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Romulo Dorea Brazilian Vlogger is Anything But Lost in Translation

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For centuries the Amazon rainforest has served as one of the world’s greatest gifts. The extremely dense jungle absorbs carbon dioxide and releases new oxygen into the atmosphere. Quite literally a breath of fresh air.

It might have done the same for poker.

Romulo Dorea, a 29-year-old poker vlogger, grew up in Belem, Brazil, a small port town that sits atop the northern portion of Brazil and serves as an estuary of the Amazon River. It was in that environment that Dorea’s first childhood dream formed. Like many Brazilians, Dorea desperately wanted to be the next Pele or Ronaldo and shine on the world’s biggest stages for Seleção Canarinha – the Brazilian national soccer team.

Talent combined with focus eventually led Dorea to Chicago where he played four years of college soccer and learned to speak English. Soccer might have been his first passion, but when he was 17 he saw poker and fell in love with that game, too. As his soccer career began to wind down, he began to give more attention to poker and discovered the booming world of poker vlogs. When he started vlogging, he was doing it in two different languages, English and his native Portuguese.

“The one in English grew faster at the beginning, so I decided to focus on the English one and after two-and-a-half years of doing only English (vlogs), I decided to try out the Brazilian one and it just blew up in a way that no one has seen,” Dorea said.

The numbers show how much his Brazilian content has cemented Dorea as one of the world’s most popular vloggers – regardless of nationality or language. He has around 89,000 Instagram followers – 86,300 are from his Portuguese account and 83% of his more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers are watching on the Portuguese channel. Dorea believes part of his success comes in part because the Brazilian vlogger scene isn’t quite as developed or competitive as the American one.

“I was competing in English versus the best in the world; Rampage, Wolfgang, Brad [Owen]. I was competing at a high level,” Dorea said. “When I came to Brazil, I respected everybody, but Brazil is like the second division in terms of the quality of the vlogs. There were not so many good vloggers and I think now that’s changing because people see what I am doing.”

Make your way through some of Dorea’s content and you might learn a little bit about him, but more importantly for poker fans, you see cash game action from poker hotspots like Las Vegas, Florida, Texas, and Los Angeles built around big hands and the banter and battle of wits that accompany the big hands.

“My content is a lot about delivering value to the consumer. It is not about me, but it is about what is happening and I’m the one who is playing, and I feel like on the internet a thing that helps you out is not focusing on you but focusing on the viewer experience,” Dorea said. “No one cares about how I woke up or whatever, but they kind of care about me getting aces, open-raising someone, three betting and deciding to slow play because of this and that.”

Scaling an audience the way Dorea has takes time and dedication and just like some of the Americans he was once competing with for attention on YouTube, he too started as a one-man production. With more views came the realization that continuing the solo effort simply isn’t sustainable. In fact, success becomes a distraction and an opportunity.

“I’ve been working so hard that I was having trouble. It was so much work and now I’m starting to hire more people to take away a little bit of the responsibility,” Dorea said. “It is not only mine anymore, I have people working with me, I have people helping me and I needed it because I was going crazy.”

The word ‘Influencer’ gets thrown around pretty easily in 2024. Anybody with even a reasonably-sized social following labels themselves one and then attempts to cash in. It’s different for Dorea though. He takes far more pride in having influence, rather than being an ‘Influencer’. He hopes his fellow Brazilians see somebody who took risks and worked hard to better themselves.

“I see so many people limiting themselves and I’m glad that I am, in Brazil, some type of example of someone that didn’t limit myself,” Dorea said. “Nowadays, if you ask me what do you do for a living? I do many things, but I try to play the game of life the best way I can. I play poker the best way I can, but I play the game of life the best way I can.”

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