LAPT Vina del Mar: The Magnificent Rise and Perilous Fall of Juan Carlos Alvarado

J.C. Alvarado's day was starting nicely. He doubled up during the first level, taking his stack past the 20,000 mark, giving him some added ammunition with which to work his tricky, loose-aggressive style. However, sometime just past the first break, things began to turn the wrong way for the young Mexican-American pro, and his once-mighty stack shrunk up to nearly it's original level. But for Alvarado, that's hardly cause for alarm.

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J.C. Alvarado's all-in moment

Alvarado opened the pot from UTG and got one caller in Leon Yanovski. The flop came down Ac-8d-4c and after a flurry of bets and raises, Alvarado ended up all in, his jack-high flush draw with Jc-7c up against Yanovski's set of eights. No clubs for J.C. on the turn and river and once the stacks were counted down, he was left with a mere 1,800 in chips.

"Short stack!" he declared in a sing-song voice.

While the rest of the media bubble relocated a few steps to the left to listen to Humberto Brenes crack some apparently hilarious jokes in his native tongue, Alvarado shipped the remainder of his chips into the middle from the small blind two hands later, his 8d-Td up against Kd-Js.

"I folded one of yours" said Yanovski.

"Oh, that's not good" replied Alvarado. "But I've got straight draws and flush draws and..."

"Well, what you really want with that hand is to flop the nuts" replied Yanovski.

Sure enough, the flop came down 9c-7h-6c, Alvarado flopping said nuts with a ten-high straight. As Mike Sexton might say, "Bingo-bongo-bango!"

"Now I've got chips!" an elated Alvarado said with a smile. "Hey, anything more than ten big blinds is enough. I have 3,700. That's just like an online stack!"

Alvarado's comeback, however, would be short-lived. A few minutes later, he made his stand with pocket fives and ended up in a race situation with his opponent's A-Q. A queen on the flop, an ace on the turn and no magical five on the river sent Alvarado to the rail... or rather the sandy beaches outside.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour