After one of the Team PokerStars Pros has a big win, we like to give them a chance to tell us what it was like. Even though he is the newest WPT millionaire, Brazilian Pro Alex Gomes took the time to sit down and tell us what it was like to add a WPT title to his list of wins. Congrats again, Alex, and thanks for taking the time to take us where few have been.
by Alex Gomes
After a long and exausting time in Vegas, where I spent almost 70 days dedicated WSOP tournaments, I had decided not to play at the Bellagio. But I'm a poker lover, and despite being tired and a little bit upset about my results at the WSOP, I decided to play at the event after talking with some friends.
It was really a last minute decision. I arrived at the Bellagio at 3:30pm (the tournament started at noon), with blinds 100 / 200 at the third level. That said, this is a really deepstack tournament. Everyone started with 60.000 chips and 90 minute levels, so my late arrival was not a problem.
This is one of the best structures in poker tournaments. It's a very long event, with six days of play and a maximum of six levels per day. So, we started playing at noon, and at 8:30pm the day ended. This is very good for players, because we can have a good meal and a nice night of sleep.
But, on the other side, the WPT has one of the toughest fields around, with a lot of well-known professionals. On my first day, I started at a very tough table, with Nenad Medic, Justin Smith, Jon Turner and some internet pros. The table had a lot of action early on, but I didn't have much success. I finished the day with 39.400 chips with the average sitting around 80,000.
On Day 2, I was seated between Michael Mizrachi and "gboro", the famous online player. Freedy Deeb was at the table, too. My game finally started to kick in and I ran my stack up to 223,000, well above the 160,000 average. That gave me a lot of motivation to came back next day.
My Day 3 had a lot of ups and downs. I started at a table with my friend from Team PokerStars Pro, Humberto Brenes, and with Kevin Saul, the same man who was at the
final table with me at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure early this year.
After three levels, my stack was really growing and was up to around 350,000. That's when I had to change tables. I ended up sitting with Jonathan Little and some online kids. I got crippled by Little when there were only 50 players left, all-in pre-flop with a pair of eights against pocket queens. I played the hand badly, and was left with only 60,000. At the time, the average was around 400,000. I somehow managed to double up two times in a row, and by the end of the day I had a short stack of 222,000.
Day 4 started with only 31 players. We needed to lose four players to bust the money bubble. I decided to take advantage of that, and it worked. I played very aggressively (the way I like!) and got up to a 420,000 stack. From that point on, I played the best poker of my career. I finished the day with 1,700.000 with the average around 1,500,000.
Day 5 was the fastest in WPT history. With only 10 players left, we only had to achieve four eliminations before we hit the televised final table. And that happened pretty fast! The short stack busted on the very first hand. It took just an hour and half to get down to six players. Suddenly, I was at a WPT final table. I was the short stack, but had 1,500,000 with blinds at 10,000 / 20,000, more than enough to play fast and loose!
This table was considered by many (Erik Seidel included) to be one of the toughest in WPT history. That was a huge motivator for me. Thank God I kept playing really well. I played loose with no fear of making mistakes and no fear of the other players. With that mentality and disposition, I worked my way up to chip leader with three players remaining. Soon, I was heads up and confident.
It was not easy. I won some coin flips. I lost some coin flips. I lost some hands when I was a favorite, but then bluffed a lit bit and earned some nice pots. You can see all that on TV later this year!
I want to thank all the Brazilians that supported me, not only those who were at the Bellagio, but everybody who spent the night without sleep, cheering the final table on the internet. I am very proud again, to be the first Brazilian to win this very important title.