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Felipe Ramos: "I'm Going to Raise the Poker Flag Every Time"
If you’re into poker, you might’ve heard of Felipe Ramos. If you’re into Brazilian poker, you’ve definitely heard of him.
He’s Brazil's fifth-highest earning player, he’s got his own training sites and he’s buddies with Brazilian soccer phenom, Neymar.
He’s also been nominated for Most Inspiring Player at this year’s PokerListings Spirit of Poker Awards.
Inspiration is part of Ramos’s game and business. During a recent indoor soccer championship in Brazil, Ramos made an inspirational video for the underdog team and they ended up winning.
“It was fun because they posted on my social media later about how the video inspired them,” Ramos said.
The Business of Inspiration
Ramos has a training site where he gives poker lessons and classes, posts videos and offers lectures.
The business has expanded beyond poker and Ramos says he tries to find analogies between poker and people in other areas of their life.
His experience stems from a history of inspiring himself and his fans to do the best they can at the table.
“Basically what I do every day is different from what 99.9 percent poker players do,” Ramos said.
“People send me messages all over social media asking about a hand they played and I write back whenever I can.
"I care about my people.
“I write strategy posts for free, I try to make people interested in poker and I try to bring new people to the game.”
Ramos says this gives him a mutually beneficial relationship with his fans rather than a one-sided one.
“It's a fair trade,” Ramos said.
“Poker's such an individual sport and it's awesome to see all these people cheer for me when there’s nothing in it for them.
"I make the money. I lose the money.”
Ramos: "I'm Going to Be the Guy That Raises the Poker Flag"
Ramos also considers himself a defender of the game. Poker has faced an uphill battle in Brazil. Just a decade ago, few people knew the game.
Since then, poker has exploded but players like Ramos and Andre Akkari have had to defend the game from a government wary of gambling.
“I'm going to be the guy that's going to raise the poker flag every time someone talks bad about poker,“ Ramos said.
“And I'll try to be the best supporter for people that are trying to understand and get into the game.
“I think people should vote for me because I'm going to keep doing that until I die.”
So what inspires a man who spends most of his time inspiring others?
“What really inspires me is that I’ve found a balance in life,” Ramos said. "I didn’t have that in my old job and a lot of people live their lives without balance, they can’t find it.
“I just need to do what I love and try to support me, my family and my friends as best as I can.”
Dedication and Inspiration Lead to Results
And Ramos has been doing pretty well lately. Ramos cashed at every EPT event he attended this year and made the final table of the EPT Grand Final High Roller #2 in Monte Carlo this April.
A month after that, Ramos made the final table of the WPT Amsterdam main event.
Now Ramos has cashed in four events this WSOP, three of which have been $10,000 championships. Ramos’s deepest run so far has been a 9th-place finish in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.
“If you asked me at the beginning of my career what I thought being a poker pro was going to be like, I would’ve said something entirely different,” Ramos said.
“I never thought I would be a good enough player to fight in the $10k championships. So this is a big inspiration itself too.”
Wise Buddhist Words
While Ramos says it’s his daily goal to wake up and do the best he can do in all aspects of his life, he still keeps his mind open to possibilities.
“There was something I read a couple of days ago,” Ramos said.
“It was about a Buddhist monk who was asked what the meaning of life was. He said there’s no meaning, because if you think you have it figured out, you’re going to miss out on all these other things in life.
“If you already think you know what you’re going to get, then you can’t see what you could get and your life isn’t going to be that full.
“That’s kind of what I do in poker. I hop in a tournament and I don’t know what’s going to happen.
"I don’t know if I’m going to win or lose. I just care about the way I play and the way I treat people.”