The first Italian to make the World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table, Filippo Candio, is hoping to win the title for the green, white and red. Candio made quite an impression this summer and if you heard somebody celebrating with immense exuberance while in the Amazon room, chances are it was Candio. On more than one occasion, he reminded us of Hevad Khan, 2007 version. From Cagliari, Italy, Candio has been playing poker professionally for a few years. His biggest score had been for roughly $185,000 when he won the Main Event at Campionato Italiano in 2009. Come November, he will officially crush that with a pay day of at least $811,823.
How He Got There
Candio had several memorable all-ins throughout the Main Event, but none bigger and more memorable than on Day 8 at the 80,000/160,000/20,000 level. He raised to 385,000 from early position, and Joseph Cheong popped it to 1,125,000 on the button. Candio called and then checked when the flop came down . Cheong bet 1,550,000, and Candio put in a raise to 4,400,000. After a few minutes and asking for a count of Candio's remaining stack , Cheong reraised all in with the bigger stack and put the decision on Candio, who called for his tournament life and saw the bad news. His needed help in a big way against Cheong’s . The turn brought the , giving Candio an extra eight outs to win the pot. When the hit the river to give Candio a winning straight, he ran around and jumped for joy, having gone from all but out of the Main Event to the chip lead with 20 players left.
It was hardly smooth sailing from that point. Candio was unable to build his stack, quite the opposite in fact. With ten players left, Candio's stack was closer to the shorter stacks at the table. Perhaps feeling the pressure, he made some unusual plays. On at least one occasion, with a standard raise in front of him, Candio three-bet shoved for about 40 big blinds, not getting any callers. Fortunately, he was able to find a crucial double-up later when John Racener ran into his .
What To Watch For
Sitting in Seat 8 with 16,400,000 (just over 30 big blinds), Candio arguably has the best seat at the table. The two shortest stacks, Soi Nguyen and Jason Senti, are to his left. Chances are that neither will play back at the aggressive and unpredictable Candio with subpar hands, and that should make decisions a bit more straight forward for the Italian pro. To his right are John Racener and Matthew Jarvis. While all three have comparable chip stacks, Candio will need to be wary of Racener. There is no doubt that Racener will be prepared for Candio’s unorthodox play, and one misstep could spell the end for the Italian.