Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) is the most significant poker series in the southern hemisphere. Sponsored by PokerStars, BSOP has been going strong for 17 years, although Rio de Janeiro has been notably missing from the list of host cities for the past decade.
This year, the series finally returned to Rio as poker advocates in the state got a court decision that again made it legal to organize live poker tournaments. It was a lengthy legal battle but the one that ended favorably for all fans of the game in Brazil.
The BSOP Rio de Janeiro stop took place June 1 – 7, featuring a total of 23 events and $1.3 million in guaranteed prizes. Organizers expected a big turnout, and they were indeed not disappointed by the final results.
The R$ 3000 ($615) Main Event saw 1,158 entries, which was enough to shatter the R$ 3,000,000 guarantee. When the dust settled, Francisco Benitez was the last man standing, taking home R$ 517,500 for his efforts.
An interesting detail about this victory (in addition to the big payday) is that there was no heads-up play. Benitez was the chip leader three-handed and got mixed up in a three-way all-in with Ace-Ten. He was up against pocket kings and pocket sevens. The suspense lasted until the final card, but the deuce on the river sealed the deal, giving Benitez a wheel to eliminate both of his opponents in one clean swoop.