Last week on Monday, Daniel “Dan.Almeida” Almeida didn’t necessarily have high expectations for himself heading into that day’s 2021 Spring Championship of Online Poker action.
He hadn’t even originally planned to play that Monday. But after making some Day 2’s he decided to stream his play over his Twitch channel.
Things didn’t start too well in Event #6-L, a $109 buy-in, eight-handed no-limit hold’em event in which there had been more than 6,000 entries.
“In the beginning I ended up losing a lot of chips,” Almeida explains. He bounced back, though, and was still around as the tournament whittled down to the last three tables.
“When there were 20 players left, I was down to just three big blinds,” he says. “I recovered again, and when there were 15 left I was the tournament’s chip leader.”
The rollercoaster continued from there, with Almeida making the final table but quickly losing a lot of his stack again.
Meanwhile, Almeida wasn’t on this wild tourney journey by himself. As the tournament reached its climax, more than 2,000 viewers were watching him on Twitch.
“From then on I was short stack almost all the time,” he says. “When we got to three-handed I was still short, but I gradually increased my stack until I got close to my opponents. Then I won a post-flop multi-way pot against both of them that left me as a chip leader.”
The tables having turned again, a SCOOP title was suddenly in sight.
“From then on I started to really believe in the victory,” he says. He started applying pressure to the other two, and eventually he had all of the chips, a SCOOP win, and a huge $86,478 payday for his efforts.
The win was a culmination of sorts for the 34-year-old poker pro with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. It was way back in 2005 when he was studying for those degrees when he first started playing poker.
“At that time I played only for for recreational purposes,” he says. “But from 2010-2011 I started to dedicate myself professionally to the game.”
It was 2010, in fact, when he played his first SCOOP event.
“It was 11 years chasing a title in this series,” he reflects.
Almeida wasn’t just playing during those years, but studying the game as well. Applying the same sort of discipline that earned him those math degrees, Almeida worked hard to improve his tournament game.
“I believe that the main points that made me a better multi-table tournament player were: (1) Knowing how to play different stack ranges, and (2) studying a lot of ICM to make quality decisions in final table situations.”
As one of the owners of the Midas Team, one of Brazil’s best known poker teams, Almeida now divides his time between his own studies and helping others become better players, too.
“I dedicate a good part of my time to study and research, and setting up quality classes for my students,” he says.
Unsurprisingly given Almeida’s understanding of the game and the need to keep learning to remain competitive, he says he isn’t going to let this big win alter his approach.
“It won’t change my routine that much,” he says. “Today I play a much smaller volume than I used to (just weekends). I dedicate the rest of my time to studying and preparing material for my students’ classes. They are evolving a lot as players, and soon SCOOP titles will start to come to them, too.”
The teacher has certainly done well to model such success for his students.
Congrats to Dan Almeida, and good luck to him and his students as SCOOP continues!