Once upon a time, Italy was the new European hotbed of poker and that theme is explored on Poker After Dark’s “USA vs. Italy.” Matching up in a winner-take-all Sit-n-Go are three Americans and three Italians, each side armed with their own unique flair.
As the voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad, puts it, it doesn’t take much to decipher who is playing for what team at the $20,000 buy-in table.
Those who have taken a recent PokerGO deep-dive recognize Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, who are playing for the United States in the episode. This appearance marks Lederer’s fourth straight appearance in Season 5.
The generally conservative American attire is upended by the Italians, who come armed with their silk and scarves. Playing team captain for Italy is Max Pescatori. The four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner claimed his first piece of jewelry in 2006 and won two titles at the 2015 WSOP.
Seated next to Ferguson, it is not difficult to tell who is playing for what side based on sunglass design alone.
The other two Italians featured are Dario Minieri and Marco Traniello. The pair both came to fame as part of their World Series of Poker appearances, but each stood out in their own way.
Minieri won a bracelet in 2008 and was featured prominently in the 2007 Main Event coverage, when he shot up the leaderboard early on to claim a top-100 finish. After a few years away from live poker, Minieri emerged this summer and it remains to be seen if he makes any additional appearances before the end of the year.
A hairdresser by trade, Traniello earned his fair share of camera time at various final tables along with the occasional feature.
All three of the Italian players sport sunglasses, but are thankfully behind the curve in excessive European tanking.
The “All-American” of poker rounds out the group with Erick Lindgren joining in. The former high school sports all-star and prop-better extraordinaire fits the bill of what you might expect a United States pro to look like in 2009.
The friendly rivalry between nations is about as “made for TV” as it gets and make sure not to miss any of the action now available in THE VAULT.