EPT San Remo: Ups and downs for Italy's finest

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano had a dynamite day 1a. His foot on the gas from the world go Luca put aside his obligations to the tournament (he is part of the organising team here) and set about gathering chips. At one point he was up to over 50k and finished the day with just a little less. A good day for the Italian in pursuit of his record setting ninth PokerStars.com EPT cash.


Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano

Then there’s today and things aren’t going so well. His table features Marcus Golser and Robert Cohen, both capably stacked, and pretty soon another Frenchman, Paul Testud, joins them in seat eight.

All the while players are walking towards the door from all corners of the room, shaking their heads, muttering a few words, the shock of elimination still all too raw. The rail is thick at one end whilst at the other the television stage is being constructed in preparations for EPT Live which starts tomorrow. It makes for a cramped feel as we work our way towards the bubble.

Another hand gets flicked with contempt towards the muck by Luca, followed by a few more...

Then a live one, a bet of 4,100 from Luca (blinds in level 11 are 600/1,200 with a 100 ante) only there are no takers. You get the sense that on day one a hand like this would have turned into something big for Luca. But today not so. Poker is all about playing the player as much as your hand but maybe there’s momentum to contend with – an unaccountable and fickle force quite capable of messing everything up. Luca may just have run flat bang into it.

A hand develops though between Luca and Testud.

“I slow played kings and Paul Testud called with K-J. He made a straight on the turn.”

The board had read Q-3-T-9-3 when Luca showed his hand. Testud’s straight on the turn blasts Luca out of his chair and into a short walk to calm down. Down to 21k now - a tough couple of hours...

“I’ve been unlucky, but I’ve been lucky not to lose everything. But it’s okay... I just have to make up some ground...


Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri

Whilst all this went on Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri arrived at this end of the tournament room with 49k and few of the headaches currently plaguing his friend and countryman Luca. It’s a different game altogether when a few thousand lost doesn’t put a serious spanner in the works.

The video blog team caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri before play today...

Dario made it 4,100 to go on a flop of 4-K-A. It’s the kind of hand Dario plays with the distinct air of not caring – a slight obstacle on his way to something else. His bet was like a punishment bet, designed to make his opponent’s life a little more difficult and to make him sweat.

With the bet in place Dario assumed the same position Luca had been in– one hand rested against his face, the other riffling chips. You could fall asleep like this...


“Huh?” It’s a phrase certain to jolt anyone awake and Dario wastes no time in mucking his hand. Let this one go.

Two Team PokerStars Pros, two of the best Italian poker players, and two different fortunes entirely as we reach the break.

Kara Scott has the update...

The video blog team caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri before play today...

For latest chip counts click here.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in EPT San Remo