Leandro ‘mmleandro’ Macedo is the typical amateur player by definition. He got in touch with poker in 2008 with some online freerolls and tried to became a professional between 2009 and 2012, playing Omaha and Mixed cash games live and online. But that never really worked out well and his grinding days were over after three years.
Nowadays he works full time for the Brazilian Federal Government in Rio de Janeiro, but is still passionate about the game.
“I love all the aspects of poker”, said Macedo. “I made a lot of friends, and never got away from the poker scene at all. I just stopped playing online regularly.”
On the last Sunday of PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, he started playing some tournaments, but soon found himself with chips in only one of them. “I had no expectations about the Main Event Low, because it’s such a huge field. But I ended up with 70 big blinds at the end of Day 1, so I decided to really focus on that.” Macedo lost half of his stack in two complicated spots on the beginning of Day 2, but then his turning point in the tournament happened.
With 60 players left, the UTG player moved all-in with 11 big blinds and a middle position player called, with 35 blinds behind him. Macedo decided to shove from the small blind, betting 60 bbs with a pair of kings. The initial raiser had A-6, and the player in MP called with a pair of Queens. Ideal situation? Not so much. With a queen on the flop, he was drawing to two outs. But the miracle happened with a nine on the turn and a king on the river.
From that moment on, Macedo started to play a lot of hands, with confidence. Abusing the high pay jumps, he used his big stack to pressure his opponents and got the chip lead at the final table, which ended relatively fast after a three-way deal that got him a huge prize. But of course now he wanted more.
Now he wanted the watch.
The heads-up finale was all Brazilian, with Macedo facing “nillolok”. They were practically tied, but his opponent managed to get a 3:1 advantage in a few hands. He managed to keep calm even with the huge pressure, and got the lead back. Dominating his adversary in the last hand with A-K against K-Q, he earned almost two hundred thousand dollars and got Brazil’s 21st (and most important) title at SCOOP 2016.
“The feeling is incredible, all my friends were there watching”, he said. “We all played SCOOP together at one of their houses and the energy was amazing. It worked, right?”
Of course it did. And now with tons of messages on social media and lots of money in his pockets, Macedo realized how big this accomplishment was. And with such a huge momentum swing like this, the amateur doesn’t want to stop now.
“I want to play more live events in the national circuit, my idea is to really enjoy all of this and try to grind the tournaments again. Maybe I can capitalize on some opportunities along the way.”