EPT Prague: Aren't you the man they call the Minieri kid?

We said something before the break about how Dario Minieri was playing a waiting game. Well, it seems the real Dario Minieri has arrived, albeit 15 minutes late, to use his usual bag of tricks – a bag of sublime talent mixed with cheek - to dazzle.

It’s not unusual for players to be late back by a minute or two but Minieri showed up fifteen 15 minutes into level three, his scarf tied around his waist about the same height you’d wrap your arms if performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. Something was different, and it wasn’t just the scarf. Minieri’s staccato hand movements had a new energy, like he’d been giving the rest of the table a head start and now his next step was to attack.

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Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri

A bet of 450 from the seat three player was met by a two-handed re-raise by Minieri, 1,500 total. “I wanna get some chips” he said, which usually forecasts trouble. Sensing this, his opponent mucked. Minieri peeked again. “It’s easy with aces.” It was like the star quarterback had switched tactics from a stuck in the mud running game to pinpoint bombs to the end zone.

A bet of 375 this time, Minieri leading, which the seat eight player called from the small blind for a flop of 7h-9d-Kc. Both checked for a turn card 8h. Now the small blind bet out, making it 600. This seemed like a personal affront to Minieri who called to see a Kd on the river. I may have been mistaken but the small blind swayed slightly in his seat before betting 1,500, which naturally Minieri called, showing his winning Kh-4h.

The seat eight player was not done giving his chips to the Italian, being punished for insubordination.

Two hands later three players saw a flop of 2c-4h-Jh. Minieri started the betting, making it 700. EPT Dortmund champion Mike McDonald stared at Minieri before folding, but seat eight was done staring and at it again, re-raising to 2,000. Minieri removed his headphones, switching off his iPod so as not to miss a beat, then peeked at his cards again.

“I’m all in” he said. “I don’t like to be bluffed.”

That ended the hand there. The relentless pursuit of chips has just started, the Minieri kid is in town as we enter level four.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour