I don’t know what the final three players ate on the dinner break. Usually players come back from dinner lethargic and not willing to mix it up. Here in Medellin, the first two hands back from dinner produced all in three-bets, with the second of the two actually going to showdown.
First let’s back up. It’s unusual for LAPT final tables to go on dinner break. Usually the pace of play dictates about an eight-hour day, and players would rather play through those levels than chop things up – especially with so few players left in the tournament. But today, for some reason, the remaining players wanted a half-hour break. That got negotiated into a 45-minute break and then an hour. The play leading into the break was very tight, as if they just wanted to get to dinner.
Back from dinner, Raul Paez opened the first pot to 200,000, then folded ace-three after Jayr Fregona three-bet all in. The next hand, Fregona was the one opening to 200,000 and Paez was three-betting all in. Paez was actually the shortest of the three remaining stacks, despite starting the day as chip leader and boasting an impressive tournament history. Paez was lucky to be in the tournament at all; he needed to spike a 3-outer, with one card to come, against Weider Vanegas four-handed to even make it this far. That river card prevent Vanegas from eliminating Paez in 4th place and claiming 5.1 million of the 6.6 million chips in play.
Regardless, there Paez was, the short stack of three, moving all in for 1.1 million chips from the big blind. Fregona, with about 1.3 million total in chips, snap-called the all in and opened pocket 7s. Paez showed the same A♦3♦ that he showed on the first post-dinner hand. Paez flopped a pair, but it was the wrong one: Q♠J♥3♣. Add a turn 4♠ and a river 10♥ and the dangerous Spaniard was retired to the rail.
That leaves just two players in the tournament: Jayr Fregona, who seemingly has been short-stacked since the beginning of Day 2, was 21st of 25 starting Day 3, and who was 8th of 8 to begin the final table, having only 9.5 big blinds in his stack; and Robbie Renehen of Dublin. Renehen was short yesterday with about 12 players left. He asked where I was from (New York City); I asked where he was from (Dublin). Then he said, “I’m gonna need some luck of the Irish here.”
I’d say he’s found it. He’s got a 2-to-1 chip lead as Paez heads to the payout table to receive his 122,350,000 pesos.