There have been plenty of rags to riches stories during the ongoing WPT World Online Championships thanks to our satellites and WPT ticket giveaways.
Daniel Smyth turned a $33 satellite into $428,391 by taking down the $3,200 WPT Knockout Championship. Earlier this week, four of the Mini Main Event finalists received their $1,050 buy-in for free via WPT Daily specials and won a combined $975,899 with another banking $472,866 from a $109 satellite.
There’s now the possibility that those incredible stories will be blown out of the water because Brazil’s Willyam Eduardo Silva has turned a $0.55 satellite into a $10,300 WPT Main Event seat and he’ll be playing for a share of a guaranteed $10 million on September 13.
Willyam, 37, is better known to his friends as Esmeril. By day he works in the automotive industry as a demand analyst but by night he’s a keen poker player who’s been grinding for the best part of 12-years.
“I’ve always had a love with playing cards, gambling, and poker. In 2008, I started watching poker on television and it was love at first sight. I met a great friend, Cunhado, and he invited me to a home so started playing with that crowd.”
Willyam Returns to the Online Poker World
The Brazilian began playing poker online, mostly sit & go tournaments, and he even managed to take down some micro-stakes multi-table tournaments, but Willyam’s life starting becoming busier and poker took a back seat. He made his return earlier this year.
“I got back playing more this year and set myself a goal to join a poker stable and improve my game. That’s when I went back to playing $0.25 and $0.50 sit & go games to add more volume to my game.”
Free Shot at WPT Glory Didn’t Go To plan
Willyam won a free $33 ticket from the Brazilian partypoker Twitch channel. His free shot at the big time didn’t go to plan so Willyam turned his attention to the $0.55 tournaments.
“One of them was a satellite paying out 20 tickets worth $11 each, which I won. The $11 satellite paid 20x $109 tickets and I won that too. As soon as I won the $109 ticket I sent a message to Marcos Sketch (partypoker’s Brazilian manager) on Instagram and asked if it was possible to change the ticket to a $109 WPT ticker since the $10,300 ladder was still too far away and hard to get to. I wanted to play maybe a $109 PKO, win some bounties and get some profit.”
Unfortunately, or should that be fortunately for Willyam, the swapping of tickets wasn’t possible so he rolled up his sleeves and jumped into a $109 satellite. He finished 10/67 and won a $1,050 ticket, the amazing run continued.
A Star-Studded Affair
The $1,050 final was a star-studded affair and Willyam recognised most of the field.
“I went to look at the field and found Yuri Dziviekevski, Pablo Brito Silva, Joao Simao, Pavel Plesuv and I had to stop looking; I’d never seen so many superstars together! But I was playing like it was a $0.55 tournament and remember thinking to myself that I had a chance when the last of the superstars (Brito Silva) busted out.”
Willyam was clinging on for dear life with a micro stack at one stage, but he kept his cool.
“I remember I was left with two big blinds but I was so relaxed that I was even sending funny chat messages like ‘as long as there’s bamboo there will be arrow!’ The chat line worked because I doubled up, managed to increase my stack and ended up winning a $10,300 ticket!”
He’ll be attempting to put that $10,300 ticket to good use on September 13 when Day 1B of the $10 million guaranteed Main Event shuffles up and deals. Willyam is preparing for the biggest tournament of his life by watching and reading everything he can about poker. He’s excited to play and plans to try enjoy the experience.
“I want to play my best without putting too much pressure on myself about the results. I would mean a lot to win, a win like that changes anyone’s life, but one thing I know is that I would definitely continue playing poker.”
Time Is Precious
Our satellite star was quite philosophical about grinding satellites, saying to remember the time you invest in poker is precious.
“Remember you are spending something extremely precious to play poker, which is your time. Don’t waste it.”
Before Willyam left us and got back to preparing for the WPTWOC Main Event, he told us he’d realised his goal of joining a poker stable and is now a member of Akkari Team. He also gave a few thanks to those who have stood by him over the years.
“I would first like to thank God, and my family and friends who have always supported me.”
We’ll be looking out for Willyam in this weekend’s Main Event Day 1B. You could be playing alongside him if you hit our WPT satellites, WPTWOC SPINS, or enter our WPT Daily Specials. Willyam succeeded, why can’t you?
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