Fabian Ortiz Wins LAPT Inaugural Stop in Chile

Fabian Ortiz Wins LAPT Inaugural Stop in Chile
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By Jennifer Newell On January 20th, the PokerStars.com Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) made its first trek to Chile, specifically a beach location in Vina del Mar. After the LAPT kicked off its second season in 2008 with a trip to Costa Rica, followed by a not-so successful attempt at the first poker tournament in Mexico, the Chile stop was a welcome new and exciting setting for a poker tournament. A number of pros made the trip, including Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari, Alex Gomes, and WSOP November Nine players Ylon Schwartz and Dennis Phillips. Also in the crowd were J.C. Alvarado, Paul Magriel, Shirley Rosario, Maria Stern, Argentinian backgammon pro Veronica Dabul, and Humberto Brenes, who was accompanied by his brother Alex and sons Jose and Roberto. All in all, the field was comprised of 216 entrants, which created a prize pool of $523,800. Day 1 finished with only 63 players, which was the target number set by tournament officials. The chip leader was Nicolas Perez with 90,050 in chips, and not far behind was Gomes with 82,750, the only recognizable pro at the top of the leaderboard. Day 2 took quite some time - nearly 14 hours - though it began at a reasonable pace. Roberto Brenes and Shirley Rosario were casualties of that action, while Damian Salas took the chip lead and kept it throughout the rest of the night. During that time, Alex Gomes and Veronica Dabul left the tournament before the money. It took about two and a half hours from the time that Alex Manzano exited in 29th place until hand-for-hand ended and the bubble player was found. Samar Holadi finally pushed all-in and found six callers who checked down the board of K-J-3-4-7. Hodali flipped the A-10 but was beat by the 8-3 of an opponent, and he left in 28th place with no cash prize. Naturally, play sped up a bit, and as the final table got closer, Maria Stern saw the rail in 19th place, and Ariel Celestino took 11th place to create another hand-for-hand situation. Finally, Carter Phillips was the all-in player with his tournament on the line holding 5c 3c, and Eduardo Camia was the caller with ad qh in the big blind. The dealer had nothing for Phillips when he produced 7s 4s 4h qc 9d, and Phillips was crippled with only two chips left. Those went into the pot with 9c 4d on the next hand, but Hernan Villa’s ts 5c beat it to send Phillips out in tenth place. With the following chip counts, the nine remaining players would return the next day to play for the win: Damian Andres Salas 412,000 Fabian Ortiz 347,000 Leandro Balotin 339,000 Fabio Escobar 300,000 Jyries Awad 208,000 Eduardo Camia 198,000 Jaime Ateneloff 128,000 Vincenzo Giannelli 122,000 Hernan Villa 107,000 The final table started slowly, and it wasn’t until after about an hour that there was an all-in and a call, resulting in Giannelli doubling through Ortiz. Camia then took his turn to double through Escobar. The next all-in move resulted in an elimination as Ateneloff was down to 80K and pushed with pocket sevens. Salas called with qd js, and it was off to the races with a 6h 4s 4c flop. But the qc on the turn gave the advantage to Salas, and with the 5s on the river, Jaime Ateneloff was out in ninth place with $10,476. It took another hour and a half for the next player to be at risk, and it was Camia who put his 127K into the pot with as 9s. Salas was there to call with pocket nines, and the board ran out qs 5c 4d 4c 8d. Eduardo Camia was eliminated in eighth place with a $13,095 prize. The animated Jyries Saba was ready to entertain the crowd with some antics and another double-up attempt in his roller coaster ride of a tournament after he and Ortiz saw a ks 5s 4d flop. Saba pushed all-in with kc jc, but that top pair wasn’t good against the pocket aces of Ortiz. The last two cards from the dealer were 8s and 6c, and Saba was gone in seventh place with $18,330. Escobar became short-stacked when Villa doubled through him, and he put his last chips all-in with as qd. But Giannelli called with ad ks, and the board came 5h 4h 2d 8d 9c to eliminate Fabio Escobar in sixth place, with was worth $23,571. Villa couldn’t keep his momentum going and finally threw his last 95K all-in from the big blind with 6d 2d, but Ortiz called with a dominating :Q 7c. No help came on the 7s 3s 3c ts 9h board, and Hernan Villa was ousted in fifth place with $28,809. Ortiz struggled as well and lost a 1.1 million chip pot to Salas to leave him with only 18K. He came back, however, by tripling through Bolatin and Giannelli and doubling through Bolatin again to sit with more than 100K in chips. Bolatin was soon the one in trouble and pushed all-in with qs 5c. Ortiz, who had continued to chip up, called with ad 8d, and the board was on his side as it produced ah 2h 2d 6s jd. Leandro Bolatin was suddenly gone in fourth place with $39,285 for the effort. Salas wasn’t exactly short-stacked when he got involved with Giannelli. In fact, after Giannelli made an initial raise preflop, Salas reraised all-in for 520K from the big blind. Giannelli confidently called and showed ac qh, and Salas had only ah 5s to show for his move. The board came 9d 3d 6s 4d 8s, and Damian Salas was sent away in the early morning hours with $52,380. Heads-up play began with the following chip counts: Vincenzo Giannelli 1,524,000 Fabian Ortiz 637,000 Ortiz came out fighting. He chipped up and soon doubled through Giannelli to take over the chip lead. It wasn’t long before Giannelli tried to take it back with his final 899K and ah th, but he ran into Ortiz’s superior as jc hand. The board came 7c qc 4d 8c 6c, and Vincenzo Giannelli was forced to accept second place and the $58,570 that went with it. Fabian Ortiz made a stellar comeback to win the LAPT Vina del Mar, becoming the first Latin American player to win an LAPT event. He was awarded a trophy and $141,426 in prize money to go with the prestigious title. (Thanks to the PokerStars blog for live updates.)