“The tournament was very intense.”
So said Vitor “Vitorbrasil” Moreira when we asked him about Event #48-M of the 2020 World Championship of Online Poker.
It was a $530 buy-in no-limit hold’em event played eight-handed in the progressive knockout format. It attracted 3,856 entries, building a huge prize pool of $1.928 million. And some of online poker’s toughest and most consistent performers were there at the end.
“When playing a buy-in of this value, it’s always very challenging,” says Moreira.
The first day went well for the Brazilian. “I was able to maintain a good stack from the beginning,” says Moreira. “I eliminated several players and was able to move forward safely.”
Entering Day 2, just 16 players remained with Philipp “philbort” Gruissem sitting at the top of the leaderboard.
“There were some complicated moments” from that point, explains Moreira. “I was even close to falling to a coin flip on one occasion, but I ended up hitting an ace on the river.”
Matas “NoTilit” Cikinas was among the formidable foes falling shy of the final table, going out in 12th. Then at the final table Moreira hung in while other challengers went out.
“At the final table, there were some very important hands, and I was very lucky to win some big cooler pots,” says Moreira.
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“The biggest and most important was a three-way hand in which I had pocket sixes,” he explains, referring to a hand from early at the final table when eight players were still left.
We watched this hand on the PokerStars WCOOP stream, a wild one in which Moreira made a set on a 4♥5♥6♥ flop. But there was Gruissem in the hand with pocket sevens and an open-ended straight draw. Even worse, Maksym “MAMOHT_T” Mamonov had flopped a flush with J♥10♥!
The trio made the turn — an offsuit queen — at which point Mamonov and Moreira bet Gruissem out of the hand. Then the river 4♦ paired the board, giving Moreira.
“I was lucky to make the full house,” says Moreira, who earned some value on the river to move into first in the counts.
Eventually the field was whittled down to just Moreira and Gruissem, with Moreira’s fellow countrymen Marlon “sphinmx” Wilhelms (who finished seventh) and Tauan “kylix42” Naves (who took fourth) going out along the way.
The final hand saw Moreira turn trip fives, then watch Gruissem barrel-bluff the river with just king-high after which Moreira called, collecting the last pot, the final bounty, and a WCOOP title.
Moreira earned a cool $210,236.64 for the win (counting both the first-place prize and bounties).
“I have played poker professionally for about 11 years, and this was my biggest score,” says Moreira. Without a doubt, it was the most important tournament of my entire career.”
Moreira enjoys traveling, hanging out with family and friends, and watching soccer. But poker has been his focus for a long time, making this victory all the more satisfying.
“I have always worked exclusively with poker, whether playing or teaching,” he says. “It was very important to me to get such a meaningful result.”
Big congrats to Vitor “Vitorbrasil” Moreira for achieving such a career-defining score. And good luck to him and everyone else during the final days of WCOOP!
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