LAPT Vina del Mar: Ylon on Ylon

Ylon Schwartz had toyed with the idea of disappearing off the face of the earth after November 2008. With his million bucks locked up and millions more on the line at the World Series final table, Schwartz bandied about the possibility he would just slip into some Brazilian hammock and never again show his face on the poker circuit.

Somewhere between then and now, Schwartz must have decided to stick around for a while. He's popped up at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and here in Chile for the LAPT. It appears the lover of games is not yet finished with poker.

At the PCA, Schwartz made a deep run, finishing 61st place for $25,000. Today he has made it through the first half of the field and remains in the hunt for Day 2.

We watched Schwartz from a distance yesterday as he rested in a bed of grass outside the Hotel Del Mar. He'd propped himself up on one elbow and stared at a chess board. Both sides of the board were in action. Every few minutes, Schwartz would scrunch up his face and shake his head. At thirty yards, it looked as though Schwartz was playing himself.

"My room wasn't going to be ready until 2pm," he said later by way of explanation.


If you don't recall earlier tales, Schwartz used to make decent money playing chess for money around New York. Watching him in battle against apparently himself, it was clear the guy knows how to stay sharp.

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And so we watch him now at a table full of talkative action junkies. Schwartz barely talks, barely moves. He looks at the felt like he looked on the Del Mar's lawn. Each decision is measured, each word chosen carefully. He gives little away.

Moments ago, he bet into an opponent on a Kh-4c-Jc board and got a call. Both players checked the 8d on the turn. On the river, the 4h, Schwartz checked again and his opponent bet 3,200. Schwartz seemed as though he knew what was coming.

"You flop a set of jacks?" he asked, not expecting an answer. Ultimately, he folded. As his opponent moved his had toward the muck, a jack flashed. It seemed enough to satisfy Schwartz's curiosity. Then somebody said Ylon's name.

"I thought that's who you were," said the man with the jack.

Schwartz said nothing.

"I bet you weren't pleased about fourth place," said another opponent.

"You know," he said shrugging. "Yes and no."

Just a couple of hands later, Alex Brenes trapped Schwartz. They got it all-in pre-flop, Schwartz's As-9s against Brenes' pocket kings. The board ran out blanks and Schwartz was gone, free to play chess, free to do whatever he wants.

It's not lost on us that--from here--it would be faster for Schwartz to go to Brazil than it would be to go to New York City.

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In other news, Steven Thompson (he of the platinum blonde hair and black dyed spade) just managed to double up with A-K vs. A-9.

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Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour