Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.
Joao Vieira is only 29 years old and missed the entirety of the poker boom, but that hasn’t stopped him from climbing to the top of Portugal’s all-time money list both live and online. The Madeira-native is one of the top five online tournament winners ever, with more than $13 million in cashes. He also has $3.4 million in live tournament earnings, and most recently won his first career World Series of Poker bracelet, pocketing $758,000 in the $5,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event.
But poker is only the second “sport” that Vieira has gone pro in. The Winamax Team Pro spent much of his teens and early twenties playing professional basketball in Portugal, and as a junior, he competed on the national team and even had two 50-point games before he got burned out and transitioned to poker.
Highlights from this interview include being bad at days off, growing up on an island, an early knack for basketball, turning pro at age 15, playing like he was 7 ft. tall, Iverson vs. Stockton, being a late starter online, how an injury led to better poker, going from $10 to $300 sit-n-go’s in a month, developing good habits, being top five all-time on the online money list, a goal to crush the super high rollers, using a live read to earn a WSOP bracelet, a nice swap with Super Dario, keeping kids alive at summer camp, living in his headphones, and what Europe thinks of American fast food.
You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Freddy Deeb, Joe Cada, Layne Flack, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.