WSOP Event #50: Barbero makes it two Team Pros on final table

wsop2009_thn.gifJose Barbero, the Team PokerStars Argentina Pro, came to the World Series with high expectations. He knows he plays well. He even knows how to make big money at the World Series. He just couldn't do it this year.

"I played 16 events and I didn't cash once. I was feeling really, really bad," he said.

That all changed last night when he won the first round of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout. It changed in an even bigger way when he won the second round moments ago.

It's quite a change from the last four weeks when Barbero says he took a series of wicked beats on the bubble more times than he could count.

"I didn't win one coin flip," he said. "What can you do? I know how poker goes. It's just variance. I think I was playing good."

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Today, however, Barbero was in a zone. From the very beginning of play, he either had the chip lead or was close to it. It took nearly ten hours, but he finally eliminated his final opponent. Barbero turned to a friend, threw up a high five, and said, "First final table, baby!"

That is, it's his first WSOP final table. He is fresh off making a final table of an LAPT event in his home country just a couple of months ago.

Barbero cashed in last year's World Series Main Event for $64,000. This year, he had nothing but tournament buy-in receipts to line his pockets. Now he has a shot at $175,000.

"It feels really good," he said. "I was really frustrated."

Better yet, Barbero has a chance at a gold WSOP bracelet, something he has been thinking about for a very long time.

"It's my dream," he said.

Barbero will join Team PokerStars Holland Pro Josephus Van Den Bijgaart at the eight-handed final tomorrow at 2pm local time.

Good luck, guys.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker