Belgium may be a small country in size, but it's a big country in heart and spirit.

The land of great chocolates and beer sent one of their own to Las Vegas where Michael Gathy ended up winning the $1,000 buy-in Turbo No-Limit Hold'em tournament.  He collected $278,613 in prize money,

Gathy outlasted 1,628 players who entered the tournament.  He also collected his second career gold bracelet.  Gathy's first win took place last year in a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament.  With this victory, he's now up to three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings.

Gathy is a former medical student who is now playing poker full time.  The 24-year-old joined fellow countryman Davidi Kitai as the only other player from Belgium to win multiple WSOP events.  Now, Gathy and Kitai each have two wins.  Their two wins this summer also put Belgium behind only the United States and Canada on the ranks of countries with the most bracelet wins so far this summer.


Name:  Michael Gathy
Current Residence:  Brussels (Belgium)
Birthplace:  Brussels (Belgium)
Age:  24
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  None
Occupation:  Professional Poker Player
Previous Occupation:  College Student (Medicine)
WSOP Cashes (including this event):  5
First WSOP Cash (year):  2012
WSOP Final Table Appearances:  3
WSOP Wins (with this victory):  2
WSOP Career Earnings:  $775,037


:  How does it feel to win your second WSOP gold bracelet?
Gathy  It's very important to win another for me.  When I came here this year I wanted to be the first Belgian to win two gold bracelets.  But Davidi Kitai already won his second.  It was right before me.  It's still great though to win, no matter when it happens.

WSOP:  Were you cheering for Davidi Kitai when he won last week?
Gathy:  Oh yes, of course.  I wish it could have been me, but I was very happy for him.      

WSOP:  You wore the same green shirt tonight as when you won your first gold bracelet last year.  Is this your lucky shirt? 
Gathy:  I pulled it out for Day 2.  Last year, after playing a few days I had no clean clothes left.  So, I bought this shirt for final table.  I had to buy one.  

WSOP:  Tell us about the Belgian poker scene right now.
Gathy:  The poker scene is big, like France or Germany.  We have fewer players, but, for what we are, we are doing very good.  We are only like 10 million (population).  A lot of our players are doing great.      

WSOP:  How did you learn how to play poker? 
Gathy:  I learned to play online.  There was a site that gave me $50 for free and I started playing, and reading articles, and I got better at poker.

WSOP:  How did you like the Turbo structure of this tournament, which was a little different? 
Gathy:  I like the Turbo.  It's not that turbo-sih though.  It gives you a lot of play.  We just don't spend as much time early when it really doesn't matter.  I enjoyed it.

WSOP:  You have already won two gold bracelets.  How many more do you think you can win? 
Gathy:    I don't know.  It's bragging too much if I say ten or something like that.  I'm not sure.  I'll say five is a good over/under.