On Monday, December 14, the poker world lost Dianna Donofrio-Trigatzi, who passed away at the age 69 after a long battle with cancer.
Known for her poker advocacy, Donofrio-Trigatzi previously served as Nevada State Director for the Poker Players Alliance and is known for advancing the game in the years surrounding the poker boom.
Born November 20, 1946, Donofrio-Trigatzi's life was previously documented in a PokerNews piece by her friend Tina Bergstrom titled Women's Poker Spotlight: Diana Donofrio – Behind the Poker Curtain. Here's an except:
Dianna Donofrio moved from Indiana to California almost 25 years ago. Her excellence in public relations and marketing landed her a job at the Bicycle Club, where she became the Special Projects Manager for two years. One of the most popular poker tournaments today, the Legends of Poker, was her first project.
Her popularity grew, and soon she found herself making yet another move to expand the satellite tournament program at the Commerce Casino. At the Commerce, Dianna perfected her poker techniques and tournament procedures under the watchful eye of Jack McClelland. Still looking for that ticket to Las Vegas poker rooms, her opportunity came two years later when she was offered a position at the Four Queens, as the satellite director, for two years running, of the Four Queens Classic. As luck would have it, each opportunity opened another door for Dianna. Her friendly demeanor and ability to relate to the poker players drew the attention of other organizers. As a result, she enjoyed various positions with poker rooms and Las Vegas casinos for the next 12 years, including working with Jack McClelland once again as the satellite director for the WSOP at Binion's for over ten years.
In 2005 Robert Daily, World Series of Poker Tournament Director, asked Dianna to join the staff as the Satellite Director. The following year she was invited back to serve once again as the WSOP's Payout Manager. In this position Dianna, perfected her cost-cutting skills. She exceeded management's expectations by developing and implementing a new payout manual and procedures system for the WSOP.
In 2007, Daily retired from the World Series of Poker and Harrah's Entertainment to follow a new venture at DG Holdings. It wasn't long before he reached out to Dianna once again to offer her a position within his new company … Her tireless efforts in poker seem to go on and on.
"Dianna was a firecracker, a force," said long-time friend Jennifer Winter. "Most knew never to get on her bad side, but if you were part of her inner circle, she would move mountains for you. My first industry job was with PokerNews in 2007 and Tony G asked me to join him for a meeting with Dianna. A friendship was born. She mentored me and introduced me to everyone she knew. Some of my closest personal and professional relationships are a result of Dianna. Her poker accomplishments are distinguished and I hope when it comes time for the Women in Poker Hall of Fame nominations this year that she is at the top of the list. Personally, I’ll remember her generosity, her fight, her laugh and her love. She cherished her family more than words can express. Close friends will miss her cooking and singing which she did often and well."
Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson echoed those sentiments: "Diana was a friend for more than 20 years. She had a beautiful heart and a great personality. Though she will be missed, I'm glad her struggles are over."
Dianna Donofrio-Trigatzi is survived by her husband, Kosta who remained by her side every step of the way. Condolences can be directed to Kosta Trigatzi at 9552 West Tropicana #1014, Las Vegas, NV 89147.