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Jose "Girah" Macedo Q&A: WSOP Has To Wait
Jose “Girah” Macedo is only 19 years old and he’s already won more than $2 million playing online poker from his home in Portugal.
Inspired by Tom “durrrr” Dwan’s meteoric rise to high-stakes prominence, Macedo started with a €30 deposit on BetFair and was playing as high as $300/$600 in just a few short years.
And while most of the poker world is gearing up for the 2011 World Series of Poker, starting today in Las Vegas, Macedo is still years away from making his WSOP debut.
That hasn’t stopped Macedo from dreaming of WSOP glory, however. He aspires to become the first Portuguese player to win a World Series bracelet.
PokerListings.com caught Girah to get an update on what’s happening in his world.
PokerListings.com: It’s clear you can make a lot of money playing cash games but a lot of poker pros seek fame, and even more fortune, on the live tournament circuit. Will we see you at live majors anytime soon?
Jose “Girah” Macedo: Yes, I definitely have plans to play live tournaments over the next few years, specifically EPTs and the WSOPE.
I feel like there's a huge unexplored edge in live play in general in terms of studying past footage to pick-up reads on players.
I look forward to the challenge of interpreting all the new information I will have at my disposal in a live setting.
I have mixed feelings on fame, and on any given day my opinion on it might be different.
Right now, fame and more accurately glory is something I truly aspire to, and I definitely want to experience the feeling of winning a big live tournament at some point in my career.
PL: What do you think is the biggest factor in your success as a poker player so far? Math skills? Work ethic and study? Or is it something else entirely?
JM: Well, I was never really especially talented at poker or maths or anything, and I didn't have a natural instinct for the game.
At the beginning I just kind of sucked at poker like everybody else.
I think the biggest factor that propelled my growth was just how much I actually enjoyed playing poker as well as how driven I was to constantly improve myself.
PL: Having so much success at a young age, is there a chance you'll get bored with the game and want to do something else with your life entirely? Perhaps you'll get burned out, is there something you're doing to avoid that?
JM: Yeah I wouldn't rule that out as a possibility, and it would be impossible to predict what's going to happen in my future.
Poker is simply what I really enjoy doing right now.
However, I feel like there's loads out there still which I haven't discovered or even considered, so who knows what I'll end up doing!
PL: Ultimately, what is your goal in the game of poker? Do you want to win WSOP bracelets? Millions of dollars? Just play in the highest-stakes games against the best players?
JM: My main goal in poker is to keep having as much fun playing as I do now, so that it always makes me as happy as it does now.
Alongside this, I also want to become the first Portuguese player to win a WSOP bracelet. And I want to become the best poker player in the world, such that I can sit-down in any line-up and feel like I'm +ev, and such that I can play anyone in the world heads-up and hold my own.
I realize they are ambitious goals, but I will keep working and playing hard to achieve them.
PL: If not for online poker, what do you think you'd be doing with your life?
JM: I think I'd be doing roughly the same things, I don't think poker has affected my life that much.
I'd still be a normal kid just as I am now doing the things that kids do, going to school, playing sport, studying, going out etc.
Except I'd probably have a lot more free time which I would likely devote entirely to one specific activity like swimming or studying or something.
Also, after I finish exams at the end of May, I will probably be doing a lot more travelling around the world, which is something I probably couldn't be able to do without poker.
Even though Jose Macedo won't be at the WSOP, you can catch up with him at the tables on Lock Poker where he's a sponsored pro.
Follow all the Macedo-less action at the 2011 WSOP in our WSOP 2011 Live Coverage section.