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Generation Next -- Rui Milhomens

The Portuguese Invasion: Rui Milhomens

by Rebecca McAdam |  Published: May 01, 2010


Portuguese players may be a minority at international events, but the high quality of play from those gradually making their way into the limelight is intriguing since the country has such a short history of poker. Take João Barbosa for instance. The 26-year-old hit the major tournament scene in 2008 and immediately did some damage. Last year Rui Milhomens followed in Barbosa’s footsteps, finishing sixth in the PokerStars European Poker Tour London main event for £124,000. Could this be just the start of a new generation of young Portuguese players preparing to take on the bigger world of poker? Time will tell as Milhomens and many others hit Vegas for the World Series of Poker this summer for the first time.

Rui MilhomensRebecca McAdam: Tell me a little bit more about you. Where exactly are you from and what were you doing before this?

Rui Milhomens: I’m from Ovar, a city near Porto in Portugal, and before this I was in the second grade of psychology.

RMC: How did you get into playing poker?

RM: I had some friends who played regularly and they started inviting me for the games. I decided to try it and I just loved it. After that I started playing freerolls online until I had a bankroll to play micro-stakes.

RMC: Do you play much online?

RM: Yes I regularly play online, I try to play everyday but usually miss one or two days a week.

RMC: What stakes do you play?

RM: Between $3-$6 and $10-$20.

RMC: What is your online poker name and why?

RM: My online nickname is Arise. Actually, I use Arise_pt on almost every poker site because Arise is already taken so I added the Portuguese acronym. I like this nickname because I already used it on another game, a real time strategy game, the Age of Empires, in which I’ve been world top10.

RMC: Now that we’re seeing you a lot more on the live felt, which would you say you prefer?

RM: I prefer online, however as the time goes on I’ve been enjoying and feeling a lot more comfortable playing live poker. The only con against it is the fact that we sometimes get matched with very slow dealers which ends up making the game pretty boring.

RMC: Do you try to qualify for live events online a lot?

RM: No, actually I think I’ve never played an online satellite. Thankfully Unibet sponsors me.

RMC: What is the poker scene like in Portugal?

RM: Poker in Portugal is only three years old, however it has been evolving very interestingly. We now have a great variety of tournaments, and have already hosted an EPT and Unibet Open. There has been a lot of effort put in in order to make poker even better.

RMC: You’re fairly new to the international poker scene, what do you think of it?

RM: I think the stuff is very well organized internationally. I have really enjoyed the organization in the tournaments I’ve been in lately. Even the players mentality when talking about the game makes me feel happy, we play better and everything runs smoothly.

RMC: Have you learned anything about your game since playing on the major international tournament scene?

RM: Of course, I’ve played in very tough fields in which a simple mistake would cost my whole tournament, so I had to focus to stay alive. Playing with the best makes me play better.

RMC: What is your style of playing?

RM: I always try to impose a loose-aggressive style but sometimes that’s not possible. The most important thing is to be able to adapt to the tables where we play in, and there are tables in which the best style is to play tight-agressive. However, I will always try to put pressure on my opponents and put them through the toughest decisions.

RMC: What skills do you think you have that make you a good poker player?

RM: I think I’m very patient and try to achieve my goals until the end. However I would say that what mostly favours my game is my competitive spirit, I want to be the best and always try to be.

RMC: Do you see yourself doing this for a long time?

RM: For sure, I would like to keep playing poker at least for the next few years.

RMC: What player do you think you look up to the most?

RM: Phil Ivey or Durrrr. If I had to pick one, I’d have to say Phil Ivey.

RMC: What are your poker ambitions?

RM: I dream of winning a World Series bracelet (this will be my first year in Las Vegas) or winning an EPT title. Cash games related I would like to keep evolving and one day be a $25-$50 and $50-$100 regular. Spade Suit