This summer, Brazil's Felipe "Mojave" Ramos made a deep run in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. His run was made all the more special when football superstar Neymar Jr. stopped by to cheer on his friend. Ramos ultimately finished in 136th place for $46,890.
Things got even better for Ramos this week when PokerStars named him the newest ambassador for the world's largest online poker site. Mojave joins fellow Brazilians Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, and football superstars, Neymar Jr and Ronaldo Nazário, on the site's roster.
Officially titled a "Friend of PokerStars," Ramos, who has $932,498 in live tournament winnings – including a win in the 2013 Super High Roller Event in São Paulo for $100,000 — will play under the User ID "mojave." Ramos, who will represent the site throughout the BSOP, is also known for providing commentary alongside Akkari on Brazilian poker TV shows such as Somos Poker on Fox Sports and Poker Night on Band Sports.
He’s one of the very best. - Neymar Jr. on Ramos
"I’m very happy to see my friend Felipe join the team!" said Neymar Jr. "We’ve played lots of poker together and I’ve learned a lot from him. Now the world will get to see what I already know – he’s one of the very best."
Here's a look at Ramos' bio as listed on PokerStars:
"Before falling in love with poker, Felipe worked in the financial markets, having graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. It was a job he balanced with a parallel career as a musician, and while he has since swapped the world of high finance for that of the high roller, he remains a passionate musician, singer and guitarist.
"Felipe became fascinated with poker from the very first time he played it. The fact he walked away a winner from that first game may have helped, but it was the realisation that poker was a game of skill that got him really excited. On leaving his first live poker game, he went straight home to try online poker, and hasn’t looked back since...
"Felipe’s love for poker is all-consuming, and he hopes to inspire new players around the world to fall in love with the game just as he has. When he’s not playing live in tournaments across the globe, or online at PokerStars, he enjoys a day spent at the beach with his love, his dog and a good barbecue."
PokerStars and Prostate Cancer UK Join Forces to Launch "Lads Night In"
In other PokerStars news, the online site has joined forces with leading men’s health charity Prostate Cancer UK for a special charity event called Lads Night In, which will take place on September 25, 2015.
The event isn't a single tournament, but rather an effort to encourage men across the UK to "gather together in their own homes for bravado, banter and beers all in the name of charity."
The idea is then the home game prize pool, or at least a portion of it, will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK, which helps men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. Interested parities can sign up online at the Lads Night In website, and everyone who does will receive a special Lads Night In pack, which includes a deck of cards donated by PokerStars.
One man already signed up is Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, who will be hosting his own VIP Lads Night In home game in London. What's more, he's offering the chance for five players to win a seat into the game.
"Lads Night In is a really fun way to raise money and awareness for an amazing cause," said Cody. "If you want to be in with a chance to win a VIP Lads Night In experience in London, including travel and accommodation, sign up to Lads Night In then tweet using #JCLadsNightIn explaining who your dream opponent(s) is and why. I’ll then pick my favourite, based upon the most meaningful, witty or creative!”
Regarding the initiative, Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK said: "Prostate cancer kills one man every hour. We’re doing everything we can to change this, but it’s a numbers game and we urgently need more help if we are going to reduce the number of lives being cut short by this disease. That’s why we are calling on as many people as possible to get involved, raise funds over a friendly game of poker, and help beat this silent killer once and for all.
"We’re proud to be partnering with PokerStars. The ethos of our Men United campaign is all about reaching out to men on their own turf, to inspire action for men’s health, and with a predominantly male player base it’s a natural fit. With PokerStars’ backing, we can reach a huge pool of men to raise awareness about prostate cancer and motivate a whole new community."
Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving at PokerStars, echoed those sentiments: "One in eight men in the UK will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Poker is a male-dominated game and around one in five men have played poker in the UK. PokerStars is in constant contact with tens of thousands of men every day and this partnership will be invaluable in terms of spreading awareness and educating men about prostate cancer, raising money for Prostate Cancer UK and ultimately saving lives."
For more information click here.