The first LAPT event I ever covered was the kick-off event for Season 2 in San Jose, Costa Rica. That was a time when Americans dominated LAPT events. Indeed, at the final table in Costa Rica that year only Maria Stern and Venezuela’s Jesus Bertoli could claim any affiliation with the region. The remainder of the players hailed from America, with one Englishman thrown in for variety.
The player who finished in 3rd place that day was American Brent Sheirbon. He was eliminated as many tournament players are – on the losing end of a flip, when his Q♦10♦ couldn’t catch up to a lowly pair of deuces. Still, that 3rd place was worth $109,000 and marked Sheirbon as someone to watch.
Sheirbon returned to the LAPT with regularity. He final-tabled a side event at LAPT2 Argentina for $5,000. He won a side event at LAPT4 Peru – the festival that everyone remembers more for Black Friday happening in the middle of it than for any poker – to claim another $51,000. And last season, Sheirbon returned to an LAPT Main Event final table at the Grand Final in Peru. He finished in 5th to earn $46,000.
Thus you could say that as the Americans were slowly overwhelmed by the uptick in talented Latin American players, and then almost entirely disappeared after Black Friday, Sheirbon has been a lone constant. He relocated to Costa Rica in 2006 then moved to Panama in 2007, beating the crowd of Americans out of the country by four years.
Sheirbon’s playing today here in Viña del Mar. He’s seated at Table 1, in the far left corner of the room, quietly sipping a coffee and studying his table. He also seems to be quite active, getting involved in four pots in one orbit alone. In one, he turned a set of 9s against a single, out-of-position opponent and received maximum value for them by making pot-sized bets on the turn (1,500) and river (4,000).
Later on, however, Sheirbon was the player out of position and found himself neatly trapped by a lone opponent. Sheirbon bet the flop (575), turn (1,075) and river (5,000) of a 3♦Q♣4♠9♥A♥ board. His opponent called the first two bets, then raised all in for 7,600 total on the river. With 17,000 already in the pot, Sheirbon couldn’t lay down his hand for just 2,600. He made a crying call, then sighed the slightest bit and nodded his head when his opponent turned up Q♠Q♥ for a flopped set of queens.
It’s back to building mode for Sheirbon. But if any American knows how to build a stack on the Latin American Poker Tour, it’s got to be him.
(By the way – we made it through Level 1 without an earthquake.)
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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