LAPT6 Colombia: Burning up prior to re-entry

June 06, 2013

I’m going to level with you. I dislike writing about hands on Day 1 of a four-day tournament, especially in the first half of the day. While those hands are important in the sense that they allow players to gauge each other and to begin to build stacks, in the grand scheme of things they’re not all that interesting to the casual observer. It’s hard to get excited about a 1,000-chip pot when players start with 15,000 in chips.

However, I am about to write about a hand that occurred 30 minutes into Level 1, right in front of the blogging desk, because it was unusual. The hand actually starts with me at the registration cage, asking an LAPT staff member, “Is Nacho here?” I was told that Team PokerStars Pro Jose “Nacho” Barbero just bought in.

By the time I found him, he was in the midst of his second hand. Or rather, he was headed back to the registration table to pay for bullet number two, as was the player two seats to his right. The player to Nacho’s left was dragging a pot worth 45,000 in chips.

LAPT6_Colombia_Jose_Nacho_Barbero_Day1b.jpg

Nacho, on his second bullet

Apparently several people limped into the pot pre-flop before a player in late position made it 525 to go with pocket 8s. Nacho, playing from the blinds, was among four players who called to a flop of 5♠6♠8♦. He led for 1,400 into the 2,600-chip pot holding Q♠7♠.

“I flopped a straight flush draw,” Nacho later said as he was waiting to execute his second buy-in. “It was the second hand I played, and it was super sick because this guy” – he pointed to the guy behind him in the registration line – “had top set, and the other guy had a straight flush draw as well.”

The other guy with a straight flush draw, the guy who eventually won the pot, was holding A♠9♠. He called Nacho’s 1,400 chip bet before the player with top set raised to 4,400. Nacho shipped in 15,000 and got called in two spots, which is never a spot a player likes, even in Level 1 of a re-entry event.

“It was just a totally sick hand. There’s nothing anybody could have done,” Nacho said. “It’s a re-entry event.”

There the three players were, with 45,000 chips up for grabs. Nacho had the worst of it with only 15% equity; the other straight flush draw was roughly twice as good with 28% equity. Nacho was drawing dead when the 2♠ hit the turn; the top set was dead as well after the board failed to pair on the river.

Three hands, each player thinking he had double-digit outs after the flop, in Level 1 of a re-entry event. That’s one way to build a big stack. It’s also one way to burn up prior to re-entry. This time Nacho and Mr. Top Set burned up, and just like that a player is sitting with 450 big blinds in Level 1 of this poker tournament.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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