We call it the Spring Championship of Online Poker, but in Brazil, SCOOP takes place during the autumn. It’s cold this time of the year in the south of the country where William “Tiu Patinh@s” de Oliveira lives, but he’s not complaining.
“It’s perfect for the online grind,” he told the PokerStars Blog by email this week. And it’s hard to argue when you look at his results.
In May 2015, de Oliveira won a $1 rebuy tournament. He followed that by winning SCOOP Event #15-M for more than $57,000.
Then this April he made the final table of the Sunday Million for the second-largest cash of his career. A few weeks later — exactly four years to the day after his first SCOOP win — he finished in fourth place in Event #12-L for another $26,000. And when that tournament was done he turned his attention to Event #14-L, a $22 6-max no-limit hold’em tournament, where he outlasted more than 7,800 players to win his second career SCOOP title and more than $22,000.
The similarities are obvious on paper, but de Oliveira says it’s “just coincidence.” Less coincidental is that the 30-year-old found his way to another victory after dedicating himself to the game full-time. “Poker is my main activity,” he said. “Either playing, studying or coaching — I’m always involved with poker.”
About eight years ago a friend who used to play poker introduced de Oliveira to the game. A strategy gamer and competitor at heart, he was immediately interested. A home game began, and soon enough he found online poker. “I haven’t stopped since then.”
When he won his first SCOOP event he wasn’t yet ready to call himself a professional poker player. He he was still splitting his time between his electrical engineering studies and poker. “I’m not sure if it impacted that much my aspirations to become a poker player because I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted,” he said. “But I believe that this recent victory was more special because it consolidates the work I’ve been doing. In the long run, hard work and studies are paid off.”
As hard as all the work was to get there, the actual path to victory this year was as breezy as they come.
“I had a big stack most of the time and at some point I ended focusing more on the $109 SCOOP #12-L,” he said. “Since I wasn’t paying too much attention I got really short, but after busting the $109 I got my attention back and I was rewarded immediately. I got A-A and decided to trap preflop, which resulted in a three-way all-in situation and tripled my stack.
“I started to pressure the whole table and basically I didn’t gave them a chance at the final table. When it ended I hit my desk and yelled ‘Vamooo!’ but I didn’t start jumping or anything like that. I went to my girlfriend to give her a kiss and that was it, pretty calm.”
Even with a second SCOOP win permanently on his résumé, de Oliveira isn’t getting ahead of himself. Adding a SCOOP-High title to the Low and Medium ones he already has would be nice, but he knows he has a lot of work ahead to get to where he’s ready to compete at that level.
“As with any player, I have ambitions to play higher stakes,” he said. “But my main goal is to keep working with poker. It is the thing that makes me happy, whether it’s low, medium, or high stakes.”
Given his ability to keep big wins in perspective and focus on working hard, it won’t be a surprise if we end up interviewing de Oliveira again during another SCOOP — even if he calls it a coincidence.