German-Italian Online Crusher LeChiffre19 Looks to Breakout

Giuseppe Pantaleo
Giuseppe Pantaleo

German-born Giuseppe Pantaleo has racked up over $3 million playing online poker and he’s looking to replicate some of that success at the World Series of Poker.

Known online as LeChiffre19 or Ansgar2000, Pantaleo is one of the best online MTT players in the world and is currently ranked second on PocketFives’ German rankings.

That online success hasn't translated to the WSOP. Yet.

“This is my third year in a row but I haven’t had any success despite playing a large number of events,” said Pantaleo.

“It would be so great to win a bracelet. It would mean so much to me.”

Pantaleo has a unique heritage as his parents and siblings were born in Italy but Pantaleo was raised in Germany after his parents moved.

Despite his upbringing in Germany and his many German friends in the poker community, Pantaleo considers himself Italian at heart.

“I would have them play the Italian anthem if I ever won a bracelet,” explained Pantaleo.

Pantaleo Goes from €10 Games to Winning $136k in Sunday Major

Giuseppe Pantaleo
Giuseppe Pantaleo

Pantaleo learned poker from a friend who went to the USA on a vacation and brought back No-Limit Hold’em.

Soon Pantaleo and his friends were playing tiny €10 home games. It wasn’t long before Pantaleo decided to deposit some money on an online poker site. That money didn’t last long.

“For two years I was depositing every month and just losing my money,” he said.

Fortunately Pantaleo had a day job as a management assistant in wholesale and foreign trade so he could afford a few deposits.

Pantaleo, who admits he’s very competitive, stuck with it, however, and eventually took his game to the next level.

“I won a small tournament – an $11 rebuy – and something finally clicked,” said Pantaleo.

It was around that time that Pantaleo’s contract was up in his day job so he made the decision to play poker full-time.

Suffice to say the poker thing worked out.

These days Pantaleo is a bona fide terror online and has won several huge online tournaments including the Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars for $136,080.

Pantaleo has been so good that he garnered a sponsorship from IveyPoker recently. Pantaleo was the first German (or Italian for that matter) player to be signed by the company.

“I was very happy to be signed by IveyPoker,” he said.

“They have a lot of really good players and I hope I can do well while flying the IveyPoker flag.”

Pantaleo will attempt to do that in the last few events at the 2013 WSOP. At the time this article was published he was deep in Event 57 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em with just 60 players left.

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