When not running deep in the World Series of Poker Main Event, Milo Garza is usually tending to the small hamburger and taco restaurant that he runs with his sister in the small Mexican town of Nava in Coahuila, Mexico. Nava lies just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, and Garza turned his run in the Main Event into a dream come true with a deep run into Day 5.

This was an unlikely scenario for Garza, who had three friends supporting him on the rail. Gilbert Ramos was one of those and lives in Eagle Pass. Ramos runs regular cash games and three Main Event satellites throughout the year. Each event features 10 players paying $100 for 15 consecutive weeks. The player who finishes at the top throughout that time lands a $15,000 Main Event package.

Garza came out on top in one of those and was one of Ramos’s three players coming into this year’s Main Event. He entered the day with 3.7 million in chips and wanted to make the deep run continue.

“I can’t believe it,” he said with one of his friends interpreting. “I planned to come here but never thought I was going to go that far. I never thought I was going to make it this deep.”

Don’t look for a Hendon Mob entry for Garza. He plays mostly in Garza’s game and sometimes at a poker club in San Antonio. He doesn’t have a regular poker game in Mexico, and his friends from Eagle Pass note that poker isn’t as popular in the country as in the U.S. They have been working to get Garza’s story in the news to give the game a little press in their part of the country as well as in Mexico. They hope others across the border might see and consider taking up the game. 

So far, his story has appeared in newspapers in Eagles pass and across the border in the Piedras Negras. Many people followed his story back home. His friend Francisco Gutierrez says Garza’s story has gained plenty of attention in the region.

“It’s a miracle that this guy from a little-bitty town in Mexico is still playing,” Gutierrez says.

The other players in each satellite also divide 30% of any winnings as well, so a win means more money for the other stakeholders as well. At the first break in the action, Grza’s stack dipped a bit after losing a big hand with Ace-King. But he remained determined and was looking to bounce back in the next level.

“I’ve played for a long while, but used to playing cash,” Garza said. “I’m applying the same skills I use when playing in cash games.”

Shortly afterward, however, Garza’s run came to an end when he got all his chips in with pocket Jacks against pocket Kings. Jack came on the flop and he looked to be in good shape. But a Jack on the river ended his run and he finished 331st for $44,700.

That’s certainly a nice return and sends some dollars to the other nine players from his satellite. The media attention might just be good for hamburger sales back home as well.

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WSOP, 2023 WSOP, WSOP 2023, Milo Garza