If you’re going to show your domination is a particular discipline, then you simply pound your opposition into submission. Spain’s Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo did just that this weekend at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, winning three of the last four tournaments in the inaugural PokerGO Tour Pot Limit Omaha Series. Along the way, he picked up over a million in prize money and the overall series championship for his bank account and mantle (respectively!).
Amazing Tournament Success for PGT PLO Series
Not only did Cabrerizo have a run for the ages over the weekend, but the PGT PLO Series was also a massive success. With many PGT events, a core group of maybe 50 players show up and take part in the events. It is also usually some of the “usual suspects” in the “High Roller” world that come in and dominate the tournaments.
In this series, the first of its kind in recent memory, there was a diversity of players and nationalities who came out for the events. In the final event of the festival, the $25,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha Championship tournament, 83 entries eventually would be fielded in the cage. That set the largest-ever prize pool for a PGT-sanctioned event of this buy-in, $2,075,000, and the dozen players who earned cash from the tournament represented six different countries.
The action on Saturday chopped the field down, but not as low as the PGT officials might have liked. By the end of Saturday’s play, sixteen men were left in the battle with veteran poker professional Josh Arieh leading the way. It was a tenuous lead, however, as Joao Simao of Brazil, Nacho Barbero of Argentina, Cabrerizo of Spain, and Yuval Bronshtein, Jim Collopy, Adam Hendrix, and Jeremy Ausmus of the States of America were all arranged against him.
Cabrerizo got off to a great start, knocking off Hendrix in sixteenth place, but he would have some adversity to get through. At one point, he dropped down to only 660K in chips after Coleman snatched some chips from him, but he maintained composure as the money bubble approached. Cabrerizo was awarded initially with a cash when Ren Lin knocked off Jordan Spurlin on the money bubble to send the final twelve to the money.
Time to Move
Once the money was flowing, the players headed to the rail. Arieh would take advantage of this movement, sending George Wolff and Simao to the cage in twelfth and eleventh places, respectively. But Cabrerizo was remaining active, doubling up through his nemesis Coleman to eclipse the two million chip mark and nearly reached three million in busting Coleman in ninth place.
It would be Cabrerizo who would bring the table to the “official final table” status. Up against Johann Ibanez Diaz, Cabrerizo would river an unlikely flush to top the K-K-9-3 holdings of Diaz and headed to the final table in third behind Lin and Arieh. From there, Cabrerizo made a huge move that, in retrospect, might have won the tournament for him.
On the button, Arieh opened the betting on the button and Cabrerizo called from the small blind, only to see Diaz pound the pot with a 300K bet. Both Arieh and Cabrerizo called to see a 9-7-2 rainbow flop, but Diaz slowed down with a check. Arieh and Cabrerizo did the same, but a six on the turn lit the wick.
Cabrerizo now chose to fire away with a 700K bet, which was enough to get Lin to go away. Arieh, however, stuck around to see a river card, which was a four. Now Cabrerizo put the pressure on with a monster 1.5 million chip bet, and Arieh hemmed and hawed over his decision. Eventually, he would make the call and, after Cabrerizo turned up his A-10-9-8 (a straight draw that came home on the turn), Arieh shot his cards to the muck and Cabrerizo shot into the lead.
Cabrerizo Seizes Overall Title, Drives Onward
Once Nacho Barbero was dismissed from the table in sixth place, Cabrerizo had no further competition in the race for the overall title of the PLO series. Cabrerizo picked up an extra $25,000 for his efforts, which included wins in Events #5 and #7. It did not, however, slow down Cabrerizo in his drive to the Event #8 Championship title.
Although he would drop out of the lead briefly when Krasimir Yankov ended Collopy’s day in fifth place, Cabrerizo would battle back to the lead in eliminating Chris Lee in fourth place. After Lin dropped Yankov in third in a matchup of similar-sized stacks, Cabrerizo would find himself facing a disadvantage as heads-up play began (Lin’s 11.550 million to Cabrerizo’s 5.05 million).
Even though it was 1:30 AM in Vegas, Lin and Cabrerizo decided to continue playing the event out. It would take more than an hour for Cabrerizo to fight back to the lead against the valiant Lin, but once he got the lead back, he would not relinquish it. On the final hand, Cabrerizo once again bet on the come and it did on the river when the Spaniard hit a Wheel draw to best Lin’s flopped set and capture the championship.
1. Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo (Spain), $518,750
2. Ren Lin (USA), $352,750
3. Krasimir Yankov (Bulgaria), $269,750
4. Chris Lee (USA), $207,500
5. Jim Collopy (USA), $166,000
6. Nacho Barbero (Argentina), $124,500
7. Josh Arieh (USA), $103,750
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)