LAPT5 Colombia: Outwit, outplay, outlast

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lapt-promo.gifDifferent types of players have different styles when it comes to tournament poker. Some are more aggressive, some more reckless. Others are more conservative, more passive. But all those different styles share on thing in common - survival. If a player doesn't survive, he or she can't win.

Back in Season 7 of the European Poker Tour, Venezuelan Ivan Freitez was the ultimate survivor at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid. His reward was 1.5 million Euros.

Freitez is going to have to work a lot harder here in Medellin if he wants to add an LAPT trophy to his mantel. Just ten minutes into Level 1, Freitez' stack was decimated. The details of the hand aren't particularly important. The result is what we're interested in here, a result that slammed Freitez' starting stack of 20,000 all the way down to two tiny green chips, the smallest denomination (T25) on the table.


Ivan Freitez pointing to his two green chips.

Freitez was unfazed. He called out greetings to players around the room, never mentioning that he was three steps out the door. He joked with players at his table. And when he was dealt a small ace, he casually dropped those two green chips into the pot. The hand turned into a three-way pot that Freitez chopped with one other player who also had a small ace.

Freitez' meager stack went in the middle a second time, with king-jack. A player with a small ace tried to send Freitez to the rail, but a king flopped for a Freitez double-up. Add in a few blinds taken uncontested and Freitez was closing in on 1,000 chips.

Then on one of the last hands of Level 1, Freitez flopped two pair out of the big blind with J♣4♦ on a J♠4♠T♦ board against a pair and a flush draw, K♠T♠. Freitez' opponent turned a better two pair with the K♦, eliciting a cluck of disappointment from Freitez. All of his work to turn 50 chips into 1,000 was about to be rendered meaningless.

Then came the lucky river 4♣ that improved Freitez to a full house and another double-up. By the end of the hour, Freitez' stack was up to 2,500.

He never stopped smiling. Or surviving.


It was only a matter of time before ski goggles made their way into poker tournaments. The glare off of those green chips is just murder.


Trust Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez always to show up fashionably late. He wandered onto the tournament floor 40 minutes after play began. In his absence, the Red Spade standard was carried by Chris Moneymaker and Team Online player Freddy Torres. Both are doing better than Freitez.


Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Medellin