LAPT7: Ruiz out in third, assuring a Brazilian champion
In the centuries-old Brazil-Argentina rivalry, Brazil has won another round. With Joaquin Ruiz's third-place elimination, two Brazilians, Caio Hey and Victor Sbrissa, are now heads-up for the LAPT7 Brazil title.
Earlier in the level, 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 and Ruiz called from the big, having him slightly covered.
As they awaited the flop, the rail broke into a chant I'm told references a legendary footballer who wore the number 8. All I know is that in English it sounds like "Hey! Juicy babe!" Sbrissa stepped down from the stage and joined his rail, chanting right along with them.
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 left with less than one big blind and was eliminated in third place two hands later.
As I mentioned before, Sbrissa, Ruiz, and Hey took an unscheduled break before three-handed play commenced. They indeed hammered out a deal, awarding R$520,000 to Hey, R$510,000 to Sbrissa and R$410,000 to Ruiz, leaving R$160,000 in play.
The Brazilians may be fiercely loyal to their countrymen, but as Ruiz departed the stage, he was engulfed by Sbrissa's rail with slaps on the back and received a thoroughly genuine congratulatory hug from Sbrissa's father.
Hey and Sbrissa will begin heads-up play momentarily.
Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the final table 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.