LAPT Punta del Este: The Silent Assassin

Alex Fitzgerald had a rough go of it at the EPT Dortmund. On an A-J-5-A-4 board, he flopped top pair and turned trips, value betting his A-Q beautifully on each street and getting called down each time. The only problem was, his opponent turned up 4-4 on the river and dealt the 21-year old Seattle native a crushing blow. Even worse than that, he got his money in with A-A against 9-7 only to watch the board run out Q-J-T-9-7, eliminating him from the tournament. So it's fair to say that Fitzgerald doesn't exactly harbor loving memories of the Motherland.

Only a few days later, he was on a plane to Montevideo, hoping to turn things around here in Uruguay.

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Alex "Assassinato" Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, known online as "Assassinato," has been traveling the world almost nonstop for the last couple of years after quitting his day job at age 18 to play full-time. In Season 1 of the LAPT, he missed the final table in Rio de Janiero by only two spots, finishing 11th. What he lacks in live finishes he's more than made up for online, regularly crushing high buy-in tournaments on PokerStars. Fitzgerald finished fifth in the Sunday Million last September for a $54,000 score, won the Nightly Hundred Grand in December, and has final tabled the $109 Rebuy at least three times.

A picture of quiet strength at the table, Fitzgerald has been steadily amassing a stack all day, carefully choosing his spots and applying pressure the moment he senses weakness. Faced with a middle position limper and a call from the small blind, Fitzgerald checked his option and saw a flop of A♥-6♥-4♠. The small blind checked, Fitzgerald rapped the table, and the middle position player quickly tossed out a 3,000 bet. Maybe too quickly. It was enough to chase away the small blind, but after a moment's consideration, Fitzgerald slid out one of his stacks of yellow chips, making a raise to 20,000. His opponent couldn't fold quickly enough and Fitzgerald picked up the pot, increasing his already-formidable stack to over 50,000.

Fitzgerald ultimately hopes to retire from poker and pursue a career as a writer. But perhaps a victory here might change his mind.