Like many others I'm just coming off of being in Las Vegas all summer for the World Series of Poker. I'm very happy about my time there this year. Things went well at the tables and the experience helped give me back some confidence in myself as far as live tournaments are concerned.
I had a couple of nice results this summer, including making the final table of Event No. 19, the $5,000 pot-limit hold'em event where I ended up finishing eighth. Going into the Series, I was telling myself how I wanted to fight for bracelets and to give myself a chance to go deep and perhaps win, and I feel like I was able to do that this year.
I also cashed in the $3,000 NLHE Shootout where I won my first table and then came very close to winning the next one and getting to the final table in that event, too. The first table featured Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, Kevin Saul, Jason Somerville, Darren Elias, and Tony Gargano. That was a really tough table, and it was satisfying to make it through that one. Then at my second table I lost a big pot three-handed which would have given me the chip lead, so I had a decent shot there of winning that one, too.
I'm happy because I gave myself a chance to win bracelets, although a little disappointed not to have gone all of the way to win one this time. But having that experience of getting close is great going forward, because you get to train yourself further for handling the late phases of tournaments and other factors like the blinds getting high and how to handle the final table bubble.
The Main Event didn't go so well for me and that was a little disappointing, too. I played a very big pot on Day 1 in Level 4 or 5 and lost, and since the WSOP Main Event is the most important tournament in the world it is always frustrating to go out early.
But like I say, overall the summer was very positive for me. I've been writing before about my quest to earn Supernova Elite on PokerStars, which I did manage to achieve just before going out to Las Vegas. I played a lot of multi-table tournaments on the way to reaching that goal, and I gathered a lot of good experience, I think, which I was then able to draw on once I got out to the WSOP.
Right now I'm enjoying the summer, hanging out with friends and relaxing. I think the combination of getting some rest now and also the good experience at the WSOP is going to be good for me as I look forward to the upcoming European Poker Tour season getting underway.
I'm very focused for the Barcelona stop which will be starting the new season. It's such a wonderful place both to play poker and to do other things such as visiting the beaches. I can't wait!
Dario Minieri is a member of Team PokerStars Pro