Mario Puccini is one of Germany’s and Europe’s brightest young talents….
With Moritz ‘Catenaccio’ Kranich capturing the EPT Deauville last month & Sandra Naujoks winning European Female Player of the Year for 2008, it seems that German poker is enjoying a bit of a renaissance at present.
Now step forward Mario ‘Pokerccini’ Puccini, a youngster from Hamburg who is tearing up the high stakes MTT scene.
If you haven’t heard the screen-name until recently, it’s probably because Puccini didn’t make his first cash on PokerStars until December 2007, and not until June 2008 on Full Tilt! Since then, however, he has been unstoppable, racking up well over $1.2million in prizes across the 2 sites and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Named ‘TheRealPokerccini’ on Pocket Fives (because there was a ‘faker’ already listed under the Pokerccini name), Puccini has enjoyed a phenomenal rise up the rankings. He told the site he got started in the game learning from a friend while in the United States and first played online poker in mid-2007 with a $50 bankroll on PartyPoker. “I only knew Five Card Draw then. It was fun to play, but there was such a big luck factor involved. I saw that Texas Hold’em was not all about luck, which was pretty interesting”, he said. This is probably why he played Greg Raymer at No Limit 5 Card Draw after he won the PokerStars monthly race in September ’08 (he ended up losing the match).
He first really came to attention in July 08 with an outright victory in the Stars Nightly Hundred Grand for $28,721 & followed this up with a 2nd in the $100 Re-Buys for $21,140 three weeks later. A runner-up finish in the FT Sunday Mulligan (for $28,014) shortly followed before a mammoth weekend in early September. Pokerccini took down the Stars $100k GTD ($320 NLH) for a cool $25,005 before going deep in the WCOOP $10,000 Event shortly after, finishing 12th for the biggest score of his young career, $41,730. Shortly after this Pocket Fives felt it necessary to track the young German down for an interview to explain his success, during which he simply said: “I just played a lot of tournaments on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and caught a nice upswing. I’ve been running a lot better.”
This upswing has continued since with a 2nd in the FT $90k GTD for $23,012 and a deep run in February’s FTOPS Event #9 ($500 NLH Heads-Up), in which he finished 7th for a further $18,648.
There is no doubt that the real ‘Pokerccini’ is another bright German star on the up and though he has only one live cash to his name (51st at the EPT Budapest for $6,658), we should expect to see him following in Kranich’s footsteps and making a major live score at some point.