MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – ROCCO PALUMBO
Name: Rocco Palumbo
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Current Residence: Genoa, Italy
Marital Status: Married
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Previous Occupation: Accountant
Number of Years Attending WSOP: 2
Number of WSOP Cashes: 2
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: 81st (2012)
First-Place Prize Money: $464,464
Note: Palumbo will be classified as a professional poker player in WSOP records, since he does play full-time exclusively and has no other occupation.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER – ROCCO PALUMBO
Question: This was great moment for you and a great moment for poker in Italy. Agree?
Palumbo: Surely, it was really a good moment for me, but surely a very good moment for Italy. It’s two or three of us and we didn’t win a bracelet but the last one was Max Pescatori in 2008, so it’s huge. I’m happy for me, but I’m very happy for Italy. It’s going to be a very good thing for poker in Italy. I’m very happy about that and the future of poker in Italy.
Question: How many years have you come to the World Series of Poker now?
Palumbo: This is my second year.
Question: How does this tournament feel differently than making other final tables, such as at the European Poker Tour?
Palumbo: You have to trust me that I did feel a lot more pressure on this final table. I guess I played more relaxed here, but it was very tough to play. I mean, it’s probably more stressful to play the latest stage of the WSOP, but I was more relaxed when I got to the last twelve players and last few players.
Question: What do you think is more difficult – the 3,000-player field or playing against 400 or 500 much tougher players?
Palumbo: It’s probably harder to play with tough people, even if you get lucky they are not amateurs. Here, there are a lot more amateurs, so if you are lucky enough to get the right cards you are probably going very deep in a short amount of time. Instead you are playing much deeper in tournaments like EPT.
Question: You decided to quit your job and play poker for a living. But your parents didn’t like this, so talk about your family and what they think now?
Palumbo: They weren’t so happy. They were a little stressed about that. But they always trusted me, and they always supported me. It’s been two or three years now.
Question: What are your plans for the rest of the WSOP?
Palumbo: I was planning on playing almost everything. Well, I mean the No-Limit Hold’em tournaments. I’m surely not playing the $1 million buy-in One Drop!