We knew from the start of the potential for great storylines for today's final table of the Latin American Poker Tour Chile Main Event. We noted as much early on when introducing the final eight who had made it.
A relatively quick six-and-a-half hours later, that potential was realized and then some, with Chile's own Oscar Alache grabbing the headlines by finishing first to win the trophy, and his story also earning first position in the last chapter of our five-day poker narrative from the Enjoy Viña del Mar Casino.
Alache topped 410-entry field to win the title, earning the largest share -- $131,162 -- of the tournament's $904,460 prize pool.
It was only in October that Alache was capping off a red-hot 2014 by winning the LAPT Peru Grand Final. Today he kicks off 2015 by winning another LAPT Main Event, becoming only the third player in the tour's history to do so along with the two Argentinians, Nacho Barbero and Fabian Ortiz.
Alache also won a side event this week at LAPT Chile, with the feat of winning both a preliminary and the Main Event something no one else here on media row can recall having been done on the tour before.
Other stories were competing for attention near the end, too, however, including the one of Barbero making his seventh LAPT Main Event final table (a record), and coming close to earning a third career title. Runner-up finisher Renata Teixeira of Brazil also made a serious play for the lead by almost becoming the first woman ever to win an LAPT.
More on those stories below. First, let's back up to the start of today's final table.
Alache entered today second in chips among the final eight. He'd grab the lead early on and remained near the top the entire way, although had to battle from behind at the end to win.
Along the way 63-year-old television director and personality Rodrigo Oliver of Chile was the first to go in eighth after losing his short stack on the day's third hand to Alache, a hand that thrust the latter out in front.
Next Rodrigo Quezada of Chile went out in seventh after losing a dramatic hand to Teixeira that saw him flop a flush, Teixeira go all in on the turn after making trips, then Teixeira make a full house on the river.
Soon after Quezada shipped the last of his stack to Javier Venegas, his seventh-place finish meaning he'd lasted a bit further than did his father, Claudio, whom he knocked out of the tournament yesterday in 22nd.
Meanwhile start-of-day chip leader Fabian Chauriye struggled early and came back from the day's first break the short stack. The Chilean was then felted in sixth after his J♦T♥ failed to outrun Teixeira's pocket jacks.
Next Justo Esquivel was the fourth straight player from Chile eliminated, going out in fifth after his pocket sixes failed him against Barbero's straight-making Q♦T♠.
More drama quickly ensued, including a huge double-up by Teixeira through Venegas that gave her the chip lead. That's when the final four players decided to strike a deal to divide most of the prize money while leaving $20,000 and the trophy for which to play.
Barbero's quest for still more LAPT glory ended soon thereafter when A♦J♦ failed him against Venegas's A♠Q♥ to send him railward in fourth.
Then Teixeira took out the other Argentinian at the final table Venegas in third after the latter called her all-in push, showing K♠6♥ to her A♦5♠ and being unable to improve.
That hand gave Teixeira a small lead to start heads-up play, and she stayed in front for the first half-hour of her duel with Alache. But despite the urgings of her considerable rail, she lost the lead, then in an all-in situation couldn't outrace Alache's pocket tens with her A♠Q♠ to go out in second.
Teixeira's showing represented the best ever finish for a woman at the LAPT, one spot ahead of the third-place finish of Jessica Bedoya at LAPT Colombia in Season 4.
It was a gallant effort by all, but none could push Alache's story out of the spotlight. Two LAPT titles! In six months!
LAPT8 Peru Main Event final table results
Prize pool: $904,460
Places paid: 55
1. Oscar Alache (Chile) -- $131,962*
2. Renata Teixeira (Brazil) -- $113,460*
3. Javier Venegas (Argentina) -- $86,505*
4. Nacho Barbero (Argentina) -- $100,073*
5. Justo Esquivel Lagos (Chile) -- $51,460
6. Fabian Chauriye (Chile) -- $39,620
7. Rodrigo Quezada (Chile) -- $29,480
8. Rodrigo Oliver (Chile) -- $21,340
*= reflects the results of a four-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner
Thanks for following our coverage of LAPT8 Chile all week, including all of the great images provided along the way by our photographer Carlos Monti. Check out the full LAPT schedule for Season 8, and see you next in Panama, May 8-12!
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.