888poker ambassador Vivian Saliba is looking forward to a return to live poker.

With the postponement of the World Series of Poker, and live poker taking a back seat in general, we decided to check in on some of the 888poker ambassadors to see how they are coping with quarantine, how they are passing the time away from the live felt, and what they are most looking forward to when the coast is finally clear.

It was nearly three years ago that Brazilian poker pro Vivian Saliba first stepped into the poker spotlight. In just her second year participating in the World Series of Poker, Saliba turned heads with a deep run in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event where she finished in 11th place for over $47,000. She followed that up as the youngest woman to enter the WSOP Main Event that year, where she cashed for over $27,000.

Not long after that summer, she signed with 888poker as a brand ambassador and began to travel the world, playing in some of the biggest poker festivals on the circuit. Just last year at the WSOP, Saliba nearly took down the 888poker sponsored Crazy Eights, finishing in fourth place for a career-high score of $308,888.

Other than poker, what activity have you missed the most since the lockdown began?

I missed out traveling and the freedom of coming and going that we all had before. I’ve been living in Europe since 2018 but all my family and most of my friends are still in Brazil. Recently my sister had a baby and I was supposed to go to Brazil to get to know the little one. It really hurts messing out moments like this. I really wish I could meet my family and friends.

What’s the best TV show or movie you’ve discovered during lockdown?

I have watched many series on Netflix and also some documentaries and political shows. I think the favorite one that I have discovered recently was Vikings. I love stories that portray old ages, like medieval times or even older.

What is the biggest frustration you’ve had during lockdown?

I really missed out traveling and meeting the people that I love, but I also had a big delay regarding organizing my life in Austria, where I’ve been living since October. Moving to a new country is never easy, especially in this case, since the language, culture, and laws are so different from Brazil. I was transferring my driver’s license to here and also learning the language. Both activities got postponed, which resulted in not being to drive and communicate very well.

What’s the one thing about live poker that used to tilt you that all of a sudden you miss?

I love live poker and I can’t think about anything that really tilted me about it. But to mention something, I’ve never been a big fan of bubble time during a tournament, especially in the super big events because it can take a lot of time. I would love to participate in any live bubble now and I wouldn’t mind at all if it took too long, all I would care would be the thrill of the moment and of live poker.

What have you found to be a silver lining surrounding quarantine?

I think we all learned to appreciate more the things we used to take for granted. For example, the freedom of traveling or being able to leave your home whenever it suits you. I became way more grateful for my life also. The fact of being a poker player and being able to work also from my home gained even more value to me than before. 

How are you using this time to work on your poker game?

Live poker is very different from online poker, as we all know. The difficult part for me is to make key adjustments in order to beat online games and how to compensate for the edge of reading a person at a live session.  I’ve been studying a lot and reviewing and fixing many of my leaks. I also have been working out on a more regular basis and I am back to meditation. Having a fir body and mind is also so important to achieve a high-level performance for a longer time.

What is something new that you have learned or are trying to learn during lockdown?

I’m trying to learn German! As a Portuguese speaker and for someone who has a very difficult time learning new languages, this is a very hard task. I also learned many new things about the technical aspects of Omaha.

During my free time, I like to cook and try new stuff, I came out with some very delicious recipes. I also learned a lot about history and politics.

What’s the first place you’re going to travel to once we’re able to?

I’ll travel to Brazil as soon as I have the chance. I really want to meet my niece and visit all my family and friends. Maybe because of the current situation there regarding the virus, I will be able to visit other places first than Brazil. In this case, I would like to visit some family and friends in Europe, in Austria and Germany. I’m giving even bigger importance to those I love and seeing those people would be nicer than any vacation right now.

Follow along with Saliba’s online poker adventures via her Instagram account: vivi.saliba.