LAPT Mar del Plata: Table USA
Four days ago, Brandon Demes was home in Arizona, grinding his way through a capped field of 256 in the SCOOP $2,600 Heads-Up NLHE event. Demes ended up finishing third, good for a $51,200 infusion to his bankroll and today finds himself in Argentina-- 6,000 miles away from home, seated across the table from Chris Moneymaker.
Demes has made the long trek to the Southern Hemisphere before-- he and his roommate, fellow online pro Brian Tate, have been traveling to LAPT events all season. Though Tate went out in the early going, Demes is well-stacked with about 30,000 in chips.
Moneymaker and Demes are the only two English-speaking players at their table. Naturally, they've become fast friends, chatting to each other between hands. Moneymaker has had to contend with having a target on his back all day. If players aren't calling him down to the river, they're reraising him with abandon. Here's one example.
With the blinds at 300/600, everyone folded to the player on the button, who limped in. Moneymaker popped it to 2,600 straight from the small blind. The big blind gave up his hand, but the button immediately moved all in for about 15,000 or so.
"Seriously?" asked Moneymaker, a puzzled expression on his face.
He returned to his stack and counted out the amount the call would cost him, cutting out his orange 1,000-denomination chips into three neat piles of five chips each, a small pile of hundreds and quarters atop the center stack. Though Moneymaker had not declared a call or placed the chips over the betting line, the dealer swooped in and started pulling his stack into the middle.
"Whoa!" cried Moneymaker, putting his hands over his chips. "I haven't called yet!"
Ultimately, Moneymaker folded pocket tens face-up. The button flashed a pair of deuces and as soon as the pot was pushed his way, ran over to a friend on the rail, babbling in Spanish about how he bluffed a world champion.
"I got played. Not the first time, won't be the last," Moneymaker sighed.
"You know, I would have called with nines. Nines flop more sets than any other cards in the deck. They're heavier," he joked.
A few hands later, Moneymaker made a stand. The UTG player limped in for 600 and Moneymaker made it 2,300 to go from the button. The blinds folded, but the UTG player grabbed a handful of chips and threw them toward the middle of the table, 6,600 in total. Moneymaker considered for several minutes, asking his opponent for a count. In a similar fashion to the previous hand, Moneymaker counted out the amount of a call, but then turned around and pushed his entire stack in. The UTG player tanked for an eternity before he flashed a ten and mucked his hand.
This time, he had aces.