The Latin American Poker Tour made its stop in Uruguay this past week, the fourth event of the year, and all of the action came to a head at the main event. Argentina's Pedro Claus survived a challenging field of competition in Punta del Estes to earn the win, becoming the fourth different player to win an LAPT event this year.
Claus came into the final table with a big chip lead over the rest of the players, which gave him a strategic advantage. He led an Argentinean brigade as the eight-player final table had Claus and five of his countrymen. Their rivals from Brazil brought two players to the table. Once the field narrowed down to three players - Claus, fellow Argentine Manuel Vuotto and Brazil's Fernando Araujo - they negotiated a deal in which they were all assured to take home at least $70,000, with $20,630 going to the champion.
After Vuotto went out, it was Araujo that was eventually left as the one to go heads up with Claus. Claus had a lead of over five times more chips than Araujo and that forced Araujo to make a move. He fired his shot early, going all-in on the very first hand. Claus responded immediately, calling with a pair of Queens to a K-6 for Araujo. The Brazilian wouldn't get any help the rest of the way, so he had to settle for second to Claus, who would win the grand prize of $90,630 along with the winner's trophy.
Araujo took his $70,000 along with the third-place Vuotto. Sergio De Benedictis came in fourth to win $39,720, Nicolas Pernigotta won $31,160, Ruben Barros was good for $24,400, Cristian Andres Rotondo won $18,340 and Marco Oliveira came in eighth place for $13,040.
Claus became the tenth Argentine player to win a title on the LAPT since it started nine seasons ago, which gives Argentina the most wins. Chile and Brazil are tied for second with six wins while the United States comes in with four. Argentina has won a title in each season of the tour except for one, which was the three-stop inaugural season in 2008.
Claus becomes the fourth different winner on the LAPT so far this season. The first event was back in January as Greece's Georgios Sotiropoulos won at Paradise Island in the Bahamas, while Brazil's Rodrigo Strong took the second event in March in Vina del Mar, Chile. The LAPT event in May in Panama was won by Colombia's Andres Carrillo
That is almost all she wrote for the LAPT now as PokerStars revealed that they would be merging all of the local tours together to make PokerStars Live, which starts in 2017. The LAPT will actually conclude for good at the BSOP Millions in Sao Paolo, Brazil, from November 22nd to December 1st. A Brazilian would love nothing more than to claim the crown for his country with the tour ending and Argentina would love to upend their rivals one more time. It should be an exciting conclusion for the Latin American Poker Tour next month in Sao Paolo.