Villa-Lobos: 'Brazil Could Be Second-Biggest Poker Market in the World'

Published on 29 June 2014 by Pokerlistings 414

Nicolau Villa-Lobos and Bruno Kawauti should probably be in Rio de Janeiro watching the World Cup but their insatiable desire for poker action has brought them all the way to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Poker is getting huge in Brazil and according to these two, it's going to get even bigger. Villa-Lobos and Kawauti both agreed that Brazil could host a World Series of Poker, and that it would be bigger than either WSOP Europe or WSOP Asia-Pacific. While poker continues to grow in their home country, both these members of Team 888poker continue to travel the world in search of big tournaments. caught them on a break to find out how it feels being away from home for such an important event, and where they see poker in Brazil going in years to come.

Nicolau: Yeah, I'm really excited to be in Vegas, obviously. It's great to be here. But I feel kinda bad not being in Brazil during the World Cup. I think I should be there but on the other hand I need to be here, so It's great.

Bruno: I mean, it's like the games from Brazil to watching the, in my country, like with my friends. But WSP is awesome. Love to be here, so.

Nicolau: Yeah, we're like, I don't know how many Brazilians we are, but Andrea Akari, he rented a house. So the the last games there were like 100 people there watching the game. Barbeques, beers and, like, Brazilian party, and it's great.

Bruno: Yeah, we have, like, less people, but probably the same noise because we are very loud.

Nicolau: Yeah, we are very loud, too. The noise is the same.

Bruno: Poker in Brazil has gotten very big, like the Brazilian Series has gotten big, definitely can make a living and a lot of pros, a lot of new pros in Brazil, very good players.

Nicolau: I think it can be huge in Brazil. I think I can see Brazil as the second biggest market in the world maybe, not now, but can be. Just [inaudible 00:01:32] for United States, obviously. But we are 200 million people, and I don't know the country is developing, like getting money, getting more equal. More people are making more money than . . . I don't know.

Bruno: I strongly believe that you can have a WSP there, like for sure it would be bigger than WSP Europe, for sure.

Nicolau: And Australia also.

Bruno: And Australia also. I can see . . .

Nicolau: Yes, in five years maybe.

Bruno: Yes, maybe. Maybe less.

Nicolau: Maybe less.

Bruno: I think we have to thank too a guy named Igor Federal.

Nicolau: Yes, definitely.

Bruno: I think he's the name, he is the one, the president of the Brazilian Confederation. So he made this happen. He fought with politicians, he made every day of his life to make poker bigger, and legal in Brazil. And everybody who is working with him, everybody who is playing also and making poker as it is, like, a great game, sport. People need to understand, it's not a gambling, people not just gamble. There's a lot of parts of poker . . .

Nicolau: But definitely will inspire new people to play poker.