LAPT7 Brazil: Angel Guillen and the ultimate soul read

I've covered over a hundred tournaments in my day and I thought I'd seen it all. The worst beats, the most improbable comebacks, and final tables that took almost 24 hours. But I have never, ever witnessed a soul-read like the one Angel Guillen made just now.

The hand began innocently enough. The action folded to Guillen on the button and he made a min-raise to 40,000. Joao Simao three-bet to 97,000 from the big blind and after about a minute's consideration, Guillen called.


Guillen (r.) at the featured table

The flop fell T♣7♦3♦. Simao continued for 104,000 and Guillen called. The 4♦ turned and Simao fired again, making it 135,000 to go. Again, Guillen thought a bit before calling the bet. However, when the J♦ hit the river, putting four diamonds on the board, Simao wasted little time before moving all-in for 612,000. With only 354,000 behind, Guillen had to make a decision for his tournament life.

I've noted over the past few days how placid Guillen appears at the table. His moves are thoughtful and deliberate. He thinks through every single street. But now Guillen was flummoxed. He hated that river card.

Guillen pulled off his glasses and rubbed his face. He carefully studied Simao, attempting to pick up something, anything. Simao remained still, almost unblinking as Guillen thought...and thought... and thought. He pursed his lips and stood up from his chair. Simao kept his composure, but gave a sidelong glance at the Mexican Team Pro as he counted down his stack and pushed his three 20-high towers of blue together in a small triangle. Was he really about to call?


Tortured Angel

Five minutes passed. Then ten. Then fifteen. The rest of Level 23 ran off the clock as Guillen thought, utterly tortured with the decision. The media waited with bated breath. Could he really call after this long in the tank?

At last, Guillen pushed his stack in the middle.

Flush over flush? Set vs. two pair? Nope. Neither of those. Guillen tabled 4♣5♣... fourth pair. Simao sheepishly revealed A♠6♣... only ace-high.

Now THAT is a soul-read my friends.

Guillen doubled to 1,672,000 and appears to be our new chip leader.

Moments later, Caio Pessagno open-shoved for 291,000 from the hijack and Simao reshoved for 329,000 on the button. Pessagno's A♠Q♠ dominated Simao's A♣8♥ and rivered Broadway on the T♠K♦A♥5♠J♣ board. Pessagno scored a much-needed double-up, crippling Simao to only 38,000 in chips. Simao moved in again on the next hand and this time, Fernando Morales was waiting for him on the button. He reshoved to 201,000 and revealed pocket threes. Simao turned up K♠T♦.

The J♠6♠3♠ flop made Morales bottom set, but Simao picked up a flush draw. However, the 6♣ turn filled up Morales and left Simao drawing dead. He departed the stage in 32nd place.


Joao Simao makes a gracious exit

Meanwhile, Guillen took a breather and headed outside with a friend to recover from his near-death experience. Moments like this? They're why we love this game.

Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the action in both Spanish and Portuguese is available via You can also follow the Spanish feed at PokerStars or via Facebook, and the Portugeuse feed at PokerStars or via Facebook.

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.