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Vamo Baralho! Loosely translated from Portuguese, it means “let’s play some cards”. Over the past few years it’s become a battle cry for Brazilian poker players as they’ve dominated the world of online poker tournaments. That’s been no more apparent than during the first seven events of the World Series of Poker Online on GGpoker. Four times during those first nine events, the last player standing has been flying the familiar green and yellow Brazilian flag. It all started in Event #2 ($1,111 Caesars Cares) where former #1-ranked PocketFiver Joao Simao took home $206,075 and his first WSOP bracelet. Simao is a known commodity in the poker world as one of the most successful Brazilian poker players of all time, but the other two winners aren’t. They are amongst the scores of talented players - pro and amateur - that call Brazil home. Just three days later, Thiago Crema, considered by some to be the best-kept secret of the Brazilian online poker scene, then made sure everybody knew his name when he won his first bracelet by shipping Event #4 ($800 Double Chance No Limit Hold’em) for $161,637). “He started to play poker seriously in 2010 when he was still a chess player,” said Victor Marques, one of Brazil’s leading poker commentators. “Then he made it to Sit and Go Team Pro which was the team that gave birth to 4-bet, where Crema is both instructor and shareholder. He is very respected for his knowledge about the game in Brazil and outside.Yuri A phenomenon.” The vociferous Brazilian poker community only had to wait another three days before they had another reason to cheer - and this time it wasn’t even a pro. Eduard Pires, a businessman from Parana State - the same as Crema - beat out 5,436 other entries in Event #7 ($1,500 Millionaire Maker) to pocket $1,384,013. “He owns a beer company and plays poker for fun since many years ago. He already made it to three-handed on a huge online tournament against 'European' and ‘C Darwin2’, getting the silver medal,” Marques said. “He was on holiday and playing the WSOP from his mobile at Foz do Iguaçu, home of Iguassu Falls. A great guy.” Another four days passed and then another Brazilian came through. Lucio Lima shipped Event #9 ($525 Superstack Turbo Bounty NLHE) for $95,205. His victory is just another piece of an already incredible year. "Lima - 'the wizard' - is a player from Minas Gerais state, on Brazilian Southeast. He owns a poker team (Insight Poker Team) in Brazil, where he's also an instructor there. Lima is enjoying success in online poker this year," Marques said. The wins aren't the only signs of success. Through those same 11 events, a pair of Brazilian players have finished in the runner-up spot and four others have made final tables. Renan Carlos Bruschi - who won PocketFives Player of the Month for July - came in second place in Event #2 ($2,500 Limit Hold'em Championship) while the most high-profile may have come on Sunday night when GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos finished runner-up in Event #12 ($1,000 Double Stack NLHE). The deep runs are also mean long nights of celebration for Marques and some of his friends at SuperPoker, one of Brazil's leading poker media outlets. Hosting final table coverage on SuperPoker's Twitch channel gives him the chance to straddle the line between commentator and fan. "Hosting Brazilian final tables is such a thrill. Our audience is sending comments and rooting all the time on chat, big numbers, and lots of times there are friends of mine playing," Marques said. "I'm doing It for years, but I keep getting emotional at all-ins and when we get first place." The dominance of Brazil in the early part of the WSOP Online shouldn’t come as any real surprise to anybody who has followed the PocketFives Rankings over the past several years. Not only has Yuri Dzivielevski held down the #1 spot for the last 21 weeks, but three of the top 10 are from Brazil. Beyond that, nine of the top 25 and 35 of the top 100 ranked online poker players in the world fly the green and yellow. Marques believes that’s just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a few names who might just be flying under the radar, ready to grab gold. “In Brazil, there are a lot of talents appearing every single day. I would keep an eye on Dante Goya (from Ceará state, PLO Expert), Guilherme Decourt (from São Paulo, also PLO Expert), Bernardo 'betsoares' Soares (from Santa Catarina), and Eduardo Silva (from Minas Gerais),” Marques said. “Along with Pedro Padilha, Kelvin Kerber, Belarmino Prado, Bruno Botteon, Bruno Volkmann, Pablo Brito, Rafael Moraes, Peter Patrício, João Simão, Yuri Martins Dzivielevski, they can bring some bracelets home.” A strong contingent of Brazilians usually descends upon Las Vegas every summer for the WSOP. While the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc, international travel could prove to be difficult this fall and Marques believes his fellow countrymen and women might not be able or willing to fly to the United States. “In Brazil, instead of supporting a vaccine, our president was promoting a medicine that was proven ineffective. That took a toll,” Marques said. “Vaccination started later than other countries and now players who usually are 'starters' at WSOP tables are struggling to get the vaccine and the VISA. I think more than a half of standard Brazilian players are staying home because of that problem.”
The World Series of Poker Online events on GGPoker continue to be a showcase for Brazilian poker players. On Friday, Renan Carlos Bruschi, currently ranked #6 in the PocketFives Rankings, took down Event #14 ($500 The Big 500) to become the fifth player from Brazil to win a WSOP bracelet this year. When the final table began on Friday afternoon, Bruschi held the chip lead over the other eight players and the next closest stack to his belonged to a fellow countryman, Rafael Furlanetto. Just 15 minutes after play began, Furlanetto added to his stack by winning a classic flip. Furlanetto raised to 320,000 from UTG+1 with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"] before Andrejs Zukovs moved all in from his direct left for 3,964,752 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9s"] flop gave Furlanetto bottom set and left Zukovs hoping for runner-runner help. The [poker card="4h"] turn left him drawing dead to the [poker card="7h"] river and Zukovs was out in ninth place. Bruschi took his turn in the executioner role just a few minutes later. David Wang raised to 320,000 from UTG+1 and Arthur Conan bumped it up 832,000 on the button. Bruschi responded by raised to 2,208,000, Wang moved all in for 4,260,251 and Conan folded. Bruschi called and tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] while Wang showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="th"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Wang in eighth place. Furlanetto was involved in the next elimination but ultimately wasn't the benefactor. From UTG Eugenio Pernia moved all in for his last 1,866,806 with [poker card="as"][poker card="3s"] and Nikola Minkov attempted to isolate by moving all in for 3,811,082 with [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"]. Furlanetto then re-shoved from the button for 19,314,503 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] flop changed nothing and neither did the [poker card="7c"] turn. The [poker card="th"] river missed both Pernia and Furlanetto and gave Minkov a full house to bust Pernia in seventh. Minkov found another victim just over 10 minutes later. Nick Maimone raised to 770,000 from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"] before Minkov jammed from the big blind for 7,993,970 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] and Maimone put the rest of his 7,136,510 stack at risk. The [poker card="th"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"] flop gave Maimone some extra outs. However, he bricked the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="tc"] river and was out in sixth place. While everything had gone swimmingly for Minkov to that point, it all came to a disastrous end in a cooler against Bruschi just 10 minutes later. Bruschi raised to 700,000 from UTG with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] and Minkov moved all in for 10,054,100 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Minkov some hope but as the [poker card="6s"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river completed the board, the Bulgarian grinder was eliminated in fifth. Watching that hand unfold with curiosity was Conan. Down to less than seven big blinds when Minkov went out, a one hand later Conan raised to 800,000 on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"] and Furlanetto jammed for 35,286,534 from big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="4d"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7h"] to keep Conan safe, but the [poker card="4s"] turn gave Furlanetto a pair. The [poker card="ad"] river improved his hand to two pair and eliminated Conan in fourth place with just a pair of aces. While Brazilian poker fans were no doubt hoping for a heads-up duel between Bruschi and Furlanetto, Leonid Bilkour had other ideas. Having started the final table with the shortest stack, Bilkour navigated his way to holding the chip lead with three players remaining. After more than 20 minutes of battle, the two Brazilians clashed in a pot that propelled Bruschi to the chip lead and Furlanetto to the exit. From the small blind, Bruschi raised to 1,500,000 with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] and Furlanetto moved all in for 12,514,699 with [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] and Bruschi called. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="kc"][poker card="6d"] to eliminate Furlanetto in third place and send Bruschi to heads up with 62% of the chips in play. Over the eight minutes that followed, Bilokur battled back to take the lead over Bruschi, the PocketFives Player of the Month for July. That lead was short-lived as Bilokur watched the best hand in poker spell his demise. Bilokur raised to 1,800,000 and Bruschi called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"][poker card="8s"] flop got Bruschi to check and Bilokur bet 1,837,500. Bruschi called and then bet 4,000,5000 on the [poker card="7h"] turn. Bilokur called and watched the [poker card="9d"] river complete the board. Bruschi fired 11,869,500 into the middle. Bilokur called all in for his last 11,704,565 and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] but Bruschi tabled [poker card="ts"][poker card="3s"] for a rivered straight. Bilokur was eliminated in second place. The win allowed Bruschi to join Joao Simao, Thiago Crema, Eduardo Pires, and Lucio Lima as Brazilians winning WSOP gold in 2021 and gave him the opportunity to improve upon his runner-up finish in Event #2 ($2,500 Limit Hold’em Championship). Final Table Payouts Renan Carlos Bruschi - $150,327 Leonid Bilokur - $112,728 Rafael Furlanetto - $83,534 Arthur Conan - $63,391 Nikola Minkov - $47,537 Nicholas Maimone - $35,648 Eugenio Pernia - $26,732 David Wang - $20,046 Andrejs Zukovs - $15,032
Brazilian domination over PocketFives Online Player of the Month honors continued in July as current worldwide #6-ranked Renan Carlos Bruschi became the latest player from the poker powerhouse country to take home the title. Bruschi joins the likes of Brunno Botteon, Yuri Dzivielevski, Dalton Hobold, and Geraldo Cesar in the parade of Brazilians who have claimed the top spot in the monthly race. In July, Bruschi earned 3,251 leaderboard points, more than enough to keep second place Christopher ‘basile28’ Basile at bay by 116 points and eclipsing Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira by 396 points. Bruschi’s results were bolstered by a pair of high roller victories including his win in the July 11 edition of the PokerStars $1,050 Sunday HR for $32,055 and 398.75 points. Then, on July 21, he bested the 172-entry field of the GGPoker $1,050 High Rollers Super Tuesday for $39,526.48 and another 414.73 points. The pair of scores both made it into Bruschi’s top-20 career scores, but they weren’t the only five-figure cashes of his month. At the same time he was taking down the PokerStars High Roller Club, Bruschi finished as the runner-up in the PokerStars $109 Bounty Builder for a score of more than $11,700. The very next day he continued his string of deep runs with another second-place finish in the GGPoker $1,050 Sunday High Rollers Heater for $12,382 and 194.04 points. By the end of the month, Bruschi recorded a total of 125 cashes for more than $242,000. This marks his second career monthly title, his first since 2015 and now he sits just $111,000 away from surpassing $7 million in total career earnings. it was also a mammoth month for current #1-ranked American grinder Christopher ‘basile28’ Basile who finished second in the Online Player of the Month race by grinding the World Series of Poker events on WSOP.com. In total, Basile had 59 results which earned him more than $266,000. While he wasn’t able to lock down a gold bracelet, he did pick up six five-figure scores including a career-high cash. On July 2, Basile fell just one place short of a bracelet when he finished as the runner-up in WSOP Bracelet Event #1 ($500 NLHE The BIG 500 Kickoff) for $64,935 and 500.13 points, which, at the time, was far and away the largest score of his online career. Days later, on July 7 he took down the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown for $17,835 and 247.39 points. Basile continued to accumulate scores but his largest of his month, and career-to-date, came on July 21 when he finished in fourth place in WSOP Bracelet Event #20 ($3,200 NLHE High Roller) for $71,990 and 423.91 points. When all was said and done, Basile racked up 3,135 leaderboard points, soared past $1 million in total lifetime earnings, and climbed to a career-high worldwide ranking of #52 in the world. While Basile is just getting started when it comes to racking up big-time scores, Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira - this month’s third-place finisher with 2,855 points - is a veteran in the game. With over $25 million in recorded lifetime earning, Vieira is currently sitting atop the Online All-Time Money List and spent the better part of July doing what he does best - grinding. Vieira posted 76 in-the-money finishes for a total of $244,784, the bulk of which came on July 5 when he finished as the runner-up to Damian Salas in the 589-entry field of the GGPoker $1,050 Sunday High Rollers Main Event for $86,179 and 506.34 points. He followed that up with another pair of five-figure scores including a fourth-place finish in the July 6 edition of the GGPoker $100K High Rollers Main Event for $17,950 and on July 19 he made the final table of the $1,050 Battle of Malta Sunday High Rollers for another $27,160. July Player of the Month Results [table id=258 /]