Capital: Brasília City
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)
Timezones: UTC-2 – UTC-5
Casinos with Poker
- Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi
- Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC Hotel
- Copacabana Palace Hotel
- Hotel Unique
- Rio Poker Club
- Hijack Poker Club
Poker is very popular in Brazil. Log in to any major online poker room, especially PokerStars, and you’ll see tons of players with Brazilian locations on all stakes, both tournaments and cash.
That is partly because of the country’s huge population – over 200 million people currently reside in Brazil. It is also because while gambling is illegal in the country, poker is considered to be a game of skill by law and that public at large. That is a very pleasant change compared to other countries, even in the majority of Europe.
Brazil has hosted major live poker tournament series in the past, such as the WSOP Circuit Brazil, partypoker MILLIONS South America and the Latin American Poker Tour.
Soccer is famously popular in Brazil, some even compare the Brazilians’ devotion to this sport to religion. Therefore it is important to note that one of the biggest Brazilian soccer stars of today, Neymar, is an avid recreational poker player. He’s played televised poker events in the past, and sometimes posts pictures and videos of himself playing his favorite card game to social media.
Famous Brazilian Poker Players
Alexandre Gomes is a WSOP gold bracelet winner. In 2008, he finished first in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $770,540. In 2009, he won a $15,000 Bellagio Cup tournament for $1.188 million. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date. Gomes currently tops Brazil’s all time money list on Hendon with $3.685 million in career earnings.
He’s followed closely by Joao Simao, who has cashed for $3.099 million total in live tournaments. However, he’s been even more successful online – he has amassed nearly $9 million in online MTT’s. He plays under the screen name “INeedMassari” on PokerStars and “XjoaosimaoX” on partypoker. The Brazilian man is also a partypoker ambassador.
Andre Akkari is another WSOP champion from Brazil. He won his bracelet in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event for $675,117, back in 2011. He has an impressive online resume as well, with over $3.6 million in career earnings. His Stars screen name is “aakkari”.
Thiago Nishijima is also a WSOP bracelet winner, he took down the $3,000 NLHE event for $546,843 in 2015. Overall, he has $2.175 in live tournament cashes. Online, he plays under the screen name “xthedecanox”. In 2009, he won a $1,050 WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) tournament for $249,280.
– Playing Live Poker in Brazil –
Live Poker Legislation in Brazil
Gambling has been illegal in Brazil since 1946. According to iclg.com, the relevant legislation is “Decree Law 3688/1941”, which dictates that anyone involved in illegal gambling must face a penalty, usually a fine between BRL2,000 ($465) and BRL200,000 ($465,000). Such an act is a misdemeanor in Brazil.
However, there’s currently a piece of legislation in the making that would legalize gambling. Since the black market still generates an estimated $8 billion in yearly revenue, naturally the government wants to tax and regulate the market, rather than spend money on fighting it. President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed his support for the bill.
Furthermore, as we wrote in our intro, poker thankfully isn’t regarded by the law as gambling. You can host poker tournaments in Brazil, as it’s recognized as a game of skill. However, for unclear reasons, cash games are not part of the skill game exemption and thus are still illegal to play.
Live Poker Venues in Brazil
The Latin American Poker Tour, which was formerly the North American Poker Tour, had stops in Brazil for years. They usually hosted their events in luxury hotels, such as the Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi in Sao Paulo, or the Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC Hotel in the same city.
LAPT was an international poker tournament series with around $1,500 Main Events. The first season was played in 2008. However, there hasn’t been a new season since 2018.
The other major poker festival Brazil has hosted is the partypoker MILLIONS South America. In 2019, it was held at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. The events had a combined BRL28,000,000 ($6.5 million) in guarantees. However, in 2020, the South American leg for the party MILLIONS moved to Uruguay.
The last WSOP Circuit Brazil, held in 2019, was hosted by Hotel Unique in Sao Paulo.
For consistent year-round poker action, you can look up the Rio Poker Club in Rio de Janeiro. They offer around 5 events per week on average, with most of the buy-ins being BRL100 ($23.25). It’s not specified on their website, thus we can only assume all of their tournaments are in No Limit Hold’em.
They also have super low stakes, just BRL10 ($2.30) buy-in events with a BRL1,500 ($232.60) guarantee. It is hard to find a live event with buy-in this low. However, re-buys cost BRL20 ($46.50) in this tourney.
At the Hijack Poker Club in Sao Paulo, you’ll find higher stakes and Omaha events as well. They have tournaments on their schedule with buy-ins as high as BRL500 ($116.30) or BRL750 ($174.45).
Please remember that only tournament poker is legal in Brazil, therefore none of the clubs have cash tables.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Brazil –
Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi
Sheraton Sao Paulo WTC Hotel
Copacabana Palace Hotel
Rio Poker Club
Hijack Poker Club
Online Poker Legislation in Brazil
Online gambling is essentially a free-for-all in Brazil. There is no licencing or regulating body, nor is there legislation prohibiting internet gambling specifically. Therefore the government doesn’t do anything to prevent their citizens from playing on online casinos and poker rooms.
So Brazilians can have their pick of any of the online poker rooms available out there. PokerStars, partypoker, Natural8, you name it – none of them restrict Brazilian players.
Therefore Brazil is actually one of the biggest online poker markets in the world. That is why if you log in to any online poker site, you’ll find tons and tons of players with Brazil listed as their location.