Jose Ignacio “Nacho” Barbero was a top-ranked, world-traveling card player long before he ever found poker. The Argentinian discovered the game Magic: The Gathering as a teen, and he was soon leading the national team in global competitions.
After six years as a Magic pro, Barbero made the switch to poker. He broke out in 2010, scoring two of his three Latin American Poker Tour victories along with a win in the EPT London high roller for nearly $900,000. In the years since, he has continued to put up consistent results, while also competing in some of the biggest cash games around.
The last year has been particuarly profitable for Barbero on the felt. In the summer, he won his first gold WSOP bracelet and $587,000. Then in February, he finished fourth at the PokerStars Players Championship for a career-best $1.55 million. After a win and a runner-up showing at the Triton Vietnam series for $1.06 million, and a win in the PokerGO PLO series, Barbero now sits in first place in the 2023 Card Player Player of the Year race.
Highlights from this interview include soccer distractions, the collapse of the Argentinian economy, getting saved by Magic, living in France, having his own sports card, losing big his first online session, winning his first live tournament, getting a poker sponsorship, live reads, a crypto disaster, the comeback begins, a huge final table mistake, catching a very important flight, winning a $500,000 pot from a billionaire, teaching Pokemon, and losing a bitcoin at the UFC.
Highlights from this interview include living in London, nationally-ranked in chess, squash scholarships, penny-stakes poker with dad, puzzle pirates, winning back his college tuition, the ‘glory days of poker’ back in 2016, clearing make up for a deceased backer, winning live in front of mom and dad, getting through big fields, not being a dick swinger, never having a job, getting scolded for betting $1,000 on black, crushing tiger hidden dragon, self-driving cars, and why he won’t ‘update’ his stack until the break.
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