LAPT San Jose: Championship survival

Valdemar Kwaysser had his hat sitting on the table's padded rail. His sunglasses were off, upside down on the felt. His last 6,500 in chips were within falling distance of his shades. And he was smiling.

At the 300/600/50 level, he'd been facing a raise to 2,000 and, holding Ah-Kc and with only 8,500 in front of him, he didn't have much of a choice. In went his chips. His fate was sealed and there was nothing else he could do.

The fact his opponent didn't insta-call had to make the champion feel good. Nearly five minutes later, the Season 1 LAPT San Jose champion was all but ready to stack the pot in front of him. Finally, another player at the table lost his patience with the pondering original raiser.

"I'm sorry," he said, and it seemed like he actually was, "but clock."

And then came the call 6,500 call. Kwaysser turned over his big slick, a 60-40 favorite over the Qd-Jd, but certainly no sure thing.


The flop came all babies (which incidentally, sounds like a good title for a novel) and Kwaysser suddenly tensed up. The turn was a king and suddenly his opponent was drawing dead. Kwaysser barely reacted. Then, a second later, he relaxed.

"Oh," he said, obviously realizing he'd won. "I wasn't hoping to hit my ace or king. I was just looking for blanks."

The pot brought him back up to 17,000 in chips, still short of the 23,000 average, but back in a place where he doesn't have to shove it all in pre-flop every time he sees A-K.

Ninety-two of the original 219 starting players remain in the field. Tournament Director Mike Ward just announced that tables would start playing eight-handed when the next table breaks. If we're not careful we're going to make it to a final table a day early. Kwaysser, obviously, doesn't care how fast it happens, as long as he's back among the final nine again.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour