It’s so rare to get two bites at the apple, two chances to grab that brass ring. Players work hard to put themselves in a position to do it even once. The second opportunity could be a lifetime away.
Last year, Weider Gutierrez was poised to grab 5 million of 6.6 million total chips in play when four players were left in LAPT5 Colombia. He only had to dodge three outs with one card to come to eliminate Raul Paez and put a stranglehold on the tournament.
Then the three-outer came, and Gutierrez’s life changed. He seemed to be a shaken man, and his stack suffered for it. He eventually faltered in 4th place, ending Colombia’s hopes of crowning a Colombian champion in Medellin for the first time.
Yet somehow, just one year later, Gutierrez got his second chance by making the final table for a second year in a row. As LAPT President David Carrion said a few moments ago, “That’s a tough thing to do.”
Gutierrez began the day 3rd in chips, and while he had the feel-good story on his side, it was largely lost beneath the intensity of chip leader Miguel Velasco’s story. Velasco was trying to bring the old poker axiom, “a chip, a chair and a prayer” to life after finding himself with just 32k at 6k-12k yesterday.
Velasco never seemed to find his comfort zone at the table, however. In the early stages of the day, Gutierrez and runner-up Miguel Moscoso both showed the most fight, the most life, and the most heart. It was fitting that they should be the final two players of this 629-player tournament, playing for the COP 165,244,000 champion’s prize.
The short stack, Mayu Roca, followed Pastor out the door. He played exactly one hand at the final table. It didn’t work out for him.
Pablo Luzardo will probably think about this final table for a long time to come. He made what is possibly the tightest river fold I’ve seen in 5 years of watching tournament poker and got shown a bluff. From there the rest of the table ran over Luzardo until he had to shove a short stack. That didn’t work out for him.
A pair of friends were the 5th and 4th place finishers. Alejandro Arrubarrena and Team PokerStars Pro Cristian de Leon each had their chances today to become an LAPT champion. Grillo never found the double-up he needed, however, and Arrubarrena played the fewest hands of anyone at the final table. Arrubarrena bowed out first, followed quickly by “El Grillo”.
Those rapid eliminations left chip leader Miguel Velasco with the two players to his right who had been the most active: Moscoso and Gutierrez. With roughly level stacks, the three men agreed to smooth out the jumps in prize money from 3rd place to 2nd place and 1st place. After 15 minutes of haggling, the deal was done. That was fortunate for Velasco when his aces were cracked by Moscoso’s K♣5♣.
Moscoso’s luck ran out in the end. The man who desperately wanted the win was denied by the man who himself had been denied the win last year.
Gutierrez had been restrained throughout the entire final table, but when he saw that Moscoso was drawing dead on the final hand, he fell to his knees and began to cry. Moscoso walked over to him and gave him a hug. Gutierrez’s Colombian supporters cheered from the rail. The chips were moved from Moscoso’s stack into Gutierrez’s own while a giant cardboard check was produced with his name on it.
On his second bite at the apple, Gutierrez bit hard and didn’t let go.
That concludes our coverage of LAPT6 Colombia. The next stop for the tour is in Lima, Peru on July 31. The next stop for the PokerStarsBlog Live Events team is APPT Macau. The Main Event there starts Wednesday and will feature full updates on the blog.
Until then, you can find us at the bar.
LAPT6 Colombia COP 2,000,000 Main Event results (* indicates 3-way deal)
1st: Weider Gutierrez (Colombia) – COP 165,244,000*
2nd: Miguel Moscoso (Venezuela) – COP 155,243,000*
3rd: Miguel Velasco (Colombia) – COP 145,243,000*
4th: Cristian de Leon (Mexico) – COP 74,460,000
5th: Alejandro Arrubarrena (Argentina) – COP 55,790,000
6th: Pablo Luzardo (Ecuador) – COP 41,510,000
7th: Mayu Roca (Colombia) – COP 30,530,000
8th: Juan Manuel Pastor (Argentina) – COP 22,840,000
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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