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Monday, July 7th, 2008

Blame it on Gomes

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

Who’s the most famous Brazilian poker player in the world?

From now on, it’s Alexandre Gomes.

That’s because he has won Event #48 at the 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, becoming the first Brazilian in history to win a WSOP championship gold bracelet.

And, not only is he the first person from Brazil to strike WSOP gold, he is the first person from South America to win a WSOP gold bracelet in the 39-year history of the WSOP.

But, perhaps expecting his victory to spark a poker explosion in his native land, or maybe because he just wanted Brazil’s small space on the world poker stage to himself, Gomes, 25, an attorney-turned poker pro, played down the notion that anyone back home could easily become a winner at the game.

“I want to say something to all my fellow Brazilians,” Gomes, from Curitiba, Brazil, told reporters after accepting his nation’s first-ever WSOP gold bracelet–and $770,540 in cold hard cash. “Poker is not an easy way of life. You have to study hard. You have to be prepared. You cannot rush things. You have to take it one step at a time.”

What a way to encourage poker-playing in a country–and continent–where the poker explosion that’s rocked the rest of the world has been a dud.

The WSOP must have loved that.

As for Event #48, it was a $2,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament with 2,317 participants, 198 payouts and a total prize pool of about $4.2 million.

Finishing runnerup to Gomes in the tourney was Marco Johnson of Walnut Creek, California, USA, earning $491,273. Third was Ryan D’Angelo of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, earning $326,821.

Fourth was Bob Brewer of Sherman Oaks, California, USA, earning $274,101.

Fifth was Alan Cutter of Vernon Hills, Illinois, USA, earning $223,497.

Sixth was Kirill Gerasimov of Moscow, Russia, earning $177,111.

Seventh was Sverre Sundbo of Oslo, Norway, earning $134,942.

Eighth was Gabe Costner of Long Beach, Mississippi, USA, earning $103,315.

Ninth was Dane Rome of Aurora, Illinois, USA, earning $71,687.

Tenth was Sergey Rybachenko of Moscow, Russia, earning $46,386.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].) =A0

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