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From the EPT Grand Final: Luca Pagano

The Team PokerStars Pro Talks about his High Hopes in Monte Carlo and Cashing with his Father


Luca Pagano is a Team Poker Stars Pro and he is currently among the rapidly narrowing field of the €10,000 buy-in European Poker Tour Grand Final. Pagano has finished in the money in a record-breaking nine EPT events and he has just under $150,000 in career tournament earnings. His highest finish in an EPT event took place back in 2004 when he finished 3rd in the Barcelona Open. However that was not Pagano’s biggest EPT cash to date; he came in 13th in the Irish Masters in 2006 and earned more than $25,000. The fact that he earned more for a 13th-place finish than for a final table appearance just goes to show that poker in Europe has grown substantially. Card Player spoke to Pagano about his quest for an EPT title on a break from the tournament.

Luca PaganoLizzy Harrison: You’ve already made it deep in the 2008 EPT Grand Final; how did you do it?

Luca Pagano:  This tournament has been going very well so far. This is the first time I have made the money in the EPT Grand Final but it is my 9th time making the money in an EPT event. My father [Claudio Pagano] is still in as well, so it is a great story. Everything here is like a dream.

LH: You must come from a poker playing family.

LP: Kind of, my father is the businessman and I am the poker player, but sometimes we swap. I can become a businessman and he can become a poker player. Right now though, we are both playing poker, and we are both in the money. It is great.

LH: Bertrand Grospellier became the first Team Poker Stars Pro to win an EPT event this past January. Are you going to match that?

LP: I will certainly do the best that I can with my chips. I am playing quite well. I have been playing very solidly in this tournament for the past three days. There has been a lot of action but I have decided to play solid poker because there are a lot of chips in play and the structure is great. There is room enough to make some moves. The way that I am playing is going to pay off. I think that I am going to keep playing the same way that I have been today, but if I move through to tomorrow I am going to change some things.   

LH: What aspects of your game do you plan to change tomorrow?

LP: I pretty much plan to play more loose and aggressive. Tomorrow I will have to accumulate enough chips to win the tournament. My first goal was to finish in the money and now I am going to play to win it. I am having a lot of fun.