LAPT Peru: Complaints

There are lots of things to complain about in this world.

The air conditioner is too cold, the hot tub is too hot or the bartender took too long to get my drink. These all seem like legitimate complaints until someone comes along and gives us a double-shot of reality, hold the ice.

Today, that person is Domingo Argüello. Seated at a table with a big smile and a strive to win, it's hard to imagine that Argüello's been through everything he has.

Back in 1990, Argüello was a swimmer with big dreams. Only 17, the young Costa Rican finished third in a Central American swim meet and was expected to swim in the most prestigious competition in the world, the Olympics.

Then, a year later, Argüello had an accident. It was a simple mistake that changed his life forever. During a family trip in Limon, Costa Rica, Argüello dove head first into a river.

The river wasn't as deep as Argüello hoped.

His head slammed into a rock and the Olympic prospect was paralyzed. Argüello was bed ridden for years, but he never gave up.

Day by day, Argüello worked on his recovery and slowly regained mobility. He never complained, he never blamed anyone, he just worked. Eleven years after his accident, Argüello was back in the pool.

He wasn't just swimming again, he was racing.

In 2002 Argüello participated in the third Central American Wheelchair Games. Despite not having any mobility in the left side of his body, Argüello still competed in the 50 meter freestyle and 50 meter backstroke events.


Domingo Argüello

Argüello's recovery also made him a local celebrity. He started showing up on television and radio shows all across Costa Rica.

This was the recovery of a lifetime, but Argüello's trials didn't end there. A few years ago, Argüello was diagnosed with skin cancer.

But after regaining control of a paralyzed body, Argüello wasn't going to let cancer take it over. Faced with another life-changing challenge, Argüello did the same thing he did before.

He overcame.

Now Argüello is taking his superhuman strive to succeed and overcome to the poker table. His LAPT started off well, considering he basically came here for free.

Last season, Costa Rican players won a $10,000 free roll on PokerStars during the LAPT awards. Argüello played the freeroll and cashed for $400. He used $215 of that to play a satellite to the LAPT Grand Final.

He won.

Argüello has since been eliminated from LAPT Lima, but every day is a victory for him. It's even unfair to claim that Argüello freerolled here. He paid his way here every day through sweat, blood, tears and a drive that most of us will never come close to having.

Congratulations to Domingo Argüello on qualifying, on playing, on everything.

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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in Peru