Adan “verdao134” Aliaga was simply doing what he loves when he found himself running deep in the $55 PKO SCOOP 11-M event. So, he settled down, wrote a note to self, and went to work accumulating chips.
We caught up with the Brazilian player to find out more about his SCOOP win.
“The first day was a normal day. I had a lot of tables, and doing what I love to do: playing poker!”, says Aliaga. “During Day 2, I reduced the number of tables and started being more focused on this one. The structure was pretty good, giving me a comfortable amount of time.”
The defining moment came when Aliaga won a big coin flip on the final table. “That was the first time that I put it all at risk during Day 2. After that hand, I had a big stack and was confident to give my best.”
Aside from playing his usual game, Aliaga had a trick up his sleeve to help him deal with the pressure of the event. “Something that I did different was write a message to myself to not be afraid. I put this message in a notepad and looked at it when I was not comfortable.”
The message: “Be patient and confident”.
Wise words, and they seemed to do wonders for Adan Aliaga, who soon found himself at the final table. Aliaga knocked out second place “markan991” and claimed the final bounty, earning a total of $26,843 along with his first SCOOP title.
It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Aliaga, especially when it came to stepping up to the higher stakes.
“I used to play micro stakes for a long time, and was always afraid to play big tournaments. This somehow put the brakes on my evolution as a player. Last year I started to play higher stakes, but it was one of my worst years in terms of earnings”, says Aliaga.
“I learned a lot from that. I studied harder, more than I played sometimes. This year I started to see poker in a new way, more comfortable to play and less afraid to make mistakes, because they are what make us learn. The road is hard, we know that, but we love this game,” says Aliaga.
Aliaga’s poker journey, which started back in 2009, has now paid off with a significant win, so for the first year ever Aliaga can say that he can live off poker.
For now, nothing much changes, aside from a renewed confidence that the SCOOP win has given him. But Aliaga would someday like to live playing poker around the world, and this win brings him one step closer.
When it comes to long term ambitions, Aliaga has big dreams to help others. “My big ambitions with poker is to help other people and animals that are in difficulties. This may seem cliché, but is something that I care about. A player who is one of my idols and does this is Barry Greenstein (the Robin Hood of poker).”
“To finish I’d like to thanks a lot every body that believed me, especially my wife, my parents and my friends who study with me. They are all very important in this journey, that for me is just in the beginning. GL!”
Congratulations Adan “verdao134” Aliaga for your win in SCOOP 11-M. We hope it’s the first of many!