Junior Officer is Online Poker Champ - Thursday 29th of December 2005

HAWAII As reported by the Honolulu Advertiser: "A pair of eights was worth $1 million to a Pearl Harbor man who emerged from a field of nearly 5,000 players to win a free online poker tournament.

"Navy Ensign Santino Sgambelluri, 32, returned to Hawaii this week after dominating a 10-player, "No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em" final Sunday in the Bahamas.

"'It hasn't sunk in yet. It's quite a feat,' he said yesterday. 'I don't even know how to describe it.'

"Because ParadisePoker.com's annual Million Dollar Freeroll competition is free to enter, the online tournament skirted Hawaii laws that prohibit gambling. Online gambling is illegal if participants must pay to play and the 'house' runs the game profits, according to Jim Fulton of the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office. Fulton was not aware of any local cases in which online gamblers have been prosecuted.

"Sgambelluri, an air safety officer, is from Guam and has been stationed at Pearl Harbor for a little more than a year. He said he's been playing poker for about 10 years, but took up Texas Hold 'Em only two years ago..."

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