Politano Captures Brazil’s Heart – ESPN


Updated: October 30, 2014, 11:14 PM ET

Bernard Lee
| ESPN.com

Every four years, all eyes focus on the World Cup and the world’s most popular sport. The 2014 edition was hosted by Brazil, and the home team was favored to capture the title. The last time the South American country hosted the event was 1950, when they agonizingly lost to Uruguay. Brazil hoped to avenge the lost this summer, trying to capture their sixth championship in the process.

Their dream turned into a horrendous nightmare when the Brazilians were demolished 7-1 in the semifinals by eventual winner Germany.

Although the country mourned its beloved team’s loss, Brazilians suddenly rallied as they had another reason to celebrate: One of their sons maneuvered through a field of 6,683 poker players to qualify for the 2014 November Nine.

Bruno Politano became the first Brazilian ever to make the World Series of Poker main event final table, and although he’s the short stack at the table with 12.1 million, he still has more than 30 big blinds. During the final days of the main event, the fans on Politano’s rail were among the most spectacular and memorable in the history of the tournament. The unparalleled carnival-like atmosphere helped the 32-year-old remain focused and energized as he headed toward the final table.

“Together, my rail and I are one person,” said Politano. “Hearing the screaming and cheering, they are sending me good energy and good vibrations whether I win or lose a hand. My opponents don’t have the support that I have. I play with the support of 200 million people.”

Politano began playing poker with his friends more than a decade ago. He fell in love with the game; it “completed him.” And, according to his …read more

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