I$$almazo discusses Women's Sunday 3rd Anniversary win


Ingridis de Oliveira Silva of Brazil won the Women's Sunday 3rd Anniversary tournament - the largest Women's Sunday in its history - and couldn't have been more excited. She called it "an honor."

It was quite the feat. There were 709 players in action in the March 30 birthday event, and the prize pool soared past the $30K guarantee all the way to $35,450.

The final table alone was extremely tough, but Ingrid, playing as "I$$almazo," emerged victorious after a heads-up chop with Isidora CdLL and took home $5,437.61.

The 23-year-old Brazilian hails from Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul but now lives in Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul. She went to college for engineering but left before graduation after the birth of her daughter.

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Married and taking care of a family, Ingrid learned to play poker from her husband. She wasn't an immediate fan of the game but eventually fell in love with it. In addition to enjoying home games, she also plays often on PokerStars, with MTTs being her favorite. Her game improved with some studying - two to three times a week when time permitted - with reviewing hand histories, watching PokerStars final tables, and reading online forums.

The Women's Sunday isn't usually on Ingridis' schedule because of family obligations, but she decided the 3rd Anniversary event was too big to miss.

"I was calm and confident in my game," she told us about the final table. "I realized that two or three of the opponents had previous experience and other final tables, so I tried to balance between not risking speculative hands and pressing in favorable positions."

When she made it to heads-up, I$$almazo had only a slight lead over Isidora CdLL. "She could do anything with any two cards at that moment," Ingridis recalled. The chop of the prize money gave her more confidence, and she went for the title, which she really wanted.

And she won it.

"I was thinking about my nick as the next star who had won the special edition of the tournament! I felt like a poker pro," she laughed. "Next year, I'll be there again. My dream, when my daughter grows more, is to get in action at a PokerStars live event like PCA or LAPT, and also participate in the ladies-only tournaments and meet other women in the game."

What will she and her family do with the money she won in the Women's Sunday?

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It will go toward renovating, furnishing, and moving into a new house of their own. "It is the priority at this moment."

Ingrid hopes that her victory will lead to bigger things, mostly due to her desire to inspire more women to play poker. "We are warriors," she said. "Taking care of the family and being successful is in our nature. Poker is booming in Brazil, and I realize that the female audience has huge potential." She loves the atmosphere and the game in general, and she already has friends telling her they want to learn more about poker.

She is more than inspired to teach them, "Especially after this victory, which was worth more than the prize money."

We look forward to watching for big things from Ingrid. The Brazilian players on PokerStars are a cohesive and supportive group, so she undoubtedly has an entire country on her side.

Vamo, Ingrid, vamo!

Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Women's Sunday