Youtube’s a pretty big thing in Brazil, I don’t know if you’ve heard about it.
It’s this website on the internet where people upload videos that other people who are also connected to the internet can watch.
Out of the nearly 200 million people in Brazil, only a select few have risen to the top of Youtube popularity. They’re known as the Youtubers. They have millions of subscribers and most of their videos involve them just talking to the camera. Some talk about going out and having fun, one juggles soccer balls, others do straight up stand-up comedy and a few cook on camera and some teach their viewers how to make a Big Mac.
They’re a sensation in Brazil and they’ve become celebrities without ever having graced a television screen or played in an international sporting event. They have been hitting the felt though. The BSOP hosted an invitational Youtubers event that drew some of the biggest Youtube stars in the country.
They played for a buy-in to the BSOP Millions Main Event and a package for them and a guest to attend any leg of the 2017 Brazilian Series of Poker.
The Youtubers battled for hours at a live-streamed table, and at the end of it, Raquel Benetti was the last one standing.
Benetti is the Youtuber known for keeping a ball in the air. Benetti’s channel shows her in locations all across the world juggling a soccer ball with an impressive and dizzying array of swift leg movements. Benetti even has a few videos in heels.
But the rest of the Youtubers weren’t done playing poker.
There was a secondary tournament where they played for a buy-in to the Masterminds 7 event. Julio Cocielo was the Youtuber that took down that event. Cocielo is one of the biggest Youtubers in Brazil with more than 10 million followers.
But they still weren’t done.
The online celebrities started playing at another table that quickly drew a lot of attention and alcohol. Jack Daniels reps jumped in on the action and provided the table with a few bottles of social lubricant.
Whiskey combined with the already highly social nature of these online celebrities created a friction-free social zone that became quite the party.
Many of them had to take the following day off, but many of the Youtubers have become dedicated poker enthusiasts and now frequent the BSOP while others got their first taste of the game during that tournament. We’ve talked extensively about how poker continues to grow in Brazil and a cadre of some of the most popular online personas will only add fuel to that fire.
Who knows, they might even make that Youtube site popular in other places around the world too.
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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.