It was the last tournament Cristian “Chapex” Chapoñan registered for that day, culminating another busy Sunday of poker for the Pervian poker pro — Event #47-M of the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker, a $55 buy-in turbo no-limit hold’em event with progressive knockouts called the Sunday Cooldown Special Edition.
As Chapoñan explained to us, staying cool was kind of a theme for him for the entire tournament, and a big challenge, too, especially as the night wore on and it appeared he might actually have a chance to do something special.
“I had an average stack most of the time, which helped me stay calm,” he explains. “However there were some tense moments. Once I was down to just four big blinds, but I was able to recover quickly.”
“When there were 27 left I remember still being calm, even though it was a turbo tournament with the blinds growing fast, not to mention a SCOOP event as well,” he continues. “Fortunately everything went well and I made the final table.”
Sitting seventh out of nine in chips to start the final table, Chapoñan still kept his cool, and was able to breath a little easier after doubling up on the very first hand of the FT when his ace-queen offsuit won versus an opponent’s pocket jacks.
With six left he faced another dicey spot. Fourth in chips, he watched the short stack limp from middle position and chose to shove behind him with pocket sevens. Alas for Chapoñan the small blind woke up with pocket kings and reshoved over the top, but a seven on the flop saved him again.
Then with four left came what he calls the decisive hand of the tournament, another preflop all-in in which he had pocket jacks versus an opponent’s pocket tens, and in this case the better hand held. Armed with a big chip lead, Chapoñan began to apply pressure, quickly knocking out “bagoch” in third, then winning with ace-seven against the ace-trey of “gloupwths” heads-up to win.
Counting the bounties, Chapoñan earned a handsome $41,084.92 for having topped the 9,019-entry field — his second-best career score following a previous Sunday Warm-Up runner-up four years ago, and a SCOOP title!
It was through his cousin that Chapoñan first got into poker about a dozen years ago.
“Little by little I became more interested,” he says. “I started playing recreationally with friends and watching videos of the WSOP and other championships. Then in 2011 I created an account at PokerStars.”
A college student at the time, Chapoñan continued to play while obtaining an engineering degree. After that came a few months of full-time work, but the game pulled at him. Finally he made a decision to give poker an earnest try and told his parents of his decision.
“At first they didn’t understand it, but with time they supported me and continue to do so,” he says. “From the end of 2014 to the present day I have been playing poker full-time ever since, and I am happy doing it.”
Chapoñan is quick to credit his friends and family for his success at the tables.
“I thank my family, my girlfriend, and my friends for all the support they have given me.” He also thanks the Peruvian poker community, and hopes to continue to represent the country well with more good results.
Congrats to “Chapex” for staying calm and cool and coming out on top. Well done, Champion Chapoñan!