At 22 years of age, Spanish poker pro Andoni Larrabe is the youngest player in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine. Larrabe, who now lives in London, sits fourth in chips at the final table with 22.5 million and is the first Spaniard since Carlos Mortensen in 2001 to make the Main Event final table.
Larrabe, who lists reading, martial arts, meditating, and hanging out with his friends as among his favorite hobbies, now travels the live circuit, but before that he played multi-table tournaments online under the screenname “pollopopeye.” It was under that name that he captured two Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles. The first was in 2012 SCOOP Event #8-H$1,050 No-Limit Hold’em, which earned him $229,212.80, and the other in the 2013 SCOOP Event #17-M $215 NLHE 6-Max Turbo Super KO for $65,926.79.
Prior to his deep run in the Main Event, for which he is guaranteed at least $730,725, Larrabe had $341,266 in live tournament earnings. That included $92,418 for an 11th-place finish in the 2012 European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo and $218,710 for a win in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
As far as the WSOP was concerned, before making the November Nine Larrabe had just $20,000 in WSOP cashes, all of which came in a one-week period during the 2013 WSOP. His first-ever WSOP cash came when he placed 284th in Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $1,894, which he followed up with a 46th-place finish in Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $14,333. A few days later, he placed 104th in Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $3,841.
"I feel pretty excited. It's a sensation between confusion, because I think I don't realize what I have just done, and excitement and happiness,” said Larrabe. “It's a lot of sensation all at the same time.”