Although poker in Mexico’s casinos is legal in certain areas, it is only in the last few years that the card game has become more popular among its residents and now we are beginning to see more Mexican poker players winning major tournaments around the world, on a daily basis. Take for example two of Mexico’s most successful players – Victor Perches, winner of a WSOP Bracelet in 2006, and Mexico’s most recent WSOP Bracelet winner, Angel Guillen, who took home the prize back in 2009.
Perches, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, arrived to the United States almost 30 years ago and shortly thereafter began a successful poker career. With plans of working in a food processing plant in Oregon, Perches moved to Las Vegas shortly thereafter. Even though it wasn’t in his original plans, Perches eventually worked his way up to the 2006 World Series of Poker and won the first WSOP Bracelet in Mexico’s history. At the age of 57 years-old, Victoriano Perches cashed in a cool $157,338 and the title of being the first Mexican poker player to win a coveted WSOP Bracelet in the tournament’s history.
Angel “Boloban” Guillen is relatively new to the professional poker scene, but in his short career has already seen his fair share of big wins. It was at the LAPT in Punta del Este where he cashed in for a huge $99,920 prize and took third place in this prestigious poker tournament. Following up that big win, in 2009 the Mexico City native entered the World Series of Poker $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event and took second place for a very impressive $312,800 cash prize. Many would have called it a day after a win like that, but Angel followed it up only 10 days later with a first place win in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em Event and cashed in a massive prize of $530,548! With this win, Guillen became only the second poker player from Mexico to win a World Series of Poker Bracelet.
Although professional poker players in Mexico are few and far between, players such as these show promise that one day this highly-populated country will become a driving force in online and live poker tournaments around the world. “Like Chris Moneymaker did for you (in the U.S.), I want to do the same thing in my country. Hopefully, I can.” said Guillen regarding his future poker career.