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Every poker tour should have its Stephen Chidwick.
Chidwick, for the uninitiated, burst onto the European scene several years back as a “serial qualifier”. He wouldn’t qualify just one time for an EPT event. He’d qualify multiple times, pocketing the money of the second (and subsequent) seats and packages he won. In 2008, Chidwick won more than 100 packages to the World Series of Poker on PokerStars. Since he was 18 at the time and couldn’t legally play at the WSOP, he converted all of them to cash.
The LAPT’s version of Stephen Chidwick might be Gerardo “gerardox” Rodriguez.
The LAPT first came to Rodriguez’ attention at Season 4’s event in Medellin last October. Since then, the quiet, stony-faced Peruvian has spent a lot of his time qualifying for LAPT events on PokerStars. The buy-ins for those qualifiers are usually manageable amounts of money and allow players like Rodriguez to win trips to LAPT events. Rodriguez won six packages to the Season 4 Grand Final in Sao Paulo. He won eight seat-only entries to the event here in Medellin. In between he’s also won qualifiers for Chile and Uruguay. Oh, and a whole bunch of tournament-dollars from extra seats and packages that he’s won and converted. Each of those packages may not represent life-changing money, but in the aggregate they quickly add up.
And make no mistake – winning all of those packages takes quite a bit of skill. Rodriguez put that skill on display in a four-handed pot at his table halfway through Level 3.
On a flop of 9♥5♠4♠, Rodriguez checked as the first player to act. The player to his immediate left bet 1,300; a third player called. The button player then min-raised to 2,600, prompting Rodriguez to shove all in for 9,575. That shove folded everyone except the button, who called with J♠9♣. Rodriguez showed two overcards and the nut flush draw, A♠10♠. The turn blanked but the river Q♠ gave Rodriguez the nuts. He doubled up to about 22,000.
Selectively aggressive plays like that have already brought Rodriguez here, and to Punta del Este, and to Chile and to Sao Paulo. One day soon they could carry him to an LAPT title.
THE “DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK” OF THE HOUR
Earlier this afternoon we wrote about EPT7 Grand Final champion Ivan Freitez, who was down to 50(!) chips after 10 minutes of play. He’s still peacefully grinding away and is back up to about 13,000.
OVERHEARD SPANGLISH OF THE HOUR
“He’s not even a friendo?”
RANDOM STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
Number of hot dogs currently on display at the Casino Allegre hot dog stand: 46
Number of hot dogs already collectively consumed at the Blogger desk: 2