokerStars.

While this was Minieri's first bracelet, it was his fourth WSOP cash and gives him a full head of steam heading into the Main Event where he'll be looking to cash for the third time in three tries. Last year at the Main Event he was one of the chip leaders after Day 1 and ended up earning $67,353 with a 96th place finish. He has also made it to three final tables at the Italian Championship of Hold'em since 2005.

Minieri, who plays at PokerStars under the name 'Dariominieri,' had a huge chip lead as play entered the final table on Wednesday, but his aggressive style cost him by the time things got to three-headed play. He steadied the ship, however, and after surviving a couple of bad beats ended up taking down Seth Fischer.

Minieri becomes the second gold bracelet winner from Italy at this year's WSOP. Max Pescatori, from Milan, won his second WSOP victory last week and placed 41st in this event.

Even at 23, Minieri wasn't the youngest player at the final table. That title went to the eventual third-place finisher Justin Filtz, who nearly tied a record once thought to be unbreakable. In 2007, Steve Billirakis became the youngest WSOP gold bracelet winner in history, at the age of 21 years and 11 days (at his time of victory). Had Filtz managed to win this event, he would have tied Billirakis, with the exact same age.

Former world champ Scotty Nguyen finished in seventh place and secured his first cash of the 2008 WSOP. He now has 35 career in-the-money finishes. Other former bracelet winners to cash included Bill Chen (19th place), Shankar Pillai (31st), Ian Johns (33rd), Pescatori (41st), Mark Vos (82nd), David "Devilfish" Ulliott (94th) and Brandon Cantu (106th).

Kid Poker is lurking for Player of the Year honors

Through 31 events, the Milwaukee's Best Light "Player of the Year" standings had Erick Lindgren on top of the points list, with one gold bracelet win and four cashes. But Daniel Negreanu, one of Lindgren's adversaries both at the poker table and on the golf course, is lurking close behind as is Barry Greenstein.

As you can see in his video blog below, Negreanu is carefully calculating his chances of winning Player of the Year and is hoping a slight tactical error won't hurt him in his quest to become the only two-time winner of the award.

'Year of the Pro' continues

Minieri's win helped the professionals increase their lead over amateurs to 24-7 through 31 events if you consider the semi-pros as amateurs.

This is quite a turnaround from the last three years when amateurs earned 87 of the 142 bracelets up for grabs, more than 60 percent. Since 2000, pros lead amateurs in the gold bracelet race by a margin of 173 to 148.


Related Links
PokerStars Europe Site Details
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

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