Raphael Francisquetti Makes History (and $247,321) at First WPT Brasil
The first-ever WPT event in South America wrapped up on Tuesday and awarded over $1.2 million in the $475 buy-in event. Raphael Francisquetti emerged as the winner, earning the top prize of $247,321 along with the first WPT trophy in his home country. Not too bad for a $475 investment.
WPT Brasil presented by Brasil Poker Live in a partnership with Aconcagua Poker took place at Infinity Blue Resort & Spa in Camboriú, Brasil. The Main Event, which began Aug. 23, guaranteed around $633,000 USD in prizes.
The first event of its kind in South America featured five starting flights and unlimited re-entry through the first six levels. It drew an impressive 3,386 entries to more than double the guarantee, bringing the total prize pool to over $1,200,000 USD. In fact, the guarantee was surpassed in the third of five starting flights.
WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage attended the WPT Brasil event and confirmed the poker excitement brewing down south.
"Brazilian poker players have a passion for the game that is unmatched, and you can feel the excitement when you enter the room. It builds intensity until the final table is reached, when fans of the game come out and cheer on their friends and family chasing the dreams of a WPT title. WPT Brasil has been a truly incredible experience."
The 1,087 survivors of the first five flights combined on Sunday for Day 2. They reached the money at 424 players and by the end of the day, 167 remained with Kadu Campion Rozzi leading the way. After ten more levels on Day 3, the field was down to the final two tables. Mexico’s René Luna Sánchez and well-known U.S. pro Faraz Jaka were the only two non-Brazilians among the final 18.
When Sánchez was eliminated in 14th place ($10,126), Jaka was the lone outsider remaining. Ivo Ferreira's elimination in tenth place ($14,145) at the hands of fellow Brazilian Felipe Guimaraes, the official final table was born.
Final Table Draw
|Seat||Player||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|Seat 1||Valciz Mello||7,000,000||18 bb|
|Seat 2||Caio Maciel||8,025,000||20 bb|
|Seat 3||Kadu Rozzi||9,250,000||23 bb|
|Seat 4||Rhelton De Carvalho||7,325,000||18 bb|
|Seat 5||Alex Gelinski||19,075,000||48 bb|
|Seat 6||Fernando Konishi||12,450,000||31 bb|
|Seat 7||Felipe Guimaraes||8,900,000||22 bb|
|Seat 8||Faraz Jaka||3,000,000||8 bb|
|Seat 9||Raphael Francisquetti||26,425,000||66 bb|
Jaka carried the only non-Brazilian flag, representing the United States at the first WPT Deepstacks main event final table in Brazil. He went in as the shortest stack of the final nine with three million chips (8 big blinds).
Francisquetti began the final table as the big stack by a relatively large margin with 26,425,000 (66 big blinds). Rhelton Luiz de Carvalho was the first to fall in ninth place ($21,139) when he ran his pocket nines into the pocket queens of Alex Gelinski and Gelinski flopped top full house.
Next out was Caio Maciel, who was also eliminated by Gelinski. He was all in with against Gelinski’s . Maciel flopped a king, but Gelinski turned an ace to send Maciel packing in eighth place ($27,151).
Jaka doubled up to 5,000,000 with nines against king-eight suited, but he couldn’t keep it going. He eventually got his short stack all in with king-four offsuit when it folded to him in the small blind, and Francisquetti called in the big blind with ace-five suited. Jaka couldn’t find help from the board and he was eliminated in seventh place ($33,196).
After Jaka's elimination, the live reporters on the tournament floor wrote in the Live Updates, “El trofeo no sale de Brasil.”
That is to say, the trophy will not be leaving Brazil. With Jaka’s elimination, it was a certainty that the first WPT trophy in Brazil would be going to one of its own.
Day 2 chip leader Rozzi finished in sixth place ($42,436) when he shoved with and ran into Konishi’s in the big blind. Despite a decent flop of , Rozzi didn’t find enough help from the turn or the river and he hit the rail.
Valciz Mello was next to go when he was at risk with against the of Francisquetti. Two aces on the flop were good for Francisquetti and Mello was eliminated in fifth place ($53,195). Felipe Guimaraes took fourth place when his ace-seven offsuit did not improve versus Konishi’s pocket queens all in preflop.
Gelinski went into three-handed play as the short stack with 13 big blinds. He got the rest of his stack in with pocket sevens against Konishi’s king-ten suited. He was safe until the ten on the turn gave Konishi a higher pair to eliminate Gelinski in third place ($97,404).
Down to Heads-Up
The heads-up match was pretty even to start but Francisquetti held a slight chip lead with 56 big blinds to 46 big blinds. Francisquetti extended that lead early in the match when he called down a triple-barrel bluff from Konishi with third pair, and was good against Konishi’s missed flopped open-ended straight draw.
With a 3:1 chip lead, Francisquetti got Konishi at risk with his pocket jacks against Konishi’s jack-seven offsuit, and that was it for Konishi. Konishi took home $148,637 for his second-place finish in WPT Brasil.
Fancisquetti won the trophy that will stay in Brazil along with a payday of $247,321. He posed with his friends as they celebrated his historic win.
Final Table Payouts
|Place||Player||Prize Money (in USD)|
|9th||Rhelton De Carvalho||$21,139|
With the great success so far in the WPT’s excursion to the southern hemisphere, the hype is already building for their next South American event: WPT Uruguay. That event will take place at Enjoy Punta del Este beginning Oct. 31, with the Main Event to be held Nov. 1-5.
Expect more international events of these proportions as WPT CEO Adam Pliska told PokerNews during the WPT Legends of Poker event in Los Angeles, they have a lot of exciting things coming up.
"A lot of them have to do with the globalization of the tournaments and really giving people continued more access in ways that the poker world hasn’t seen before."
From the looks of the level of success reached at WPT Brasil, he's not bluffing.
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