The tournament wound up in short order, with the final table lasting about seven hours -- about average for these Latin American Poker Tour Main Events, if not a little longer. Pedro Claus of Argentina ended up taking it down, leading for most of the way and only slipping out of first position briefly on a couple of occasions for a few hands.
Probably the most interesting moment came when they were down to three players -- Claus, another Argentinian Manuel Vuotto, and Fernando Araujo from Brazil -- and the trio stopped the tournament to make a deal.
Araujo had a decent-sized chip lead, although the blinds and antes were high enough to make it less meaningful, relatively speaking. In any event, the players instantly chose to chop up most of the remaining prize pool evenly ($70K apiece), leaving a little over $20K on the side for the winner. Had to have been about the smoothest and simplest deal discussion I’ve ever witnessed, aside perhaps from a few heads-up ones that went similarly.
As I try to think of interesting hands from the final table, I realize I skipped over mentioning one from Day 3 with 11 left when a Julio Alberto Grimau was all in on the flop with ace-high versus Araujo’s top pair of queens.
The turn then brought another queen, giving Araujo trips and meaning Grimau was drawing dead. But weirdly a small heart on the river -- the third on the board -- sent Grimau into a brief celebration. He was shouting and walking away from the table as though he’d won the hand, but everyone at the table was beckoning him back to show him that Araujo had in fact won.
Alas for Grimau, he looked at his cards again and to his dismay realized he didn’t have two hearts in his hand, but only one. In fact looking back through the action, he had shoved the flop thinking he had a flush draw when in fact he didn’t, so it was sort of half-humorous, half-painful to see him go out that way.
No such egregious mistakes today, as far as I was able to see. And Claus was a deserving winner, doing well to use his big stack to pressure the others and increase his chances of winning start-to-finish. Check the PokerStars blog for all the final table updates and more.
I guess that was my “last” LAPT final table, as I won’t be going to Brazil later this year. I expect to be back to some of these same stops in the future though, even if they won’t be called LAPTs starting next year.
We were able to enjoy one last good meal at the Conrad -- yet another steak for your humble meat-eater -- before hitting the sack. As I mentioned before, gonna do a little wandering around the peninsula mañana before the evening flight. Will tell you about it all afterwards.
Photo: courtesy Carlos Monti / PokerStars blog.