Brenes outlasts the seniors at Bellagio Five Diamond
The Shark was feeling a bit peckish. Then again, Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes is always feeling a little hungry for chips. Put him in water full of players who match his life experience and Brenes' stomach growls even more.
Such was the scene at Event #11 of the Bellagio Five Diamond seniors event. One hundred sixty-eight players put down $1,500 apiece to fight for the no-limit hold'em title. It was a feeding frenzy for the godfather of Costa Rican poker. Brenes confessed he was aching for a win. It had been two years since he'd nabbed a first place spot. With the blood in the water, Brenes went to work and emerged with the victory.
Brenes' work began early in event, increasing his stack by 50% on the second hand of the tournament. It allowed him to play some big-stack poker and relax for most of the first day. By the time the blinds had climbed to 500/1000/100, Brenes came in for 4,000 with Ad-Ac. His opponent, a conservative player, called with position. The flop came down Jd-7s-6d.
Brenes said later that, given he was holding the Ace of diamonds, he felt safe in going for a check-raise. It didn't work. His opponent checked behind and they saw the 7d. This time, Brenes put out a 10,000 bet. It was soon clear, Brenes' timing was off. His opponent moved all-in. It was 25,000 more for Brenes to call. The Team PokerStars Pro went into the tank. If he were to lose the hand, he would be down to 8,000 chips. Win and it's smooth sailing. Brenes made the call and felt his stomach turn. His opponent turned up Kd-Qd for the flush.
Brenes had eleven outs with one card to come. He got one of them, the 7c, and scooped the monster. The voracious chip eater dribbled a few luck crumbs on his shirt and smiled. Brenes reached the six-handed final table in second place with 182.000 chips out of 750,000 in play.
The Costa Rican had a great start at the final table, eliminating the first player with J-J against 4-4. Brenes retook the chip lead and held it until he got heads up with his old buddy Chris Bjorin. It took two and half hours to play out the heads up battle.
The ultimate hand played like this: Brenes had the button and completed with Qd-9d. Bjorin raised with Qs-Jc and Brenes called.The flop showed Jd-10t-6d. No question, this hand was about to be the last one. The chips were in with all due speed. The board ran out 3c-5d to give Brenes the flush and the win.
Brenes pocketed $78,220 for his efforts and won his first bracelet at the Bellagio.