He was just 22 years old when he came to EPT Deauville in January 2015 to notch finish fourth in the France Poker Series Main Event. He capped the festival off with a fifth place in the €10k High Roller, and one thing became clear; Ivan Luca put his name on the European radar.
There was no doubt the Argentinian was just getting warmed up. Luca soon established himself among the world's elite. With a strong online background, known as "Negriin" online at PokerStars, Luca started crushing one live event after another.
He returned to the EPT €10k High Roller at the very next stop in, leaving Malta with €397,000 for a runner-up finish. Luca could've claimed an even larger prize, but he didn't come to terms on a deal with his heads-up opponent, eventual champion David Peters. If you don't want to close a deal with Peters, you've got to be something.
And Luca was simply well aware of his abilities. It didn't take him long to overtake the first place on the Argentinian all-time money list. Now he's in full command with over $5.3 million in earnings, well ahead of the nearest challengers from his home country.
Luca is arguably the hottest Latin American poker export of the past decade. He regularly rubs elbows with the absolute top class in the highest buy-in events around the world, and he's been doing just fine competing at such level.
Luca's career-best payday came two years ago here in The Bahamas. He topped the single-day $50k Event for $494,080. His résumé boasts 17 six-figure results and he's guaranteed to add another one here from the Super High Roller. The 26-year-old's showcase includes a WSOP bracelet as well as Eureka Poker Tour Main Event title. To claim his Eureka glory, Luca had to defeat his girlfriend Maria Lampropulos heads-up.