In a way, Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon has been preparing for this summer most of his life.
“I have always loved playing poker,” the Brazilian pro told us after winning Event #36-H in the 2020 World Championship of Online Poker.
“I started just for play money and to have fun and see how the game goes,” he says, noting how he first picked up the game when just a kid.
“Later I started watching videos of very good players, and getting a taste for the dynamics of the game. Then I turned 18 and found out I could win some money playing poker. I could play online and try to have a successful career.”
Botteon has achieved that goal… and then some.
He has been on a tear these last few months. During the recently completed WSOP Online Series he cashed 15 times, including collecting two runner-up finishes. One of those was in a $25K heads-up event where won every match except the last one against Fedor Holz.
When WCOOP began he continued to collect cashes and deep runs, making the final two tables in three events (including a fifth) before breaking through to win last week’s $2,100 Midweek Freeze (High) for his second career WCOOP title.
Those results have catapulted Botteon to #2 on the current PocketFives world rankings of online players. Only Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford — winner of 2020 WCOOP Event #33-H — is now ahead of him.
Botteon outlasted a 192-entry field to win Event $36-H, earning a nifty $80,642.40 first prize for his efforts.
It was a talented field full of familiar names, including many of the cashers who went out just before the final table. That group included Phillipe “takechip” D’Auteuil (13th), Jon “apestyles” Van Fleet (14th), Anatoly “NL_Profit” Filatov (15th), Peter “twirlpro” Turmezey (17th), and João “Naza114” Vieira (19th).
Botteon’s journey to that late stage had been fairly smooth, although there was some drama as the final table approached.
“Day 1 was very quiet, with no big pots until the end of the day,” he says. “I had an average stack all day, then I won some important hands when the blinds were bigger to give me a bit stack heading into Day 2.”
Botteon continued to manage his stack until there were 10 players left.
“That when an important hand came up on the final table bubble,” says Botteon. “It was against PokerStars pro ‘easywithaces.'”
As it happens, our friend Fintan Hand was streaming and you can watch that hand below, a big ace-five versus kings confrontation ending with Hand’s bust in 10th.
Watch “Bustout of the 2k ” on Streamable.
It was bad news for Hand, but that big pot set up Botteon well for the endgame. He’d outlast other difficult opponents, eighth-place finisher Ole “wizowizo” Schemion among them.
“On the final table I stayed very solid. Then I found some good spots three-handed, and that turned things my way.”
Mike “SirWatts” Watson — to whom we were talking about his WCOOP near-misses so far — went out in third. Then Botteon busted “Gedis92” heads-up to win the title, his second after winning a $530 heads-up event in 2019.
“This one was more enjoyable because the format [multi-table tournaments as opposed to heads-up] is one I study and have been playing over the years.
“Also, it was a more expensive buy-in and I was playing with the best players in the world,” he adds. “I feel more prepared for moments like this!”
Now a full-time pro, Botteon still finds time for other pursuits.
“I love to play tennis,” he says. “I also love being with my family and my girlfriend, and traveling to play cards.”
The traveling for poker is mostly on hold these days, but hopefully it will return soon enough. Meanwhile you can count on finding “botteonpoker” at the virtual tables. And probably at some more final tables, too.
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