The first 15 minutes of Level 28 were drama-filled as the blinds and antes have increased to a point — 30,000/60,000 and 10,000 — where the short stacks were forced to act.
The action started just as the level began. After an Oscar Alache opening raise, Javier Venegas pushed all in for about 1.2 million and Alache called, turning over A♥K♥ to Venegas’s A♦10♣.
The Argentinian was in trouble, but the 5♠Q♦10♠ flop soon shifted the circumstances by pairing his ten. The turn and river — the 4♣ and 2♠ — changed nothing, and suddenly Venegas was up close to 2.5 million and second in chips to Alache’s just over 2.6 million.
Soon after that hand Nacho Barbero open-pushed all in from the button for 725,000 and Justo Esquivel called from the big blind with his last 550,000 or so.
Esquivel had 6♣6♦ and hopes the pair would hold against Barbero’s Q♦10♠, but the flop came 5♥K♠J♠ then the turn 9♣, giving Barbero a straight and leaving Esquivel drawing dead to finish in fifth ($51,460).
The excitement continued from there after Renata Teixeira opened with a raise to 155,000 from the small blind, Venegas three-bet to 355,000 from the big blind, Teixeira shoved for 1.42 million total and Venegas called.
The now huge crowd of Teixeira supporters began their chanting again, the sound getting louder with the dealing of each postflop street.
At the 4♥J♣6♦ flop the rumble intensified. It picked up more after the 5♠ turn. And after the 10♥ river — ensuring Teixeira the big double-up — it was deafening.
That hand gave Teixeira the chip lead, and now it appears the four remaining players are going to pause the tournament to talk about a possible deal. Here are the counts at present:
Renata Teixeira (Brazil) — 2,875,000
Oscar Alache (Chile) — 2,725,000
Nacho Barbero (Argentina) — 1,325,000
Javier Venegas (Argentina) — 1,040,000
They’ve brought out pizzas and drinks for the crowd here in the tournament area, and the pause is giving everyone a chance to partake. Also provides time to clean up the purple haze of confetti, too, that Team Teixeira has strewn about.
Photography from LAPT8 Chile by Carlos Monti. Watch the stream at LAPT Live. You can also follow the action in Spanish on the PokerStars blog and on Facebook, and in Portuguese on the blog and on Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.