PCA 2015: Ronaldo... fenomeno
He's won two World Cups. He's held a variety of records for goals scored. Versus international competition he's collected trophies made of gold, silver, and bronze. He's represented the absolute pinnacle of individual and team achievement in his sport.
Referred to colloquially as fenomeno -- "the phenomenon" -- he remains high on all lists of footballers' best. Known on a first-name basis in his native Brazil and beyond, he's Ronaldo.
Today Ronaldo added another achievement to that long list of accolades -- a cash in a poker tournament, his first.
After surviving the bubble's bursting, Ronaldo continued to nurse a below average stack for the rest of the day as the field shrunk down to 60 players. A couple of all-ins went uncalled, and after chipping up the legendary striker had edged back to over 240,000.
The clock ticked down on Day 3. He was supposed to be in Switzerland for a FIFA event, an appearance Ronaldo had to reschedule. His departure flight from the Bahamas has been rescheduled as well -- three times.
He's still playing. It's starting to seem, well... phenomenal.
Ronaldo more than most knows when you compete at anything, you should intend to win. But getting this deep hadn't necessarily been part of a more realistic expectation for how his PCA Main Event would go.
Then with mere minutes to go in the day, Ronaldo opened, and it folded around to Adam Reynolds who reraise-shoved from the blinds. The action back on Ronaldo, he grinned a wide grin and dropped his head, as though he'd been caught offside. But soon he looked up and with eyebrows raised said "I call."
The cameras swarmed, Reynolds showed A♦K♥, and Ronaldo earned a chuckle by asking "Wait for television?" before tabling his 8♣8♥.
The flop missed Reynolds's goal of hitting one of his overcards. So, too, did the turn land wide. And the river as well.
Ronaldo is still playing. With more than half a million chips, he's above the average. A winner, looking to win more.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.