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Mexican-American Luis Velador has been playing poker for 15 years and in that time has won two WSOP gold bracelets. This year is the first time he's gone deep in the Main Event and if he can make it a little deeper he'll make poker history as the first Mexican world champion of poker ever. Velador is also the only multiple bracelet winner left in this field. He won a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event in 2008 and a $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha/Hold'em event in 2010. Velador told us he was a tile-setter before picking up poker and that it took him roughly five years of playing before he was winning enough to quit his job and play poker full time. Velador has over $1.45 million in live tournament earnings but he could increase that in a big way if he can make this final table. Check out the full video interview and keep watching PokerListings.com for the latest news and video from the 2014 World Series of Poker.
My name is Luis Velador and I am familiar with this World Series. I've been playing it for, I will say, 50 years and I own two bracelets. I got [inaudible 0:00:23] on my name. One of them is $1,500 No-Limit. The other one was half and half - No-Limit and Pot Limit Omaha. This is my first time that I go real deep on the main. I had two catches [SP] in the main. I play a lot of poker, a lot of mix, and I'm happy to be here.
My first time playing poker was, I don't know, I just walked into this casino and I saw cards on the table. I guess, my dad used to play it in Mexico. So it got me interested and I went and looked. And the first couple of years that I play, I was playing somebody else's bills. And it was tough at that time, and I used to be a tile setter. I used to do tile for a living, and I told my wife, "You know what? I wanna play poker for a living." I said, "I'm gonna try to do it for a year or two. If it works out, fine. If not, I always can go back to work." So that's how I started.
I have five kids and a wife, and I've got to be real careful about my money situation. I don't wanna put myself in a spot where I don't wanna be. So I'm just trying to balance myself as far as the ups and downs. So that's the way I do it.
I do feel very grateful for that because I really like what I do. No one tells me what to do. I'm my own boss. I go to work whenever I want to. It's great. Poker treats me real good. I can't complain.
I don't see a lot of players from Mexico. I'd like to see a lot to come to this place, so we have more Mexicans playing poker. There's only a few guys that I know that play it and they play real good, but it's just a handful. I would like to see more. Somebody asked me if I see myself at the final table and I said, "Yes, I do see myself at the final table." And I'm not gonna say 100% I'm going to make it, but I know I'm gonna make it. If I make it, I'll be the first full Mexican to be at the final table.
Winning this event is everybody's dream. It's my dream at least. I'm trying to make my dream come true.