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Felipe ‘Mojave’ Ramos has joined PokerStars.

His official title will be “Friend of PokerStars” and he will start wearing his PokerStars livery during the upcoming Brazilian Series of Poker Millions (BSOP), where he will play in the R$2,600 Main Event as well as the Neymar Jr Charity Home Game due to be streamed live on July 26 at 4pm (GMT-3).

I would hazard a guess that Ramos’s friendship with Neymar Jr is one of the reasons the locks tongue in the groove quite nicely with this one. The Barcelona star turned up at The Rio to offer his support to Ramos during his deep run in the $10,000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – he finished 136th for $46,890 in addition to his 10th place finish in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) 6-Handed event for $28,374.

Brazilian poker is like a mine. It’s waiting for someone to apply the right amount of pressure and when they do it will explode. PokerStars will be ready and waiting. They now have a strong unit with Ramos joining Andre Akkari, Neymar Jr and Ronaldo Nazario as brand ambassadors in their home country.

Ramos has won close to a million bucks in live tournaments, and who knows how much in live cash games and online action. His largest score remains $100,000 accrued when he topped a small field of 22-entrants to win a $10k No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) High Roller in Sao Paolo. He has earned over $133,000 so far this year.

Neymar Jr confirmed in the press release that the pair had played a lot of poker together before stressing: “now the world gets to see what I already know – he’s one of the very best.” Ramos is well known in his home country because he is one of the most frequent commentators on poker TV shows. He has starred on Somos Poker on Fox Sports and Poker Night on Band Sports.

While the term ‘Friend of PokerStars’ is not as prestigious as ‘Team Pro’ it still has the ability to ignite a fire in the belly of those branded with the insignia. The most famous former “Friend of PokerStars’ right now is the 72-year old Belgian Pierre Neuville.

The former Vice President of American toy giant Hasbro first came to prominence when he qualified online for 23 consecutive European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Events. It was towards the end of this run that PokerStars snapped him up and gave him the title ‘Friend of PokerStars.’

In 2015, Neuville won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Global Poker Index (GPI) European Poker Awards (EPT). Upon receiving his award Neuville told the crowd that the best was yet to come. On Nov 8, the wily Belgian will return to the Rio as the oldest ever member of the November Nine as he bids to win the top prize of $7.6m. It seems his prediction was accurate.

If that’s the circadian rhythm of a ‘Friend of PokerStars’ Ramos will want to join the club.

Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.