It might have been pipped at the top by Russia last night, but the nation of Brazil has been putting on a stellar display so far in the World Championship of Online Poker 2019.
We’ve already had the chance to talk with 2019 champs Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha and Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas, but the amount of Brazilian winners — currently standing at 17 — shows no signs of slowing down.
The latest Brazilian champion to stop by PokerStars Blog for a chat is Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire, a Brazilian low-to-mid-stakes pro who took down Event 17-L: $11 Progressive Knockout for a five-figure score of $13,323. To get the title he had to outlast a 23,853-entry field, and how he did it is quite a story, as we found out.
PokerStars Blog: Congratulations on your first WCOOP victory Rodrigo.
Rodrigo “guinHuuh” Freire: Thank you, I think this win is my hard work and dedication being rewarded! I celebrated by hanging out and drinking with my friends. I spent two days without sleep in ecstasy!
Brazilians have been absolutely crushing it during this WCOOP, as they seem to do during every big online poker series. It must be exciting to be a part of it?
Yeah, Brazil has a lot of good players and anywhere a poker event is happening in the world you can be sure that there will be Brazilians standing out.
You won your first WCOOP title in #17-L: $11 NLHE PKO. What is it about the knockout format which suits your game?
The format I like the most is PKO. Last Saturday I played a satellite for the Bounty Builder $33, I qualified, and then I won that tournament. Then on Monday and Tuesday I played the $11 PKO WCOOP, and won that too, which was the icing on the cake.
I feel very good playing the format and it seems to be where recreational players like to play the most too. They try too hard to get bounties and as a result they get involved too often, putting their tournament at risk.
What do you remember about the WCOOP you won?
Oh, there’s no forgetting this tournament! Near the end of Day 1 I had around 70/80 big blinds, but I was so tired I went to sleep with an hour left to play and 800 people remaining. I assumed I’d have around 50 big blinds for Day 2 as it was such a deep structure.
I must have made a miscalculation as on Day 2 I had just 25 blinds, and to top it off I had no time bank, meaning for every decision I was on the edge.
When we got down to the final 25 players I had the chip lead, but with two tables left I was short once again. It was a real roller coaster.
Down to 10 players I was the short stack with 12 big blinds, but I had patience and eventually doubled up. On the final table I found a big double up with JJ and took the lead once again, but I kept losing flips like QQ vs AK.
I made it to heads-up but was at a 3:1 disadvantage. I really wanted to win and I played very loose, eventually doubling again and from there I dominated.
How did you first discover poker?
I first found poker about eight years ago on a holiday with my friends. They taught me and from there I went to research the game and saw a very large and growing market. I have now played professionally for around four years.
What does your regular playing schedule look like?
I play tournaments up to $22 and play some satellites for bigger ones like the aforementioned Bounty Builder $33, the Big $55, the Bounty Builder $109 etc.
As a professional, how do you work on your game away from the felt?
I like to review my tournaments to see where I went wrong and then I try not to make the same mistakes. I am a Raise Your Edge course subscriber and I see a lot of free content on YouTube and Twitch too.
What about your life outside of poker? What do you like to do, and what plans do you have for the future?
Right now I live with my parents and my hobbies include going to the gym, and going out for drinks with my girlfriend and my friends.
My plan is to dedicate myself more and more to online poker and to try to play live events that I am not used to playing.
CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR WCOOP WINNER INTERVIEWS HERE:
• Maxime “Daghemuneguu” Chilaud: Malta-based Frenchman wins first WCOOP of the series
• Norway’s “19_Kumite_79”: First two-day event, biggest field, biggest cash
• Viktor “TsiTool” Kovács: Puts Hungary on the WCOOP map
• Italo “sep_itl1914” Carandinas: Brazilian chooses his own adventure
• Naoya “nkeyno” Kihara: Woken up by a kick from his 3-year-old, plays Razz and wins!
• “snovalshik1”: first-timer, who turned $5.50 into $3,408
• Rinat “Zapahzamazki” Lyapin: Won PLO while streaming live
• Alex “dynoalot” Difelice: Second win, but “I feel I have a ways to go.”
• Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha: Akkari’s acolyte, who sets the record straight
• Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb: Seventh title, surely not the last
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