Brazil has one of the most ravenous poker cultures on the planet with a solid domestic live scene and some of the best online poker players on the planet. Despite this, only six Brazilian players have ever managed to take home a World Series of Poker bracelet and two of those came in 2019.
Two of the top five and four of the top 25 players ranked on PocketFives come from Brazil. With the 54 bracelet events on GGPoker this summer, the 13-hour Sao Paul to Las Vegas and 18-hour Rio De Janiero to Las Vegas flights – and the expense associated with them – are no longer a factor in keeping the Green and Yellow flag of Brazil from making its way into winner photos.
Here’s a look at five players that could help Brazil increase it’s total number of WSOP bracelet before the summer is done.
Yuri Martins Dzivielevski
Yuri Martins Dzivielevski was already an accomplished player when he had a coming out party of sorts at the 2019 WSOP. The former #1-ranked player on PocketFives erased his name from the best players without a bracelet list by beating 400 other players to win Event #51 ($2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo) for a $261,430 score. Two weeks later he put on a show to remember on his way to a 28th place finish in the WSOP Main Event and spent a fair amount of time in the spotlight on the live ESPN broadcasts.
The 28-year-old poker pro has $1,224,272 in lifetime live earnings highlighted by his two WSOP scores last summer and a win at the 2015 Latin American Poker Tour Brazilian Series of Poker Grand Final where he earned $175,155. Online is where he really shines though. His $6,650,145 in lifetime earnings come from 125 victories, 111 runner-up finishes, and 106 bronze medal results. In 2014 he finished second to Fedor Holz in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event for $1,253,070.
Pedro Vinicius Garagnani
Currently the #5-ranked online poker player in the world, Pedro ‘pvigar’ Vinicius Garagnani has been on an absolute tear in 2020.
He started the year off by winning PokerStars Winter Series Event #46 High ($1,050 NLHE PKO) for what was then a career high $74,473 score. He had a pair of close calls in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker coming in second in Event #4 High ($1,050 NLHE) for $71,582 and in Event #108 High ($1,050 NLHE) for $49,699. Sandwiched in between those was a $50,642 payday for finishin 22nd in the High Main Event. In mid-June he finished fourth in the GGPoker High Roller Super MILLION$ for a career-high $174,653 score. The five biggest scores of his career have all come in 2020.
If any player is going to be ready and able to take advantage of the series being online this year it’s Garagnani. His live earnings total just $76,995 and include no results from outside of South America.
Another player who has never cashed a live event outside of South American, Brunno Botteon more than makes up for his lack of live success – $78,246 in earnings – with an online poker resume that most would envy. He’s the #1-ranked player in Brazil and sits at #4 in the world.
He has $3,332,099 in lifetime online earnings and his two biggest scores came within an hour of each other in January. He finished second in the PokerStars Winter Series Main Event Medium to bank $196,908 and then finished third in the High version for $265,463. Like Garagnani, he’s had great success in 2020. Six of his seven-largest cashes have come in 2020 including a third place finish in SCOOP Event #79 ($10,300 High Roller) for $142,624, fourth place finish in partypoker Powerfest Event #216 Super High Roller for $96,628 and a fourth place finish in the 2020 Poker Masters Online Event #14 ($10,300 NLHE) for $99,750.
Geraldo Cesar Neto
Like many Brazilian online grinders, Cesar isn’t afraid of putting in volume. Most days he can be found playing tournaments with buy-ins from $22 up to $215 with a selection of higher buy-in events sprinkled in on the weekends.
He has never had a six-figure score, live or online. His closest online result came in January 2019 when he finished fifth in the partypoker Winter Series High Main Event for $98,782. As for his live results, he finished 30th in the $25,000 buy-in 2018 partypoker MILLIONS World event in the Bahamas for $75,000.
In March, he finished third in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $69,204. That score helped propel him to #5 in Brazil and #26 in the worldwide rankings.
Thiago Crema de Macedo
Somehow, Thiago Crema just might be Brazilian poker’s best-kept secret. And that’s in a country full of great poker secrets. As far as online poker resumes go, Crema’s is fairly complete. He won a PokerStars SCOOP title in 2016 and then added a WCOOP title in 2018. In 2019 he won the PokerStars Thursday Thrill (High Roller Club edition) and the PokerStars Sunday Supersonic. His online earnings top $6 million.
Crema had a strong good start to 2020 that actually started in the closing days of 2019. In December, Crema won a PokerStars Winter Series Medium event and then followed that up with a pair of Winter Series High wins in January. He posted 30 SCOOP cashes including a runner-up finish in Event #111 High ($530 Six Max NLHE), earning $50,169 in the process.
He also has extensive live success. He owns a pair of WSOP Circuit rings from 2016 and 2017 and has cashed in nine WSOP events dating back to 2015. In 2019, he turned a Platinum Pass into a $35,000 payday after finishing 134th in the PokerStars Players Championship. He has earned $885,558 from live events.