From Professional Tennis to Professional Poker

Published on Aug 17th, 2012

Poker players we've interviewed for feature articles on PocketFives come from all sorts of different backgrounds. Some were former underwear models (well, one was), some were former chess wizards, some played World of Warcraft, some traded stocks, and some left school. Whatever their former professions and passions, they all eventually migrated to poker.

For Bruno brunovolks Volkmann (pictured), tennis got the shaft in favor of No Limit Hold'em. He told PocketFives in an exclusive interview that he formerly played professional tennis in his homeland of Brazil: "During the breaks, I used to play poker freerolls online or play with friends and wanted to know more about the game. So, I went onto some poker forums and found a poker club in my home city."

He has since amassed nearly $200,000 in tracked online MTT cashes in his PocketFives profile, three-quarters of which has come on PokerStars.

He won a poker championship two months after finding the poker club and, more recently, booked a $23,000 payday for taking down the 888 Poker Sunday Challenge. The $90 buy-in tournament comes complete with one rebuy and attracted a field of 730 players on the final Sunday of July. The top 140 made the money and four of the top seven finishers were registered members of PocketFives.

Prior to the Sunday Challenge on that memorable day, Volkmann had the $8.80 Rebuy and a $55 No Limit Hold'em tournament on PokerStars open. In fitting style, he took gold in both for nearly $8,000 total and explained, "After those two tournaments, I was left with two tables, the PartyPoker $200,000 Guaranteed and the 888 Sunday Challenge. After I went broke on PartyPoker, I one-tabled for almost three hours to beat the field on 888 Poker."

It wasn't happenstance that Volkmann did so well that day. If anything, the writing was on the wall. For starters, he told PocketFives that he studied poker quite a bit in the days leading up to his breakthrough performance and largest tracked cash ever: "I set a lot of filters on Hold'em Manager and felt confident. This game is sick. Each day, everybody improves their game, so if you don't study and review a lot of hands, you are screwed."

In addition to analyzing his game, Volkmann had his girlfriend around that day to make him lunch and cheer him up after any ill-time bad beats. As if all of those factors didn't portend a successful afternoon, he was also coming off a rather successful month of June that saw the Brazilian finish second in the Big $109 on PokerStars for $13,000 and take down the Bigger $5.50 on the same site for another $7,300. Those two cashes occurred within two days of each other.

He is a member of a stable of poker players, a group he joined six months ago. Our interview subject sits in 31st in the Brazil poker community and is currently #495 worldwide. In our Country Poker Rankings here on PocketFives, Brazil is fifth worldwide with a combined PLB score of the top 20 players of just over 90,000.

If you've never played in the 888 Poker Sunday Challenge, as its name implies, you can find it in the 888 lobby every weekend. If you don't already have an 888 Poker account, you owe it to yourself to sign up through PocketFives. If you do, and make a minimum deposit, you'll get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400), $8 free, and one free month of PocketFives Training with the sign-up fee waived, a $65 value. You can learn from some of the top MTT minds in the world at PocketFives Training.

Create your 888 account here.


  1. vaaaaamo !

  2. Gratz bro!

  3. Beleeeeza !!!!!

  4. Vamoooooos ! :)

  5. nice bruno! gratz bro

  6. mto bom! gratz!!

  7. "had his girlfriend around that day to make him lunch and cheer him up after any ill-time bad beats"

    ... hmmm I'm interested in what that really mean :P:D

  8. Congratulations!

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