February 06, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic decimated live tournament poker in 2020. There were several events in January and February before things shut down in March, and from August onward there were a spattering of events to be had in states that would allow it. Through the limited schedule, a handful of players managed to strike it big including Florida’s Ricardo Eyzaguirre.
The 31-year-old originally from Lima, Peru, was one of 2020’s breakout stars. He enjoyed a career year winning $434,771 including two big wins at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, which is currently playing host to the 2021 Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
First, he took down the $1,100 October Anniversary Special for $46,000 and a month later won the $1,100 November Holiday Special for $47,000. However, his largest score of 2020 came in January when he finished runner-up in the Borgata Winter Poker Open Event #1: $600 Kick-Off for a career-high $290,000.
“My greatest accomplishment to date would be my first six-figure score at Borgata at the beginning of the year,” Eyzaguirre said. “It really felt like my hard work paid off and I was really anxious and working hard to reach that goal.”
14 Years as a Professional
Eyzaguirre immigrated to the United States with his mother and three brothers when he was just 10 years old. Now, two decades later, he is a father to two children of his own – Ricardo Jr. and Violet. He first learned to play poker at the age of 18 in his brother’s home game, and from there he visited local casinos in the Miami area.
“I’ve been playing poker professionally for about 14 years,” he told PokerNews. “For the first 10 years, I only played cash games in south and central Florida. Then, in about 2015, I started playing tournaments.”
Indeed, in addition to a full tournament schedule, Eyzaguirre dukes it out at $2-$5 and $5-$10 no-limit hold’em cash game tables as well as some high-stakes pot-limit Omaha online.
“I’m a very dedicated person and I’m very goal-driven,” he said. “2020 was defiantly a weird and troubling year although I feel like it was my breakout year and when all my hard work significantly paid off. With COVID hurting the whole world and so much suffering it is hard to call it a great year, but I’m definitely thankful for my scores and look forward to working as hard as I can to have many other years like this one in the future.”
Ricardo Eyzaguirre winning back-to-back Seminole events.
Seeking More WSOP Gold
Like many others, Eyzaguirre has a goal of winning a World Series of Poker bracelet, which would go nicely with his pair of gold rings. Back in 2017, he won the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee Event #7: $365 Monster Stack for $74,853, and two years later in December 2019 he won Event #13: $400 NLH Double Stack for $31,386 at the same venue.
“I’m a very competitive person,” Eyzaguirre revealed. “I really enjoy playing poker as a career and working on my trade. I attribute my success this year to studying, hard work, dedication, and perseverance.”
He concluded: “Lastly, I have a very tight family I want to thank my mother for being the best mom I can ask for and always being for me to support me. I’m looking forward to playing a lot and learning a lot this year so hopefully, PokerNews will be seeing a lot more of me. I’m going to give it all I got!
For those looking to follow Eyzaguirre’s poker journey, you can follow him on Twitter @ricardoeyz222.
*Images courtesy of WSOP and Seminole Hard Rock.