ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1A: He's 'Unique'

It's not often you win a trophy for NOT cashing a tournament.

For Tony 'Unique' Tartaglia though, he did exactly that this afternoon.

Technically the award was for 'extreme loyalty to the ANZPT' but judging by the sly smile of ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh there was a little more to the story.

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Tony 'Unique' Tartaglia and ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh

If you've ever played an ANZPT Main Event, chances are you've played with Tartaglia. He's a familiar face on the circuit and was presented with his trophy at the first break here on Main Event Day 1A.

"He's a real character of the Perth poker scene" McDonagh explained.

According to The Hendon Mob, Tartaglia only has three live cashes to his name, but the story goes that when it comes to ANZPT Main Events he's 0 for 19 over the seven-year period.

While this may seem like an expensive venture for someone who finds in-the-money finishes elusive, Media and Events Manager Sam Dawson revealed that online satellites might be the key to Tartaglia's bankroll management.

"I know he plays online and he has definitely satellited into a lot of the ANZPTs. At least he's minimizing his losses that way" Dawson said.

Away from the poker table Tartaglia recently got engaged to none other than Amanda De Cesare. A successful player in her own right, De Cesare won the reality show The Poker Star in 2009, which was hosted by Australian poker legend Joe Hachem. She pocketed $100,000 for that victory before going on to find further success on the felt.

De Cesare went on to final table this very event back in 2010, ultimately finishing 4th for $53,855. Her biggest cash to date, however, came the year before winning the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event for $77,500. With a resume like that we don't think De Cesare will be up for a 'Unique' award any time soon.

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The Poker Star - Amanda De Cesare

For now though Tartaglia is running hot. Level 5 has just begun and he's currently one of our chip leaders with 38,000 - almost double that of the 20,000 start bank. He told us that he managed to chip up after spiking a few sets.

Could this be the event that sees Tartaglia break the dry spell? We'll be tracking his progress this week to find out. Stay tuned as we follow him and all the action for ANZPT Melbourne!