PokerStars announced today that Brazilian Player Andre Akkari is joining the elite Team PokerStars. Anyone who watched poker in Brazil has likely seen Akkari as a poker commentator for ESPN Brazil. Now, Akkari is in Las Vegas flying the flags of both his native Brazil and his home poker site, PokerStars.
Over the past several years, Akkari's aggressive poker play has turned him into a successful and well-recognized player in his home country and on the international tournament circuit. A native of Sao Paulo, Akkari was a marketing man for a software company until he turned himself over to his true love, poker. Starting off battling in freeroll tournaments, Akkari built sizable bankroll and a name for himself in the PokerStars community.
Akkari turned pro in 2006 at age 31 after spending 2005 at more final tables than he could count in Las Vegas and South America. From there, he couldn't stop winning live or online. Just last year he put up a fourth in the Sunday Million. In just two short years he has already participated in more than 43 tournaments in Latin America, Europe and the United States. He's won more than $600,000.
After watching Team PokerStars play on TV, Akkari dreamt of being one of them. "I didn't just want to play with them," he said. "I wanted to join them on Team PokerStars, and help bring this incredible sport to more people in Brazil and all over South America. After years of playing on PokerStars, I’m truly grateful to have that chance."
"Poker has been growing at an explosive rate in Brazil, as it has all over Latin America," said fellow Team PokerStars Member Humberto Brenes. "I believe that our society has begun to see poker differently--it's the stakes, the challenge, the strategy, and the mental game that Brazilians and all Latinos have come to love. Not only is Andre a great addition to the Team, but its great to have South America additionally represented on Team PokerStars."
Andre believes he was born a poker player. His screen name AAkkari gives him aces full of kings in the first five letters. His fellow Brazilians are a loyal lot of PokerStars players and the national pride is evident everywhere they go. In fact, any time Akkari or any of his friends make a final table on PokerStars, the rail is flooded with Brazilians who get in trouble for speaking in their native Portugusse. You'll often find them typing "Vamu!" Portuguese for "let's go!"). The cheers for Akkari are growing so popular that the Brazilians hope that one day "Vamu" will become standard poker speak in the PokerStars chat.
Akkari is more than just a poker player, though. His entire life is built around his wife and two daughters.
"They are the center of my life and definitely the reason why I work so hard to grow in my career and within the worldwide poker community," Akkari said.
You'll find Andre playing on PokerStars under the name, "AAkkari".
Welcome to Team PokerStars, Andre.