Caio Hey wins the LAPT7 Brazil and R$680,000; Sbrissa denied a repeat title
It only took eight hands of heads-up play for Caio Hey to claim the rest of Victor Sbrissa's chips, denying him a repeat win at the LAPT Brazil. Hey began with 18.25 million to Sbrissa's 10.52 million and had whittled him down to 6.72 million when the final hand unfolded.
From the small blind, Sbrissa moved all-in with 6♥6♠ and Hey called with K♦9♣. Although Sbrissa held a slim lead with his pair, his rail nevertheless broke into a chant of "Seis! Seis! Seis!" Sbrissa stepped down from the stage and joined his supporters as he awaited the flop. They were silenced, however, when it fell K♣J♦7♦ while Hey's half of the rail exploded. The "Seis! Seis! Seis!" chant began again in earnest.
The turn was not a seis, it was the 9♦ and Sbrissa's hopes for a repeat title lay with his two remaining outs. It was not to be, though, and the 4♦ rivered, ending his quest with a runner-up finish.
Hey was engulfed by his celebrating friends while Sbrissa's father lowered his Brazilian flag utterly stunned. However, any disappointment Sbrissa felt was soon washed away as he bear-hugged Hey and guided him back onstage. Hey was near tears, his hands over his face, the enormity of the situation not yet having sunk in. For the win, Hey took home R$680,000 while Sbrissa pocketed R$510,000.
Our day began with eight contenders, Sbrissa the chip leader. To start, Sbrissa used his big stack to pressure his opponents at almost every turn, but was forced to slow his roll when he doubled up Joaquin Ruiz, running Q♣9♦ into pocket queens. Now armed with 8.3 million in chips, Ruiz busted Gustavo Vascao in eighth place a few hands later, his pocket threes holding up against pocket deuces.
Ruiz took the chip lead, but Sbrissa reclaimed it when he eliminated one of our two remaining Argentines. Appearing frustrated and card-dead, Juan Pablo Franco moved in for his last 1,095,000 with Q♣9♠ and Sbrissa called with A♦T♠. Sbrissa flopped an ace and Franco was drawing dead by the turn.
After doubling up Angel Guillen, Andre Cuco was left on the short stack and moved in for 1,620,000 with Q♥J♣. Sbrissa looked him up with A♦8♠ and the blast of vuvuzelas rang through the room as an ace hit the flop. Cuco couldn't catch up and departed in sixth place.
With five players left, there were no more big stacks. Everyone was under 30 big blinds and sweating the pay jumps. Angel Guillen was the shortest stack at this juncture, but doubled to 6.48 million when his K♣J♦ held up against Sbrissa's K♥9♦. A short time later, the action passed to Caio Hey on the button and he moved in for 5,845,000. Guillen wasted no time pushing his remaining 5,505,000 in the middle and turned up Q♥Q♠. Hey revealed 5♥5♣.
The Brazilian crowd immediately began chanting for a "cinco" as the flop fell 9♦3♣2♦. Then the 4♠ turned, turned, giving Hey eight additional outs with an open-ended straight draw. Some called for an ace, some still for a five, but it was the 6♣ that landed on the river, exciting one railbird so much he threw a vuvuzela clear across the room. Ever the professional, the Mexican Team Pro made a gracious exit in fifth place.
Moments later, Alex Sako moved all-in for 2,820,000 on the button and Victor Sbrissa called from the small blind. Although Sako has doubled up four times at this final table to stay alive, he couldn't make it five for five. Sbrissa's A♠7♥ held up against Sako's J♠T♣ and Sako departed in fourth place.
Following Sako's elimination, Sbrissa, Hey, and Ruiz paused for an unscheduled break. They emerged from their huddle with a deal in place for the remaining prize money --R$520,000 for chip leader Hey, R$510,000 for Sbrissa, and R$410,000 for Ruiz-- leaving R$160,000 on the table for the winner.
When three-handed play commenced, Sbrissa made a huge misstep vs. Ruiz, calling his 3.9 million river shove on a 9♠3♥2♠Q♥9♦ board. Ruiz turned up J♦9♣ for trips and Sbrissa flashed ace-high. Sbrissa sank to 3,905,000, but reclaimed some of those chips a short time later when his pocket sixes held up against Ruiz's A♠5♠. A few hands later, Sbrissa shoved from the small blind with J♥8♠ and Ruiz called from the big with K♥7♥, having him slightly covered. Sbrissa stepped down from the stage and joined their raucous chant.
The eight in the door brought a few cheers from the Sbrissa contingent, but a king was right behind it as the flop fell K♣9♥8♣. However, their disappointment instantly lifted when the dealer burned and turned the 8♦, making Sbrissa trip eights. Utter pandemonium engulfed the Sbrissa rail, Sbrissa's father the loudest of them all. And after the 9♠ dropped on the river and his son retook his seat, the elder Sbrissa took off in a jog around the room, dropping to his knees in prayer, gratitude, and sheer exhaustion right in front of media row.
Ruiz was crippled to only 385,000 in chips and was eliminated two hands later.
The heads-up match between Sbrissa and Hey took less than five minutes to complete. Although Sbrissa did not win a second title in his hometown, he's sitting on a very nice chunk of change, taking home R$520,000 for his runner-up finish. Hey pocketed the additional R$160,000, his grand prize totaling R$680,000.
We can learn a lot from the Brazilians. Poker is booming in this country and it's people are still in the early stages of a romance with the game. Their passion is undeniable. They cheer louder, root harder and wear their national pride on their sleeves. Most importantly, they have fun, whether they're winning or losing, playing or railing, getting slowrolled or dragging a monster pot. Their joy is positively contagious.
Congratulations to our champion, Caio Hey and to all our final table players. It's been a wild week here in Sao Paulo and it was a pleasure to return to the LAPT coverage team.
Until next time, good night, good luck, and safe travels to all.
Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti.
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.