When William “Williaml666” Barbosa sat down to play Event No. 04-M of the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker on Thursday, he probably didn’t think close to 10 hours later he’d still be battling in the $109 buy-in, $250,000 guaranteed event.
I mean, that was the plan, sure. But how often do you get all of the way to the end of an event that draws 4,852 entries to create a $485,200 prize pool?
But there he was, heads-up against his fellow Brazilian Guilherme “guilherme12” Decourt — a formidable foe who last year around this time was grabbing the headlines by winning two SCOOP titles in a single day.
With a huge chip lead and having been dealt K♥7♥, Barbosa had the button and jammed, and Decourt called all in for his last nine-and-a-half big blinds with 10♦9♦.
The flop came 8♣3♣J♠.
That moment “got really printed in my mind,” said Barbosa when reflecting back on the event. “Seeing my opponent calling with a worse hand, getting an OESD [open-ended straight draw] on the flop…”
Barbosa held his breath. The turn was the 4♦. No problem. Then the river… the 2♥!
“…but bricking by the river. Best feeling ever.”
With that last pot Barbosa had won the last pot and a SCOOP title worth $69,061.24. It was a satisfying moment, culminating many years of study and hard work.
Because even though you might not expect to top 4,800-plus entries and know you have to get lucky whenever you do, as the saying goes, winners make their own luck.
“This is by far my best result,” he says. “Even though I realize how fortunate I was, and how much sun-running was envolved in achieving this, I also feel that I put the damn work to grab the opportunity and make this happen. I’m working with a new poker team, Poker Detox, which I also have to thank for their rail and support.”
Barbosa has been playing professionally for four years, he says. “But I was playing it as a hobby way before that during college,” he adds, explaining how after graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, he soon began playing poker more and more.
Looking back on Event No. 04-M, Barbosa says things were relatively “uneventful” during the early and middle stages. “My stack was slowly going down,” he says, “until I got a good calldown spot versus a fellow Brazilian and chipped up to 30 big blinds with 148 players left.”
“A few moments later I doubled up on a flip — nines vs. ace-queen off — to get up to 52 BBs. Then we got to play some poker.”
After that things tended to go Barbosa’s way. “It was just a pretty smooth ride,” he says. “I was getting the right cards at the right moments and building a big stack of 80-100 BBs, which helped me to apply a lot of pressure to the medium and short stacks. That is the best tool on a the final stretch of a big event.”
At the final table he maintained a big stack and although didn’t always have the chip lead was generally in good position throughout. “The players managed to share the chips between themselves, and deliver them to me gradually in the end,” he says.
Barbosa is already back at it playing more SCOOP events. “We still got 15 days ahead,” he notes. “I will try my best to work up another special win.”
But he’ll be savoring this one for a long time as well. “I’m at the best moment of my career,” he says. “Now I’m just excited to get back in action!”
Big congrats to William “Williaml666” Barbosa for a satisfying and well-earned win.
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