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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds from the PokerStars LAPT in Costa Rica – The End

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After the initial rush of the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour, day 2 featured down pouring rain and another tournament starting up. There was a $1000 second chance event and over 150 players showed up to give tournament poker in Costa Rica another go. Sam Simon, creator of the Simpsons, talk show host Montel Williams, and LA Dodger Orel Hershiser showed up to participate. On his way to the tables Orel shared with me that he took down a couple thousand at the cash games the prior night.

There were 85 players that returned from day 1 that didn’t need to enter the second chance event, although many dropped out quickly. Over 25 players busted within first two hours of the day including 19 year old PokerStars Sunday Million winner Matt ‘ch0ppy’ Kay. Matt raised on the button with A-J, the small blind reraised, Matt shoved and small blind called with A-10. “There were a bunch of tens that hit, “he told me. “Even though I got a flush draw I didn’t hit it and that was it.”

Even though he had busted the prior day, Daniel Negreanu was still all smiles as he talked about the LAPT. “I think the LAPT is good! We have the APPT and there are enough people playing in this area that it made total sense. The people are really into poker here!”

Humberto Brenes agreed, explaining that he felt poker in Costa Rica is growing exponentially and will continue to do so.

It got down to seven tables rather quickly and play sped along for the day. The 85 that returned for day 2 played down to the final 9 that evening.

Thirty six players remained just after an afternoon break and the play tightened up on the bubble. 32 people were paid and no one remaining wanted to leave Costa Rica without a piece of the $965,150 prize pool.

Online pro Alec ‘traheho’ Torelli busted Maria Stern shortly after she joined his table on his left. He opened with blinds $1,500 - $3000, Maria shoved and it folded around and Alec snapped called with 8-8. She showed A-J and the board came 10-10-10-7-4 and Torelli sent the Mrs. packing. Her husband, Max Stern was busted just after.

At 5:15 the money bubble busted to screams and cheers! Friends of a player that made it through yelled out, “Shots!” and headed off to the bar. The players as well as the spectators seemed very excited to make it through the bubble.

Once the players busted that made the money, Humberto was there to present them with a blue visor and some money to pad their pockets.

Play went feverously and within an hour seven more people were eliminated. Luckily they had over $6,000 to console them.

There were just 17 players by dinner break. Chip leaders included several top online players and 11 PokerStars qualifiers still in the running.

After numerous quick eliminations the final 9 were set just before midnight:

• Steven ‘Zugwat’ Silverman – PokerStars qualifier from USA – 831,000 in chips
• Ashton ‘theASHMAN103’ Griffin – Pokerstars qualifier from USA – 761,000 in chips
• Valdemar Kawaysser – PokerStars qualifier from Hungary – 594,000 in chips
• Alec ‘traheho’ Torelli – Pokerstars qualifier from USA – 404,000 in chips
• Alexander Soderlund – PokerStars qualifier from Sweden – 325,000 in chips
• Joe ‘Ender555’ Ebanks – PokerStars qualifier from USA – 321,000 in chips
• Max Steinberg – from USA – 284,000 in chips
• Steven Thompson – from Costa Rica – 195,000 in chips
• Pawel Sanojca – PokerStars qualifier from Poland – 134,000 in chips

The final 9 rejoined together on Saturday to play for the remaining $761,505 in cash just after 12:30pm.

In an interesting side note, the oldest player at the table was 28 years old, which proved the power of internet poker; most of the players that made it had just hit their early twenties.

Internet poker play dominated this final table and the action was very fast, and often crazy. The lone Costa Rican busted early which left several big chip stacks to play out this interesting hand.

Alexander Soderlund opened under the gun and Pawel Sanojca shoved all in over the top of Alexander’s raise for about 100,000 chips. In a somewhat questionable move Ashton Griffin moved all in for almost 700,000 from the small blind. The initial raiser, Soderlund called and showed K-K, Sanojca showed A-A and Griffin, who was 2nd in chips showed A-Q. The board ran 8-6-6-6-8 and the Aces and Kings held up for their respective owners.

After starting the day 7th in chips Max Steinberg was able to pick up Aces repeatedly at the right time, knocked out a couple opponents, and jumped into the chip lead.

After a couple more feverish hands it was down to heads up play just before 6pm between Steingberg and Valdemar Kwaysser. After a couple big hands, it was over almost before it even began with Kwaysser picking up the Aces this time and the title of first ever PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour Costa Rica winner.

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