Poker alongside martial arts as the fastest growing sports for Brazilian players

Opdateret: 20. maj 2020

One involves strategic thinking, skill and the game of probabilities in which it is necessary to analyze the opponent surgically before making the best decision. The other is a contact sport, manly in which athletes need to excel in physics and technique to compete at a high level. Poker and martial arts are sports with completely different natures, but that captivate the Brazilian in a unique way. Both are known to be the fastest growing sports in Brazil and the number of fans increases significantly with each passing year.


Unlike most sports, poker has two possibilities to be practiced: online and live. Through the internet, it is possible to compete in a casual or professional way and generally those who play online have a high pace of tournaments per day. As for the live tournaments, they are held in a more select way and the events usually last for hours. Online poker has grown exponentially and consistently in recent years and reflects the strength of this sport on the national scene. In the Northeast, there are several competitors who play professionally, such as Rogério Siqueira (Alagoas), Alen Fillipi (Alagoas), Ariel Celestino (Bahia) and Bruno Foster (Ceará) being the greatest example

Over the past 20 years, poker has gone from anonymity to a sport played by many. Before the popularization of the internet, the game was restricted to a small group of practitioners. With the massive globalization through online, the number of fans has exploded and, according to data from the Brazilian Confederation of Texas Hold'em (CBTH), there are approximately 10 million players in the country. The high number of players adept at poker reflects the excellent reputation that Brazil has internationally in the cards. This year alone, two players from the country won a world title at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) - a circuit held in Las Vegas that brings together the main players on the planet. In 11 years, Brazil has won six stages of the WSOP and has achieved many other impressive achievements. In order to have an idea of ​​the income growth in the "Poker World Cup", the WSOP was created in 1970 and until 2008 the country had no champion of the event. In online poker, Brazil ranks among the top five countries on the planet in terms of the quality of the main players. The country is alongside the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Sweden in the sport's elite.

Part of what makes poker so practiced across the country is the fact that the game is very democratic and has fans in all regions. This is driven by the promotion of student championships, which are generally disputed in affiliation with the Brazilian Confederation of Texas Hold'em. In addition, the main circuits in Brazil are highly regarded. The Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP), for example, is recognized as the largest circuit in Latin America and the most relevant in the Southern Hemisphere. The Kings Series of Poker (KSOP) has grown considerably in recent years, while the Northeast Poker Series ( NPS) also continues to increase in number of fans.

martial arts

Brazil is also the country of struggle and the history of champions and innovations in this sport shows this. Recently, a report by Vigitel's Surveillance of Risk and Protection Factors for Chronic Diseases concluded that, between 2006 and 2017, the number of martial arts practitioners increased by 109%. Another survey, this time conducted by Deloitte, disclosed that martial arts are among the fastest growing sports in Brazil. With an increase in the number of practitioners exceeding 3% per year, the fights continue to gain ground. Modalities such as capoeira, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing and several others fall into the martial arts category. In addition, obviously, this sport gave rise to mixed martial arts - which has the UFC as a major propagator of the sport. Martial arts and fights in general are also gaining a lot of space in the fight and are among the six most televised sports in the country. This trend is only expected to grow for years to come. It is worth mentioning that capoeira is already among the six most practiced sports in Brazil with approximately 6 million fans - behind only futsal, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and football, respectively. Unlike poker, which is not yet an Olympic sport, fights have long been on the list of sports of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For the 2020 Olympics, for example, modalities such as boxing, taekwondo, judo, wrestling and Greco-Roman will be disputed. As in the Olympics it is necessary to have female delegation for all sports, the presence of these fights in the Games helps to increase the incentive of these modalities for women who want to practice fights.

Other sports that are growing

In addition to poker and martial arts, there are other emerging modalities that deserve recognition. One of them is rugby. In the same survey by Deloitte that found the growth of martial arts, it was concluded that rugby is one of the three fastest growing sports in the country. With a number of fans that keep growing with each passing year, rugby has won over practitioners from north to south of the country. Another modality that has stood out is American football, which has been gaining very professional concepts in recent times. Baseball is also another sport that has had a good number of fans, with the right to some Brazilian players who play professionally in Major League Baseball - a league that is considered the most important and traditional of this sport. In this decade alone, we already had two Brazilian champions: Paulo Orlando for the Kansas City Royals in 2015 and Yan Gomes this year for the Washington Nationals.

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