Dozens of supporters filled the stands. Chants and cheers for every pot won or lost. A man in a Scooby Doo costume. Another draped in the Brazilian flag. Corona by the case.
That was the scene as the most raucous crowd of the summer filled the Amazon Room's main stage to spur on Brazilian Thiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima to victory in the 2015 World Series of Poker's Event #38: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Sunday.
"It makes a difference (in terms of) energy," Nishijima said. "Everybody fills you with confidence. It really helps you play the best you can. It's very special, they are really special."
This was Nishijima's third final table at the WSOP and his first bracelet victory, which also came with a $546,843 first-place prize and the delight of an explosive crowd that literally lost it when he beat Greece's Sotirios Koutoupas heads up to secure the win.
"I've waited for this moment for all my career," he said. "I've played the WSOP since 2007. This is a dream come true. I am a professional poker player since 2006 and this is the dream. Everyone wants to get it."
Just five players remained from a field of 989 when the event returned to play an added fourth day. Among those in the final five was 2012 November Niner Jesse Sylvia, who finished third and likely hadn't seen a poker crowd this lively since his Main Event final table appearance.
For more on Thiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima, check out the Online Chat interview he did with PokerNews a few years back.
Nishijima was certainly thankful for the droves of Brazilians that turned out to cheer him on throughout.
"I have to thank all the Brazilian support," he said. "There are a lot of people here. Thousands more supporting me in Brazil. Special thanks to my girlfriend, to God, my family and all these guys. They are really special."
Outside of the Main Event poker crowds are generally reserved, but apparently not when there is a Brazilian at the table.
"Brazil is growing up in poker, there are a lot of excellent players coming here and doing their best. We started later compared to here, but we have talent too. We know how to play this game and we are getting even better," added Nishijima.
"We are really friends. All those guys are really rooting for me. They didn't have a percent of my prize, but they are rooting for me. Other rails, if they don't have five or ten percent they are not here, but (the Brazilians) are."
Final Table Results
|1||Thiago Nishijima||Sao Paulo, Brazil||$546,843|
|3||Jesse Sylvia||Las Vegas, NV||$211,731|
|4||Samad Razavi||Brighton, UK||$153,682|
|5||Yun Fan||Taipei, Taiwan||$113,452|
|7||Alexander Keating||Saratoga, CA||$64,691|
|8||Duncan McCallum||Lexington, MA||$49,868|
|9||Steve Brecher||Reno, NV||$38,960|