LAPT8 Peru: Chilean Claudio Moya collects Main Event title
We've found a champion, a 51-year-old businessman from Chile who hasn't stopped laughing along with his supporters for the half-hour since the last hand of the Latin American Poker Tour Peru Main Event was dealt.
Meet Claudio Moya, newest LAPT champion -- winner of the tournament, and with a winner of a smile, too.
In our last report we were discussing the lengthy heads-up battle happening between Moya and Chadi Moustapha of Lebanon, and after we last touched base they had moved into Level 30 (50,000/100,000/10,000), pushing deep into the fourth hour of their duel.
Then came a hand in which Moustapha opened with a button raise of 300,000, Moya called, and the flop fell J♣Q♠T♦. Moya led for 600,000, and Moustapha called, then after the T♠ turn card Moya announced he was all in for the 1.9 million or so he had behind.
Moustapha sat motionless as media and staff all took a step closer to the table. A full minute passed, with no decision having been made. At last the Lebanese player called the shove, and Moya stood as he tabled his 9♦8♥ for a flopped straight. Moustapha turned over A♣A♦, meaning he had outs to hit a higher straight or a full house, but the river 7♥ wasn't one of them.
Moya's rail exploded with joy as did he, and he went over for a congratulatory hug before stacking up his chips. The hand echoed somewhat the one Moya had won to oust Patricio Rojas on the Main Event bubble yesterday in which he'd flopped a straight to crack Rojas's kings. Suddenly the Chilean was back on top with 5.25 million to Moustapha's 1.95 million, and play continued onward.
Just a few short hands later, Moustapha was down to about 1.4 million, and open-shoved from the button. Moya thought a short while before finally deciding to call.
Moustapha flipped over Q♦J♣, and Moya sprang from his seat excitedly to show his A♣4♣. His rail was shouting as well, but all grew quiet as the dealer delivered the next five cards...
7♦8♦3♠... 8♥... 2♣!
A huge roar came from all corners in response, and we looked up to see Moya's blue jacket disappearing amid embracing arms from all sides. He was able to break free to find Moustapha, and the pair shook hands and hugged, patting each other's backs as they did. It was a gallant effort by Moustapha, who came just one step shy of becoming the tour's first champion from Lebanon.
It was about 10 hours ago that we began with eight players and nary a Peruvian among them, the first time according to LAPT long-timers that a Main Event final table didn't feature any players from the host country.
Unlike Day 3 of the tournament, a topsy-turvy day when several start-of-day short stacks thrived and the chip leaders all fell shy of making the final table, the final day began much more predictably, with the two players shortest in chips falling early as one might expect to happen.
First it was Chile's Richard Chauriye, eighth of eight to begin, found a hand worth playing in ace-king, Daniel Ramirez called his shove with pocket eights, and after the board came ten-high Chauriye's day was done.
Another Chilean, Jose Ili, was seventh in chips to start, and seventh would be his finishing spot, too, after running kings into Moya's aces.
Yesterday we marveled at the Brazilian Helio Neves spin up a stack to go from 30th of 32 to the final table. Today, however, he could only last until a sixth-place finish, calling all in on the river after Moustapha had made a flush and being forced to muck a losing hand.
Moya lost the lead for a short while early on, but grabbed it back again after knocking out the final table's other Brazilian, Marcus Martinez, in fifth. That hand saw both players turn top pair of aces, but when Martinez got his stack in he saw Moya had him outkicked. The river didn't help him, and the field was reduced to four.
Moustapha would be responsible for the next knockout, using pocket tens to best Cristian Aceiton Ruiz's pocket eights to send the latter out in fourth.
Then it was Moya's turn again, with the Chilean taking care of Daniel Ramirez of Columbia in third after flopping top pair of queens versus Ramirez's nut flush draw and fading the turn and river.
That brought us to heads-up, with Moya a better than 3-to-1 leader over Moustapha to begin. The player from Lebanon chipped back, a bit, then came their heads-up deal in which they split things down the middle -- leaving a bit over $15K on the table -- despite Moya still holding a decent chip advantage.
That lead soon evaporated, though, after Moustapha flopped a set of fours and doubled through, and the latter held the chip edge for much of the lengthy battle between the pair...
...until the very end, that is.
Moya's win means he bettered his 14th-place finish in this same event a year ago. He becomes the fifth Chilean player to win a title (with six won overall thanks to Oscar Alache's two wins).
LAPT8 Peru Main Event final table results
Prize pool: $807,396
Places paid: 55
1. Claudio Moya (Chile) -- $135,876*
2. Chadi Moustapha (Lebanon) -- $120,000*
3. Daniel Ramirez (Colombia) -- $71,780
4. Cristian Aceiton Ruiz (Chile) -- $58,060
5. Marcus Martinez (Brazil) -- $45,540
6. Helio Neves (Brazil) -- $35,360
7. Jose Ili (Chile) -- $26,320
8. Ricardo Chauriye (Chile) -- $19,060
*= reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $15,576 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our start-to-finish coverage of LAPT8 Peru, including the great images provided all along the way by our photographer, Carlos Monti.
There's a lot of excitement in store ahead for Season 8, with LAPT8 Uruguay happening in September 18-22, then the big Grand Final in Sao Paulo Brazil -- and the BSOP Millions -- starting in late November. See you then!
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.