Uruguayan Alex Komaromi secured the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Punta del Este $2300+$200 main event for $244,720 by besting an all-South American final table that took four-and-a-half hours to complete.
Home favourite Alex Komaromi entered the final day as chip leader – and remained on top for most of the session – to ultimately see off Claudio Piedrabuena in their heads-up battle that left the Argentinian as runner-up for $141,220 and Uruguay with its first ever LAPT champion.
With all four Brazilians – Felipe Pasini ($46,600), Nelson Trad Neto ($37,190), Fernando Araujo ($27,770) and Rafael Monteiro ($18,360) – eliminated in places five to eight respectively, we were left with Komaromi, Piedrabuena, Venezuela’s Engleberth Varela and Carlos Watanabe, of Peru, to fight it out for the big money from a starting field of 422.
Komaromi remained passive for much of the final day, however, allowing Varela – who started second in chips – to make most of the early moves as the Venezuelan eliminated two players in quick succession. First to go was Monteiro and he was quickly followed by Arauja.
With just six players left, though, Komaromi came to life as he sent Neto to the rail in sixth.
Neto showed A♥ Q♠ to put his tournament life at risk when going all-in against Komaromi’s 8♥ 8♣. The board showed K♣ 10♥ 5♠ 8♠ A♠ to hand Komaromi trip eights and the third of the final-table Brazilians was gone in sixth.
We were down to the last five about 10 minutes later, when Komaromi’s 10♠ 10♦ saw off Pasini’s Q♦ J♦ – and he was quickly followed by Peruvian Watanabe, who had done well to remain in this long on the final table, having held no more than 15 big blinds at any point, as Varela took down the pot.
Play was now three-handed, but it didn’t take long for Venezuela’s Varela to crash out to Komaromi after calling all-in on the 5s river with a board of A♥ 7♣ Q♣ 3♠.
Varela showed A♦ 6♠ to hold top pair, but Komaromi out-kicked his opponent with A♣ 8♣ to secure a huge 9 to 1 chip lead going into heads-up play against Piedrabuena.
It seemed likely that a swift victory for the Uruguayan was on the cards, only for the Argentinian to grind back in to contention to be just 2 to 1 down in chips through his aggressive style of all-ins and pre-flop over-bets.
In fact, Piedrabuena eventually took over as chip leader when his 10-10 beat Komaromi’s A-J.
However, that lead lasted just a solitary hand as Komaromi’s A♦ K♠ gave him a double-up against Piedrabuena’s A♠ 10♥ with the chips having gone in pre-flop. A king arrived on the flop to send Komaromi back into a 7 to 1 chip lead as the duo entered the 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante level.
The final hand saw Komaromi, on the button, open to 150,000 with Piedrabuena making call. The flop showed K♦ 7♣ 4♠ and both players checked to the J♣ turn.
Piedrabuena checked again, only for Komaromi to bet 225,000. Piedrabuena then put in an all-in raise for approximately 1.3 million and Komaromi snap-called to show J♥ 4♥ for two pair. Piedrabuena certainly had outs with his K♣ 10♣ as any club, king, 10 or seven would see him double-up.
But the river provided the 2d on the river and Komaromi was crowned the LAPT’s inaugural Uruguayan champ.
The sixth stop on the tour visits Colombia with the LAPT Bogotá, which hosts a $1000+$100 main event. However, no dates have been confirmed yet.
Final table placings and payouts from the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Punta del Este main event:
1. Alex Komaromi (Uruguay) – $244,720 (£150,000/€172,800)
2. Claudio Piedrabuena (Argentina) – $141,220 (£86,600/€99,700)
3. Engleberth Varela (Venezuela) – $88,970 (£54,500/€62,800)
4. Carlos Watanabe (Peru) – $65,430 (£40,100/€46,200)
5. Felipe Pasini (Brazil) – $46,600 (£28,600/€32,900)
6. Nelson Neto (Brazil) – $37,190 (£22,800/€26,300)
7. Fernando Araujo (Brazil) – $27,770 (£17,000/€19,600)
8. Rafael Monteiro (Brazil) – $18,360 (£11,300/€13,000)
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