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LAPT5 Punta del Este: Guillen's luck doesn't hold

lapt-promo.gif This morning I talked about how winning a poker tournament takes a mix of skill, timing and luck. Team PokerStars Pro displayed all three during his run through the PokerStars.net LAPT Season 5 Punta del Este at Mantra Main Event. But when it came down to heads-up play, Guillen's luck and his timing betrayed him.

Guillen and Marcelo Fonseca played a tough heads-up battle. Fonseca had a small chip lead to start and never relinquished it. Both players preferred to keep pots small pre-flop; most raises were for the minimum and three-bets were almost non-existent. After the flop, bets were hard to come by as the two men were very careful with all but the strongest hands.

LAPT PUNTA DEL ESTE 5 SEASON Marcelo Fonseca HU.JPG

Marcelo Fonseca

The way the tournament ended, then, came as a shock. Ninety minutes into heads-up play, Marcelo Fonseca opened his button for the minimum of 200,000, as had been his custom. Guillen's normal response was either to fold or to call and see a flop. In the whole of heads-up play, I don't think he had three-bet a single hand in response to a Fonseca button raise. But three-bet is exactly what Guillen did in this spot, shoving all in for 2.8 million.

Fonseca snap-called. And suddenly all of those carefully played pots were out the window. 5.6 million chips were up for grabs. The winner of this pot would either be champion or have a dominant lead.

It was bad timing and rotten luck for Guillen, and great fortune for Fonseca. Guillen turned up A♠9♣, a hand that was a big underdog to Fonseca's A♣K♥.

Guillen had been in this spot before. He came from way behind in a three-way pot yesterday to runner a full house against a flopped straight. At this final table, he hit a three-outer to keep the dream of his first LAPT title alive. The question, then, was whether there was any pixie dust left for Guillen to sprinkle over the table.

A flop of T♥7♠J♠ hit neither player, but Guillen picked up a few extra outs. An 8 or a 9 would vault him ahead of Fonseca's Big Slick. But there were no more miracles for Guillen. The turn and river bricked out 2♣ and 5♦ to give the Punta del Este title to Fonseca.

LAPT PUNTA DEL ESTE 5 SEASON Angel Guillen HU.JPG

Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen - 2nd place

Guillen was gracious in defeat. He stood up, walked to the other side of the table, and give Fonseca one of those half-handshake, half-hug embraces that are a staple of guys the world over. Then Guillen quietly departed the stage to collect his $126,240 and to let Fonseca bask in the glow of a hard-fought, well-earned LAPT title.

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