Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez is the most successful online poker player from Uruguay and he’s at the WSOP looking to take over the number one spot on the Uruguayan live tournament money list.
Originally going after a career in professional soccer, Gonzalez picked up poker on the tour bus with his best friend and teammate. After starting out online playing from an internet café in Montevideo, Gonzalez enjoyed enough success to take up poker full time.
Gonzalez began posting results on his PokerStars account in 2008 and has since racked up almost $3 million in tournament scores.
His highlights include a second place in the 2010 WCOOP second-chance for $94,975 and a win in the $530 WCOOP Heads-Up event for $120,000 just two weeks later. In January of 2012 Gonzalez scored $86,993 for taking down a Knockout event in the Turbo Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars.
SixthSenSe19: No One Believed Poker Was Real
Gonzalez notched his first live result in 2009 at an LAPT event in Costa Rica and went on to cash on the EPT and seven times at the WSOP.
Right now Gonzalez is in second place on Uruguay’s all-time live tournament money list with $263,398, trailing Adolfo Vaeza who has $566,079.
Now in Las Vegas playing at the 2012 World Series of Poker, Gonzalez tells PokerListings.com how he got his start in the game at a time when online poker was largely unknown in Uruguay.
PokerListings.com: You’ve come a long way from Uruguay to play at the WSOP. Has it been worth the trip so far?
Gonzalez picked up poker on the tour bus as an aspiring soccer pro.
Fabrizio Gonzalez: Yes, I’m having a lot of fun even though nothing good is happening in the poker. I’m here with my girlfriend and we’re having a great time this trip. I really hope I go deep in this tournament though.
PL: There isn’t much information out there on you. How did you first get into poker, and how did your career as a poker player develop to get you here to Las Vegas?
FG: I started playing with my best friend. We used to play soccer together and we’d travel a lot, two hours every day, so we started playing poker on the bus.
He finally saw PokerStars and told me about it and that I should start playing there. So I started playing for play money and one or two months my friend gave me like $5 online and I started playing low stakes. This was in about 2007.
I started with cash games and small heads-up tournaments and stuff and I won about $500 and decided to play a little more.
My first big score was in a $200 heads-up tournament. It was the first time I had played that level and I was really nervous and I won the tournament.
I was so happy. I didn’t even have a computer so I was playing in an internet café. And I made like $12,000 and took more than half for me and my family.
PL: How big was that win for you at the time?
FG: Really big. I had never seen $1,000 before so it was really big. I was really happy. I couldn’t really believe it.
PL: Did that win inspire you to play more online?
FG: Oh yeah. I started playing tournaments, I don’t remember the buy-ins but like $20 and $50 and then I won a $109 for like $14k and then I started playing $100 rebuys and I won a big one for like $50,000.
Gonzalez had his first major online score playing at an internet cafe in Montevideo.
So then I decided to start playing poker for a living.
PL: What were you going to do if it wasn’t for the success in poker?
FG: I was playing soccer. I was all my life playing soccer and I was going to try to become a professional soccer player.
PL: Did you have a shot at making it work as a pro soccer player?
FG: I don’t know. You have to be lucky. I mean, in that moment I felt like I was playing good. It’s not an easy thing to succeed in but I tried all my life to get a shot.
PL: When you started playing online poker did your friends and family in Montevideo even know what online poker was?
FG: No I don’t think so. Back when I started playing no one really knew much about it. It’s started to become being famous a bit now, poker there.
When I started playing it was for fun in the beginning but when I won that first tournament and told my mom she was really surprised. She was surprised but she was happy. She never told me I shouldn’t play poker or anything. She was always okay with it.
But my friends just didn’t believe me. They didn’t believe it was real at all.
PL: How did you get better as far as strategy?
FG: I never really read much strategy books or anything. I just started playing a lot and tried to get better just by playing and talking with my friend. We play against each other a lot too and I think we learn a lot that way.
PL: Are you the most successful online player from Uruguay?
FG: I don’t know now but yeah I think so. I was listed as the number one player for the last three years.
PL: How big is poker getting in Uruguay?
FG: It’s getting bigger. Even like two years ago I didn’t know any poker players, except from Rio, but now I know like three more.