2007 World Series: Big Moves Early on Day 1D

by Craig Cunningham

A shooting star from last year has joined a $16 PokerStars qualifier from this year to battle for the chip lead before the dinner break.

Dario Minieri had a monster stack last year as a PokerStars qualifier from Rome. As happens at the Main Event, his stack gave him fuel to grab pots through sheer aggression. That fuel turned to vapor as a few big pots with Dmitri Nobles squashed his momentum. He went out soon after the cash bubble burst.

Today he was back, spiking flops with sick hands. He re-raised pre-flop with 6-2o, the flop came Q-6-2, and he busted another player to take the chip lead early at 104k. He moved back down to 68k after picking up aces, pocket kings rivering a set to double through him.

In the mean time, a new chip leader emerged from this year's crop of PokerStars qualifiers. Vlado Marinkovic held the chip lead in the room after a stellar run through the first three levels. "I don't know what to tell you; I've had some good hands, and the river has only hurt me once," he said. Vlado lives near Munich and won his way here with a $16 investment: the double shootout into the $650 satellite for the Main Event seat.

His chip protector is a constant reminder of why he's here, with the face of his daughter in the center of a poker chip. "It's the only chip he can't lose," said fellow PokerStars qualifier Mike Adamo from Turks and Caicos. "I gave Vlad most of my chips," he said. "I was down to the felt and have scrapped back to 9k."

I asked Vlado for a chip count. "I don't know, 90k?" he said. Mike gave him a hint. "You've got more than 110k," he said. That would be 114,525 to be exact. Vlado's not counting, just focused on playing his best and remembering his daughter.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in