Before the start of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific, PokerNews reached out to this year's crop of November Niners to see who would be making the trip to the land down under. Much to our surprise, Jorryt van Hoof, Felix Stephensen, Martin Jacobson, Billy Pappas, William Tonking, and Daniel Sindelar all confirmed that they were going to pass. Neither Andoni Larrabe nor Mark Newhouse, responded, while the sole finalist to confirm their participation was Brazil’s Bruno Politano.
Despite being the shortest stack of this year’s November Nine — albeit the biggest short stack since the creation of the November Nine — Politano is clearly excited to embrace the opportunities and experiences that come with making the game’s most prestigious final table.
Along with fellow Brazilian Bruno Kawauti — who was the "Last Brazilian Standing" at the 2013 WSOP when he finished 15th — the 31-year-old Politano is in today's field looking for some practice and hopefully a gold bracelet.
Before the start of the WSOP APAC, Politano spoke with PokerNews about the November Nine, his celebrity in Brazil, and of course the upcoming WSOP APAC.
PokerNews: What has inspired you to travel all the way to Australia for the WSOP APAC?
Politano: First of all, because I think I'll be playing a high-level of poker with the best in the world. Second, I love everything the WSOP does and of course I've always wanted to travel to Australia. This time I get to take my girlfriend with me, so we'll enjoy ourselves a little bit.
Do you plan to do anything else aside from poker while you’re there?
This is my first trip there and of course I will take some time to get to know the place, the people, and the culture. I'm very excited.
Since making the November Nine, what’s the reaction been like among Brazilians?
The reaction was incredible, something I've never experienced before. The entire country does not speak of anything else. The poker exploded in a way that even I didn't expect with television, newspapers, magazines, and all the social media talking about it daily. We are all looking forward to the big time, Brazil world champion (laughs).
Poker is huge in Brazil. Have you become a celebrity of sorts in your home country?
Yes, poker is huge now in Brazil. After this achievement, I kind of became a reference. I think the word celebrity is very strong, but I became a reference in the Brazilian poker world and I'm taking this very seriously.
What’s been the craziest thing to happen to you since making the November Nine?
I played the High Roller during EPT Barcelona — €10,300 out of my pocket (laughs). That was the craziest thing I've ever done so far, but I loved playing.
You had a huge and loud rail on the last day of the Main Event. What can we expect at the November Nine?
At least four times what you saw in July. My family is coming over, my sister who lives in Philly is flying over with some friends, and the entire Brazilian poker nation is coming down. Vegas will be turn green and yellow in November.
What sort of things have you been doing to prepare for the November Nine?
Studying my opponents. I'm being coached by my friend Ariel Bahia, traveling all over Brazil and outside Brazil playing, training to the max.
It sounds like you may be the only November Niner at the WSOP APAC. Do you think that will give you some practice and maybe a small advantage over your opponents?
I think so. Playing at such a high level always gives you more practice and experience. I wouldn't pass this opportunity for anything in the world. I love that I get to go play in Australia and be part of one more WSOP.