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Victor Sbrissa Next Big Thing in Brazilian Poker?
According to the Brazilian poker media in Las Vegas for the WSOP, Victor Sbrissa has captured the imagination of Brazil's poker community.
Sbrissa is on a heater in 2013, having won almost $430,000 including a victory at LAPT Brazil and a final table at the €25k EPT Grand Final High Roller event.
And while players like Alex Gomes and Andre Akkari kickstarted the Brazilian poker movement, a new wave of poker pros has emerged from the populous South American country. Sbrissa is definitely riding that wave and he's already moved up to sixth-place on Brazil's all-time money list.
Sbrissa, who graduated university with a degree in Publishing, started playing poker six years ago with friends before making the transition to online and, once he felt confident enough, venturing into live poker clubs.
He's played a lot online but says he hasn't been very successful, or well known, despite making more than $150k profit so far.
Since he started playing live, his father and brother have joined him at the tables. His father even came to Las Vegas with him to play in the WSOP.
Sbrissa Goes on Global Two-Week Heater
The majority of Sbrissa's earnings in 2013 came in a two-week period in late May, and it reached from one side of the planet to the other.
First of all he bettered 752 players to win LAPT Brazil for more than $250k and, instead of hitting the beach to celebrate, jumped on a plane to find more success at the EPT Grand Final in Monaco.
Sbrissa crushed all comers on Day 1 of the Main Event to end as chip leader and managed to ride that stack to a 55th-place finish for $24k.
He used that money to jump straight into the €25k star-studded High Roller event where he made another impact. A final-table appearance and an eighth-place finish later saw Sbrissa another $150k to the good.
“I think I've been able to have some sudden success because I've worked hard and practiced over the six years I've been playing,” Sbrissa told PokerListings.com with the help of a translator.
“I've come close lots of times and I knew I just had to keep working hard and the results would come.”
PokerStars Investing in Brazilian Poker
When PokerStars starts to invest serious resources in a region of the world, you know that area's poker scene has big growth-potential.
Last year PokerStars took over the Brazilian Series of Poker. It's now in its eighth season and has cemented itself as the country's premier tour. This will help feed players into the more lucrative Latin America Poker Tour while promoting poker growth overall.
“Poker in Brazil is still on a journey,” said Sbrissa. “The status of a player is still not thought that highly of, but it's increasing all the time.
“More media interest is helping poker’s cause and for the first time this year, lots of media and players have come to the WSOP.”
Two months ago, PokerStars signed Ronaldo as the latest member of their Team SportStar line up. The former footballer and three-time world player of the year is still one of Brazil’s biggest stars.
Sbrissa believes Ronaldo’s presence will help grow poker in Brazil but that it is important the relationship is more that just a use of his image.
“Only time will tell if Ronaldo goes on to embrace poker and learn the game properly,” said Sbrissa. “He played the LAPT event I won and I hope he plays more poker tournaments in the future”.
Sbrissa is playing the $3k 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em event today and has a supporting role in our “Follow the Chips” coverage as we follow a tablemate of his, a certain Phil Ivey.
Sbrissa has position on the great man and said that it’s brings about a great sensation to play with someone he's admired for so long.
Putting all that aside though, he said he feels very calm at the table and feels like he is playing very good against him.
The future of poker in Brazil and the future if Sbrissa in poker both look very bright.