If you like your finalists affable, eccentric and to be decent good natured people, you might want to look away now, for your patron saint has just been eliminated.
Joseph Carlino promised so much this week, and frankly he delivered. From the moment he started singing to camera a few days ago, through to events just now, he brought nothing but good cheer to a world often marked by seriousness, ego and disappointment. Carlino took it upon himself to put the fun back in, and pulled it off.
Unique, gregarious and dangerous:Joseph Carlino makes his entrance
Carlino seemed to live every moment of this event as though it were a complete fluke. Maybe it was. Maybe the occasion brought out of him the best poker of his career. Whatever happened, you only had to look at him to see how much he was enjoying himself.
He started the day today using his phone to record every step he took on his way to his seat. Then, last to be called to the stage, he rushed towards the cameras with a series of Tae Kwan-Do moves, transforming himself from a heavy-set gregarious 49-year-old, into an agile killing machine. Or an agile fun machine. The crowd loved it.
Joe Stapleton called them to order but Carlino was not done. He insisted on wishing everyone good luck in a short speech that had everyone grinning, even if they didn’t catch every heavily accented word he said.
But alas the Carlino show would be over almost immediately. Somewhere the poker Gods decided that this affront to the usual order of business must be ended. So they gave him ace-king, and they also gave Andrius Bielskis jacks. The chips went in, Carlino went out.
The final table now plays on without him. It’s a different place. It looks almost normal now.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.