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WSOP: Bracelet Winner Q and A -- Alexandre Gomes

Gomes Gets the Gold, Brazil Gets Her First Bracelet

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Alexandre GomesAnother lawyer turned poker player, twenty-five year old Alexandre Gomes has only been playing poker professionally for the past six months. Making his way through a 2,317 person field and a formidable final table, Gomes ended event No. 48 as the last man standing. With dozens of fans and supporters by his side, thousands of miles from his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, Gomes was anything but alone.

As the first Brazilian native to earn a World Series of Poker bracelet, despite an obvious language barrier, Alexandre Gomes talks about his strategy at the final table, and the pride that comes with taking home the gold and giving Brazil her first bracelet.

Question: They tell us you went to school to be an attorney and you became a poker player. What’s the story?

Alexandre Gomes:
I’ve been a lawyer since 2005, and about six month ago I just decided to play poker.

Q: Why such a drastic change?

AG: Actually, I started playing tournament poker and then I made a decision to become a poker player.

Q: And how long have you been playing poker?

AG:  I’ve been playing for about two and a half years, but only as a professional for about six or seven months.

Q: Obviously you have many fans from Brazil here with you…

AG: They are fans and also friends. We have a lot of poker players in Brazil, but this is the first bracelet that a Brazilian player has won here.

Q:
We don’t see this much celebration from the other countries. What makes Brazil so special?

AG: It’s the people.

Q: Did he just say something dirty? (Referring to a reply in Portuguese from one of Gomes’ fans on the rail. The Portuguese-speaking section of the room thought that this remark was extremely funny.)

AG: Yes he did.

Q: You are now $700,000 richer, how does that feel?

AG: It feels good. Very good.

Q:
Do you have any plans for the money?

AG:
No, not yet.

Q: What was your strategy heading into the final table?

AG:
I played with them all day yesterday, and I was able to get some reads on them. My strategy was to be aggressive. I thought that the difference in the prize payouts would create some pressure so I decided to play aggressive.

Q: Were there any players that you were particularly worried about heading into the final table?

AG: Yeah, Marco [Johnson]. I started the tournament playing with him. I played the first day with him and I played yesterday with him too. I was very worried about him.

Q: What message do you have for the people of Brazil that are just now starting to play poker?

AG:
To be a poker player, you can’t just want to be a poker player. You to have be prepared. You have to study the game and get your mind prepared. It’s not an easy life, so I recommend that they come to talk to us, talk to other poker players. In Brazil we have a lot of good players, but you can’t just come and play the World Series. You have to start out small first, and build a bankroll.