“It’s Really Good to See the Brazil Poker Community Evolve So Much”

In June, Rafael Watanabe do Prado, aka rwprado on PocketFives, took down the Full Tilt Sunday Major outright for $31,000. There were 620 entrants that day and the tournament fell short of its guarantee, creating a little extra value for everyone who entered. The Brazilian was one of five PocketFivers at the final table.

“I’m feeling great,” he said after the fact. “Winning a Sunday Major with so many respected players is very satisfying.” He’ll use the money from the Full Tilt tournament to pump up his bankroll and play more tournaments.

Here’s how the final table cashed out:

1. rwprado – $31,875.00 (rwprado)
2. withesark – $21,750.00
3. El Spewtardo – $16,500.00 (The Spewtard)
4. checktrap11 – $12,600.00 (Checktrap11)
5. asromaclan – $9,300.00 (girex91)
6. Hellzito – $6,600.00 (hellzito)
7. llumar24 – $4,800.00
8. trapnel – $3,600.00
9. SlowPlayAlex – $2,700.00

Prado was asked for his take on the other PocketFivers in the final nine. He said, “I didn’t have that many spots with girex91, but he looked like a really proficient player. hellzito is also a Brazilian player. I know him and have a lot of respect for his game. We also didn’t face each other too much because he got to the final table short-stacked.”

He added of the third and fourth place finishers, “Checktrap11 is a very aggressive and competent player. I won a hand where he got eliminated with a cooler pre-flop with K-K versus A-K. The Spewtard was the chip leader when the final table got six-handed. He played truly aggressively and I had to work hard to adapt myself against him.” In the end, PocketFivers raked in two-thirds of the prize pool.

Prado recently hit $1 million in career online tournament winnings and, since our interview, has climbed to almost $1.2 million. “It’s a really significant number,” he relayed about the seven-digit milestone. “With the spread of poker online, the fields are getting more difficult day by day. What works for me is to play loads of tournaments, study really hard, and always be prepared to change and adapt.”

Prado is the 22nd-ranked player from Brazil and #2 in the city of Bauru. “It’s really good to see the Brazil poker community evolve so much over the last few years,” he proudly boasted. “Today, we have many competent players and I’m honored to be part of this community.”

Besides poker, Prado enjoys traveling and recently returned from a whirlwind eight-month trip around the world. And when we say around the world, we aren’t kidding. Over the course of eight months, he visited Spain, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, and Hungary. That’s three continents if you’re keeping track.

“That trip was only possible thanks to poker because this is a job I can do in anywhere in the world,” he pointed out. “I also have other hobbies like watching TV shows, playing sports, and doing other online games.”

He closed by sending a shout out to his friends in poker who have helped make his success possible: Rafael Moraes, Thiago Crema, Marcos Sketch, Julio Lins, Edison Roberto, and Vitor Brasil. “I owe a lot of this achievement to them,” he said. “And also thank you to all of my non-poker friends and family. Thank you for the support!”

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