Neymar Jr Books 6th Place Finish at BSOP High Roller for $21k

Neymar Jr Books 6th Place Finish at BSOP High Roller for $21k

Latest stop on Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) was the WTC Sheraton in Sao Paulo, with its R$7,000 ($1,850) High Roller event attracting 288 players, including one very special competitor in the guise of the country’s soccer hero Neymar Jr. The Brazilian captain has enjoyed a love affair with poker for many years now, and this week subsequently put in an impressive performance at the tournament, eventually finishing in a 6th place position worth R$79,440 ($21,458).

After his departure, Affif Prado ended up taking down the High Roller for R$317,800 ($85,825), with the payout surpassing the pro’s previous biggest score of $43,380 recorded after finishing runner-up at the $3k High Roller Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Uruguay for $43,380. In the meantime, Neymar Jr obviously enjoyed mixing it up with some of the game’s best poker players, and commenting following his 6th place exit, stated:

“It was great to take part in the final table with great players, and was a new and exciting experience. I think, for example, about Affif who I had already studied on Youtube. It was an honor to sit next to him.”

Delayed Final Table

When Neymar Jr entered the BSOP High Roller event he may not have anticipated doing quite so in the competition as his making the final table coincided with a previous engagement as best man at a friend’s wedding. Rather than having to bow out and vacate his seat, however, his fellow finalists agreed to delay the final table action by a day in order to allow the Brazilian superstar to juggle both engagements.

As a mark of the level of respect he commands in the country, the BSOP, whose chief sponsor is PokerStars, also generously offered to cover all extra expenses that the players may have incurred as a result, including the cost of an extra nights stay, and flight changes.

Great Poker Experience

One of the players reaching the final table was Israel’s Eyal Benshimon, who last year took down the WSOP International Circuit Rotterdam Main Event for $112,709. This time around, Bensimhon had to settle for an 8th place finish worth R$42,870 ($11,562), but the pro nevertheless described the experiences as the best of his poker career.

Recounting one of their battles, Bensimhon said that as the tournament reached its money bubble he was holding pocket queens, while Neymar was sitting at his table with pocket nines. After leading out, he was subsequently three-bet by Neymar leading to an all-in situation in which the soccer legend’s tournament was at stake. Fortunately for him, the flop produced a queen and two nines, ultimately allowing Neymar to double his stack with quads, and as Bensimhon later explains:

“After it happen I told him that now as a compensation he must tag me on his Instagram story, and he did it twice! A few hours later I had 3,200 more followers and counting. Plus I got a story to tell my grandchildren.”

Neymar Exits in 6th

Neymar Jr started the final table in sixth position, which is incidentally where he also bowed out. In his final action, the 26 year-old went all-in preflop holding A-10, but was up against the pocket jacks of his opponent. Despite a 10 arriving on the flop, however, there was to be no more help on turn or river, leading to his elimination having scored his best live result to date. As an invigorated Neymar commented:

“I do not consider myself just a poker player but a poker lover and I want to improve as a player. The more I play, the more I fall in love. I want to be stronger and stronger.”

Affif Prado vs Oscar Alache

As the other finalists were whittled down, the competition eventually came down to a heads-up contest between Affif Prado and Oscar Alache, who subsequently agreed a deal before settling the title. The final hand then saw Alache (4-4) and Prado (J-J) all-in preflop, with the former’s hand standing to claim the win. Nevertheless, having one of the world’s most famous soccer stars in the tournament was obviously an experience that will live on with all the players forever, and as Prado commented after his victory:

“It was great to see him play, both for the illustrious person that he is and for the passion he has for the game. It was cool to see him making plays, because he studies, he watches, and to see the interest of a person like Neymar Jr. for this game is very gratifying. Not to mention the boom this has generated today, this is sure to reflect even more for poker.”

Final Table Results (US$)

1: Affif Prado ($85,709)
2: Oscar Alache ($67,423)
3: Daniel Croce ($44,729)
4: Bruno Marino ($36,085)
5: Wender Oliveira ($28,307)
6: Neymar Jr ($21,470)
7: Alejandro Lopez ($15,737)
8: Eyal Benshimon ($11,562)
9: Lucas Tabarin ($9,588)