LAPT Playa Conchal: Bergren takes huge lead into final table

lapt-promo.gifEnvy isn't a productive emotion and we try to avoid it as often as we can. That said, after talking with Sol Bergren, we're finding it hard to cage the green monster. Bergren is young, relaxed, leading the life of many people's dreams, and holds the chip lead going into the LAPT Playa Conchal final table.

The 29-year-old won a monster three-way all-in with eleven players remaining to shove his stack to the 1.2 million mark with nine players remaining. By the end of the night, he was sitting on 1,327,000, good for almost a 2-1 chip lead on second place.

Bergren refuses to describe himself as a poker pro, preferring instead to describe himself, in so many words, as a travel bum. He's spent the last couple of months, in his words, "bumming around," in Aruba and Costa Rica. We've seen him in the past on a PokerStars tour. His last big finish was in the December 2007 APPT Melbourne event where he made a final table. Now, he leads the final table of LAPT Playa Conchal. That's the type of thing he does when he takes a break from the tough life of world pleasure travel.


Day 3 of the main event here was a rock-and-fire affair that started with Brazilian Team PokerStars Pros Alex Gomes and Maria Mayrinck fighting for the final table. It ended quickly for Gomes after he rivered two pair against an opponent who rivered a straight. Mayrinck suffered the losing end of a coinflip, her ace-queen failing to outrun a pair of jacks.


Though those two stars would fall, eight people emerged from the day with another day ahead of them. The biggest hand of the evening came when Bergren busted Daniel Mar Palsson and Steven Merrifield on the same hand.

Bergren opened for 35,000 from the button and Merrifield reraised to 108,000 from the small blind. Then Palsson moved all-in for 127,000 from the big blind. Both Bergren and Merrifield called and the flop came down 8♥7♠4♥. Merrifield and Bergren both checked to see the T♠ on the turn. That's when Merrifield moved all-in for 268,000. Bergren dwelled then called for almost all his remaining stack. He turned up K♠J♠ for the second-nut flush draw and two overs. He was up against Merrfield A♠6♠ and Palsson's jack-ten.

The river that fell river elicited some pretty foul language and one pair of broken sunglasses. It was understandable. The K♦ gave every one of the chips in the pot to Bergren.

After a protracted sparring match with nine players, we finally found the final table. The players will come back in about 15 hours to determine the champion. Here's how they stack up against each other.

Sol Bergren (Canada) PokerStars player -- 1,327,000
Eric Levesque (Canada) PokerStars qualifier -- 694,000
Rogelio Pardo (Costa Rica) -- 685,000
Amer Sulaiman (Canada) PokerStars player -- 604,000
Darren Keyes (Canada) -- 572,000
Francis-Nicolas Bouchard (Canada) PokerStars player -- 564,000
Carlos Giron (Guatemala) -- 400,000
Patrick De Koster (Netherlands) PokerStars qualifier -- 340,000

You'll notice something there. More than half of the final table hails from the great white north of Canada. With another player from the Netherlands, it will be up to Rogelio Pardo or Carlos Giron to claim the title for Latin America.

You can see a full list of people who have cashed so far on our LAPT Playa Conchal winners page. So see the same thing but in much better Spanish and Portuguese, be sure to head over to and PokerStarsBlog/br.

If you'd like to read how we got to this point, we've listed all of our previous coverage links below.

Previous coverage: Day 1 wrap | Levels 9 and 10 | Levels 11 and 12 | Levels 13 and 14 | Day 2 wrap | Level 15 and 16 | Levels 17 and 18 | Levels 19 and 20 | Levels 21 and 22

We'll be back with final table action Sunday at noon CT. Until then, enjoy your weekend.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour