Italian bracelet holder Dario Alioto tells us how he did it at the WSOP: “It seemed that everyone except for Tony G and Farnood were playing just to get one spot up the money”

We take a look back at the young Italian who bossed the WSOPE PLO final table

‘I was third in chips at the beginning of the final table and as I sat down I realised that my position was very good, so I thought that I had a shot. I had small stacks to my left, big stacks to my right along with a tight player. I knew I could take advantage of it as it allowed me to pick up many small pots.

‘The key moment of the final table was when I bust Sherkhan Farnood. He was the chip leader at the start of the final table but by the time this hand came up I had something like 150,000 chips more than him.

‘He limped under the gun and I raised with A-A-7-6. I wanted him in the hand so I didn’t raise that much pre-flop. He came in and on the flop bet out around 50,000 on a J-6-2 board, which is just a little bit more than half the pot. I could only call because I couldn’t yet put him on a particular hand.

‘When the 3 came on the turn putting a possible straight out there as well as a flush draw he bet very big. I was sure he was on big cards like 10-J-Q-K from his under the gun limp so I couldn’t put him on two-pair, a straight or a set.

My read was that I didn’t want to see any clubs on the river. I thought about putting him in on the turn but I knew if I did he would have to call and there’d be nothing I could do if he hit his flush. But if I called and a club appeared I could still get away from the hand. So I made the call on the turn and when the river brought a Seven, which matched one of my hole cards, I was sure I still had the best hand.

I wanted to catch the diamond for the nut flush but the Seven was still one of the cards that I wanted to see. When he moved in I insta- called [Farnood had paired his Jack]. I think I had a very good read on his hand and when I bust him that was the biggest pot of the tournament up to that point.’

G force

‘It seemed that everyone except for Tony G and Farnood were playing just to get one spot up the money. For me it was making things even simpler because if your opponents are trying to avoid playing pots with you it’s very easy to push them around.

‘When the play got three- or four-handed Tony G took the chip lead and I knew I couldn’t give him too many chances to get a big lead. For most of the final table up “If your opponents are trying to avoid playing pots with you it’s easy to push them around” until then I was leading, playing aggressive and winning a lot of small pots. But at that point Tony started to take over as the table captain.

I found out that with a stack shorter than his I had to be even more aggressive and I was lucky enough to find a very big hand against him when we both moved in on the turn with the same two-pair. But I had a very big redraw with the river to come. I had flush and straight draws, the possibility of making a bigger two-pair and if the board paired, my Ace kicker would have won it. I had about 20 outs to the redraw and hit my flush. That gave me a huge stack and I went on to win.’

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