LAPT Peru: A slice of history
"One out of every 16 times I make history," said Team PokerStars Pro, Jose "Nacho" Barbero.
We've gotten down to 16 players and our final two tables are set. One of those 16 is Nacho Barbero. With only two tables, chances are pretty good that Barbero gets a tough draw. He managed to avoid the wild Frenchman, but he's seated with our start-of-day Peruvian chip leader, Oscar Barriga.
Barriga managed to take a few pots off of Barbero, but then Barriga gave the Argentinian Team Pro a double up.
Our Spanish live-update team at CodigoPoker caught Barbero moving all-in for 158,000. Barriga called from the button and showed A♣J♠. Barbero was behind with with K♣J♣, but a K♥ came on the flop and put the Team Pro in the lead.
Barbero's flopped pair held and he doubled back up to 350,000.
A few minutes later, Barbero found his tournament life at risk again. Roberto Aguilar raised to 40,000 from early position and Barbero re-raised all-in for 283,000 from the button.
Action went back to Aguilar, and it stayed there for a while. After about five minutes, Aguilar open-mucked his hand, 9♣9♥.
Barbero turned over A♠K♥ and raked in the pot.
"I wanted to make you suffer for a bit," said Aguilar.
"That's OK, you made the right choice," said Barbero. "Online, 9s never lose. Live, they do."
The table laughed and fans cheered on Barbero from the rail.
Last time Barbero made the final two tables in Lima, he had a bit more in chips. He started the final 16th in third with 788,000, now he has about half that.
But last two times Barbero made the final two tables at an LAPT, he won it.
Barbero also has more experience behind his belt. In the two years after his back-to-back LAPT victories, Barbero has more than doubled his live tournament winnings.
From mid-2005 to his second LAPT win in June, 2010, Barbero earned $904,635 in live tournaments. Two years later, that number is now at $1,997,523. That doesn't include this event.
With a guaranteed $7,040 for making the final two tables, Barbero will cross the $2 million mark. By how much depends on how he fares the next two days.
The speedy speed of this tournament hasn't slowed down much either. While publishing this article, a few more players have been eliminated and Barbero is now part of the final 12.
A small step closer to making history. Again.
Barbero was the first Team PokerStars Pro to take down an LAPT in February, 2010. Then he became the first player to win two when he won the very next LAPT event. Now, he's increasing his lead as the all-time LAPT money earner.
But that's a title Barbero already has, he's looking to make history.
Despite his short stack, Barbero still thinks his odds of making history are 1 out of 12. His record backs him up.
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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog