Francisco Da Costa Santos has become the first Portuguese player to win a World Series of Poker bracelet by triumphing in the Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha championship at the World Series of Poker Europe.
The 36-year-old defeated a competitive field, including Daniel Negreanu, to take home the first prize of €83,275.
The professional poker player was delighted to have won his first ever bracelet and is hoping that his success will inspire a whole generation of new players in Portugal.
“Poker is still very new in my country,” Da Costa Santos said in a post-tournament interview.
“We do not have so many players right now. But I think it’s going to catch on and be more popular. There are a lot of younger players now who are starting to get interested in the game.”
Da Costa Santos is looking forward to celebrating the victory with his parents who didn’t approve of his career choice when he first took up poker full time.
“When I decided to turn professional, my parents didn’t like it at all. Then, when I started winning, they liked it even less. They thought it was gambling. But I went ahead and finished my college degree and then I started a business. I did that for seven years. Then, in 2008 they legalized poker in some casinos in Portugal, and it was like (in Portugal) what happened with Chris Moneymaker in 2003,” Da Costa Santos said.
Da Costa Santos said he always dreamt about winning a World Series of Poker bracelet and is over the moon that the Europe based tournaments have made it possible for him and other European based players to succeed on their home turf.
“I wanted to be the first to win the bracelet. But I did not think that would happen because of the taxes. If we go there (to Las Vegas) and we win something, they will tax us at 30 percent. But we can come here and it’s much better for us,” Da Costa Santos said.
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