Juan Gonzalez Wins First-Ever World Poker Tour Event in Uruguay
The big party that everyone anticipates in South America is Carnival - that is until the World Poker Tour rolled into town this month. Brasil Poker Live partnered with the WPT to showcase South American poker on the beautiful, beach-lined coast of Uruguay.
The televised WPT Uruguay Main Event is a first for the country and the WPT and capped an eleven-tournament series that brought poker pros from around the world to the luxurious Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino from some exciting action - South American style.
Argentina’s Juan Gonzalez parlayed fantastic, steady play into a win despite starting the final table as the short stack, keeping the title in South America. There were a total of 410 entries in $1,500 Main Event, and Gonzalez was the last man standing to stake claim to the $109,860 first-place prize.
WPT Uruguay Results
|2||Kaue Vinicius De Souza||Brazil||$76,960|
Final Table Summary
When play began on Day 4, the final table looked like this:
- Kaue Vinicius De Souza: 4.53 million
- Brian Kaufman: 3.04 million
- Laura Moreno: 1.63 million
- Miguel Brañas: 1.12 million
- Mario Bonanata: 1.015 million
- Juan Gonzalez: 940,000
The first elimination of the day came when Moreno found herself sitting on a short stack, after losing chips early. She pushed her last 375,000 with and saw a caller in Kaufman from the big blind with .
The flop favored Kaufman when he paired his queen, and Moreno failed to improve on the turn or the river. Leaving the tournament in sixth-place, Morena collected $21,075 for her efforts.
The next elimination came pretty quickly when De Souza opened for 250,000. Brañas called, and Bonanata reraised for all his chips, 1.005 million. De Souza called while Brañas folded and it didn't take long for Bonanata to see the bad news as the hands were tabled.
Bonanata needed help, and he wouldn't find it on the board . Bonanata claimed $25,420 as he hit the rail in fifth place.
De Souza continued his dominance when he went to battle with Kaufman. The action folded to De Souza in the small blind, and he tried to take advantage of the situation by putting pressure on Kaufman by moving all in. Kaufman, in the big blind, decided to call with which put him at risk. De Souza revealed .
Kaufman couldn't find a pair, and De Souza's king-high took the pot, eliminating Kaufman in fourth place and a claim to a $33,045 paycheck.
Play lasted a few hours before the next elimination came, with chips making their way around the table, as they often do when players are waiting for spots.
Once again, action folded to the small blind where Brañas open-shoved for his final 1.45 million with . Gonzalez, who had been amassing quite the stack along the way, had him covered and called with .
Things were looking good for Brañas when he flopped a jack on the . But as we all know the Poker Gods have a sick sense of humor, and it was on full display when the turn and river followed with . Not quite what he was hoping for, but Brañas walked away with $49,475 for his third-place finish.
The stage was now set for heads-up play with Gonzalez holding nearly a 2:1 chip lead with 7.55 million in chips to De Souza's 4.2 million.
It only took four hands of heads-up play to put the first-televised and much celebrated WPT Uruguay Main Event in the history books.
The final hand was a cooler situation and here's how it played out:
Gonzalez raised from the button to 550,000, and De Souza reraised to 1.4 million. Gonzalez moved all in, and De Souza made the call.
With two outs to start the hand, by the time the flop and turn came, De Souza was left with only one out. Unfortunately, it was the that showed up, and De Souza had to settle for second-place and $76,960, after starting the day as the chip leader.
With De Souza's elimination, the first every WPT Uruguay presented by Brasil Poker Live Champion was crowned. Gonzalez managed to weave his way from the short-stack to the win by eliminating only one player. This was his biggest paycheck of his career by about five times and his first tournament cash since 2012, where he placed 49th in the EPT - 8 - Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
A Return to Uruguay?
We've all heard how South American poker is booming, well with the WPT making a recent stop in Brasil and now Uruguay, you can expect that trend to continue. Beautiful scenery, exciting nightlife, and plenty of action on the felt make South America, and notably Uruguay another not-to-be-missed stop on the poker schedule.
“Uruguay is one of the most amazing places I have ever been," said WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. "The enthusiasm of the region’s poker community ranks up there with the best in the world. I was very happy with the turnout for WPT Uruguay with a competitive international field of more than 400 entries. It was an honor to witness Argentinian Juan Gonzalez win the first South American televised WPT title in the tour’s history. I cannot wait to visit Punte Del Este again in the future.”
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