The before and after reactions of WCOOP winners is typically quite stark. Take William “hellzito” Arruda for example.

How about the before?

“I live with my wife and she barely knows the rules, so she tries to avoid staying close when I’m playing. I’m also not always in the best mood while I’m playing, so I feel a little awkward when someone is watching.

And the after?

“My first reaction was to scream!”

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And so celebrating in his usual Friday night bar with friends (and presumably back on friendly terms with his wife) a first WCOOP win gradually sunk in for the Brazilian. It was a big one, and he talked to the PokerStars Blog about this career landmark.

First the key moments in the event as he remembered it:

“Usually the Super Tuesday has like 800 entries, while this one had 1722, so this was one of the must-play events,” he said. “When I got to the final table I knew that I couldn’t do much, because there were two very good and aggressive players with big stacks in my direct left. So I didn’t get in despair when I was short stack, I just waited while the other players were going all-in, all-in, because I knew that I would have a chance to make top three.”

Having started his career as a live player Arruda still considers tournament selection to be a vital part of his game. But does that apply to the online game, particularly ahead of a series like WCOOP?

“I think preparation happens naturally during the whole year, when we are trying to improve to play our best overall. When you think too much of one specific event, or change your style for that series or event, you usually end up playing worse overall. But I studied hard most of time and did a lot of coaching to my students. I think this was what has helped me the most.”

But while Arruda has a sensible streak – amounting to a greater regard for ICM than a mere title, he admitted that WCOOP, and the prestige attached, made this one slightly different.

“After you have some experience, you start to think much more about the money and not the tittle,” said Arruda. “In a regular tournament after, say, a deal, I don’t care who’s gonna win the tournament, but in this event I felt different. And I never had a feeling like that. This time I really wanted the tittle, not just the money.

That meant a first prize of $259,202 after a two way deal, well-earned after a two and a half hour heads up contest. Read the full report of Arruda’s triumph here.

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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.


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