WSOP Event #32: Mexico's Moneymaker

wsop2009_thn.gifNearly every country has its own revolutionary hero. Anymore, nearly every country has its own poker revolutionary, someone who has changed the face of the game so dramatically that the country's players will never forget him.

Angel Guillen may just be that man in Mexico.

Late last night, after a marathon six-hour heads up battle against Mika Paasonen, Guillen became only the second Mexican national to ever win a World Series bracelet.


Angel Guillen with bracelet - and Mexican passport!

The 26-year old member of Team PokerStars Mexico is on the heater of his young career. Less than two weeks ago, Guillen came within one spot of winning a braclet. His second place finish in the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em event put $312,000 in his pocket.

Not happy with just the cash, Guillen refused to give in last night. Now, with a bracelet, Guillen is thinking of his fellow Team PokerStars player Chris Moneymaker and what the man did for United States poker.

"I want to do the same thing in my country," Guillen said. "Hopefully, I can."


Angel Guillen receives his bracelet from WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack

The revolution will not come as easy for Guillen, no matter how many bracelets he wins.

"The problem in Mexico is that poker is not legal," he said. So, the growth of poker in our country has been very slow. We are trying to develop that now. We want to make a boom in Mexico."

If there's a man who can do it, it's Guillen. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Guillen is just a few credits short of a degree in economics. Right now, he's blowing away any invesment ROI he could ever achieve in the business world. In the span of just a few weeks, he's turned a $40,000 tourney bankroll into more than $800,000.

More than anything, though, Guillen has achieved in just a few short weeks what some people work a lifetime and never get. He has a gold WSOP bracelet around his wrist.

"Latin Americans, in general, are very passionate people. We love to win," he said. "We have a different type of life. We get an energy boost when we win. It's like all your hopes and dreams come together."

For more on Guillen's victory, read last night's report here.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker