PokerStars qualifier wins LAPT Grand Final

Dominik Nitsche

Poker players from all over the world headed to Argentina last week for the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final.

Of the 291 players who entered the $5,200 main event, it was PokerStars qualifier Dominik Nitsche from Minden, Germany, who picked up the win.

The 18-year-old was a force to be reckoned with at the final table. He entered the final table with 817,000 in chips, and his nearest competitor was Sergio Ferias sitting with 474,000.

Ferias was quick to try to make some moves to challenge Nitsche. On the third hand of play, he opened for 65,000 from the small blind, and Jose Barbero moved all-in behind him.

After making the call, Ferias' pocket fives were racing with Barbero's big slick. The race was short however, when a five fell on the flop, and the turn and river couldn't help Barbero.

Barbero, one of the three Argentineans at the table, was the first to get booted.

Ferias continued to play aggressively and also took out Alfons Fenijn, from the Netherlands, in eighth place.

It was enough to put Ferias in contention against Nitsche for the chip lead, but that's as close as Ferias was going to get. Derek Lerner, a qualifier from Canada, went out in seventh place, and then Ferias ended up in a three-way all in with Leo Fernandez and Nitsche.

Nitsche was leading the pack with pocket aces as Fernandez showed pocket kings and Ferias had pocket tens. The aces held up the two Argentineans left at the final table were out in sixth and fifth place.

Now with 2 million in chips, Nitsche had more than a commanding lead at the table and was able to sit back a little as Rodolfo Awad took out Jason Skeans and then was himself taken out by Jorge Landazuri.

It was down to Nitsche and Landazuri for heads-up play, and it turned out to be a very short session.

All it took was one hand for Nitsche to seal the win and earn a $381,030 prize.

The final-table results were:

Place Name Country Prize
1 Dominik Nitsche Germany $381,030
2 Jorge Landazuri Mexico $211,760
3 Rodolfo Awad Chile $141,140
4 Jason Skeans United States $105,840
5 Sergio Ferias Argentina $77,620
6 Leo Fernandez Argentina $63,520
7 Derek Lerner Canada $49,400
8 Alfons Fenijn Netherlands $35,280
9 Jose Barbero Argentina $28,200

The Grand Final was a four-day tournament that took place at Casino Central in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Along with the qualifiers and other participants, the tournament drew in Team PokerStars Pro members Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Andre Akkari, Alex Gomez, Humberto Brenes, Leo Fernandez, Maridu Mayrinck and J.C. Alvarado.

PokerStars Ambassador Boris Becker also made the trip to take in the tournament action.

"We are extremely proud of the quality of all our LAPT events, said LAPT President Glenn Cademartori.

"This has been the largest poker tour in the history of Latin America with three tournaments producing prize pools of at least $1 million. The Mar del Plata Grand Final shattered the previous prize-pool record with over $1.4 million USD up for grabs. It's a fantastic way to finish an incredible season."

Season 2 also saw the LAPT make stops in San Jose, Costa Rica; Vina del Mar, Chile; and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

According to the LAPT, it plans to announce the dates and venues for Season 3 soon. For more information about the tour, visit


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