LAPT Grand Final: Believe the dream
Caio Pimenta has a single word tattooed along the length of the top of his left arm, in scripted letters a few inches high: Believe. I tapped him on the shoulder in between hands at the feature table and asked him why he chose that particular tattoo.
"Believe the dream," he replied. A smile flashed across his face as he held out his arm so I could get a closer look.
Pimenta would be forgiven if he stopped believing the dream is going to happen for him here in Sao Paulo. A series of hands that found Pimenta on the short end of the stick left him with less than 50,000 in chips and the blinds approaching.
Remember that old axiom about a chip and a chair? I'm betting that Pimenta does. He shoved from middle position for the paltry sum of 35,000 - just two big blinds. Action passed to big blind Ioannis Beris, who had not yet looked at his cards. "Can I possibly find a fold?" Beris asked.
Pimenta thought Beris said "call" and exposed his hand - a pair of 5s. Beris squeezed his own cards and decided that, given his knowledge of Pimenta's holding, he could certainly find a fold. He threw his cards into the muck.
"How bad must my hand be?" he asked the table rhetorically.
The next hand Pimenta shoved for a second time, for 73,000. Somehow his raise made it all the way through the table again. He showed K♦Q♣. The cards were re-shuffled and re-dealt. Pimenta, now in second position, shoved for a third hand in a row. Daniel Negreanu was in the big blind and asked for a count (111,000).
"I think I'm supposed to play here," Negreanu said, and play he did. His K♠9♦ was in what he classified as "a fair fight" against Pimenta's A♠6♦ but lost the pot. Pimenta paired aces to double up.
What had been a stack of two big blinds and a seemingly imminent elimination became a stack of 15.5 big blinds. Since then, three more players have been eliminated. There are now 12 left. Including Pimenta.
Believe the dream.