Sharing an Argentine Experience with Nacho Barbero

By Nacho Barbero

It has been an interesting last couple of months. Probably the most interesting -- and fun -- moment came when my friend and fellow Argentine Leo Fernandez won the LAPT Panama event back at the end of September.

When the LAPT announced it was going to Panama for the first time in Season 5, I was excited. Panama is kind of a special place for me. It's like a second home, really. I am in the process of becoming a resident, and I have so many friends there. I actually have a couple of apartments there, too, and spend a lot of time in Panama -- probably the same amount that I spend in Buenos Aires. So it was kind of like having another "hometown" LAPT for me.


Of course, I was a little less excited about it all when I busted from the Main Event. But then I saw Leo was doing well. He was the chip leader early on, and remained on top for much of the way. And so I kept an eye on it and was rooting him on. We're competitive with one another for sure, but we're both always glad when the other does well.

The night before the final table, some Colombian friends had invited me and some others to a party on a boat. It was a great time -- we saw a beautiful sunset, had fun all evening, and ended up not getting back home until the next morning. In fact we only got back a few hours before the final table was set to begin.

So I hustled on over to watch Leo, and I railed him all of the way until he reached heads-up. Then he started losing -- the other guy had about a 2-to-1 chip lead on him -- and suddenly I started to think maybe I was jinxing him or something and so I actually left, I am very superstitious when it comes to things like this.

I have to be honest, though -- there was another reason why I left a little early. A girlfriend of ours invited a group of eight to this amazing boat to cross the Panama Canal, and it was due to leave. And of course the way things turned out with Leo winning, I think maybe it was all part of the plan that I wouldn't be there at the very end.

We got the news that he had come back and won and we were all really happy for him. I heard they threw a really huge party for Leo when he won, and he was giving me a hard time afterwards for missing it -- apparently it was an epic celebration.

I felt bad that I'd missed the party, so later on I had to throw another one for Leo at my new restaurant in Buenos Aires, The Argentine Experience, and we had a great time. If you're curious, here's the restaurant's website. It's a great place to eat and have a good time with friends.

Just ask Leo!

Jose Barbero
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