We were scanning the start-of-day chip counts for familiar names when play began. One jumped out immediately — Alex Komaromi of Uruguay who topped a field of 422 here last year to win Season 4 LAPT Punta del Este. Komaromi returned today to an above-average stack of 37,075, and during the first couple of hours of play chipped up over 55,000 as he continues his title defense.
We scanned a little further and saw that same familiar name jump out at us again — Komaromi! It was Pedro, this time, the champion’s father.
Pedro returned to a healthy stack of 56,100 to start today, and he’s maintained that through the first couple of levels, meaning padre e hijo are about even at present as the field shrinks to around 200 players left.
Last year’s triumph for Alex was by far his greatest accomplishment in poker, the win earning him a cool $224,720 and marking Uruguay’s first and only LAPT title — a truly memorable moment for sure.
Pedro is a regular cash game player and has played LAPT Punta del Este in the past. He, too, had a memorable moment here the year before his son’s triumph, during Season 3.
A total of 307 players entered that year, which according to tourney-director-slash-math-wizard Mike Ward translated to the top 48 getting paid. With exactly 49 left, the blinds were 2,000/4,000 when Daniela Zapiello opened with a raise to 10,000, getting two callers including Pedro on the button. All checked the A♥A♣7♠ flop, then Zapiello led for 15,000 after the 10♠ came on the turn. The player in the middle called, Pedro raised to 50,000, and only Zapiello called.
The river then brought the 8♥ and Zapiello — who had Pedro covered — pushed all in. Pedro quickly called, showing 10♥10♦ for tens full of aces. Alas for him, Zapiello had A♣8♣ for a better full house, and Pedro was out in 49th, the last elimination before the cash.
Zapiello would go on to final table that year’s event, ultimately finishing fifth. She played this year as well, though failed to make it through yesterday’s Day 1.
Following Pedro’s bust here two years ago, Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes was on hand, safely in the cash on his way to a 16th-place finish. Humberto offered some consolation to Pedro following his unfortunate final hand.
Humberto has lots of experience playing alongside family members. There’s his brother Alex, who finished runner-up in the very first LAPT Punta del Este event in Season 1. And the Shark’s son, Roberto, is also a player. In fact, Humberto would be on hand again (and once more in the money) to see his son stone-cold bubble at LAPT Lima during Season 4.
That event — and Roberto’s bust — evoked thoughts about the special relationships between fathers and sons in another, more emotional way. After starting the tourney, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari’s father sadly passed away and Akkari had to miss the remainder of the event. As it happened Roberto’s bust enabled Akkari to cash — just barely — his almost-depleted stack sitting in front of an empty chair draped with a Brazilian flag.
Humberto continues to nurse a short stack here on Day 2. Our Lynn Gilmartin caught up with him for a brief chat not long ago.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on Humberto’s short stack. And of course we’ll also continue keeping track of the Komaromi men to see who makes it further this time, father or son.