Interview With Renato Nomura

When it comes to Brazilian online poker successes, there are plenty to choose from, and Renato Nomura is always close to the top of the list – the Team partypoker pro swapping dreams of a football career for a life of poker!

By: Andrew Burnett

HighStakesDB caught up with the very likeable young pro to pick his brains on what life is like for an online player in Brazil, what his favourite partypoker series is, and why he finds chip-stacks hard to count!

Q: When did you first realise you could make a good living through poker?

Actually, I used to work for my family business, but I hated it so much. I always liked to play poker as a hobby. Then one day I decided to try to turn this lovely job into my job, and now I’m really glad I made this decision.

Q: What does the partypoker sponsorship offer you? Security? Access to events? What’s the biggest factor?

First of all, gives me a lot of visibility and security. It also gives me opportunities to play a lot of events that it would otherwise be impossible for me to play, as I have been a professional poker player for only 3 years.

Q: I read somewhere that you dreamed of becoming a professional footballer – what happened and do you still play?

Hahaha. Yes, like almost every child in Brazil, haha! But I was never good enough, so did not even get close to it. When I started to play poker, I quit playing football because the poker routine (grinding, studying, travel) takes up so much time.

Q: Very few Brazilian poker pros seem to ‘relocate’ to other countries – do you think there is a reason/s for that?

I’m not sure. But I believe those that do look for a better place to live, because in Brazil especially because of government corruption, a lot of cities don’t have a high quality of life.

However, I don’t have this kind of problem, because my city, Florianopolis is amazing and really safe. So maybe there are a lot of poker players living in Florianapolis 😉

Q: Florianopolis may not be so well-known to those outside Brazil – how is it for living?

It’s very nice! I love living here. It’s a beautiful island in the south of Brazil, so we have 43 beaches around the city. The people are lovely, great weather and so much stuff going on, especially in the summer! I love living here, and don’t want to ever move, haha.

Q: OK, so partypoker make you ‘boss for a day’ – what do you do/change/introduce?

First of all, I am really proud of what partypoker has been doing recently – listening to players, helping the community and making some great changes. If I was the boss for a day, I think I would keep making the changes to make poker fun and fair again.

I love the recent changes on partypoker. I think this will bring more and more recreational players to the game and consequently more people will become professional poker players, making our profession stronger.

Q: How close are you to the other Brazilian pros? Is there a ‘community’ feel to poker in your country?

Yes, the Brazilian community is really strong and united, and I think this is amazing. My best friend is João Simão. He helped me so much at the beginning of my career and he is an inspiration for me.

Q: What is your proudest achievement in the game? What would top that?

Talking about results, I won a BSOP Main Event, and I’m really proud that in just 3 years I have had a lot of good results online and started to build a solid career. Outside of results though I am really proud of coaching at the Massari Poker School and I love to do it.

Q: Do your brothers still play poker?

Yes, they still do, but only for fun.

Q: The KO Series finished recently Your name popped up in the money several times – how did it go for you overall?

Yep, it was a great series. I ended up winning a $320 buy-in event for a little bit more than U$30k, so yes, it was great! Monster Series followed this and I had another win for over $9k so I have been running good online recently and I hope it continues!

Q: What adjustments should a player make for PKO tournaments?

I think the most important one is to avoid playing against bigger stacks. You always have to remember that half of the buy in is on the bounties, so when you play against a bigger stack you are not getting this part of the prize pool.

Q: Which of partypoker’s big online MTT series’ do you most look forward to?

POWERFEST, for sure. Unfortunately, I haven’t won a POWERFEST event yet. The last edition, I made 3 final tables, but unfortunately I did not win one. I am already looking forward to the next one in a few weeks to change this story!

Q: Design your perfect online MTT – what does it look like?

In my opinion, the changes partypoker have made to the structures were great. Less big blinds in the beginning, and slower blinds structure during the tournament. But I really like the MIX MAX structure too.

Q: Which tournaments are ‘must play’ on your schedule just now?

For sure the $320 Gladiator online, and the CPP at the Bahamas in November!

Q: Tell me something interesting about yourself that nobody would ever guess?

I’m colour blind! Hahah. Yes, every time I am playing live I find it difficult to see other players stacks!

You can keep up-to-date with Renato’s latest news on his Team partypoker pro blog here as well as his Twitter feed here.


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