Our last three players have been doubling each other up at regular intervals. Marcelo Fonseca was first when presto (pocket 5s) held against Francisco Baruffi's ace-king. Baruffi got in on the act later on, making jack-ten work against Angel Guillen's pocket tens by runnering a straight. That double up pulled Baruffi out of the basement and put the three players in a virtual tie. Fonseca had a few more chips than average, Guillen had a few less, but it was only a handful of blinds in each direction.
After stacking his double-up, Baruffi proposed that they chop and each take what amounted to roughly 2nd-place money. The clock was paused while they conferred with the LAPT staff. Out came the pens, the paper, the calculator. The terms of the deal quickly emerged: $116,240 for each player; an additional $38,000 for the champion.
Guillen and Baruffi both immediately agreed, but Fonseca wanted to confer with a friend before he gave his final approval. The conference took just a few minutes. Fonseca returned, gave a thumbs-up, and the deal was done.
That additional $38,000 is still a good chunk of money, and the bragging rights for winning an LAPT title are priceless. We don't expect the final three players to loosen up too much even with the deal in place. But it's good to see that three talented players who have played their hearts out will all walk away from Punta del Este with a six-figure score.
Check out Lynn Gilmartin's chat with Team Pro Christian de Leon from earlier today: