Brazil's Joao Sousa Monteiro outlasted four other 888poker qualifiers to not only cash in the WSOP Main Event, but also win a $10k buy-in for next year.
Monteiro qualified for this year's Main Event for just $30 on 888poker and also won a spot on Team Brazil in 888poker's “8-Team” promotion along with team captain Bruno Politano and legendary football player Denilson.
They were up against four other teams representing Canada, Germany, Sweden and the UK.
Monteiro made it all the way to Day 4, finishing 583rd out of 7,221 players and earning $22,449. Since he was the last remaining 8-Team qualifier, Monteiro also won a buy-in to the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Monteiro has been to Las Vegas 11 times before, first visiting in 2010 for a vacation with his family. On that trip he noticed people playing poker and the game caught his attention.
When he got home to Brazil he signed up for poker coaching and began studying and playing.
Monteiro works as a physical therapist and consults for fitness centers. In addition to playing poker, he studies boxing and jiu-jitsu as a hobby.
Poker Perfect for Travel
Since learning the game Monteiro's played a few WSOP preliminary events but this was his first time playing the Main Event.
He's also been to the PCA twice and cashed in some other smaller tournaments for a total of around $75,000.
It turns out poker provides Monteiro the perfect opportunity to see the world with his family.
"I love traveling around the world to play poker and to take my wife and kids with me," said Monteiro. "And also the chance to win some money."
Had Monteiro gone on to win the WSOP Main Event, he would have been eligible for the $1.85 million overlay offered to players who qualified through 888poker.
Even though he was eliminated on Day 4, Monteiro was ecstatic about the result and the experience.
"I'm not a pro so it's not my salary. My wife doesn't want to do any more shopping so I don't know what we'll do with the money," he joked.
"I'm so thankful for the good vibes and my team helped me so much in the tournament.”
Monteiro said his two favorite moments of the trip were the 888poker party and the first hand he was dealt in the Main Event.