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2010 World Series of Poker November Nine Profile -- Filippo Candio

Italian Pro Represents Europe’s Last Shot in 2010 Main Event


Filippo CandioIn a day and age where most poker players are almost dour in how serious they are at the tables, Filippo Candio stands out. The young Italian often sports a warm and contagious smile, as he seems to genuinely enjoy every second he spends at the poker table. After the final nine was decided for the 2010 World Series of Poker main event — and even during the final couple days of play — Candio couldn’t help but hug and congratulate his competitors.

“I love people, and I hope that people love me,” said Candio, on his demeanor. “I think that I’m a good guy. I’m friendly with all. Among my friends, when there is a problem, I’m the first to resolve it.”

The 26-year-old is from Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy, is the only European remaining in the 2010 main event, and is the first Italian-born player to make the final table of poker’s biggest tournament. With Italian bracelet winner Max Pescatori helping out as a translator, Candio shared with Card Player his emotions on making poker’s November Nine.

“It’s amazing,” said Candio. “For me, it’s a great opportunity because I’m the first Italian to make the World Series of Poker final table at the main event. And I’m the last European at the table, which is incredible.”

Candio studied the classics before attending law school. But it didn’t take long before cards started to interest him more than the law.

Filippo Candio“I graduated from classics school. I studied Latin, Greek, philosophy, Italian and Latin literature, and then I went to study law,” said Candio. “But I didn’t finish it because I started to play poker.”

That decision has guaranteed the young pro a payday of at least $811,823 and a chance to win nearly $9 million, if he is able to go the distance and outlast his final eight competitors. Candio knows that won’t be an easy task, despite his position at the table.

“I have position on The Grinder, which is good,” said Candio. “I respect my opponents so much, especially [Jonathan] Duhamel. I played with him for a couple days. He has very good stack control.”

To make it to the final table of a tournament that boasts 7,319 entrants, every player has to get a little lucky — whether that comes in a rush of good cards, their hands simply holding up consistently, or yes, a timely suck-out or two. Candio benefited from the latter in dramatic fashion in the late stages of play at the main event.

Against fellow November Niner Joseph Cheong on day 8, Candio wound up calling off the remainder of his chips holding 7-5 on a board of 6-6-5. Cheong flipped over pocket aces, and Italy’s last hope was virtually out the door.

But running cards gave Candio a backdoor straight, the huge pot, and propelled him into the final nine.

Candio is modest when it comes to speaking about his abilities, constantly crediting his opponents and declaring his need to continue to work on making his game as good as it can possibly be.

“I hope to improve my game so I can give my best,” said Candio, who said he would look into coaching over the break. “I would like to become a better player because my opponents are incredible. But I think I can do it.”

Filippo CandioLike many current poker players, Candio was first attracted to the game after watching it on TV.

“I love poker. I see the champions on TV. I wanted to become like these guys,” said Candio, explaining how he got his start in this game five years ago.

Now, he’s trying to become a champion — Italy’s first world champion in poker. The young pro says that the game is already quite prevalent in his home country, behind only soccer and formula one racing as sports or interests that Italians love.

“In Italy, poker is very popular. It’s become one of the first interests for the people,” said Candio. “We all know that it’s incredible, you can’t not love it. Italian people love poker, and I want to say thanks to all the people that work in poker, Card Player too, because now the game can grow in Italy.”



over 10 years ago

“I love people, and I hope that people love me" .....

Pass the sickbag please ....