Aldaz leaves New Mexico behind for his dreams



With more than his fair share of flare and confidence, Carlos Aldaz is a popular dealer at the Inn of the Mountain Gods poker room. At least, he WAS a dealer until sign-ups for the Road to the Main Event tournament began in this beautiful Southern New Mexico resort in April. He quit his job to be eligible to play in the tournament that could have supercharged his plans for the future. Alas, it was not yet to be. Was this lean, handsome 25-year-old devastated? Don’t bet on it.

You see he is a poker-dealing, poker player who happens to sing opera. He and his girlfriend recently flew to New York, to live for at least a year where he can apply his nose to the audition grindstone and his girlfriend (a recent UTEP grad) will perform her pharmacology residency. As much as Aldaz loves music, he’s equally intense about poker. Plan A is to attend as many auditions as possible in NYC while possibly dealing poker in Atlantic City.

He admits to Plan B, which involves Las Vegas, where he’ll deal and play poker. Plan C is a little vague but includes the possibility of a return of the young couple to El Paso, Texas, to live near their families, and where he’s a musical celebrity. The Inn of the Mountain Gods is less than two hours from El Paso, and the WSOP totally within reach. Whether we next discover him on Broadway, in the El Paso Opera or taking down the main event, it’d be smart to file his name under W . . . for winner.

— Mary Bradley is Ante Up’s New Mexico Ambassador. Email her at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine