Portugal Poker Adventure Launched to Great Acclaim

‘It is better to travel hopefully than arrive’

The Buddha probably wasn’t thinking about poker players when he coined this proverb and he probably was trying to make a point about life’s journey but it could easily refer to all the hopefuls arriving last week in Portugal.

After months of anticipation, hordes of international players descended on the small resort of Troia just south of Lisbon to indulge in the inaugural Portugal Poker Adventure. As the event was promoted and staged by the ever-growing Irish Poker Tour, the majority of travellers were from Ireland and the UK but the flags of Spain, Iceland, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel, France and many others were all ably represented, if the list of prizewinners is anything to go by.

Troia is a truly beautiful place with endless sunny beaches cooled by Atlantic breezes but it was in the elegant Troia Casino that the action really hotted up. The first major event was the Irish Poker Tour Mystery Bounty where the €40,000 guarantee was passed on level 2 and the eventual payout was over €80k. Local star, Alfredo Silva Costa Santos beat Ireland’s Mark Marriott in the heads up to lift the trophy but the the biggest winner was England’s Oliver Braddock who plucked BOTH the €7k Mystery Jackpots in consecutive hands on the Final Table.

Meanwhile, the Portugal Adventure Main Event was also cooking up a storm with 480 entrants building a prize pool of €287,280 in total. After a long struggle, a final table emerged with four Portuguese, three Irishmen, one Greek and a Dutchman. If that sounds like a prelude to a joke it isn’t; this was serious business with big money at stake. Eventually, home favourite Andre Emerenciono (€58k) beat Niek Minten (€39k) from the Netherlands with Pedro Adalberto Veiga, also from Portugal taking third place honours and €21k.

Most travelling poker players hope to make money but are satisfied with a great trip. Everybody that headed to the sun in Portugal had a great time and some made some money. Every tournament was busy all week with all guarantees easily overtaken but the overriding feeling at the end of the week was that something beautiful had been born and that Portugal is more than ready to take its place amongst the top poker destinations of Europe. This Portugal Adventure is here to stay.

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