Season 3 of the PokerSTars.net Latin American Poker Tour took a chance with the scheduling of a new stop in Lima, Peru, smack dab in the middle of the World Series of Poker. But as it turned out, the powers-that-be knew what they were doing, as a solid and exciting field turned out for the new event at the Atlantic City Casino in Miraflores, Lima.
When all of the players were counted and registration was over on June 2, the final number reported by PokerStars was 384 players, and the prize pool came to $931,200. The top 48 players were set up to finish in the money, though the top prize of $250,000 was reserved especially for the winner.
Day 1 brought a number of Team PokerStars Pros to the tables, including Maria Mayrinck, Andre Akkari, Angel Guillen, Alex Gomez, and Leo Fernandez. Also in the field were the other two LAPT Season 3 champions - Jose “Nacho” Barbero of Argentina and Amer Sulaiman of Canada. The players represented an astonishing 30 countries in all. But when action stopped for the night, only 197 players remained at the tables of the original 384, and the chip leader was Jacob Baumgartner with 122,925 chips, followed by Luis Hernandez with 113,800.
Day 2 took the field from 197 players down to the money bubble. It took some time before and just after the dinner break, as the field seemed to be stuck before hand-for-hand play was ready to kick in. Finally, when Jorge Ortega left in 50th place, things sped up from there. Pham Duyen was all-in for his last 140K with , but Jorge Schwalb had pocket nines, and the table blanked to eliminate Duyen in 49th place.
Francois Frejdles was the first player to cash, taking home $4,660 for the 48th place finish. And with the elimination - into the 11th level of the night - of Luis Jaikel, who finished in 25th place with $5,580, the last 24 players standing bagged their chips and left for the night. The one with the most chips was Amer Sulaiman with 801K, and a bit behind in second was Jose Barbero with 646K.
Day 3 started with 24 players and proceeded to thin the field to the final table of eight players. The first to go as action got underway was Gino Guido Moreno, who took home $6,520 for 24th place, and others who followed throughout the day included Jacob Baumgartner in 19th place, Karlo Lopez in 15th, and Amer Sulaiman in 13th. As the final table neared and Danny Manriques departed in tenth place, only one more elimination needed to happen, and it did when Nicasio Toranzo moved all-in with against the of Ben Barrows, and the board brought nothing to help Toranzo, who finished in ninth place with $13,040.
The final table then got underway on Saturday, June 5, with the following chip counts:
|Seat 1: ||Erick Cabrera ||1,426,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Ismael Cadiz ||1,123,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Ben Barrows ||1,154,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Silvio Martins ||594,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Valerio Valera ||236,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Rene Aguilar ||699,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Jose Barbero ||1,817,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Carlos Augusta || 434,000 |
It was clear within the first few hands of the final table that Barbero had every intention of picking up a second LAPT title, as he was playing aggressively and extending his chip lead.
Valera was the one having problems. Valera decided to risk it all preflop with his last 79K, and Herrera and Barbero came along. After the flop, Herrera bet, and Barbero folded. Valera turned over the , but Herrera showed for top pair. The turn was the and the river the , and Valerio Valera was the first to go from the final table, taking with him $18,600 for the effort.
It only took two hands for Herrera to decide on the all-in preflop with . Barrows turned over , but the flop came for the trips. The on the turn and on the river ended Carlos Herrera’s run in seventh place, which was worth $28,000.
And it was soon after that Aguilar took his last 601K and pushed it all-in with . Cabrera called with , and the board blanked out with . Rene Aguilar left in sixth place with $37,300.
Five-handed action saw Cabrera as the newfound chip leader with 2.58 million, and Barbero was a fairly distant second.
Martins was the short stack, and with about 600K chips, the all-in move came from the button. Barrows called with , and Martins showed . Barrows picked up top pair directly on the flop, and the on the turn left Martins without any outs. Silvio Martins took home $46,500 for the fifth place finish.
Cadiz was suffering from short-stack syndrome and pushed all-in for 490K with . Barbero called with , and the dealer gave them nothing of significance with a board. Ismael Cadiz was then gone in fourth place with $65,100.
Three-handed action found the chip stacks evening up pretty tightly, but the aggressive nature of the remaining competitors wouldn’t allow that to stand for very long. And it didn’t.
It didn’t take terribly long for Cabrera to get involved with Barbero, though it began with limps in the blinds to see the flop. Cabrera raised, and Barbero check-raised. The on the turn, however, prompted a check from Barbero and an all-in raise from Cabrera. Barbero was quick to check-call with for the flopped flush, and Cabrera could only show the for top pair. The on the river eliminated Erick Cabrerais in third place with $88,400.
Heads-up action began with the following chips in play:
|Jose Barbero ||6,480,000 |
|Ben Barrows ||1,200,000 |
Only a few hands took place between the final two players. The last one started with Barrow moving his short stack all-in preflop with . Barbero called with , which was ahead and got even better on the flop. The helped Barrows a bit, but the on the river did not. That left Ben Barrows out of the tournament in second place with $144,000.
Jose “Nacho” Barbero won the LAPT Lima for $250,000. But more than that, Barbero became the first player to win back-to-back LAPT tournaments, having just won the LAPT Uruguay in February of 2010, and that was the last stop on the tour before Peru. The accomplishment was a significant one, and Barbero will hold a special place in poker history by achieving it.