There was a moment at the final table of Event #4-L of the World Championship of Online Poker when Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas of Brazil faced what in retrospect was a crucial decision.

It was the kind of moment with which most tournament players are familiar, one of those forks in the tourney journey when poker players find themselves more consciously than otherwise playing an internal game of “choose your own adventure.”

Carandinas made his choice, one of many he made over the course of the two-day $5.50 buy-in event, and things turned out well. It was one memorable step along the way to a WCOOP title and $11,651.39 first prize.

Having made it through those two long days and outlasted most of the mind-bogglingly huge field of 23,192 entries (15,308 uniques) — and not having to re-enter himself — Carandinas’ big moment came when he’d been dealt king-queen suited in a hand versus the chip leader.

“It was a very difficult decision,” he recalled when talking with PokerStars Blog. He thought about ICM while eyeing the big payout jumps left to go.

“I opted for the fold, but it was difficult,” he explains. In fact, he’s still thinking hard about it, “even after watching the replay on PokerStars” in the client. (You can do so, by the way, by clicking the right-most tab “Events,” then choosing “WCOOP.”)

“It was not easy that hand… too much thought. A lot of weight in that decision.”

Of course, things had hardly been easy-breezy for Carandinas before that big final table moment.

“It was a very difficult tournament to play, both because of the high number of participants and because at various points throughout I had to make extremely tough decisions,” he explains.

When it came to the big decisions and hands “I hit most of them and also counted on luck when needed,” he continues. “Down the stretch I remained calm in order to minimize the errors while also trying to explore pressuring other players.”

“With great patience, everything fortunately went well at the final table, despite my being at a chip disadvantage at the start and also being down during heads-up” against his fellow countryman “csmala77.” “I turned the tide and became champion.”

Carandinas has a degree in physical education, but is taking a shot at trying to make a profession out of poker. He has been playing since he was 15 or 16 years old, he says.

“This result was undoubtedly the biggest of my career,” he adds, noting as well that it was the most difficult to achieve, too. That said, his career “is at the beginning, and I’m sure many better things lie ahead.”

Much as physical education highlights the need to exercise and train, Carandinas knows he’ll need to do something similar if he hopes to make a career of poker.

“I’m taking it seriously and am being disciplined,” he says, with the success he’s had so far encouraging him to continue with the same approach going forward.

Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas, 2019 WCOOP Event #4-L Champion

Congrats to Carandinas for the big win! Here’s hoping that hard work pays off again for him in the future with more smart and profitable decisions.


Speaking of decisions, have you decided to join the WCOOP fun yet? Click here to open a PokerStars account.

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