Italian-born Andrea Dato is a professional tournament player that has had a lifelong interest in problem-solving. With both of his parents being well-known Bridge players, Dato was brought up around card games. As a young teenager, he enjoyed playing Magic: The Gathering – a game that other successful poker pros such as Anthony Gregg enjoyed in their younger days – and transitioned over to chess in high school. After studying and working as an engineer for a few years, Dato found the game of poker at the age of 25 in 2004.
Drawn to its strategic complexity, his knack for problem-solving has allowed him to collect more than $1,700,000 in live tournament poker winnings. His most successful year to date came in 2014, where he netted almost $1,000,000 in under 12 months. In March of that year, he won his first WPT title at the €3,000 Main Event in Venice for $145,439 – beating English poker legend Sam Trickett in a heads-up battle to claim the title. A few months on at the 2014 EPT Barcelona, he final-tabled the €5,000 Main Event for his biggest score to date – taking home $481,299. Since then, he went on to have a further ten cashes in EPT events along with making the money in the 2016 WSOP Main Event.
Playing online under the screenname ‘Datino’ on PokerStars.it, his winnings are not well-documented. He has expressed a desire to move out of Italy so that he is able to play on the .com PokerStars servers and play in larger tournaments with bigger prizes.
A coach at the Italian poker training site IQ4, Dato’s background as a teacher of engineering has made teaching the game of poker come easily to him.