Alongside Pescatori, Pagano and Minieri, Alioto is a pioneering figure in the Italian game
Dario Alioto is one of a number of players whose star could rise as poker hits the boom time in Italy…
Dario Alioto may not be a household name on the European circuit yet but he’s part of the burgeoning poker scene taking Italy by storm.
Alongside Max Pescatori, Luca Pagano and Dario Minieri, Alioto is a pioneering figure in the Italian game. Online poker was formally legalised in Italy in January 2007 and Alioto is at the forefront of popularising the game.
The 22-year-old, originally from Sicily, is best-known in tournament play for finishing seventh at the EPT Event in Barcelona in September 2005, collecting just under $65,000. It was a terrific performance given he had taken up the game only in January that year, honing his skills online (playing under the name “1Ryu” on PokerStars) and often playing 24-hour sessions as his game improved. It’s no surprise he has since become a regular at some of the biggest tournaments in Italy.
He was studying pharmacy in Budapest but quit his studies after busting out of the EPT Baden event in 2005. He played poker professionally in Hungary for two months before returning to Italy to play professionally online in his homeland. He now travels to major tournaments and festivals in Europe as well.
Evidence of Italy’s growing interest in poker comes not only from Alioto’s increasing profile but also the bustling activity on forums such as assopoker.com. The recent launch of Card Player Italia magazine, too, suggests plenty of people see Italy as the next growth area on the European poker scene.
Alioto awaits that first big win online or offline – but from what we have seen so far, his personal profile has the potential to improve as much as that of his homeland.