Marcos “masaldanha94” Saldanha is a Brazilian poker player who knows he has to work hard to get what he wants. But he also knows that he couldn’t have done it alone.
Saldanha claimed first place in the SCOOP 36-M: $55 special edition Sunday Cooldown. The tourney had 7,650 entries and a prize pool of $382,500, with half of this going to bounties.
That’s no easy ride, and quite a lot at stake for players who made the money. Yet everything seemed to go Saldanha’s way.
“I had more luck this time at the right moment. I remember at the semi-final table, I had three big blinds and went all in with K2o against ATo. Flop nothing, turn nothing, river 2. After this, I probably only lost two hands until I became champion,” says Saldanha.
As this was a bounty tournament, Saldanha’s final score depended on how many players he could KO. And that too went his way. “It’s very crazy what happened at the final table… I knocked out 7 of 8 opponents.”
Including the final knockout against runner-up “CruSader1981” from Germany, Saldanha earned $13,135 in bounties, making for a total first prize of $36,172.
That brings Saladanha’s online total up to over $162k, which includes first place finishes in both the Hot $22 and Hot $11 in 2020. The SCOOP Sunday Cooldown win is the biggest of his poker career so far, and the culmination of years of hard work.
“I started playing poker because of a roommate at college. He played online and invited me to create an account and play. This happens in 2016, and 5 years later here we go!”, says Saladanha.
Saladanha may have been working at his game for years now, but he also acknowledges that he couldn’t have done it alone.
“I would like to say thank you to all the coaches I had. When I arrived at 4bet TRIP poker team, I felt I could live and pay my bills with poker. A huge thank you to my coaches from TRIP, Gauss, Brunão, Jeff e Borsoe. These guys changed my life. I can not forget my psychologist, Tereza, she helped a lot.”
For now, nothing much changes for the soccer coach turned poker pro. Saldanha continues his journey and plans to keep playing and studying poker.
Congratulations Marcos “masaldanha94” Saldanha on your SCOOP win!