LAPT8 Uruguay: Unofficial final table at first break
Even when it's on the river, folding pocket aces face up will cause some discussion at the table.
"No way he had the straight there," Hilario Quijada told Daniel Ades.
"I would've bet the flop there," Mario Lopez added.
Ades just shook his head and counted his chips, he had about 140,000 left after the hand.
The hand started with Chadi Moustapha raising to 20,000 from middle position. Ades re-raised to 50,000 from middle position and action folded back to Moustapha.
"How much do you have?" Moustapha asked.
"About 180,000," Ades said.
"Plus the elephant," Quijada added.
Ades has had a tiny metal elephant resting on top of his stack the whole tournament.
"How much for the elephant?" Moustapha asked.
"Are you going to call or what?" Ades said. At that time, he was the only person who knew he held pocket aces.
"Gimme a minute, I'm thinking," Moustapha said.
Moustapha called and the flop came T♠7♥K♣. Both players checked.
The turn brought a 9♥ and Moustapha bet 35,000. Ades thought for a minute, counted out the chips for a call and thought a bit more.
Then he called and an 8♥ came on the river.
Moustapha bet 100,000 and Ades shook his head. Ades spent the next few minutes thinking and looking at his cards.
Eventually, he folded A♥A♠ face-up and Moustapha just knocked the table and smiled. His cards went into the muck unseen and players spent the next few minutes discussing the hand while Moustapha stayed mostly quiet.
"Aces or kings," he finally said when someone asked what he thought Ades had.
The hand left Ades with about 140,000 while Moustapha was up to about 550,000.
This hand went down in The Great Slowdown of 13.
With 13 players to go, the tournament went a full 15 minutes without an elimination.
Besides that, the tournament has been going at breakneck speed.
We went from 24 to 16 players in 45 minutes and by breaktime, we were down to the unofficial final table.
After tournament staff redrew to our final two tables, we quickly lost three players. Diego Aro was the first to go after he moved all-in with 3♣3♦ and got called by Renata Teixeira's T♥T♠.
The board brought no help for Aro and he won $9,560 for his 16th-place elimination.
Lucas Churi (15th) and Alfredo Torres (14th) quickly followed him out and then we had The Great Slowdown of 13.
Those were tough times, but players quickly recovered.
The curse was broken after German Christiansen raised to 22,000 from under-the-gun and Gil Morgensztern moved all-in for 256,000 from the cutoff.
Christiansen called and showed 9♦9♠ to Morgensztern's A♥2♥.
The board came 2♦T♠K♥8♠7♥ and Morgensztern was eliminated in 13th place ($11,880).
Reigning LAPT Player of the Year Horacio Nicolas was the next to fall and then Christiansen took out another Brazilian.
Once again, Christiansen raised to 22,000 and Mauro Nomura called. The flop came K♠9♦5♠ and Nomura bet 100,000.
Christiansen raised enough to put Nomura all-in and the latter called.
Nomura showed 9♠7♠ while Christiansen tabled K♣J♣.
The turn brought a 5♣ and then a 7♦ fell on the river. Christiansen took down the pot and chipped up to about 400,000 while Nomura won $13,500 for finishing 11th.
While Mauro was still leaving the table, Daniel Ades and his tiny elephant were eliminated at the other table.
This brought us down to our final nine players.
With 12 minutes left in the level, players hit the unofficial final table before they hit their first official break of the day.
The unofficial final table
Seat 1: Ariel Eghi - 850,000
Seat 2: German Christiansen- 950,000
Seat 3: Hilario Quijada - 600,000
Seat 4: Ruben Barros - 520,000
Seat 5: Patricio Rojas - 240,000
Seat 6: Renata Teixeira - 230,000
Seat 7: Mario Lopez - 1,200,000
Seat 8: Chadi Moustapha - 750,000
Seat 9: Jorge Cantos - 170,000
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.