Brazilian poker player turns $11 into $1.19 million at record-breaking PokerStars tournament

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Brazilian poker player ‘AAAArthur’ saw his life change in an instant at the PokerStars Sunday Million in March.

The 38-year-old - whose real name is Alex Brito - pulled off an incredible run from a record-breaking field of 93,016 players at the 14th instalment of the competition.

His journey began with a win at a $0.25 Spin and Go, from which he used the winnings to enter a $4 satellite event.

Brito then won again and gained entry into an $11 qualifier with 100 seats guaranteed.

He triumphed there, too, putting in him at the final table of nine with a total prize pool of $18,603,200 up for grabs.

Brito couldn’t have gone so far and failed to complete the fairytale.

With less than half the field remaining, the table agreed an ICM (Independent Chip Model) deal which saw the former commercial manager pocket a cool $1.19 million.

Check out the final table payouts in full below:

1. AAAArthur - $1,192,802
2. Stefan 'CrAzY_sTeFaN' Dragos - $921,328
3. caroline2963 - $786,873
4. salonteskis - $826,920
5. AlexHoldz - $329,357
6. Marios 'Jully-19' Mansour - $225,108
7. tweny1 - $153,854
8. pokerfrance - $105,155
9. Paulius 'D3cor' Vaitiekunas - $71,870

After being made unemployed towards the end of 2019, and his wife recently suffering the same fate, it’s no wonder Brito is still coming to terms with how he turned $11 into $1.19 million.

“To be honest, the penny hasn’t dropped yet,” he told PokerStars blog.

“I don’t think I’ll believe what has happened for quite a while.”

Brito - who is also the father of two young children - insists he’ll never forget the challenges he faced before he became a millionaire at the SM14.

“The game of poker doesn’t care about your social condition.

“Believe me, you must never give up. I’m an example. I’m just an aspiring poker player, a recreational player who has now managed to change life for his family thanks to poker.

“When we face our problems and the mistakes we’ve made, we learn and become better people. Even when life is rough, you have to stand up and be happy.

“One day the storm will pass, and everything will fit.”

Brito’s underdog victory is inspiring in its own right, but as he alluded to, the power of resilience and reflection are the most valuable takeaways from his story.

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