Bruno “Kool Shen” Lopes, who’s released a number of hit rap albums and songs, has just signed a deal to represent Winamax Poker. Winamax is the largest poker site in France, and they already have Gaelle Baumann, Davidi Kitai, Ludovic Lacay, Patrick Bruel and Nicolas Levi on their pro team. The poker room was thrilled to have Lopes join their brand as they released this statement:
For over twenty years, the suburban Parisien has been one of the major figures of French rap..and now Kool Shen is one of the most respected poker players on the tournament circuit. Kool Shen joined Team Winamax in autumn 2012.
As for the 45-year-old hip-hop star’s poker background, he first started playing home games when he was 13. But his interests eventually led to the music world where Kool Shen has become one of France’s most successful rappers ever. But in the mid-2000s, he began watching Texas Hold’em on TV and got involved with poker again.
In 2008, Lopes picked up his first live tournament cash and collected some more small money finishes along the way. However, his biggest successes have come this year after winning both the Diamond Championships Euro Finals of Poker ($127,514) and WPT National Series in Cannes ($135,294), finishing fourth at EPT Madrid ($183,660), and grabbing 468th place at the 2012 WSOP Main Event ($24,808). Thanks to the $523k he’s made this year, Lopes now has $745,691 in career tournament winnings.
As for how Kool Shen made the successful transition from rap to poker, a lot of it has to do with his willingness to learn. He discussed this by saying, “I love poker and I’ve been very lucky to meet lots of good people who play great poker. I’m good friends with Stephane Albertini who finished 47th in the Main Event and he’s taught me a lot of what I know.”
Now that he’s signed by a major online poker site, it’ll be fun to see Bruno Lopes at a lot more tournaments. If you’d like to see one of his old videos, you can check it out below: