Humberto Brenes dominated the professional poker scenery in Latin America for a long time. Apart from winning three World Poker Tour finales and two WSOP bracelets, the Costa Rican is a master showman who loves taking his game to the next level. And if you aren’t talking about his toy shark card protector, you’ll surely find Brenes’ colourful dressing style intriguing at the very least.
However, Brenes’ visibility decreased to a certain extent in the past few years as a fresh batch of LatAm poker pros made their presence felt. Latin American poker players currently hold a mere five WSOP bracelets but none from the Main Event. But the growing popularity of poker in South America has turned the region into a popular gambling hub for the locals and tourists alike. Apart from brick-and-mortar casinos, online operators have benefitted from the poker boom, and Gamblerguy.com has listed the best examples of them.
This trend is likely to continue in the near future too as a growing number of Latin American players continue to make headway in the Series. For instance, Bruno Politano secured an eight-place finish at the 2014 Main Event. This is all the more fascinating as Politano was an amateur at the time with barely a few years of experience behind him. Politano’s example isn’t a one-time incident, and on that note, here is our pick of the top three LatAm poker players to watch out for in 2021.
Top 3 Latin American Poker Players to Watch Out For
1. Juan Pastor – 22-year-old Juan Pastor has been a pro for merely two years, but in this short period, he has emerged as a significant force to reckon with. Juan is a Supernova Elite, and his earnings are quickly approaching $500,000. The situation is all the more fascinating since Juan didn’t like the game when he was introduced by friends at the age of 15. It was only on the insistence of a former brother-in-law that Juan mastered poker.
2. Jose “Nacho” Barbero – According to popular consensus, Argentinian Nacho Barbero has the highest probability of winning a WSOP Main Event. He has been in the game for over a decade and has earned close to $2.8 million during his run so far. Barbero not only has two top 20 finishes at last year’s WSOP but his results at the European Poker Tour Events have been consistent too. Furthermore, Nacho Barbero also won two back-to-back LAPT Main Event titles in 2010.
3. Diego Ventura – If not for Brazil, Ventura may never have been a professional poker player. He has been quite vocal about the sorry state of the game in his home country of Peru. The Ace began playing poker in Brazil as an exchange student, and there has been no looking back since. Ventura has the highest poker winnings in Peru and even earned a second-place finish at the annual PCA in the Bahamas last year, pocketing a cool $907,000 in the process.
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