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Austin Gamblers Win Regular-Season Championship Back-to-Back

The Austin Gamblers have stayed focused, given it all they got, and landed back-to-back Regular-Season Championship titles after they went 1-2 at Rattler Days in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to winning the championship, the Austin Gamblers team captain, Jose Vitor Leme also won his second consecutive league MVP title. They are among the toughest athletes in the world taking on the rankest animal athletes. This was the Austin Gambler’s golden ticket going into the 2023 PBR Teams Championship kicking off on October 20-22nd in Las Vegas.

Right after the win, Gamblers CEO JJ Gottsch and assistant coach, Adriano Moraes pulled out a box full of black t-shirts with “2023 Regular Season Champions” embellished in the Gamblers’ green. They had made this up a while ago because they had a feeling their team was going to win. You can purchase your own Gamblers Regular Season Championship T-Shirt to celebrate along with the team!


The celebration was weeks in the making. After beginning the season with an impressive 13-1, the Gamblers fell back going 6-8 down the stretch. They went 1-2 in Ridgedale, Missouri, before going 3-0 for the event win in Greensboro, North Carolina, and then went 1-2 in each of the last two events.

Credit: Austin Gamblers
Credit: Austin Gamblers

The pressure was on for the Austin Gamblers as the Kansas City Outlaws, once a distant number 2, closed the gap at full speed. They went 3-0 for an event win in Glendale, Arizona, before going 3-0 again in Fort Worth. They ended up falling in extra outs to the Texas Rattlers. The Outlaws finished the season 18-10, just one game behind Austin Gamblers.

Credit: Austin Gamblers
Credit: Austin Gamblers

Thoughts from Austin Gamblers Head Coach, Michael Gaffney

Austin Gamblers head coach, Michael Gaffney knows very well of high-pressure situations. Gaffney is a former 1997 PBR World Champion in addition to his successes and knowledge as a bull rider he’s been coaching the Austin Gamblers since 2022. This marks the Austin Gamblers’ second consecutive regular-season title. Last year in 2022 the Austin Gamblers reached a 16-12 record and the regular-season title. The team ultimately fell short of the championship, going 0-2 in Las Vegas to be eliminated in fifth place.

Pictured: Austin Gamblers head coach, Michael Gaffney - Credit: Austin Gamblers
Pictured: Austin Gamblers head coach, Michael Gaffney – Credit: Austin Gamblers

This season Gaffney has tried his best to keep himself well-balanced regardless of how the Austin Gamblers were doing. He’s of course very proud of his team but wants them to continue to stay focused and prepare to take on unfinished business to win the 2023 PBR Teams Championship.

Credit: Austin Gamblers
Credit: Austin Gamblers

“It seemed like with each passing game, the drama and the pressure on each one of them – we all know what a head game this is, like so many other sports. Then you start talking about the Championship, and then we’re ahead by so many games, we’re ahead by this, we’re ahead by that, Jose’s in the lead for the MVP. So there is, and that’s where I think the real compartmentalizing, besides the fact that you’re facing death every time that you nod your head, is to keep those things in their proper place and just go do your job, and that’s to ride your bulls. And again, it is very simplistic. Don’t make it any more difficult than that. But when you start hearing the noise and the hype and the hoopla and the points this and the Championship that, you can stick to what we say in the old practice pen, like you’re getting on there. Just go out and nod your head like it’s another bull. Forget the noise, and things will work out.”

-Austin Gamblers head coach, Michael Gaffney

PBR Teams MVP title goes to Jose Vitor Leme

The Austin Gamblers did everything just right to earn their title as Regular Season Championship. Austin Gamblers, Jose Vitor Leme showed up for his team securing his second consecutive PBR Teams MVP title by defeating Kansas City’s Cassio Dias by 87 points in a single bull ride.

Leme is the number one guy in the league and by far one of the toughest athletes. He closed out the season with bleach-blonde hair. Leme laughing said, “There was no reason. I just felt like, ‘I think I’ve got to change something. I don’t think PBR is getting excited with me no more, so I’ve got to do something different.’ It’s hard to beat my 98.75 points, so let’s just bleach my hair.

Pictured: PBR Teams MVP, Austin Gamblers, Jose Vitor Leme - Credit: Austin Gamblers
Pictured: PBR Teams MVP, Austin Gamblers, Jose Vitor Leme – Credit: Austin Gamblers

“It’s amazing. Another great accomplishment for my career. I’m always chasing that, since the beginning, since everything started this season, and finally, thank God, I got this prize now. I got another MVP. This means a lot to me.”

-Jose Vitor Leme

Leme went 20-for-29 this season for a 68% riding percentage, while Dias went 19-for-26 for a 73% riding percentage in his debut season. The two matched each other with five 90-point rides apiece. Leme suffered a pretty brutal wreck the night before his final qualified ride of the season. Whiplash had pulled Leme down onto his head and knocked him out where he was then carried off the arena dirt on a backboard. Leme powered through and passed the PBR sports medicine team’s concussion protocol with flying colors the next day. He was back at it, in the draw that night, riding Outlaw for 89.25 points.

Credit: Austin Gamblers
Credit: Austin Gamblers

“Honestly, I thought everything was over. After I bucked off my bull, I thought I was going to lose that because I never expect Cassio to buck off. But everything happens for a reason. I trust in God’s plan, always, and I just left everything in his hands. If He wanted it to be like that, that was because He wanted it, so I accept that.”

-Jose Vitor Leme

2023 PBR Teams Championship

The Austin Gamblers have all cards on the table as they’re focused on winning the 2023 PBR Teams Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. They finished the regular season in the number one spot, securing a first-round bye for the second consecutive year. Now they’ll wait to see who their first opponent will be following the conclusion of the competition on October 20. The PBR Teams Championship will be held at the T-Mobile Arena from October 20th through the 22nd.

Credit: Austin Gamblers
Credit: Austin Gamblers

Purchase Today: Austin Gamblers Regular Season Championship T-Shirt

The Austin Gamblers are the 2023 PBR Teams Regular Season Champions! The Gamblers have now won back-to-back regular season titles. Get your own t-shirt to celebrate along with the team! They couldn’t do it without you, Gambler Nation! In addition to Austin winning the championship, Gamblers team captain Jose Vitor Leme also won his second consecutive league MVP title. Since this is a limited-edition t-shirt, supplies are limited. Don’t miss out, purchase yours today!

This shirt is a next-level 6210 lighter-weight unisex t-shirt made out of 60% cotton and 40% polyester for a soft comfortable fit and feel like your favorite concert tee. This short-sleeved T-shirt is made in Nicaragua with screen printing done in Austin, TX. Sizes are available in small to 3XL.

You can purchase the Austin Gamblers champion gear and all other Gambler gear from the Gamblers website at or the Gamblers Amazon Store.

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Howdy, I'm Megan deFabry, I grew up in Reno, Nevada & I now reside in Austin, Texas. I'm very passionate about digital marketing and journalism, especially within the Western industry. I'm driven by faith, and have a love for the outdoors, agriculture, rodeos, country music, and maintaining the Western way of life!

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