Tuesday, 30th May 2023 20:12
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* Rodrigo Strong wins LAPT9 Chile for $120,565
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7:30pm: Rodrigo Strong wins LAPT9 Chile for $120,565
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

We have a champion! Rodrigo Strong from Brazil is your latest LAPT champion. We’ll be back with a full re-cap of the final table shortly. Don’t go anywhere. –JS


LAPT Chile champ Rodrigo Strong

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7:20pm: Fabian Chauriye eliminated in 2nd place ($110,000)
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

The man who final tabled this very event in 2015 year may have finished five places higher than he did last year, but he’s been denied an LAPT title once again.

Fabian Chauriye is gone in 2nd place, and here’s how it went down.

Rodrigo Strong limped the button and Chauriye made it 420,000 to play. Strong wanted to see a flop, and made the call. It fell 8103 and Chauriye continued for 380,000. Now, Strong started to reach for chips and slid out a raise to 1.1 million. Chauriye then shoved. Call.

Chauriye A10
Strong K7

Chauriye was ahead with his top pair but any club would mean disaster. The turn was indeed the 8, giving Strong a king-high flush. But it wasn’t over yet! Another club would give Chauriye the nuts.

But the river was the 6. Chauriye was visibly upset, but like the pro he is he kept it together. He’ll take home $110,000 after the two players made a deal. –JS

7:10pm: Pass the parcel
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

It’s all a case of passing chips back and forth right now. Stay tuned though as Chauriye only has around 18 big blinds. He’ll be looking for a double-up soon enough. –JS

6:46pm: Strong flexing his muscles
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

Throughout this Day 4 session, Rodrigo Strong has donned a few different pieces of clothing. He started the day in a button down shirt and coming back from the last break, he had added a slick, black leather jacket. Now, with the chip lead heads up for the LAPT9 Chile title, he’s ditched both those articles of clothing and is now playing out this heads up battle with just a black tank top.

Without getting too visual, Strong is just that, a strong, lean, tall Brazilian. Each time he reaches for chips, there’s a slight twitch to his muscles and in a recent hand, he flexed his muscles and stack to put the pressure on Javier Chauriye.

The short stack opened the button to 325,000 and after some thought, Strong announced himself “all-in”. Chauriye flinched slightly and then regained his stare across the table, before looking down at his stack to run the numbers.

He had just under 3,400,000 in front of him, or close to 21 big blinds. He was in the tank for close to ten minutes before briefly shaking his head and pushing his cards towards the muck. Strong didn’t show but his aggression over the last few round of heads up play is showing dividends.

The Brazilian is now playing over 8,000,000, while Chauriye will likely have to make a move sooner, rather than later. — WOC

6:46pm: Strong doubles but thinks he’s lost
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

How many times have we seen a player miss the fact they’ve hit a set on the flop as they’re so focused on the bigger pair that they’re opponent holds?

We’ve just seen it once more in what was one of the more humorous moments of this final table.

Fabian Chauriye made it 360,000 to go on the button/small-blind, and Strong thought for a while before shoving for around 3.6 million. Chauriye snap-called and the cards were on their backs:

Chauriye AK
Strong 55

The flop was amazing for Strong – not that he knew it. It came the J510 and Chauriye sighed, but Strong seemed oblivious to his dominance. Then the A hit the turn and here’s where Strong thought he’d lost and it was over. He rushed out of the table area and walked fast down the hall, clearly through being upset that he’d have to settle for second place.

In the meantime, the 4 hit the river and secured Strong a double-up. When he returned, Chauriye was counting out the chips to give to him, but Strong came up and “Good game.”

“YOU WON!” said Chauriye in a playful but clearly and understandably frustrated manner. “Oh,” said Strong.

Oh indeed. Strong now has 7.8 million, while Chauriye is down to 3.5 million. –JS

6:36pm: Chauriye continues to grow stack
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

After Fabian Chauriye raised to 260,000 from the small blind, Rodrigo Strong called and we had ourselves our first flop for what felt like an age.

It came 23Q and instead of checking to the raiser – as is the standard play – Strong led for 260,000. His stop-and-go didn’t work though as Chauriye called. So, then the 7 hit the turn and now the bet from Strong was 305,000. Chauriye called once more and the A floated down on the river. Strong now slowed down and checked, letting Chauriye take control with a 1,010,000 bet.

Strong adjusted his seating position – he pulled his chair our and crossed his legs, presumably as he can think clearer when more comfy. He gave his hand up and dipped to 3.25 million, while Chauriye has 8.05 million. –JS

6:22pm: Going up, on a Tuesday
Level 32 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000)

We’ve made a few musical references over the last few days and we’re not sure if our Latin American crowd is familiar with the hip hop artist ILOVEMAKONNEN and his 2015 breakout song ‘Tuesday’.

Nevertheless, blinds and antes are going up, on a Tuesday. — WOC

6:15pm: Chauriye draws first blood
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000)

The first few hands of heads of play were like two tennis players warming up. Volleying pots back and forth, each short lived and contested without much emphasis. Fabian Chauriye and Rodrigo strong look like they’ve gotten the lead out though, as they just played their first meaningful heads up pot.

Action was picked up with Chauriye opening the button to 250,000. Strong called in the big blind and then check-called 200,000 after the AK7 flop fell. Both players checked the 4 on the turn and after the 4 paired the board on the end, the Brazilian checked to see Chauriye push out the biggest wager we’ve seen throughout this event.

1,000,000 even and with just under 4,500,000 in front of him, Strong was put to the test for a decent portion of his stack. Eventually, after close to three minutes of thought, he folded, conceding the pot to his Chilean counterpart.

When the dust settled, Chauriye stacked up close to 7,000,000, putting himself in a great position heading into the final few moments of Level 31. — WOC

6:15pm: Heads-up deal reached; playing for $20,565 and the LAPT9 Chile title
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000)

After the elimination of Alex Vega, the remaining two players took some time to count their stacks and discuss a potential deal. We reported those stacks while those negotiations were taking place and now, prior to the restart of play, we can report that a deal was reached.

In total, $230,565 was up for grabs and after some back and forth talks, it was agreed that Fabian Chauriye would take home $110,000 and Rodrigo Strong would lock up $100,000. The remaining $20,565, is still waiting to be won though, along with the LAPT9 Chile Main Event title.

Heads up play will now resume with 18 minutes left in Level 31. — WOC

6pm: Leaving las Vega; Alex Vega is gone in 3rd ($63,560) and it’s heads-up
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000)

Well, we’re heads-up ladies and gents. The man who won’t be joining us is Chile’s own Alex Vega.

It wasn’t a particularly crazy hand – just a case of bad timing really.

Vega shoved his button for 925,000, Fabian Chauriye snapped it off and Rodrigo Strong gave up his big blind. It was clear to see why Chauriye called so quickly when he turned over the cowboys – KK, while Vega had one of his own in the K9.

He’d need to get lucky, and the flop brought some help. With the 535 board, there was potential for a backdoor flush to come in. The 4 turn improved that likelihood.

But the A was not, is not, and never has been a diamond, meaning Vega hit the rail. He’ll take home $63,560 for his efforts here at LAPT9 Chile. –JS

5:45pm: Four straight shoves
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

With the elimination of Richard Dubini, all eyes were on short stack Alex Vega. He came back from the break with just over ten big blinds and while he wasn’t able to find a double, he’s been putting that short stack to use over the last few hands.

Vega has shoved four times in a row and the first was the only time he was looked up. Unfortunately, he ended up chopping, after Fabian Chauriye opened the button to 250,000 and Vega moved all-in for 1,355,000. The short stack held A4 and the chip leader held A2.

While Vega’s supporters called for a four, Chauriye stood silently as the board ran out 1065QQ. The two took back their bets and, as EPTLive commentator Joe Stapleton would say, “Everyone loves a chopped pot.”

Maybe not Vega though, who would have liked to double but he did move himself over the 2,000,000 chip mark over the next three hands. He shoved on all of them, picking up a few small pots to give his short stack a little more room to breathe. — WOC

5:35pm: Richard Dubini busts in 4th in brutal fashion ($49,540)
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

“Ewwww,” said my colleague Will when he came over to check out the board and hand that busted Richard Dubini. It was pretty sick – let me tell you about it.

It started with a limp from the small blind by Fabian Chauriye, and Dubini opted to check his option. That brought a flop, and it came the A92. Chauriye took a 140,000 stab at it, but Dubini went nowhere and we saw the J hit the turn. Now the bet from Chauriye was 330,000, and again Dubini called.

We now had a sense that something was about to happen, but didn’t quite know what after the 3 landed on the river.

Well, Chauriye put Dubini all-in. And he snap-called, turning over the A3.

Problem was, Chauriye had rivered a straight with the 45. He was betting with nothing but a gutshot but got there on the river, and that hand has sent Dubini – who dominated most of our coverage today – to the rail. Still, he has $49,540 and all his many rail birds to help him ease the pain.

We’re now down to three and Chauriye is a big chip leader with just shy of 7 million. –JS

5:20pm: Chauriye gets paid by second nuts, takes chip lead
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

The first hand after break has made our break time chip counts meaningless, as Fabian Chauriye has quickly taken the chip lead from Rodrigo Strong. Action was picked up with Strong opening the button to 240,000 and after Alex Vega’s hand was mucked in the small blind, as he was late coming back from break, Chauriye called in the big.

Both players checked the AJ9 flop and after the 8 brought in a few potential draws on the turn, Chauriye check-called a bet of 240,000. The 7 fell on river, putting four to a flush on board and after some thought, the Chilean cut out 490,000 and pushed it across the line.

Strong looked like he hated to be facing a big bet in this spot, as he sat, hands in elbows like he has so many times before, trying to replay the hand in his head. Eventually, he came to a decision.

“I have second nuts and I don’t think you’re bluffing here.” he admitted, before putting a stack across the line for a call. His read was spot on, as Chauriye tabled K10 for the nuts. Strong looked disgusted and even though he showed the Q, some table talk after the hand makes us believe that that wasn’t the only “diamante” in his hand.

We’ll never know for sure though but what we do know is that Fabian Chauriye now holds the chip lead, as he’s up to 4,100,000 after cutting Rodrigo Strong down to 3,700,000. — WOC

5:16pm: Boyfriend vs girlfriend in Rozmadov
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

While we’re here in Chile sweating this final table, some incredible scenes have emerged at the Eureka6 stop in Rozmadov.

It turns out that Argentinian high-roller Ivan Luca is now heads-up with his girlfriend Maria Lampropoulos for the title. Not that we want you to leave us or anything, but if you want to find out how that heads-up battle is going you can find live updates right here.

Just make sure you come back and join us at the LAPT afterwards, got it? –JS

5:09pm: Cards are back in the air
Level 31 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

Our four remaining players are back to fight it out for the LAPT9 Chile title. We’re now playing 60,000/120,000 with a 20,000 ante. Keep your browser right here on the PokerStars Blog as we bring you all the action as it unfolds. –JS

4:39pm: Strong leading into Level 31

We are still a few minutes away from the start of Level 31 but on break, Rodrigo Strong has regained his chip lead at this final table. He’ll now return with just shy of 5,000,000 but the other three remaining players are all certainly within touching distance.

With the blinds and antes going up, the swings over the next few levels could certainly be drastic, as a double up or big pot could and will change the landscape of this LAPT9 Chile final table. Strong will hope he’s able to take his current advantage to the winner’s circle though, with a complete update of the counts listed below.

1 Fabian Chauriye 3,040,000
2 Richard Dubini 2,060,000
3 Rodrigo Strong 4,785,000
4 Alex Vega 1,425,000

4:39pm: Break time

Players have gone on a 30-minute break. We’ll have the official counts shortly. –JS

4:32pm: Chip lead swings to Strong
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

Richard Dubini has ceased to be our chip leader. That title now belongs to Rodrigo Strong.

Dubini limped in from the small blind and Strong just checked, taking us to the 794 flop. Dubini chucked out a bet of 125,000, only for Strong to then three-bet to 300,000 even. Dubini made the call and we went to a turn.

It came the 5 and Dubini checked, allowing Strong to continue for 480,000. However, the Argentinian went nowhere. So, we saw a river – the 8. Both would check it though, and Strong surprisingly checked back a straight with the 86. Dubini just had a pair of sevens with his Q7 and this one was shipped to Strong, who now has 4.6 million to Dubini’s 2.53 million. –JS

4:22pm: Huge Strong shove
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

After Richard Dubini opened to 250,000 from the small blind, Rodrigo Strong made an enormous all-in raise to 2.93 million. Normally you’d expect a snap-fold, but Dubini had a genuine decision on his hands. If he called and was right, he’d be the monster chip leader with three left. However, he had to give up and live to fight another hand. –JS

4:10pm: Roberly Felicio eliminated in 5th place ($49,540)
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

After Rodrigo Strong doubled through Alex Vega, the Chilean was the shortest stack at this LAPT9 Chile final table. He wasn’t short enough to allow the rest of the field to wait him out though and a few minuets later, Roberly Felicio got involved in a pot that would, evidently, be his last at this final table.

Fabian Chauriye opened to 210,000 from under the gun and after some folds, Felicio defended his big blind to see the AJ6 flop. The Brazilian checked and Chauriye continued for 155,000. Felicio inquired about how much his opponent had left behind and Chauriye quickly eyeballed his stack and explained, in Spanish, “just over 1,400,000”.

The Brazilian was slightly covered and after he called, the 6 paired the board on the turn. Quickly, Felicio moved all-in, for just under 1,100,000. The Chilean went into the tank and rightfully so, as the decision was a massive one at this stage of the tournament.
Eventually, he called and he was correct, as he held A8 and needed to fade just two outs, as Felicio tabled J10. Both players were standing as the 7 completed the board and Felicio’s 5th place exit, with the river being accompanied by Chauriye celebrating with a quick fist pump and a loud “Boom!” directed at his supporters.

The Chilean might have a bigger rail here but the Brazilians are out in force as well. After he collected his things, Felicio was met by Bruno Politano, who finished 9th in this event, and the countrymen exchanged some words and well wishes, as each were extremely happy with their results.

While Felicio hits the rail, earning just shy of $50,000, one Brazilian still remains but over the last level, it’s been all about Fabian Chauriye. He’s now playing close to 3,000,000, his peak for this event. — WOC

4:01pm: Strong doubles through Vega, continues to recover
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

Rodrigo Strong was more or less left for dead after he double up Fabian Chauriye but during an event that has have a revenant theme over the last few days, he’s come back from the dead to again become a contender. After two quick doubles, he just got the double that truly mattered, as he’s now playing close to 3,000,000 chips.

The table folded around to Strong, who was in the small blind, and after some thought, he announced “all-in”. He had 1,435,000 in front of him and after running a quick scan of his opponent and his own stack, Alex Vega called in the big blind.

He’d cringe when he saw Strong’s pocket pair, as the Brazilian’s 99 left Vega drawing to three immediate outs with A3. After the KQ8 flop, Vega needed help and needed it badly but when the 9 fell on the turn, giving Strong a set, he was officially drawing dead.

After the Q meaninglessly completed the board, Vega was sending over half his chips to the right, where Strong stacked up over the chip average. That’s plenty of room to work with after after being left with a few big blinds during the last level and Alex Vega now takes over as the low man on the final table totem pole with 1,300,000. — WOC

3:52pm: Dream on
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

Earlier on we made a joke in a picture caption that Richard Dubini, our chip leader with five remaining, was pointing at a missing tattoo, Here’s that photo again as a reminder:


Richard Dubini – wondering where his other tattoo sleeve has vanished to
Well, thanks to our photographer Carlos – a friend of Dubini’s, we can reveal that Dubini was actually pointing at a tattoo.


Richard Dubini’s left arm
He has ‘Dream on’ tattooed on his left arm, and he’s no doubt dreaming of an LAPT title right now. You know what? He’s not far away from turning that dream into a reality. –JS

3:37pm: On another level
Level 30 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 ante)

The blinds are up in Level 30 – we’re now playing 50,000/100,000 with a 10,000 ante. –JS

3:30pm: Vega’s hiding place
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Alex Vega opened from under the gun to 190,000 and it folded around to Rodrigo Strong in the big blind, who made the call. The flop came the 4KK and Strong took the betting lead by moving all-in for 845,000.

Vega looked pained, and that was something he clearly didn’t want anyone else to see. He yanked up his shirt to cover his face and proceeded to hide out for about two minutes.


Alex Vega, mid-hideout
Eventually he made a reluctant fold, and Strong moves up to 1.23 million. –JS

3:27pm: A Strong return
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

We knew that Rodrigo Strong was going to be getting his chips in quickly, but since we last saw you he’s doubled up twice as is back from the dead.

He first doubled up through Alex Vega blind vs blind. Strong held the 98 against Vega’s QJ and the board ran out pure for the Brazilian. It came 96462 and he was up to around 400,000.

Then he doubled again – this time through Richard Dubini. The chip leader opened the button for 160,000 and Strong shoved for 440,000 from the small blind. Vega gave up his big blind and Dubini snapped off the raise with the QJ against Strong’s 66. Once again the board favoured Strong, as it ran out the 9877A.

Strong is officially back in this with 1.05 million. –JS

3:15pm: Runner-runner “corazón” doubles Fabian Chauriye
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Fabian Chauriye has been the most active of the short stacks through Level 29. While he made it through the first half dozen or show shoves without getting looked up, Rodrigo Strong just did and had the Chilean drawing thin.

The table folded to Chauriye, who thought for a second and then announced “all-in” from the button. Richard Dubini folded his small blind and Strong snap called in the big, giving himself a fist pump as he tabled A10 and saw his opponent held 65.

Both players stood and Strong gave himself a high-five after the AQJ flop left Chauriye more or less drawing dead. It’s not over until the river though, as the K came on the turn and that’s when the pleas from Chauriye began.

“Corazón! Corazón!” he shouted, asking for a heart to fall on the river. It did, as the 4 spiked to complete the board and his flush, bringing with it a round of cheers from Chauriye’s supporters and a look of disbelief from the Brazilian.

Chauriye’s all-in wager fell just shout of seven-figures and after Strong sent 970,000 across the table, he was left with just 190,000. That’s just over two big blinds so all eyes will be on Rodrigo Strong over the next few hands. — WOC

3:11pm: Ricardo Matamala eliminated in 6th place ($38,860)
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

While we’ve seen players move all-in a few times through the first 20 minutes of Level 29, no one has been looked up just yet. That was, until Roberly Felicio shoved the small blind and Ricardo Matamala called for less to put himself at risk.

That hand was picked up with the table folding to the short stacks of Felicio and Matamala, who were in the blinds. The Brazilian had 850,000 in the small blind and after he announced “all-in”, Matamala snapped in the big, turning over A2.

The Chilean had 760,000 in front of him and with the stacks so close, Felicio, who held 98, was playing for more or less his tournament life as well. After the J94 flop, it looked like the Brazilian was going to survive, as Matamala was drawing to just three outs.

The K didn’t help him on the turn and the 8 completed the board and confirmed his 6th place elimination. Matamala usually works for CondigoPoker.com as a freelancer but he had this LAPT event off. He decided to come on the trip with his friends and coworkers anyway, arriving a few days early and winning enough to buy-in to the tournament through cash game sessions earlier last week.

That investment ended up earning him a nearly $40,000 score and while he’ll head to the payout cage to likely collect his winnings, Roberly Felicio is now back to a workable 20 big blind stack. — WOC

3:08pm: Chauriye chipping up with shoves, Dubini keeping them honest
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

In between battles involving big stacks Alex Vega and Richard Dubini, Fabian Chauriye has found a few good spots to chip up via all-in shoves. Those small victories have pushed the Chilean up and over the 1,000,000 chip mark but with that still only equates to close to 13 big blinds.

That means he’ll likely need to find a double to get back into contention and in between a few of his shoves, chip leader Richard Dubini got back to his opening ways. The Argentine has taken down a few spots without any competition, showing AQ after he took down the blinds and antes for a third consecutive hand.

He has to keep the rest of the table honest but we imagine that some of his opens are with slightly weaker holdings than ace-queen… — WOC

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3pm: Vega powers over Dubini
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Earlier we wrote about Alex Vega’s power poker – i.e. making players play for it all if they want to be in a pot with him. Well, he’s still doing it – even against dominant chip leader Richard Dubini.

Dubini had opened to 160,000 on the button, and Vega thought for a while before throwing out another big blind to make the call. The flop came 836 and Vega checked to the raiser, who continued for slightly more this time – 170,000.

Here’s where Vega went into power mode, moving all-in for 1.93 million. Dubini didn’t want to risk that many chips and threw his hand away. –JS

2:45pm: Matamala gives Chauriye something to think about
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Our short stacks have been controlling most of the action since the break; essentially continually moving all-in and getting a round of folds.

In one hand though, it looked like the two shorties Ricardo Matamala and Fabian Chauriye might clash with eachother rather than a bigger stack. Alex Vega had opened to 160,000 from the hijack and it folded to Matamala who shoved from his small blind for 600,000.

Chauriye was in the big blind with 650,000, and started muttering his frustrations as the shove was clearly going to be his move if it had folded to him. Unfortunately for him, he would have to do the folding, as did Vega. –JS

2:31pm: Dubini holds huge advantage coming back from break
Level 29 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Two levels down, two players to the rail and one player potentially trending towards an LAPT title. That player is Richard Dubini, who has headlined the coverage thus far, as he’s put together a terrific two hours of play that has him now controlling nearly 5,000,000 chips.

He’ll likely try to continue his surge up the leaderboard heading into Level 29, where a few players will be under some serious pressure. Three players are coming back with close to ten big blinds, meaning that we could see some serious action over the first few orbits.

The PokerStars blog will be here to track that action and with cards about to get back in the air any second now, we leave you with the updated final table chip counts. — WOC

1 Fabian Chauriye 765,000
2 Richard Dubini 4,925,000
3 Rodrigo Strong 1,570,000
4 Alex Vega 2,505,000
5 Roberly Felicio 850,000
6 Ricardo Matamala 790,000

2:16pm: Break time
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Our final six have gone on a 15-minute break. When they return we’ll have full official chip counts. –JS

2:06pm: Pushing and shoving
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

First, Fabian Chauriye shoves. No callers. Then, on the next hand, he shoved again. No callers.

On the next hand, to add a touch of variety, it was Ricardo Matamala who shoved. No callers.

And then we were back to Chauriye, who shoved the next hand. No callers.

If this all sounds predictable so far, you’re never going to guess what happened next: Matamala shoved ON Chauriye! But he didn’t call, so all of this has been a fruitless endeavour really. –JS

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1:59pm: Vega ends Dubini’s ‘reign of terror’, for one hand at least
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Finally, some non-Richard Dubini updates!

While the last few orbits have basically been, table folds to Richard Dubini, he puts 120,000 in front of him, rest of table folds, dealer pushed Dubini pot, he finally didn’t have a chance to do that. That was because Ricardo Matamala moved all-in from under the gun, with his stack weighing in at 615,000.

The table folded and Matamala picked up a sizable pot but he’s still short stacked and in potentially the most interesting seat at the final table. Matamala and Fabian Chauriye, who are both near 12-15 big blinds, are to Dubini’s immediate right, meaning that they’ll have to pick their spots as the massive chip leader could call off a little lighter than the rest of the average stacked players.

The Argentine is playing close to 80 big blinds but that massive stack just took a small hit, as he lost what seems to be the first hand in two hours to Alex Vega. That hand was picked up pre flop, with Dubini opening the hijack to 120,000. Vega called on the button and after the blinds folded, both players hacked the A84 flop.

Dubini check-called 150,000 after the Q fell on the turn and after the 2 completed the board, he checked for a third time. Vega bet 235,000 and Dubini, for once, couldn’t find a call on the river and conceded the pot, ending his ‘reign of terror’ on this final table, albeit for one hand. — WOC

1:52pm: Dubini continues to dominate
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Not the most exciting hand, but Richard Dubini continues to cruise here in Vina del Mar. After Ricardo Matamala opened to 130,000, Dubini three-bet to 285,000 and Matamala called. The flop came 724 and Matamala checked, allowing Dubini to c-bet for 230,000. That was good enough to take it down, and give Dubini around 4.2 million. –JS

1:37pm: Espinoza gone in 7th ($22,780)
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

You know how we told you Richard Dubini is crushing? It shows no signs of stopping.

After he opened to 120,000 on the button, Andres Espinoza moved all-in from the small blind for 500,000 exactly. Rodrigo Strong folded and gave up his big blind, and Dubini snap called.

It was JJ for Espinoza and A4 for chip leader Dubini, so the player at risk was ahead. Or at least he was until the A58 flop fell. It was followed by the 9 turn and K river and Dubini rakes in Espinoza’s chips. He has 4 million now, while Espinoza takes home $22,780 for his 7th place finish.

Six remain! –JS

1:22pm: Dubini and the Railbirds
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

That headline sounds like a pretty cool band name right? Well, actually it’s just a testament to how popular Richard Dubini is. Every minute he’s having to get up out of his seat to go and give a hug to one of his many friends supporting him. But if Dubini is the lead singer, the other 30 or so members of the Railbirds will have to fight over what instruments they each play.

Dubini is absolutely crushing right now and seems to know exactly where he is, and where everyone else is, in every spot. –JS


Richard Dubini – wondering where his other tattoo sleeve has vanished to
1:15pm: Blinds up
Level 28 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

We’ve moved into Level 28 and everything’s gone up. The blinds are now 30,000/60,000, while the ante has doubled up to 10,000. The short stacks, including Fabian Chauriye with just 13 big blinds, will have to make some moves soon. –JS

1:10pm: And it’s quiet again
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Just a lot more raise-and-take-its right now for Richard Dubini, Fabian Chauriye, and Alex Vega. Chauriye’s was significant as it was an all-in shove for 755,000, but no player even considered making the call. –JS

1:06pm: Dubini wins ‘Round 1’ and then ‘Round 2’ to take massive chip lead
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

The end of Level 27 looks like it’s all about the two biggest stacks in the room, as Richard Dubini and Rodrigo Strong have recently battled in two sizable pots. The Argentine has won both, the first going to showdown and the second with a strong river raise that moves him up and over the 3,500,000 chip mark.

The first hand saw Dubini limp the button and after the small blind folded, Strong checked his option in the big to see the 1065 flop. The Brazilian checked, only to see Dubini bet 75,000. Strong called and after the 9 fell on the turn, he led for 115,000.

A few draws had come in but Dubini didn’t look that concerned, as he quickly called to see the 10 pair the board on the river. Strong reverted back to his flop strategy, checking and Dubini quickly checked behind and saw Strong table 65. His flopped two pair was rivered though, as Dubini turned over QQ.

Strong joked that he “didn’t have a read on the hand” and unfortunately for him, his radar might have been off a bit in the next hand as well. That action was picked up with Dubini opening to 100,000 from the button and after Strong called in the small blind, Alex Vega did the same in the big.

Both blinds quickly checked the 1077 flop and Dubini continued for 130,000. Strong called and Vega got out of the way, with two players seeing the A fall on the turn. The same betting pattern played out, with Strong check-calling a bet of 150,000.

The 10 double paired the board on the river and after he cut out 280,000 chips, Strong sat, arms crossed, head resting between his elbows. He’s taken this pose throughout the tournament and after a minute of thought, he finally pushed his bet across the line. It was Dubini’s turn to go into the tank, although he stayed upright while he was in thought.

“¿Para ace?” Dubini asked and although he didn’t get an answer from his opponent, he likely didn’t need one. Sensing weakness, he pushed out a raise to 600,000. Strong was a little taken aback by the river raise and the look on his face showed that he, again, might not have had a read.

Eventually though, he folded AQ face up. Dubini tapped the table and even though Strong did have an ace, he likely fixed that broken radar just in time to save his stack, as he left himself just over 1,800,000. Richard Dubini is now playing close to double that number, as he’s the far and away final table chip leader moving into Level 28. — WOC

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1:01pm: Chauriye shoves twice, Espinoza goes for a terrible walk
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

After a slow portion of play, the last few minutes of Level 27 saw a flurry of action, starting with back to back shoves from a short stack. Fabian Chauriye was able to add close to 200,000 to his stack without having to go to showdown, as the Chilean moved all-in from late position twice.

The first shove was for just over 650,000 and it looked like Roberly Felicio might have been an interested costumer in the big blind. He eventually folded and Chauriye got a shove through on his countryman, Ricardo Matamala, as the recently tripled played elected to pass in the big blind as well.

In the very next hand, Aqviles Espinoza got a pass of his own in the big blind, as we saw the first walk at this final table. Unfortunately for the short stacked amateur, he looked down and then showed QQ, shaking his head and wondering why it had to be this time that none of the big stacks wanted to open the action.

He won a pot without having to do much of anything though, so that’s a win in and of itself for anyone with a short stack. He’ll likely need to find a double soon though, as he’s playing just over 600,000 with a few minutes remaining in Level 27. — WOC

12:52pm: Nowhere’s quiet but the table
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

There hasn’t been any notable hands of late – mainly raise-and-take-its. But elsewhere in the room there is plenty of action. The rail stands three deep right now, all trying to get a good spot to view the action. Meanwhile, other tournaments are playing out around the room, making the sound of shuffling chips loud and powerful. That sound is what poker bloggers put on their headphones to fall asleep to. –JS

12:37pm: Vega plays power poker
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Alex Vega’s rail were hootin’ and hollerin’ just now after their boy won a big pot with what could be considered a bluff.

It started with an open from Vega to 105,000, and the man on the button to his immediate left – Brazil’s Roberly Felicio – was the only person who called. The two saw a flop of 46J and Vega put out a c-bet of 125,000. But here’s where Felicio, who is very calm and composed at the tables, sprung into life.

He raised it up to 275,000 and Vega looked a little surprised, but made the call regardless.

The turn came the 10 and Vega checked it to the last aggressor. Felicio continued betting and slid out a stack worth 500,000. Vega looked stunned again; he stared Felicio down from just a few inches away, even taking off his stylish sunglasses to get a better read.


Alex Vega con shades, before he went sin shades
He must have saw something, because out of the blue he announced all-in for 895,000 total. Felicio would give it up, only for Vega to turn over 55 for a pair with two over-pairs on the board. It was a great move by Vega and he’s moved up to 2.25 million, while Felicio is down to 1.32 million. –JS

12:27pm: Big stacks flexing their muscle
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

After the elimination of Carlos Pohmasevic and the near triple up of Ricardo Matamala, there weren’t really any players in the danger zone. There were still big stacks though and over the last few hands, they’ve been flexing their muscle against the rest of this final table.

In one hand, the table folded to Richard Dubini, who quickly moved all-in from the small blind. Aqviles Espinoza was in the big blind and with just over 700,000 in his stack, he was faced with a decision for his tournament life. He peeled one card with no visible facial expression but after he peeled the second he cringed, leading us and the table to believe the had the second been a little better, he may have called.

Instead, he elected to fold and will now have to tactically work a close to 15 big blind stack and Fabian Chauriye is now near that number as well. The Chilean just opened to 110,000 from the cutoff and after some thought, Rodrigo Strong, the final table chip leader, moved all-in from the big blind.

Chauriye had 780,000 behind after he opened and after a minute and a half in the tank, he helicoptered his cards towards the muck. Strong showed pocket fives earlier at this final table after making a pre flop raise but we didn’t see his cards this time. The Brazilian is trending up though, playing just over 2,700,000 midway through Level 25. — WOC

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12:19pm: Carlos Pohmajevic eliminated in 8th place ($15,780); Matamala triples in the process
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

We might not be off to a furious start like there was in Rozvadov earlier today, where four players were bounced from the final table in the first 15 minutes of play, but we only had to wait a few hands to see our first three-way all-in.

After a few small pots played out, the forth hand of the final table saw Roberly Felicio open to 110,000 from the hijack. Ricardo Matamala cut down his stack and then verbalized “all-in”, with that shove weighing in at 370,000.

The shortest stack at this final table, Carlos Pohmajevic was next to act on the button and he went into the tank. We’ve seen Pohmajevic do this before when facing big decisions for this sub-ten big blind stack but until now, those long thought processes have all resulted in a decision to fold. Not this time though, as he re-shoved for less, 360,000, to put himself at risk.

The blinds quickly folded and for a small percentage of his stack, Felicio called, turning over K10. Matamala shot from his chair and threw over AA, in a great spot to more or less triple, as the shortest stack held 66.

With the Chilean out of his seat and his supporters nearly breaking through the final table barrier, the dealer wasted no time leaving both his opponents drawing to running cards. The A54 flop left Pohmajevic with minimal equity and the idea of a double knockout wasn’t looking too good for Felicio either.

The Q turn card confirmed that Pohmajevic’s 8th place elimination but it also gave the big stacked Brazilian flush and straight draws. Neither came in though, as Matamala and his supporters cheered after the 8 completed the board.

When the dust settled and the cheers lessened, because they’ve still yet to stop, Matamala was playing just over 1,100,000. Felicio is still well stacked with 2,100,000 and the Argentinian Pohmajevic will take home just shy of $16,000 for his final table run. — WOC


Pohmajevic (right) shakes hands with Matamala
12:15pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 27 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (5,000 ante)

Play is underway! Stay tuned for all the action. –JS

12pm: Meet our players

Let us tell you a little bit about our final eight:

Seat 1: Fabian Chauriye, Chile – 1,004,000

Chile local Fabian Chauriye has made back-to-back Main Event final tables here in Vina del Mar, having finished in 6th place last year for $39,620. He’ll be hoping to take down his first LAPT title here today, off the back of 2016 momentum he first picked up with a 16th place finish at the PCA in January.


Fabian Chauriye
Seat 2: Richard Dubini, Argentina – 2,174,000

Richard Dubini is arguably the best player at this final table if results are anything to go by. Dubini has scored huge cashes all around the world, including a win in a side-event at EPT12 Barcelona for $163,923 and numerous big scores across Latin America. He comes into play today third in chips.


Richard Dubini
Seat 3: Andres Espinoza, Chile – 946,000

We don’t know much about this Chile local, but he’s a popular guy here on poker scene and will be looking for what will no doubt be his biggest score to date.


Andres Espinoza
Seat 4: Rodrigo Strong, Brazil – 2,482,000

Our chip leader coming into the final table is Brazil’s Rodrigo Strong. He’s proved himself a talented player over the past few days, and has previous cashes at Estrella Poker Tour events in Barcelona and Madrid.


Rodrigo Strong
Seat 5: Alex Vega, Chile – 1,427,000

In seat 5 we have the man who came into Day 3 second in chips – Alex Vega. He’s from Chile and has a big rail with him here today. Vega has $35,000 in live winnings to date.


Alex Vega
Seat 6: Roberly Felicio, Brazil – 2,320,000

The second Brazilian and second in chips here today is Roberly Felicio. He has multiple cashes across Latin America, and will be picking up his biggest ever tournament win here today, where he finishes.


Roberly Felicio
Seat 7: Ricardo Matamala, Chile – 452,000

Our second shortest stack here today is the man who led the charge coming into Day 3 – Ricardo Matamala. The Chilean native is particularly popular here among the bloggers as he used to be a photographer doing this very job himself. He’s how sat proud at the final, but he’ll need to get something going early as he has less than 10 big blinds.

Ricardo Matamala-LAPTViña9s-7646-thumb-450x300-285878.jpg

Ricardo Matamala
Seat 8: Carlos Pohmajevic, Argentina – 408,000

The shortest stack here at the final is Argentina’s Carlos Pohmajevic. He’s already locked up his biggest ever score here today.


Carlos Pohmajevic
They’ll be in action soon. –JS

11:30pm: The final table awaits

565 started. Only eight remain. It’s final table time here at LAPT9 Chile. Here’s how our players stack up:

Final Table Seat Name Chip Count
1 Fabian Chauriye 1,004,000
2 Richard Dubini 2,174,000
3 Aqviles Espinoza 946,000
4 Rodrigo Strong 2,482,000
5 Alex Vega 1,427,000
6 Roberly Felicio 2,301,000
7 Ricardo Matamala 452,000
8 Carlos Pohmasevic 408,000

They’re all chasing the first place prize of $141,785 – here’s a look at how the total final payouts are structured:

Place Name Country Status Payout Deal
1 $141,785
2 $88,780
3 $63,560
4 $49,540
5 $38,860
6 $30,520
7 $22,780
8 $15,780

Play kicks off at 12pm Chile-time – don’t go anywhere. –JS

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at LAPT9 Chile: Will O’Connor and Jack Stanton. Photos by Carlos Monti. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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