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PokerStars LAPT Grand Final, Day 2: Nitsche Dominates

Dominik Nitsche

62 players returned to the Casino Central for Day 2 of the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Mar del Plata Main Event, with Robin Chesne taking the chip lead into the start of the day. When the dust settled after a fast-paced day, only nine survivors were left standing in the Casino Central, with Dominik “DOMinator” Nitsche taking a huge chip lead into the final table. Along the way several big names busted out, while Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez continued his amazing comeback – from a Day 1 short stack all the way to a final-table berth.

Maria Stern was an early elimination when Jose Nadal’s pocket sixes held up against Stern’s {A-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}. Nadal picked up a set on the flop, and Stern’s tournament was over early on Day 2. Alex Brenes almost followed suit, finding himself with just enough to pay the blind and ante after losing a huge pot to Juan Pablo Reverter early in the day. Brenes then proceeded to put on a masterful display of short-stack poker, winning no fewer than six all-ins to cling to tournament life for several more hours. He finally fell to Dominik Nitsche when he found himself all in again with {A-Diamonds}{2-Spades}. Nitsche showed {8-Spades}{8-Clubs}, which held up to send the last remaining Brenes to the rail.

With 62 players to start the day and payouts beginning at 27, it didn’t take long to get to the money bubble. Eduardo Oscar Camia went out on the bubble when his {K-Spades}{Q-Spades} couldn’t hold up against the {9-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} of Daniel Alfredo Bizoza. All the money went in on the {9-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{7-Spades} flop and Camia couldn’t catch an overcard or a spade to stay alive. Once Camia headed to the rail, the typical flood of post-bubble eliminations ensued, as short stacks such as former chip leader Robin Chesne (24th, $14,120) pushed the last of their chips into the middle trying to make something happen. Chesne went out in particularly rough fashion; his pocket jacks cracked by Pat Van Dijk’s {K-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} when the board ran out {3-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} to give Van Dijk the higher four-flush and send Chesne packing.

Mark Ioli held the chip lead for most of the day, and when play reached two tables he was at the center of one of the turning points of the tournament. Fellow big stack Dominik Nitsche opened for a raise, and Ioli reraised with {K-Spades}{Q-Spades}. Nitsche moved all in over the top, and Ioli thought very briefly before making the call. Ioli was thrilled to see he had his opponent dominated when Nitsche showed {K-Hearts}{10-Hearts}, but the flop of {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}{6-Hearts} brought Nitsche every draw in the world. Both players had a gutshot Broadway draw, but when the {5-Hearts} landed on the turn it was Nitsche whose draw came in, making his nut flush and leaving Ioli drawing dead. After that hand, Nitsche took a massive chip lead over the rest of the field as Ioli moved down into short-stack territory.

15 players headed off to a dinner break, but on the second hand back two of them were sent home without dessert. Eduardo Santi moved all in preflop, finding Damian Salas calling all in behind for less and Sergio Farias overcalling to put both men at risk. Farias’ {A-Clubs}{J-Hearts} was ahead of Santi’s {A-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}, and in a race against Salas’ pocket sixes, but when the flop came down {8-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{2-Clubs} Farias took a huge lead in the hand. That lead became almost insurmountable when the {J-Diamonds} hit the turn, and when the river didn’t bring a miracle six for Salas, he and Santi were busted in 15th and 14th place respectively, good for $21,160 each.

After his heartbreaking loss to Dominik Nitsche, Mark Ioli held on all the way to 11th place ($24,700) before busting to Sergio Farias. Ioli’s pocket sevens were a huge underdog to Farias’ {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades}, and when the board ran out {6-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{4-Spades}{2-Clubs}{8-Clubs}, the American was done. With Ioli’s elimination the final-table bubble was in effect, and it didn’t take long for Vincenzo Gianelli to bust on the day’s last bubble. This time the cowboys couldn’t hold, as Gianelli’s {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} fell short against Jason Skeans’ {A-Hearts}{6-Clubs}. The board ran out {5-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{2-Spades}{A-Spades}{2-Clubs}, and Gianelli picked up $24,700 for his 10th-place finish.

As the players bagged their chips for the night, Dominik Nitsche held a huge chip lead over his nearest opponent, but Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez proved his ability to sustain against all odds by coming back from an extremely short stack on Day 1 to make it all the way to the final table. The chip counts looked like this as the final nine drifted off to bed:

Dominik Nitsche - 817,000
Sergio Farias - 474,000
Jason Skeans - 338,000
Jorge Landazuri - 329,000
Leo Fernandez - 329,000
Jose Barbero - 181,000
Rodolfo Awad - 170,000
Derek Lerner - 155,000
Alfons Fenijn - 65,000

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