After settling a case with the Italian tax system and a short-lived move from Italy to Malta, Dario Minieri is back at the WSOP for the first time since 2013.
For years Minieri was the hottest poker player to come out of Italy.
His first WSOP cash was in the 2006 Main Event when he finished 543rd. The following year he returned and ran up a huge stack, ultimately finishing in 96th place for almost $70,000.
He went on to make multiple final tables on the European Poker Tour, win a WSOP bracelet in 2008 and famously earn enough player-points on PokerStars to trade in for a real-life Porsche.
Now Minieri is back in Las Vegas competing in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. He made Day 2 and spent the day playing on the ESPN feature table alongside leading all-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
4-Year Break from Bracelet Hunting
Minieri told PokerListings.com he hadn’t been to the WSOP in recent years for financial reasons.
“I’ve not been in Vegas because I changed my bankroll management,” said Minieri. “I didn’t have the money I wanted to have to come to Vegas.”
Minieri’s conservative approach to his bankroll might have something to do with the case brought against him for back-taxes in Italy.
Minieri was reportedly handed a roughly half-million-Euro tax bill by the Italian government.
It was later reported that the case had been thrown out since it was based on Minieri’s live tournament results as posted on websites like Hendon Mob.
According to Minieri that problem has mostly been resolved.
“I won for most of it and I’m still fighting for a part of the money they were asking,” he said.
Minieri declined to comment further on the specifics of the case, the amount of money involved or the likely outcome.
More Poker in Minieri’s Future
Overall Minieri was tight-lipped during the interview. He declined to comment on the amount of poker he’s playing, the stakes or details of his playing schedule.
He also wouldn’t go into detail about the circumstances that led to him not having enough money to make the trip to Las Vegas for the last few years.
“I didn’t have the money I’ve had in the past,” he said simply. “I’ve had some swings.”
In 2013 Minieri told PokerListings he was trying to make a comeback after a dry spell lasting from 2011 to that point.
It was around that time he moved to Malta but says he quickly realized it wasn’t where he wanted to live and moved back to Italy.
“In the last four or five years I played less than in the first eight years of my career but I’m starting to play more now,” he said.
“I don’t plan a lot. I just see how I feel and then decide. But I will be playing more poker in my future, that’s for sure.”
To date Minieri has earned $1.9 million playing live tournaments but, as the Italian revenue service likely discovered, that number doesn’t take into account the cost of the buy-in to enter each event or any action Minieri may have sold.