LAPT7 Brazil: Never bluff the champion
"Never bluff the champion! Never bluff the champion!"
Floating in a sea of words I barely understand, that bellowed English phrase sent me over to Table 23, where Ivan Frietez was waving K-4 offsuit. The board was ace-high and uncoordinated. It did not contain a king. It did not contain a four. And yet, the dealer was pushing the pot his way.
The five seat, who had bet out on the river, sheepishly gazed at his 3-4 as Frietez relentlessly drove the needle in.
"NEVER bluff the champion!"
That particular outburst drew over a floorman. He pleaded with Frietez, stopping short of an official warning. But "the champion" was a bit mystified by the attention.
"What is the problem? He bluff every hand! I don't even know if he speak English!"
Thing is, Frietez isn't really exaggerating. Although over 90% of his $2.4 million in live earnings come from a single tournament, it was a doozy. In 2011, Frietez won the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, besting a field of 686 and banking over $2.2 million.
One man who isn't fooled by any champion's bluster is Bernardo "bedias" Dias. The last I laid eyes on him live was at Season 3's LAPT Punta del Este. Dias hobbled around on a broken leg all week and ended up at the final table, finishing seventh. Two months ago, at the LAPT Vina del Mar, Dias busted early and decided to register for the Sunday Million. Not only did he make his second career final table in the Million that night, but he won the whole enchilada, earning an incredible $233,674.
Just as I counted Frietez's stack at around 100,000, Dias opened for an under-the-gun raise. Frietez three-bet from two seats over and the action folded back around to Dias, who made it 6,700 to go. Undeterred, Frietez reraised again, this time to 21,025. Dias shoved and Frietez flashed his hand as he folded... 3♥6♣.
Dias quietly mucked, silencing the champion... at least temporarily.
Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the action in both Spanish and Portuguese is available via PokerStars.tv. 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.