Heads Up With Dario Alioto
Our second bracelet winner of the WSOPE was 23 year-old Italian Dario Alioto, bagging the £5000 PL Omaha event (beating Tony G and Istvan Novak to the title), the coveted gold bracelet and £234,390 in cash. A quick scan of Dario’s previous cashes make this win no surprise; his warm-up for London came with a win in the PL Omaha event at the Italian Poker Championships, and he left the WSOP in Vegas this summer with 2 cashes, in the $5000 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Split 8 or Better and the $10,000 Omaha event. I caught up with Dario as he was having a torrid time on Day 1 of the No Limit event at FIFTY.
First of all Dario, Congratulations! The main event’s not going as well for you though.
No, it’s going terrible [laughs]. I lost 11,000 in a pot where somebody called me with Ace high and hit a straight then I’ve been losing small pots through the day.
Obviously the Omaha’s going a bit better for you. You played a good final table.
The Omaha event was great for me. I had good position on the final table with the small stack on my left and there was a very tight player also on my left too who was only playing premium hands, so the table allowed me to be aggressive.
Were you confident throughout the entire tournament?
Yes, definitely. Omaha is my main game - I’d say 90% of the poker I play is Omaha. I’d like to play more as I certainly have a bigger edge there. With Hold ‘em, you play with just 2 cards, it can get boring, but in Omaha, it’s easier to find playable hands.
Who did you fear most during the event?
[At this point, Patrik Antonius walks past]. Er, this guy! Yes, I respected Patrik very much during the tournament.
You haven’t been playing that long. How did you get into poker?
I’ve only been playing for a couple of years, Hold ‘em at first, playing a lot online. I qualified for the EPT in Barcelona [in 2005, where Dario finished 7th], which was my first ever live tournament. I realised that I could make a living from poker, so I quit my studies and concentrated on poker [a pharmacy student, Dario was following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, both pharmacists]. I wanted just to see if I was good enough to turn pro. My bankroll management is also very good, so I make sure that I never go broke. That’s one of the things that makes me successful.
So you’ll be back in Vegas next year trying for another bracelet?
Yes for sure. I’ll be playing every big Omaha event from now on [Andy Black wanders up to congratulate the young Italian]. I have one now [bracelet], and that means everyone looks at you differently. I’ve won in Europe, so I’d like to go and win in America.