LAPT Mar del Plata: Final table player profiles
Below you will find the profiles of the nine final table players at the LAPT Grand Final in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The players come from around the corner and around the world.
They will be fighting for the following prizes.
LAPT Mar del Plata final table prizes
Dominik Nitsche -- Germany -- PokerStars qualifier -- 817,000
18-year old Dominik Nitsche is still in high school, but it looks like he'll be playing hooky for at least one more day. Hailing from Minden, Germany, he learned to play poker about two years ago and is now an avid online player. Nitsche qualified for the LAPT Grand Final via the Steps satellites and ended up winning five packages to this event. Remarkably, this is his first live tournament and he arrives at the final table today as the chip leader with 817,000 in his stack.
Sergio Farias -- Argentina -- 474,000
Sergio Farias, the local player or "marplatense", is married with two kids. The businessman started playing on the Internet and missed the supersatelite to qualify into the tourney, but he decided to pay the buy-in directly, because " I couldnt miss this tournament on my turf." This is his first tournament ever and he is not surprised to be at the final table. He has all his "homies" with him and he feels very comfortable. He is now going to be a lot more popular in the streets of Mar del Plata.
Jorge Landazuri -- Mexico --PokerStars qualifier --428,000
Jorge Landazuri is here on a complete freeroll. The young man from Matlazan, Mexico did not pay a peso to enter this $5,200 event. Instead, he qualified on a PokerStars.net freeroll. Know what he got when he won that? Yep, an entry into another PokerStars.net freeroll. That tournament had a pretty good prize. When Landazuri won, he got his buy-in and trip to Argentina for nothing at all. Now he's at the final table...A pretty good ROI, we'd say?
Jason Skeans -- United States -- PokerStars qualifier -- 338,000
Jason Skeans is a 22-year online professional from Cincinnati, Ohio. After spending a little time taking classes and working (what he called "irrelevant stuff"), he is playing in his first big live tournament ever. Skeans is a a PokerStars Supernova who qualified for this event through a VIP Club 10,000 FPP freeroll.
Leo Fernandez -- Argentina -- Team PokerStars Pro -- 329,000
Leo Fernandez was crippled within the first five minutes of the tournament and managed to claw his way all the way back to the final table. One of the most recently-crowned Team PokerStars Pros, the man from Argentina is a former chess champion. When he isn't playing poker, Leo is a fan of arts and music. He also likes extreme sports - finding the same buzz he gets from playing in major poker tournaments.
Jose Ignacio Barbero -- Argentina -- PokerStars player -- 181,000
Jose Ignacio Barbero, AKA "Nacho", has been a professional poker player for five and half years. The former Argentinian national Champion of Magic: The Gathering player started the year with a first place in the PCA Bahamas on the $1,000 event. He specialty is PLO and multi-table tournaments. The Boca Juniors fan came in 89th in last year's WSOP and 490th in 2007. He is really happy that PokerStars is sponsoring him in these tournaments and he thinks he is playing better thanks because of it.
Rodolfo Awad -- Chile -- PokerStars qualifier -- 170,000
After failing to qualify for LAPT: Vina del Mar in his native country, Rodoflo's ecstatic to be here in the LAPT Grand Final. Especially since he managed to qualify for a grand total of $30. Rodolfo started playing poker two years ago when he discovered PokerStars. "It was a great time to start" said Rodolfo, since live poker started growing in Chile around that same time. Rodolfo is strictly a tournament player. On PokerStars he enjoys the $55 6-max and the$12 180 man sit and gos. Poker is on Rodolfo's mind a lot, but he had some concerns when he made the final table, "I have a plane ticket to leave tomorrow and I'm supposed to take my kid to school on Monday," he said. With $28,220 guaranteed today, those worries will take a backseat to the poker.
Derek Lerner -- Canada -- PokerStars qualifier -- 151,000
Derek Lerner is 27-year-old professional poker player from Montreal, Quebec. He's known on every tour as a serial qualifier. He's also known for being one half of a pair of twin brothers on the tour. His brother Aaron occasionally joins him on trips. Lerner is most famous this week for a Day 1B tirade that had him declaring his was facing the "worst travesty of his poker career." The tournament director had ruled against him during a disagreement and Lerner was livid. Lerner responded by toughing it out through Day 2 and making the final table. "Crime doesn't pay," he said with a smile.
Alfons Fenjin -- Netherlands -- PokerStars qualifier -- 65,000
Hailing from the Netherlands, Alfons wants to thank one person for being here: his longtime high school friend. Not only did he join him on the trip to Argentina, but taught him how to play poker three years ago. The tutelage seems to be working. Alfons started by playing small live tournaments organized by his friends; the buy-in rarely exceeded two euros. Like most poker players, Alfons found PokerStars and signed up immediately. Seduced by re-buy events and live tournament satellites, Fenjin decided to play the $11 rebuy for a shot at a seat to Argentina. Suffice to say, he ran well. Alfons joins the final table as a short stack, but still has hope. "I started day two short-stacked and I didn't expect to make the final table but I did!" he said.