MEET THE NOVEMBER NINE

Name: Filippo Candio
Hometown:  Cagliari, Sardinia (Italy) 
Seat: 8
Chip Count:  16,400,000 (6th in chips)
 
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Candio turned 26 years-old in March.

Candio is from Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy.

Candio is 100 percent fluent in Italian and about 85 percent fluent in English.  He also studied Latin in college.

Candio learned most of his English by watching American movies.

Candio attended college and studied classical literature.  His favorite book is “The Count of Monte Cristo.”  Candio also considered becoming a lawyer.  He took many classes in law. 

Candio’s breakthrough victory occurred last year in the Italian Poker Tour championship.  He earned more than 140,000 Euros for that win.

Candio has only one previous WSOP in-the-money finish.  He cashed in 157th place in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #11) this year.

Candio is the first Italian player ever to make it to the WSOP Main Event final table.

Candio goes into the Main Event final table ranked sixth in chips out of nine players.

 

Q&A with Filippo 
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Below is a brief Q&A with Candio, taken just hours after he made it to the November Nine.

Question:  You come from an interesting part of the world.  Tell us about your home.

Candio:  Sardinia is an island which is part of Italy.  It is near Corsica.  It’s a different life (than in Italy).  The life there is tougher.  It’s not a big place.   It is a small place.    

Question:  How did you learn about poker and become interested in the game?

Candio:  I saw it on television.  I saw the Italian people doing it – like Dario Minieri, Max Pescatori, and Luca Pagano.  I started to play poker….well, I had always played and known about poker.  But nothing like this (scale).

Question:  On becoming a professional poker player.

Candio:  If you have the right mind and manage your bankroll and you work hard, you can do it.  This is my work.  It is difficult work.  I think the way I play, I am going to lose three or four years (of my life) because of the stress of it.

Question:  When you return to Sardinia, do you expect you will be famous?

Candio:  Today, I received 600 requests (Facebook).  At one time, there were ten coming in every minute.  There is a great interest in poker in Italy, now.  Media is interested about poker, too.  I don’t know if I am famous.  But I want to keep everything with my feet on the ground. 

Question:  What do you think about maybe being the most famous poker player in Italy – and if you win, becoming one of the most famous players in the world?

Candio:  If you do not have the right mind, you can lose it all.  I am more mature now than I was before.  I have good friends and family.  That will help me, I think.

Question:  What was your goal coming to this year’s WSOP?

Candio:  Because I won a tournament in Italy before, I now have some money.  When I play, I never get upset about the game.  I think people when they get here (and play in the WSOP) they lose their minds.  When they take a bad beat, they go on tilt.  Me, too.  I used to do that.  But not at the World Series of Poker.

Question:  How would you rate yourself as a poker player?

Candio:  I think I’m a good player.  But I must learn more.  I am only 26.  I cannot know all there is to know.  It’s impossible.  I am so happy to be here.  I feel proud.

Question:  What if a genie were to pop out of a bottle and make you an offer.  Right now, the genie offers you second place.  You get $5.5 million as the runner up.  You get plenty of face time on television.  But, you do not get the win.  Would you take the deal?

Candio:  No!  No!  No!  I have only one interest.  Money is okay.  It is very important.  It would be stupid to say anything else.  All people know that money is important.  But I am a professional poker player.  I can always win money – but not the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.  Those banners around the tournament room….Stu Ungar (and other former world champions).  That’s where I want to be, up there with them.

Question:  So, your goal is to be the next portrait that is hoisted inside the tournament room, at next year’s WSOP?

Candio:  Right.  I don’t want a bracelet.  I want a wall!

The Main Event championship final table, also known as the November Nine, will be played starting on November 6th, 2010.  The initial session of play will narrow the nine finalists down to two survivors.  The final two players return two days later on November 8th to play heads-up for the 2010 world championship.  This year’s winner will receive $8,944,138 in prize money, the coveted WSOP gold bracelet, and designation as the 2010 world poker champion.

To see a full list of all players who cashed in this year's Main Event, click here.