With each new LAPT event, it’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence to encounter players sitting at the tables whom I’ve “met” before when covering them in online events. As more and more often players from Central and South America are turning up at final tables and winning big events such as the Sunday Million, the Super Tuesday, and the various ‘COOPs, it hasn’t been surprising to run into the same players frequently when coming to cover live events in these same countries.
For example, after learning that Brazilian player Francisco “chiconogue” Nogueira was among the field today, I couldn’t resist seeking him out after having witnessed his phenomenal finish to this year’s WCOOP.
After cashing several times and finishing runner-up in Event #30 — a $1,050 NLHE affair in which he earned a cool $199,797.50 for coming one spot shy of the bracelet — Noguiera negotiated his way through another tough final table in Event #53, a $215 NLHE Re-Entry “Big Antes” event.
In the latter Nogueira outlasted several tough competitors before finding himself up against Nicolas “PKaiser” Fierro, an early leader here yesterday on Day 1A. This time Noguiera ran hot during the heads-up battle to best Fierro and capture the win and $79,808 first prize. Then just five days later he was making another deep run in the Main Event, ultimately finishing 12th to collect another $65,331.
While his username is familiar at the virtual tables, Nogueira hasn’t played that much live with this marking his first ever LAPT. He has plans to play more, though, no doubt bolstered bankroll-wise by that successful September.
“I generally prefer online,” he explained during the first break today. “There’s a lot more convenience, and being able to multi-table and enjoy more action is always good. But live you usually encounter easier fields.”
Recalling his WCOOP experiences, the story of his runner-up in Event #30 — where the nearly-$200K score represented his largest career cash of any kind — didn’t necessarily support his thesis that playing online is more convenient.
“We were three-handed,” he began. “That’s when a neighbor — a drug user — decided he’d try to burn down the door of an apartment in my condominium. I had to unplug the computer and evacuate the building.”
From there Noguiera then found himself downloading PokerStars to his phone — and having to wait out an update, to add further anxiety. “It was hard. I lost total focus, but I managed to get to heads-up before finishing second.”
A memorable tournament, to be sure, with his catching fire — in a good way — heads-up against Fierro a few days later to win a WCOOP was a nice follow-up.
Through two levels today Noguiera is still sitting with just about the same 20,000-chip starting stack with which he began. He’s plenty patient, though, and after enduring different varieties of stress and succeeding during WCOOP, he seems well equipped to handle whatever heat his opponents may try to send his way.
Photography from LAPT7 Peru by Carlos Monti. Check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at PokerStars.tv. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.