LAPT5 Colombia: A round with the leader

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lapt-promo.gifFor all the time I've spent watching people play poker - and after four years, I can say it's more time than I ever thought I'd spend watching people play poker - I'd like to believe I've soaked up a smidgen of skill and experience. Am I any good? Of course not. Am I better than I otherwise would be? Hopefully.

But there's still plenty to be learned by all of us. And so I spent a part of the last hour watching the chip leader of the tournament - Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes - play an orbit at the feature table. Brenes started the orbit with about 540,000, although a series of lost pots and a big pot at an adjoining table caused him to relinquish the chip lead.


Starting in the small blind, Brenes was part of a three-way limped pot with the big blind and the under the gun player. He led 11,000 at a flop of 7♥9♥9♣; only the UTG player called. Brenes checked the turn A♥, then check-raised to 100,000 after his opponent bet 20,000. That player snap-called all in for 98,000 with A♣A♠, a full house. Brenes showed 4♥8♥, a small flush that was drawing dead.

A player in middle position opened Brenes' button to 13,000. He folded. But when the action passed to him in the cutoff the next hand, he was the one opening, to 16,000. All folded. Brenes tried the same raise from the hijack the hand after that and was called by the player to his left. Both checked a 9♣7♠J♠ flop. On the 6♣ turn, Brenes fired out for 30,000. His opponent raised all in for 100,000. Brenes mused for about a minute but folded.

Two more pre-flop folds followed before Brenes found himself in the big blind. He's very prone to big blind defense and defended once again to an early position raise to 13,000. He checked a king-high flop, 4♦K♣[10c], then called a bet of 13,000. Both players checked the A♠ turn. On the river 6♦, Brenes tried his own bet of 13,000. His opponent called with K♥9♥, a pair of kings. Brenes showed J♠[10d], a pair of 10s, to take another hit to his stack.

It ain't always easy being the chip leader.


While Brenes was getting battered at the feature table, Day 1b overnight chip leader Ruben Ospina was charging to the top of the counts. He got all the chips in the middle on a queen-high flop against George Griffith. Griffith held pocket kings; Ospina's pocket queens flopped a set. The board bricked out to eliminate a stunned Griffith and give Ospina more than 650,000 chips with which to terrorize his table.


With the popping of the money bubble, the pace of eliminations has finally picked back up. With 15 minutes to go in Level 17, the average stack edged up to 33 big blinds, the first time it had been above 30 big blinds in a few hours.


Spanish-language blogger Reinaldo Venegas has been conducting a series of live, twitcam interviews with pros the last few days. Today he spoke with Team PokerStars Pros Cristian De Leon and Angel Guillen.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin