Daily 3-Bet: Antonius Cao’ed, Dario Quits, Salsberg Destiny

Patrik Antonius
Patrik Antonius.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a family-run, home-based medicinal herb startup carving out turf right under the noses of the afternoon poker news cartel.

Any suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to drop a note in the comments. 

Today in the 3-Bet we find Patrik Antonius getting walloped by Rui Cao in the opening round of their $1m challenge, longtime PokerStars pro Dario Minieri quitting a bad habit as he tries to turn things around in 2013 and Weeds producer Matt Salsberg living out his "absurd" poker destiny.

1) Cao Takes Round 1 in $1m Challenge w/ Antonius

Rui Cao
Cao: Buoyed.

With much less publicity and a lot more action than, um, some past million-dollar stand-offs, the $1m challenge between Frenchman Rui Cao and poker god Patrik Antonius quietly got underway last night.

In short: Cao busted Antonius’ $300k buy-in in just 350 hands of $1.5k/$3k 2-7 Triple Draw to take Round 1 of the three-part challenge. The outcome is particularly auspicious as a massive 2-7 whipping by Antonius last week was what prompted Cao to make the challenge in the first place.

In case you missed the specs, Cao and Antonius agreed to play a $1 million mixed-variation challenge last week. Action will be split between three different games - $350k on Hold’em, $350k on PLO and $300k on 2-7 Triple Draw.

With an early leg up Cao can obviously put himself in a great position to sweep when the challenge resumes today.

Antonius, though, can likely afford it if the worst-case happens. In between agreeing to the challenge and playing it, he finished third in the Aussie Millions main event for AUD$600,000.

He's still waiting on a bunch of Full Tilt money though. Such is the life of a poker superstar, we guess.

2) Dario Minieri: Get Fit, Quit Smoking, Learn to Fly

If you’ve been wondering what former Italian wunderkind Dario Minieri is up to, you’re not alone.

Dario Minieri
New lease for Minieri.

Minieri took the poker world by storm back in 2006/2007. He crushed the online games, made SuperNova Elite and cashed in 3 million FPPs for his first Porsche before he even had a license.

After winning his first WSOP bracelet in 2008 at age 23, the sky seemed to be the limit for him.

It hasn't been such a smooth ride since though. Making his last big live score in Oct 2010 for $72k, Minieri’s results have been few and far between over the last while.

In a new blog post Minieri admits as much, saying 2012 was a tough year for him poker-wise. But with a new outlook on life and poker he has big plans to rebound in 2013 -- starting with quitting smoking.

“One change that I've already made is to quit smoking cigarettes. It's going to be tough, I know, because I've been smoking for about three years.

“But I'm realizing there are a lot of the same qualities you use in poker that are needed to stop smoking, such as being disciplined, having patience, and above all, staying determined. Just like succeeding in poker, you have to be confident you can do it.”

Read about the rest of Minieri's plans - including martial arts training and getting his pilot's license - here.

3) Salsberg Talks Destiny, Spite in Alumni Mag

We're long-time fans of Weeds producer and WPT Paris winner Matt Salsberg so it's great to see a new rush of publicity for him lately - especially in light of his new show about online poker, Whales, not getting picked up by Showtime.

Matt Salsberg
Taking the poker ride.

In fact, Salsberg says in a new interview with the Concordia alumni magazine, it might have even pushed him to win that WPT event as he found out about the rejection the night it started:

“I turned to my girlfriend and said, 'I'm gonna win this tournament to spite them.' And I did it. One door closed and another one opened, which is pretty cool," Salsberg said.

Another strange coincidence: Salsberg had written that very tournament into an episode of Weeds.

With Whales still drawing network interest, Salsberg says he's good with following that open poker door for now - even if it is a bit absurd:

"Poker's a little weird now for me because I'm getting attention. I like to compete against great players.

“I'm going with it more for the sense of comedy. Funny stuff always happens to me so I’m looking at this as more funny things happening to me.

“That I'm playing poker on national television against professional poker players, I think, is absurd."

Look for Salsberg featured in our mini-documentary series, Easy Game, soon too.

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