LAPT Mar del Plata: Viva Leo!
If there's one thing we've learned about Leo Fernandez today, it's this. The man is a short-stack ninja. Crippled to only 1,100 in chips only moments after cards went in the air when his flopped two pair were outdrawn on the turn, Fernandez didn't allow that early beat to shake him and has been hanging on ever since. As we passed by his table throughout the afternoon, his stack kept inching up. First to 2,000. Then 3,000. Then 5,000. He wasn't playing a ton of hands but the ones he did apparently paid off.
In the post-dinner hour, however, blinds were up to 300/600 with a 75 ante. It was moving day for Fernandez and the media knew it, gathering around his table to make sure they witnessed what might be his final move.
A short-stacked player in middle position open-shoved for his remaining 5,800. A second middle position player (a Phil Galfond doppleganger if we've ever seen one) flat-called the all in. The action folded around to Fernandez in the big blind, who looked down at his cards, sighed, and covered them with the little clay pirate figurine he's been using as a card capper. Resignedly, he tossed his remaining 4,275 into the pot, not looking thrilled he'd have to fade two hands.
Fernandez turned up pocket jacks, while his opponents showed A♥9♠ and A♣K♥. Everyone craned their necks as the dealer ran out the board-- 7♦Q♣8♣3♥Q♠. While the initial raiser holding the A-9 was eliminated and the Galfond look-alike won the small side pot with his A-K, Fernandez made two pair queens and jacks to more than triple up to 15,000.
"Vamo Leo!" cried one railbird as the Argentinian chess master raked in the most chips he's seen all day.