Portugal’s First Win at WSOPE

October 1, 2012

The World Series of Poker Europe has kicked off and the first Portuguese bracelet winner is Francisco Da Costa Santos. He is the first poker player from Portugal to win a bracelet in the entire WSOP history. Thirty-six-year-old Da Costa Santos is a small business owner and poker pro won the same event this year that he landed a second place finish to Canada’s Philippe Boucher at last year’s WSOPE Cannes.

This year, he was victorious, winning the Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha event and €83,275. There were 10 countries represented in the top 21 finishers. Second place went to Spanish player Ana Marquez, who lost fair and square, saying, “I am so happy for him. Francisco winning is almost like me winning….that’s how happy I am.”

And Da Costa was very happy himself, explaining after breaking down in tears, “Words cannot express how I feel at this moment. I really thought I was going to win it. But until it happens, you really can’t believe what the feeling is like. It’s incredible.

This has been a big year at the WSOPE with lots of “firsts” including Event #1, in which Tunisia had its first gold bracelet winner, Imed Ben Mahmoud. And then in the second event, Roger Hairabedian became the first Frenchman to win on French soil, breaking the home field curse once and for all.

Da Costa says, “Poker is still very new in my country. 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.”

It sounds like Portugal has caught the poker bug like many other countries worldwide.


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