LAPT Punta del Este: The Quiet Man

Alex Brenes is no stranger to this venue. Back in Season 1, Brenes had the LAPT Punta del Este title in sight, but came up just short of a victory, finishing second to Spain's Jose Miguel Espinar. Yesterday, he played his second career final table here at the Mantra Resort and finished eighth, albeit in a tournament that originated 5,000 miles north of here in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Though Brenes made a bit of a late arrival here this afternoon, having indulged in a bit of celebration following his elimination last night, his tardiness has not deterred his progress in this event, where he is still alive and kicking.


Alex Brenes (foreground), and tablemate Andre Akkari

Much like his gregarious older brother Humberto, Alex plays a tight-aggressive style (though he's a far quieter presence at the table than the "Chark"). Ergo, when he moved all in over the top of an early position player's 2,075 opening raise and received a call, it wasn't too big of a surprise to see him turn over a premium hand. And premium it was -- Brenes was in perhaps the best pre-flop spot in Texas hold'em, his K♣-{KD] up against K♠-Q♦.

By our observations, Latin American players tend to be a boisterous and emotional bunch (the over/under on outburts of "VAMO!" is about 3.5 per level), but Brenes hardly batted an eye as the board safely ran out J♣-7♥-4♣-6♥-2♣, increasing his stack from a "push and pray" 6,975 to a far more workable 15,800. He certainly has his work cut out for him, as the always-dangerous Andre Akkari is now seated on his right.