While there are only a few must-watch tables outside the confines of the PokerGO and ESPN main stage, the seemingly never-ending battle for table supremacy between Dario Sammartino and Kenny Hallaert has certainly been one of them. The two have sparred multiple times since moving within touching distance earlier today but after a career-best summer, the Italian Sammartino knows his work is far from over.
“I’m happy about my game,” Sammartino said about the start of his Day 5 session. “But you know, this tournament is really long, so I have to stay focused and hungry.”
If Sammartino came into the summer hungry, he’s certainly had his fill throughout the World Series. The Italian opened the series with a podium finish in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, good for a career-best $1.6 million score, and then cashed in four $10,000 Championship events and the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller.
Despite being known around the world for his prowess and success in High Roller events, Sammartino admits that nothing compares to the Main Event.
“This is the best tournament in the world. There is less adrenaline than some Super High Rollers but it is a really different experience.” Sammartino said.
While Italian’s have had success at the World Series, most notably four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori, their Main Event runs have been few and far between. The one outlier, Filippo Candio, who final tabled the Main Event in 2010.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sammartino said of his countryman’s run to the final table. “He put a lot of power in a lot of hearts, it was not really good technique of poker but to make the final table, it brought a lot of energy.”
If there is one thing that Italian’s don’t lack, it is energy. When Sammartino was at the final table of the High Roller for One Drop, his Italian rail was loud and passionate. A similar performance in the Main Event would likely get the Italians even more excited, as Sammartino admits, “Italian people go crazy for the Main Event.”