New PokerStars ambassador is an ACR $5M THE VENOM champion
PokerStars continues to strengthen its roster of brand ambassadors from South America with the addition of Brazil’s Rafael Moraes to its Team PokerStars lineup. Moraes, who joins fellow Brazilian pro Yuri Dzivielevski as a Stars-patched player, continues to add to his poker accolades with the deal.
Sao Paulo native Moraes has been grinding away at the game for a dozen years, with his success steadily building over that period. He’s played on several sites during his career, though he’s always considered PokerStars his home. “It was the site where I got to know poker, “ he stated, for a PokerStars Blog feature announcing his signing. “It was where I made my first cash, my first final table, my first title.“
The Stars deal also strengthens his ties not only to PokerStars itself, but to his fellow Stars-branded Team players. Besides Dzivielevski, the Team PokerStars lineup includes Andre Akkari, one of the longest-tenured Team PokerStars players. Moraes and Akkari have been good friends for some time. And through that relationship, Moraes has also gotten to know PokerStars’ celebrity Brazilian ambassador, footballer Neymar Jr.
“In the last year we were playing poker online, talking, exchanging ideas… I would give him some tips, he would ask about hands, and the friendship became very close,” said Moraes about Neymar. “He’s tough in the game. If we’re considering celebrities that play poker, he’s the best by far.”
Moraes has logged over $7 million in online tourney winnings
Moraes has already notched some impressive live poker scores, and he’ll have a chance to add more under his PokerStars deal. His $1.627 million in live earnings, however, is only a small portion of his overall professional record.
Most of Moraes’ success over the course of his career has come online. According to PocketFives, Moraes has “officially” topped the $6 million mark in online earnings. A great deal of that success has come on PokerStars, where he’s played as “GM_VALTER” for many years.
As his Stars Blog write-up noted, those big scores included a SCOOP event win in 2017. Moraes has also logged two WCOOP second-place showings, plus victories in PokerStars’ Sunday 500 and Super Tuesday tourneys.
Largest lifetime cash came in ACR’s $5M VENOM
However, PocketFives’ listings of Moraes’ online accounts are incomplete. While it shows Moraes winning just under $5 million on PokerStars (including that $300,000 SCOOP triumph) and more than $6 million overall online, it misses his largest single cash, live or online.
Moraes won the very first “Venom” tournament on ACR, which ran in July 2019. Moraes pocketed over $1.05 million in that event, which coincidentally set a Guinness record for being the largest-ever tourney to pay out its winners in Bitcoin. “Me paga!!!!!” he wrote. “Pay me!!!!!”
That win alone pushes Moraes’ known online winnings well over $7 million, and it could be significantly higher. Regardless, Moraes’ career accomplishments warrant his addition to the PokerStars team.
Featured image source: PokerStars Blog