The much-used phrase “it’s all over but the shouting” has never been more apt. From two days of intense team poker, Brazil has emerged from a group of six qualifiying countries as this year’s Americas Cup of Poker champions. The poker is over, but the shouts of celebration are only just beginning.
We provided a rundown of how the Americas Cup of Poker works yesterday. Tonight let’s talk about Brazil’s path to victory.
We spoke with Mexico’s coach and Team PokerStars Pro Online member Jorge “Baalim” Limon yesterday about his team’s status as the Americas Cup defending champs and their plans for the five six-handed sit-n-go matches making up yesterday’s schedule.
Unfortunately for the Mexican squad, those plans weren’t realized as they finished the day tied for last in points with Ecuador, with the latter earning the fifth seed thanks to tiebreakers.
Meanwhile Peru was the team accumulating the most points, winning two of the five matches outright and picking up a second and a third in two others. Even with those results, Peru only barely outperformed second-seeded Brazil, with Argentina (third) and Uruguay (fourth) filling out the brackets.
Here’s how the points went on Day 1:
1. Peru — 37 points
2. Brazil — 36 points
3. Argentina — 32 points
4. Uruguay — 29 points
5. Ecuador — 18 points
6. Mexico — 18 points
The finishes determined not only which teams would play another on Day 2, but the higher-seeded teams would get to pick who played who in the heads-up matches as well.
Best-of-five heads-up matches between the countries would determine things on the second day of play. While Ecuador and Mexico played each other to see who would finish fifth and sixth, the other four teams were still with hopes of becoming this year’s Americas Cup of Poker champions.
Ecuador well handed Mexico, winning four of the five matches to take fifth and leave Mexico with a sixth-place finish. Meanwhile, the semifinal matches had top-seed Peru taking on fourth-seed Uruguay and second-seed Brazil play against third-seed Argentina.
Both of the semifinals were nailbiters, with Brazil beating Argentina 3-2 and Uruguay outlasting Peru 3-2 as well. After falling behind Argentina would then win the third-place match versus Peru while the final continued to play out.
In the final, Brazil — coached by Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari — stormed out to a 2-1 match lead over the Francisco “paulwiter” García-coached Uruguayans.
Soon all were focused on the two remaining matches with Juliano Medeiros (Brazil) taking on Lisandro Agustin Clavijo Betancor (Uruguay) on the feature table while Lucas Penitente Sfalsin (Brazil) and Gustovo Schol Rios (Uruguay) battled on one of the outer tables. Brazil only needed to win one of the two to claim the title.
Brazil edged in front in both of the matches, and eventually on the outer table came a big all-in hand that saw an eight on the board, Uruguay’s Rios holding 10♥8♥ and Brazil’s Sfalsin ahead with J♥8♣. The better hand held, and Rios was down to just five big blinds.
Soon Rios was all in again with K♦2♣ versus Sfalsin’s pocket tens, and it looked like Brazil was about to clinch the title with a third win in the best-of-five. But a king flopped and Rios’s hand held, and the title was still undecided.
Soon, though, another big all-in developed on the feature table between the Brazilian Medeiros and the Uruguayan Bentancor. When the hands were revealed, Medeiros called out to his teammates the cards — A♥A♦ for himself, and A♣5♣ for his opponent.
The 4♠4♣3♠ flop heightened the suspense, giving Bentancor a wheel draw plus a backdoor flush possibility. But the 4♦ on the turn made a full house for Medeiros, and after the river 5♦ the Brazilians were celebrating with one last victory chant that will surely last well into the night.
We shout our congratulations to Brazil! And kudos as well to all six teams’ players for winning their way to a great experience and memory here at the Atlantis.
2015 Americas Cup of Poker Results
1st: Brazil ($32,500; $6,500 per player)
2nd: Uruguay ($25,000; $5,000 per player)
3rd: Argentina ($17,500; $3,500 per player)
4th: Peru ($12,500; $2,500 per player)
5th: Ecuador ($7,500; $1,500 per player)
6th: Mexico ($5,000; $1,000 per player)
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.