WSOP: Brazilian Luis Assuncao Garla Wins Event #55

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Luis Assuncao Garla triumphed in Event #55 for $461,709.

In the sixth instalment of the 2020 World Series of Poker online Asia time zone events, Luis ‘Xapilskinha’ Assuncao Garla overcame 3,247 total entries and 426 other players on Day 2 to win Event #55 HK$8,000 NLHE Asia Championship. Garla secured his first career bracelet to take home $461,709.47.

There were eight different countries across four continents represented at the final table of Event #55 (HK$8,000 NLHE Asia Championship). Brazilian Luis ‘Xapilskinha’ Assuncao Garla came into the table with a gargantuan 40,674,090 stack with American Alan ‘TheCockroach’ Schein second in chips with 22,737,151.

It took almost two hours of poker prior to the first elimination of the final table. Ignacio ‘Curandero’ Moron, who was the short stack, raised to 2,178,853 with 350,000 still behind and was called by Schein in the hijack. The players then got it all in on the 7s3c2c flop, the turn brought in the Td and the 4d completed the board. Moron turned over AcJs but Schein showed AhTh for the turned two pair ending Moron’s tournament journey.

It took another 16 minutes for the next final table bustout. Vadas ‘Vladiator13’ Tamasauskas, who finished fifth in WSOP #Event 52, moved all in preflop with AcKs from early position and was called by the ThTd held by runaway chip leader Garla. It was a classic race but the at risk Tamasauskas finished in eighth for $43,180 as he failed to connect with the QdQh9h5d2s runout.

Immediately following the break, in unusual fashion, the two big stacks in Garla and Schein got involved in a big pot against each other. Schein raised to 1.4 million from the cutoff and Garla defended his big blind to see the Qs7c2h flop. Garla checked to the preflop aggressor who fired a continuation bet of 1.82 million, the Brazilian called. Garla then fired a 5.39 million bet on the 9c turn, which Schein called. Garla continued to apply pressure with a bet of 10.78 million on the 6c river, Schein snap-called with Kd[Qh for top pair but was behind the turned two pair as Garla showed 9d7s. The Brazilian held a commanding chip lead with a stack of just shy of 95 million, over 70 million more than second place Schein.

As the short stacks kept surviving, it took another 15 minutes for the next tournament casualty. Alexandros ‘THE Sheriff’ Theologis open-jammed with 8s8d and was snap called by the shorter stack Eduards ‘lIlIlIlIillI’ Kudrjavcevs who had a bigger pair in TsTc. Theologis delivered a fatal blow to the Latvian, flopping a full house on the 8h2h2s flop. A ten didn’t appear on the 5s turn and 3h river and Kudrjavcevs was eliminated.

Things started to pick up as the blinds grew as the next elimination came immediately. Divanshu ‘d0rk21’ Khurana shoved all in for 5,816,672 and his compatriot, Kunal ‘Alex_52’ Bhatia, called off in the big blind.

  • Khurana: Ac8d
  • Bhatia: Kh9h

Bhatia, the runner up in WSOP Event #52, connected on the Kd5d4d flop. With an over-card and a flush draw, Khurana still had a chance of survival but neither came as the Qs and 3c river brought the game to five-handed play.

Garla claimed another victim after calling the 11,360,972 three-bet jam by Wenhao ‘pwhwin’ Peng. Garla, with Ad4d, was dominated by Peng’s Ac6c but the chip leader made three of a kind as the board came Kh9d4h4s5d. Peng finished in fifth for $119,212.54.

Theologis then opened the action and raised to 2 million with Garla and Schein calling from the button and big blind respectively. The flop came KcQc6h and created a whirlwind of action, it checked through to Garla for took a stab at the pot with a bet of 2.277 million. Schein then min-raised and Theologis then clicked it back to 7.831 million, Garla folded and Schein then moved all in and was quickly called by Theologis. Schein, with Kh6d, surely thought he was ahead with top and bottom pair but found himself needing help as Theologis flopped middle set with QhQs. The American ended the day in fourth as he failed to improve on the 4c turn and 9s river.

With no player looking to give up any ground, Bhatia was sent to rail in third. In a button versus blind battle, Bhatia opened to 2.4 million and Garla three-bet to 6.6 million and snap-called Bhatia’s 21,780,380 four-bet jam. Bhutia needed a miracle as his AcKh was in bad shape against Garla’s AhAd. Bhatia got now help on the 8s7c2sKc7h run out.

Going into heads up play the blinds were 600,000/1,200,000 and the stacks were:

  • Garla: 102,973,521 (85.8BBs)
  • Theologis: 58,864,219 (49BBs)

But it only took Garla a few more minutes to wrap up the victory after maintaining the chip lead for the duration of the final table.

Theologis was then in the danger zone after falling to 11 blinds. Garla had chipped away at the Englishman’s stack but took a 10 to 1 chip lead after winning a pot of 37.8 million. Theologis called a river bet of 11.76 million into a pot of 14.28 million with QsJd for second pair on the Ts4h3hQhKs board but Garla rivered top pair with his Kh5d.

The killer blow was delivered two minutes later as both players were all in preflop.

  • Theologis: 2c2s
  • Garla: Qd7d

Garla sealed the win, his first career bracelet and a 3,551,611.32 HKD ($461,709.47) payday as he flopped top pair and held as the board came QhTs4h5sTh.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Luis ‘Xapilskinha’ Assuncao Garla – $461,709.47
  2. Alexandros ‘THE Sheriff’ Theologis – $329,122.04
  3. Kunal ‘Alex_52’ Bhatia – $234,609.77
  4. Alan ‘TheCockroach’ Schein – $167,237.48
  5. Wenhao ‘pwhwin’ Peng – $119,212.54
  6. Divanshu ‘d0rk21’ Khurana – $84,978.95
  7. Eduards ‘lIlIlIlIillI’ Kudrjavcevs- $60,575.74
  8. Vladas ‘Vladiator13’ Tamasauskas – $43,180.48
  9. Ignacio ‘Curandero’ Moron – $30,780.46

Faces in the Crowd

A plethora of notable names made it to Day 2 and finished in the money.

Bracelet winner Chris Moorman (159th – $3,712) added another WSOP cash to what has been an impressive series from the Englishman. Another player representing the United Kingdom was recent WSOP bracelet winner Roberto Romanello (120th – $4,234). Romanello became the first Welsh-born player to win a bracelet and latest player to join the prestigious ‘Triple Crown’ winners list with titles in the WPT, EPT and now WSOP.

Alex Foxen (78th), Daniel Negreanu (77th) and Brandon Adams (75th) all cashed for $5,665. Kristen Bicknell (53rd – $5,665 ), Parker Talbot (34th – $7,948) and Steve O’Dwyer (25th – $11,149) all amassed big chip stacks at one stage in Day 2 but fell before the final table. The unfortunate final table boy was last years WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino who finished in 10th place for $21,941.