LAPT Peru: The final showdown
Things were slow, then really fast.
Then things were just regular, Latin America fast. We entered Level 26 with four players and left it with half. Play then went heads-up and -- after a series of double ups -- we got our champion.
Shortly after the Level 26 started, we had our first elimination. It wasn't our short stack either -- much to the home crowd's delight.
Oscar Barriga was the short stack, but Jorge Gonzalez Pirela was the first one out. Pirela raised to 125,000 from under-the-gun and Maxence Debar called from the small blind.
The flop came K♥2♣8♥ and Debar checked. Pirela led out for 250,000 and the Frenchman shot back with a check-raise, putting Pirela all-in.
Pirela called and showed K♣J♥ to Debar's Q♥8♥. Pirela was leading with top pair, but Debar had a flush draw. He's also been running good this tournament.
The flush didn't wait to the river, a 3♥ came on the turn and Pirela was drawing dead. The river was a 6♣ and Pirela was eliminated in 4th place, earning $60,400.
This left Oscar Barriga as Latin America's last hope to take down the title. He was also Peru's last shot at a home win.
But their hopes would soon fade
Barriga was the short stack and moved all-in for his final 550,000 from the button. Jordan Scott called from the big blind and the Peruvian turned over the last hand of his first live tournament.
Barriga turned over 6♣5♣ while Debar showed A♥8♦.
The J♣8♣2♦ gave a little hope to both players. Debar took the lead with a pair of 8s while Barriga hit a flush draw.
The turn was a [10d] and the Peruvians shouted for a club. There was a moment of silence when the black Q♠ came on the river. The rail realized it wasn't a club and and fell quiet. Their last chance at a home win was eliminated in 3rd place, earning $81,370.
Debar's rail exploded though. Their man had just gotten heads-up for the LAPT Grand Final title.
Players started the match nearly even in chips:
Jordan Scott - 3,740,000
Maxence Debar - 3,710,000
But there was a bit of a pause before heads-up started. Both players took a small break and decided to cut a deal.
They decided on an even split, with $138,210 going to each player while they fought for an additional $30,000 . Well, $30,000, a trophy and the title of LAPT champion.
When play resumed, the tides turned instantly. Debar started the day with the chip lead while Scott started as the short stack.
It was Scott's turn to dominate.
In the first big pot of the heads-up match, Debar raised to 110,00 from the button and Scott called.
Both players checked the Q♠J♦[10d] flop and a 3♣ came on the turn. Scott bet 125,000 and Debar called, bringing a 9♦ on the river.
Scott checked and Debar fired out a 245,000 bet. Action was back to Scott, who raised to 800,000. This put Debar in the tank.
Last time Debar tanked for three minutes, he called with king-high. This time he folded, showing a K♠ for a king-high straight. Scott then hammered away at Debar pre and post flop until he brought the Frenchman down to about 2.2 million.
Debar then doubled up and got back in the game when his pocket 7s held up against Scott's A♦[10h].
This scene would repeat itself again. Scott would hammer away at Debar, then Debar would refuse to go down, getting a timely double up.
Scott had grinded Debar down to under 1 million when the board read [10c]6♥8♣2♠Q♦. Debar had committed most of his stack by the river and Scott moved all-in.
Debar called and showed J♣9♠. The crowd cheered when Scott showed K♣Q♣. Debar lived to see another hand.
Debar wasn't out of danger yet. He only had about 1.2 million to Scott's 6.2 million.
But then he'd catch another double up.
Everything went in preflop and Debar was in bad shape. Scott was showing A♠J♦ while Debar turned over K♦2♠.
The board came [10h]6♣[10c] and the crowd started cheering for a king.
Turn, 8♥. No king.
"King! KING!" Their prayers had gone unanswered on the turn, but they remained faithful.
River, K♠. The crowd exploded and Debar doubled up again.
But Debar's luck could only last so long
Debar was on the button and raised to 135,000. Scott called and the flop came 3♥9♦4♦. Debar fired out 165,000 and Scott raised to 390,000.
Debar moved all in for about 2 million, his last move of the tournament.
Scott called and turned over K♦9♣ for a pair of 9s. Debar showed 4♠2♠ for 4s.
The crowd chanted for Debar again, but the river was a [10s]. They begged for a four on the river, but a K♥ came instead. Scott hit two pair and won the LAPT Grand Final.
Debar finished 2nd for $138,210 while Scott took the title and $168,210.
Stay tuned for a full wrap of today's events.
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Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog