LAPT5 Colombia: Colombians implode as Vanegas loses his cape

lapt-promo.gifTournament poker is a damn funny thing.

In the first couple of levels, Weider Vanegas could do no wrong. He started third in chips and notched the first three eliminations to climb to the chip lead with 3.7 million in chips. Vanegas, wearing a red "The Flash" shirt and with an LAPT zip-up tied around his neck like a cape, was the spitting image of a dashing superhero that was going to dash to the title.

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Then two things happened.

First, Vanegas took of his cape. I couldn't tell you why he removed it from his neck, put it on and zipped it up. If anything the room is a little warm. It's hard to imagine that Vanegas was cold but I guess anything's possible.

Second, Vanegas started losing. Small pots here and there weren't too much of a problem, as he won a few small pots back to stay level. The "problem pot" was against Raul Paez. The two got all in on the turn, with Paez having only three outs to hit on the river to avoid elimination. Vanegas turned his back to the table, so he didn't see one of those three outs fall. But he heard it from the crowd.

That hand seemed to change Vanegas. He had been poised to climb to more than 5 million in chips, with only 6.6 million chips in play total. Instead, he dropped all the way back to 2.1 million and was never quite the same. He spent five minutes after the pot had been pushed talking to himself and to Paez, the sign of a man whose tilt level has gone up.

From there his stack went into freefall. Runnings pocket 10s into Jayr Fregona's pocket jacks certainly didn't help. That hand set Vanegas back 675,000 chips, leaving him with just 500,000. The blinds and antes ate him up from there, until he was forced to push for about 300,000 from the small blind with 7♣6♦. Fregona, Vanegas' Kryptonite, called with A♥J♠ and made the nuts, K♦Q♠5♣8♣T♠.

Adding insult to injury, Vanegas was the last Colombian left on the final table. At the beginning of the day, there were five Colombians hoping to be the first local winner. Vanegas himself took out three of them, a kind of consolidation of Colombian power. But then the boys from Spain, and Ireland, and Brazil knocked The Flash down and sent him to cool his heels on the rail.

Tournament poker is a damn funny thing.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin