2022 888poker XL Winter Series

Five of the Best Spanish Poker Players

Adrian Mateos, Carlos Mortensen, Sergio Aido, David Lopez, Javier Zarco

The 2018 Fiesta Nacional de Espana, the national day of Spain, was on Oct. 12 so what better time to take a look at some of the best Spanish poker players, we thought.

Spain has produced some excellent poker players over the years, but the elite online players had to leave their native country in order to continue their careers due to the laws and regulations surrounding the online game in Spain.

Regardless of where they call home these days, here are five of the very best poker players who have Spanish blood.


Adrian Mateos

Adrian Mateos needs no formal introduction because his immense ability is already renowned around the world. Born in Madrid in 1994, Mateos is still only 24-years-young yet has managed to accumulate more than $15.8 million in live poker tournament winnings and millions more from his online exploits. The amount of his online winnings cannot be determined as he has opted out of online poker tracking.

Mateos’ first recorded cash on his Hendon Mob profile was an outright victory in a €550 buy-in event in Madrid in October 2012 that netted him €32,699. Almost exactly three months later, Mateos banked his first six-figure score when he took down a €1,100 Estrellas Main Event, again in Madrid.

A steady string of deep runs continued until Mateos hit the proverbial jackpot in October 2013 when he finished first in the €10,450 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event to claim his first WSOP bracelet and a massive €1 million first-place prize.

Two years later, Mateos triumphed in the €10,600 EPT Main Event in Monte Carlo for €1,082,000 and a year after that, at the 2016 WSOP, Mateos won his second bracelet in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event before adding a third bracelet to his wrist in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship.

Throw into the mix more than 20 scores over $200,000 and you can see why Mateos is regarded as one of the best poker players on the planet, not just in Spain.

Adrian Mateos
Adrian Mateos

Carlos Mortensen

Before Mateos stole the spotlight, Spain’s number one poker player was Carlos Mortensen. Known as “El Matador”, Mortensen has won two WSOP bracelets, three World Poker Tour titles and is second on Spain’s all-time money listings tracked by Hendon Mob, thanks to winning a total of $12,107,757 from live poker tournaments.

The 46-year-old moved from Spain to the United States in the late 1990s to concentrate on his poker career. In 2001, his decision to emigrate was vindicated when he won the WSOP Main Event, outlasting a field of a then-record 613 opponents.

His fantastic poker record aside, Mortensen is also well-known for building extravagant structures when he amasses a lot of chips, which is quite a common occurrence due this his love of a loose-aggressive style of play.

Carlos Mortensen
Carlos Mortensen

Sergio Aido

Third on Spain’s all-time money listings for live poker tournaments is Sergio Aido with just shy of $8.3 million in live winnings and an additional $4 million from the online poker world.

Aido burst onto the live scene in October 2012 when he won a €1,650 WPT National event in Barcelona for €80,000 and followed that up with a win in the £770 UKIPT London Main Event for £144,555 five months later.

Dozens of five-figure scores followed until Aido finished 14th in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the 2016 WSOP for $256,537, his first six-figure score. In November of the same year, Aido banked almost $850,000 by finishing third in a Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event before finally getting his hands on his first seven-figure score in February 2017 when he was the runner-up in another Triton Poker event.

Aido has since enjoyed six scores of over $250,000 including a recent $827,106 addition to his bankroll by finishing sixth in yet another Triton Poker Super High Roller.

In the online world, Aido, known as “zcedrick” at PokerStars, has won $4 million, helped by five six-figure scores. His biggest haul weighed in at $313,200, his reward for a fifth-place finish in the 2013 SCOOP Main Event.

Sergio Aido
Sergio Aido

David Lopez

David Lopez is one of the many Spanish poker refugees who headed to the United Kingdom to continue their online careers. It has so far paid off with Lopez, known as “davaman” at PokerStars and “Sr.Penes” at partypoker and 888poker, as his winnings total a shade under $2.1 million.

Lopez’s largest online cash stands at $55,408, which is surprising considering his massive winnings total. Lopez picked up this reward by winning a $1,050 Sunday Grand at PokerStars in 2016. Lopez broke the record for becoming the fastest Supernova Elite player two years prior to this big win.

Although he may not play as many live poker tournaments as some of his peers, Lopez is on course to hit $1 million in winnings in the near future. The Valencia native needs another $30,000 in cashes to break through the $1 million barrier, with his largest live cash being €475,000 which he earned for finishing second in the 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event that Kevin MacPhee won.

David Lopez Llacer
David Lopez

Javier Zarco

Javier Zarco is another of Spain’s top players and another who now resides in London. His $592,866 in online poker tournament winnings only tell part of the story because Zarco has only listed his PokerStars alias, “minusth3bear”, in his PocketFives profile and it's quite possible he also plays on other sites.

A big chunk, $233,909 of those online winnings, came in May 2018 when he won the PokerStars SCOOP-04-H: $2,100 NLHE, $1,000,000 Gtd coming out on top of a star-studded final table that was the home to the likes of Calvin “cal42688” Anderson, Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis and Zarco’s fellow countryman Sergio Aido.

Zarco also has more than $2.1 million in live tournament winnings with almost $1.35 million stemming from two huge results in Las Vegas. A second-place finish in the 2015 Millionaire Maker at the WSOP netted Zarco a career-best $791,690 while his victory in a $3,500 buy-in event at the 2017 Deepstack Extravaganza saw Zarco win $557,804.

Javier Zarco
Javier Zarco
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