PokerStars signs Big Game Loose Cannon to Team Pro

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 29, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

When Massamilio Martinez appeared on Season 2 of the PokerStars Big Game it was pretty evident from the outset that the Italian poker player was anything but a “Loose Cannon” (the PokerStars Big Game terminology for an amateur qualifier). But even after running over the table and winning over $160,000 as well as titling Phil Hellmuth and being the Genesis of some very memorable Phil Laak lines, few people suspected that about a year later Max Martinez would be a member of Team PokerStars Pro.

Throughout his entire Big Game appearance Martinez kept the pros off-balance, something that fellow Italian Dario Minieri predicted would happen at the beginning of the episode. Since his Big Game appearance Martinez has been a major force on the Italian tournament scene.

Among Martinez’s career accomplishments are the following:

* 1st place at the 2010 Poker Grand Prix St. Vincent (before his Big Game appearance) — $36,848

* 1st place at the 2011 IPT San Remo Main Event — $100,568

* 10th place at the 2011 WSOP $5,000 NLHE 6-Max event — $52,341

* 110th place at the 2011 WSOP Main Event — $54,851

* 12th place at the 2011 EPT Barcelona Main Event — $51,864

* 39th place at the 2011 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event — $23,199

Now Martinez will join several other high-profile Italian poker players on Team PokerStars Pro Italy including Dario Minieri, Luca Pagano, Pier Paolo Fabretti, and Gigi Buffon. Max Martinez is currently the 54th ranked player on the Italian all-time money list, with $344,079 in career tournament earnings according to

Max still has a ways to go to catch the #1 player on Italy’s money-list, Jeffrey Lisandro, but all-in-all the young Italian isn’t too far out of the Top 10, a place he could very well crack in the coming year. Here is a look at the current Top 10 players on the all-time Italian money-list:

* 1st place: Jeff Lisandro — $4,797,295

* 2nd place: Filippo Candio — $3,460,268

* 3rd place: Max Pescatori — $3,199,984

* 4th place: Salvatore Bonavena — $2,264,246

* 5th place: Luca Pagano — $2,055,370

* 6th place: Alessio Isaia — $1,962,528

* 7th place: Dario Minieri — $1,861,016

* 8th place: Dario Alioto — $1,386,276

* 9th place: Gianni Giaroni — $1,094,003

* 10th place: Gino Alacqua — $1,047,956

The Big Game was a wildly successful new form of televised poker, which unfortunately fell victim to the aftermath of Black Friday. Season 1 of the show was very well received, and Season 2 looked to be poised to be even better, unfortunately before the episodes hit the airwaves Black Friday occurred, which relegated the Big Game to the Internet.

For more information on Team PokerStars Pro you can visit the website

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