The Latin American Poker Tour completed its eighth season Sunday night with the LAPT Grand Final in São Paulo, Brazil, and it was the host country’s own Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins earning the title after topping a 426-entry field. Following a heads-up deal, Martins took away a prize of R$652,509 (currently the equivalent of just about $170,000 USD).
Final Table Payouts
*Denotes a two-handed deal
Prior to the LAPT Grand Final (an R$10,000 buy-in event), the largest career live tournament cash for Martins had been a runner-up finish in the 2011 Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event in São Paulo when he won a prize worth just under $110K USD.
However, Martins is better known for his prodigious online results, with Pocket Fives crediting him with more than $5 million in career tournament earnings to date. His biggest online score — and the biggest ever by a Brazilian — came when he took runner-up in the 2014 World Championship of Poker won by Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz where following a six-way deal Martins took away $708,251.21. Martins also won a WCOOP event in September, the $1,050 PL Omaha Hi/Lo Championship for nearly $60,000.
Martins was one of six Brazilians at the eight-handed final table, with another, Alfonso Henrique, having started Sunday with the chip lead. Henrique added considerably to his stack in the early going, even at one point possessing half the chips in play with eight players still left. Then the short stacks finally began to fall in rapid succession, with 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event 15th-place finisher Bruno Kawauti among them, finishing in seventh.
The two Chileans survived to the final four, but both were knocked out by Martins. Fourth-place finisher Ricardo Chauriye recorded his second LAPT Main Event final table of the season after taking eighth at LAPT8 Peru. His fellow Chilean Andrés Herrera then finished third, marking his third LAPT Main Event cash of Season 8.
Those knockouts gave Martins about a 2-to-1 chip advantage to start heads-up play, but Afonso Henrique of São Paulo narrowed the gap and the pair struck a deal to split the remaining prize money evenly, leaving R$118,638 in play for the winner.
From there Henrique won a big double-up after flopping bottom two pair versus Martins’s top pair to take a commanding lead, but Martins managed to scrape back to retake the advantage, then won the last of Henrique’s chips after his held versus Henrique’s following a preflop all-in.
Others making relatively deep runs in the event included last year’s LAPT Brazil Main Event winner Caio Hey (15th - R$43,240), Ariel Celestino (20th - R$34,970), LAPT6 Peru champion Patricio Rojas (21st - R$31,210), and LAPT4 Brazil champion Alex Manzano (26th - R$27,450).
The Grand Final concluded the LAPT’s eighth season, and while two-time LAPT champion Oscar Alache of Chile failed to cash, he nonetheless locked up the LAPT Season 8 Player of the Year thanks to his seven cashes this year including two side event wins and a victory at LAPT8 Chile in March.
Season 9 of the LAPT will begin in Nassau at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with the $2,200 buy-in LAPT Bahamas Main Event running January 7-9, 2016.
*Photos courtesy of Carlos Monti/PokerStars Blog.