Rafael Reis feels right at home as he picks up WSOP bracelet

9 June 2023

Rafael Reis

Rafael Reis (photo by WSOP)

The Brazilian rail was out in force on Thursday night to witness Rafael Reis win his first gold bracelet in Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em at the 2023 World Series of Poker.

Reis defeated Daniel Barriocanal in heads-up play to win $465,501. The tournament drew 2,454 players for a prize pool of $3,276,090.

Day 2 chip leader Sarah Herzali finished in third while Nikolaos Angelou and four-time bracelet winner John Monnette rounded out the top five.

This is the second deep run at the WSOP for Reis, but his first big chance came to an end in third place at the 2021 Monster Stack event.

"I am feeling like I had a mission, and I accomplished my mission," said Reis in his post-win interview with PokerNews. "Last time that I was here, I was [at the final table], and I got third. This time I felt super comfortable."

Reis leveraged his experience from his first trip to the main stage at the WSOP—a disappointing end that turned into a valuable learning experience.

"I've made mistakes in the past, but I have more experience now,” said Reis. “I was feeling really confident. I texted my friends that today is a bracelet today. Come and rail me, follow me on social media. Today was a bracelet day and I was very confident. It wasn't easy."

The celebration was the second of the evening after Reis and the entire Brazilian rail misread a board and thought Reis had claimed victory early in heads-up play.

"I was not looking at the table,” said Reis. “I was looking at the monitor. When the last card hit the felt, I saw a straight and everybody was cheering, so I was cheering.

Reis needed a moment to regain his focus.

"When I came back, it was hard,” said Reis. “I had to come back again. I was in Narnia. When I was celebrating, I went from Narnia to the WSOP, and I had to go back to Narnia again. We grinded it up and I am super happy. Thank god."

The champ received his bracelet in an impromptu ceremony with Yuri Dzivielevski. He plans on sticking around for the remainder of the WSOP.

"I will play everything,” said Reis. “I had this plan before this tournament, and it changes nothing. I will keep playing the whole thing, and I hope I can get more bracelets. It feels really nice on me."

Day 3 kicked off with 15 players and David Wells fell first in the opening level of the day. Following Wells to the payout window before the final table were Upeshka De Silva, Alexander Maas, Curt Kohlberg, Gabriel Schroeder, Yue Liu, Ian Matakis, and Kevin Choi.

The tournament reached its unofficial final table after about three hours of play and Ryan Hohner bowed out in seventh when he got it in with pocket queens and ran into the Big Slick of Barriocanal.

Barriocanal continued his run with the elimination of Grant Wang in sixth place. Wang got it in with ace-seven, but Barriocanal was waiting with ace-queen to send him to the rail.

Monnette was unable to add a fifth bracelet after a deep run in the no-limit hold'em event for the four-time champ. He got it in with king-nine, but Herzali put him at risk with ace-nine and picked up top pair on the flop.

Barriocanal picked up another knockout when Angelou fell in fourth place. Angelou picked his spot with ace-seven, but it was ace-queen doing the work once again to send him to the rail.

Herzali went on a magical run and a large contingent of French supporters turned out, but it came to an end in third place when she jammed her short stack with king-nine and ran into the pocket jacks of Reis. A jack on the flop sealed the deal and sent the tournament to heads-up play.

Heads-up play lasted nearly two levels while Barriocanal battled it out, but he was unable to move the chip count in his favor. After one false start when Reis and his rail misread the board and claimed victory, the champ regained his focus. The big moment came after a small double from Barriocanal with a suited nine-eight. Barriocanal got it in again with the same hand, but Reis was there with the suited ace-queen to claim victory with two pair.

Final table results:
Rank Player Country Prize
1 Rafael Reis Brazil $465,501
2 Daniel Barriocanal Spain $287,679
3 Sarah Herzali France $207,720
4 Nikolaos Angelou Greece $151,559
5 John Monnette United States $111,755
6 Grant Wang United States $83,289

Related Links
Ranked Online Poker Rooms
World Series of Poker Gaming Vendor Information


(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)
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