Brazilian Footballer Denilson Makes Natural Transition to Poker


Brazilian football legend Denilson found a new place to call home: 888 poker

Earlier this year, former international footballer Denilson was signed by a different club. No, he wasn’t making a comeback in the world of professional football, but he was announced as a brand ambassador for 888poker.

The highly decorated Brazilian footballer, who played 61 times for his country between 1996 and 2003 said that he hoped that the move would develop his own poker skills, as well as encourage new players to get involved in the game.

Denilson first started playing poker with friends and quickly fell in love, with his competitive footballing background helping him to quickly get to grips with the game.

“I enjoyed it a lot, and kept learning and playing. Football and poker are both passionate games, but each has its own particularities,” Denilson said. “My competitiveness is what moved me while playing in stadiums, and it’s also what moves me whilst playing at the tables.”

Six months after his appointment as brand ambassador, the world is still keenly watching the country of Brazil as one of the world’s most evolving poker markets.

In September the World Series of Poker announced that they were adding a new WSOP Circuit event to their schedule. Taking place in São Paulo at the end of October, it is the first WSOP Circuit event to take place in South America and was met with delight by Beto Lima, the official representative of the WSOP Circuit in Brazil.

He said that he was delighted to welcome the first WSOP Circuit event to Brazil.

“We know that winning the WSOP is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in a poker athlete’s career,” said Lima. “Poker is growing up step by step in Brazil, but at an incredible speed.”

888poker Partners with WSOP Circuit

Denilson agrees with Lima, and says that a rapid increase in the quantity of tournaments and amount of regular players in his home country has only contributed to the game’s popularity.

“People that used to only play in home games have been brought to the online and live side of the game,” said Denilson.

Not only have normal members of the public been captured by the game of poker, but celebrities as well, which Denilson believes has helped to increase the attendance and the popularity of the game.

Denilson is joined by fellow Brazilians Bruno Foster, Bruno Kawauti and Nicolau Villa-Lobos in the Team888 ranks the success of poker in Brazil is down to the different way that poker is now viewed.

“Poker used to be seen as a casino game. Now that time has passed, poker has its own place,” said Denilson. “Every year professional players and tournaments break records, and little by little poker has managed to change that old image.”

“I think that more and more, poker is being being seen as a mind game, and that’s pretty much what attracts people to study, learn and play better.”

“I think this is very positive. Knowing and understanding other people’s minds helps you not only in the game, but also in life. I am sure that I use a lot of my poker skills in my daily life.”

With an enthusiastic player pool, celebrities lending their voices to the cause and room for potential expansion in both the live and online game, what does Denilson think the best course of action is for Brazilian poker in the future?

“I think we need to follow the path that already exists. We need to keep bringing new people to the game, and promoting big events with attractive prizes.”

“Poker is a mind game. It combines passion, fun and emotion, and that is something which the Brazilian public already loves.”