On Sunday, December 18, Santino Sgambelluria became the second person to ever win $1 million in an online poker tournament at Paradise Poker's $1 million freeroll event in Nassau, The Bahamas. Mr. Sgambelluria is U.S. Naval Officer who is originally from Guam.
After defeating nearly 4,000 players in an online tournament at Paradise Poker, the tournament was paused and Santino was flown along with the 9 other final table qualifiers to Nassau in order to play the final table live in front of a large crowd in a roped-off area. It was there that Mr. Sgambelluria beat out fellow qualifier Ryan Boyes, a utility worker from Atlanta, Georgia, to take home first place and its prize of $1 million.
"The whole experience was unbelievable -- to win was even more unbelievable. It hasn't sunk in yet - I guess I won!" Sgambelluria said after the game.
When asked what he would be doing with the cash, Sgambelluria, who is stationed in Hawaii, responded, "Everyone played great and I am just happy to come out on top. I know that my family, my wife and 2 children, will be well taken care of. I plan to pay off some debts and invest the money wisely. This might be the beginning of a poker career - I still can't believe it."
According to Paradise Poker representatives, the $1 million free is now a permanent fixture at the site: "The success of our second $1 million dollar freeroll tournament proves this contest is here to stay," said Bruce Stubbs, marketing manager at Paradise Poker.
"The chance to win a million dollars for free is unheard of - even for a lottery. We had players on this final table who had never spent a dime at Paradise. We will continue to offer the no buy-in million dollar freeroll tournaments to our players, and keep making millionaires at Paradise Poker."
Please see Paradise Poker for further details.