On his bio sheet, Rojas had described himself as more of an online player -- indeed, like many he’d qualified for the event on PokerStars -- and in fact also noted that this was both his first LAPT event and first live tourney final table. He had the chip lead going in, lost it a couple of times along the way though always had a big stack, and by the time they’d gotten down to three-handed he had the majority of chips and eventually was able to withstand the others’ all-ins to win.
The runner-up, Rafael Pardo of Colombia, had made his fourth LAPT final table. He finished seventh twice (including at the very first LAPT event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2008), and third once earlier this year (again in Brazil, at Sao Paulo). That’s one behind the record of five LAPT final tables of Jose “Nacho” Barbero.
Pardo was way behind Rojas chip-wise to start heads up play and through a couple of dozen hands he couldn’t narrow the gap. Then came one in which both were dealt aces but Rojas had the better kicker, and when the final fifth street of the tourney fell the title was his. Not nearly as mind-boggling a finish as they had at APPT Queenstown this week (as I mentioned yesterday), but exciting nonetheless.
One interesting development yesterday saw the final seven players decide to flatten out the payouts considerably (which were quite steep). Here’s a post explaining what they did, which more or less amounted to taking a big chunk off the top and spreading it out among the other six spots.
We went to the famed Calle de las Pizzas or “Pizza Street” in downtown Miraflores which features a collection of restaurants -- many featuring gourmet pizzas -- with bars, music, and dancing. Was fun just walking up and down the street with Reinaldo, Maria, and Mario to look in on the various scenes while also being petitioned aggressively by those stationed outside each establishment wanting us to choose them. We finally settled on a place called La Glorietta, and Reinaldo and I split a pie with a host of toppings including asparagus and pineapple.
Was kind of funny to think I’d followed up my night of eating a hamburger with pizza while in Peru, but having been a few times now it was interesting to see a different part of Miraflores.
We ended up back at the Atlantic City Casino for some ice cream and more relaxing, then I cabbed it back to the hotel to get to sleep by midnight as I had to leave at 6:30 a.m. for the airport.
Am now all of the way back home after another long day of traveling -- hence the late posting -- and am going to sign off here for now and see if I can’t tame all of these still racing thoughts about the tourney and trip and get some sleep. Was another great experience, and I’m so grateful not only to have these opportunities but also to get to work with so many great, interesting people on the LAPT who couldn’t be more helpful.
If you’re curious you can check the PokerStars blog to see all of the posts from the five days of the tourney. Meanwhile, I’ll talk to you all mañana.