LAPT6 Colombia: Velasco comes from way behind to head final table

June 08, 2013

It took exactly 7 minutes and 3 seconds of post-dinner play to eliminate the last two players on Day 3 of the 2013 Latin American Poker Tour Colombia National Poker Championship. When the final eight players return tomorrow, they’ll be led by Colombia’s own Miguel Velasco.

Before we get to that, though, we should pay our last respects to the dearly departed: German Arias and Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen. Arias was the first to go. I was watching Guillen get crippled down to 200,000 at the outer table when he shoved K♦Q♣ right into Juan Manuel Pastor’s pocket aces, doubling Pastor to 650,000. I thus didn’t see exactly how Arias got it in, but it looked like he and Weider Gutierrez took a flop of 7♦A♦6♠ and Arias made a gutsy shove with 6♥5♥. Guttierez wasn’t going anywhere with A♠10♣, top pair of aces. Arias didn’t improve.

Upon the elimination of Arias, there was a brief pause to consolidate tables. Guillen, the short stack, drew lucky when he drew the button. Yet on the first hand of the nine-handed table, Velasco opened from middle position. Guillen shoved pocket 8s for his last 200,000. Velaso called with K♥J♣ and flopped a king. Guillen never caught up. He earned COP 18,340,000, about $10,000, for his deep run here in Medellin.

Now then. With that out of the way, lets turn our attention to the chip leader, Miguel Velasco. When blinds were at 6000-12000, he had exactly 32,000 left in his stack – fewer than three big blinds. That began a spirited run. He was all in countless times as he begin climbing, bit by bit, first to a short stack, then to an average stack, then to the chip lead. When the chips were counted at the end of the day, he had 2,435,000, good for the lead.

Joining Velasco at tomorrow’s final table is Team PokerStars Pro Cristian “El Grillo” de Leon, who had been a bit snakebitten at the last two LAPT Main Events. Both times he was crippled near the bubble and managed only a small cash. Here in Medellin, Grillo was the overnight leader of Day 1b and cruised through the Day 2 bubble. This event marks the first LAPT Main Event in which he has made the final three tables, never mind the final table itself. He will be hungry for a win tomorrow.

Velasco’s final-table chip lead is a far cry from how the day began. At that time, Arias was the leader and seemed poised to cruise to the final table. Several players were eliminated before Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez even turned up. The tournament was humming right along.

Mayu Roca set the pace in the middle stages of the day. In fact, he tagged Velasco several times and was in no small part responsible for the 32,000-chip predicament in which Velasco found himself.

The field moved from three tables to two tables when Fernandez was eliminated in 17th place. Fernandez’s bust-out hand wasn’t as memorable as the hand that crippled him. He and Eduardo Akl tangled on the turn of a Q♥10♥6♠9♥ board. Fernandez flopped top two with Q♣10♣, but Akl had half a world of outs with Q♦J♥. He hit one of them with a heart river.

With two tables left in the tournament, weird things started happening. Short stacks refused to bust. Big stacks became medium stacks. Medium stacks became short stacks. Fortunes changed. Everything came to a grinding halt in the two hours leading up to dinner. After dinner, seven minutes of play solved all problems.

When play resumes tomorrow at noon local time, the final eight players will take their seats behind these stacks:

Seat 1: Team PokerStars Pro Cristian “El Grillo” de Leon (Mexico) – 1,000,000
Seat 2: Weider Gutierrez (Colombia) – 1,500,000
Seat 3: Mayu Roca (Colombia) – 360,000
Seat 4: Miguel Moscoso (Venezuela) – 500,000
Seat 5: Miguel Velasco (Colombia) – 2,435,000
Seat 6: Alejandro Arrubarrena (Argentina) – 1,210,000
Seat 7: Pablo Luzardo (Ecuador) – 1,580,000
Seat 8: Juan Manual Pastor (Argentina) – 610,000

There will be 52:57 remaining in Level 25, blinds 20k-40k, ante 5k. The average stack of 1,179,000 is a little short for this stage of the tournament, as it represents only 29.5 big blinds. Play rates to be fast at the start, but hopefully it won’t be quite so fast as the post-dinner play was.

Until then, you can find us at the bar.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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