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Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Crushes PLO Festival With Three Wins

Spanish Pro Banks Over $1 Million In PokerGO Series

by Erik Fast |  Published: Apr 19, 2023


Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo quite simply dominated the PokerGO Tour Pot-Limit Omaha Series. The online high-stakes cash game player and PLO specialist won three of the nine events offered during the inaugural running of this PGT PLO festival at the PokerGO Studio inside the ARIA Resort & Casino, cashing for a total of $1,067,150 along the way.

Guerra Cabrerizo punctuated his impressive performance by winning the $25,000 buy-in championship event, topping a field of 83 entries to earn his third trophy of the series and a career-high payday of $518,750.

The Spaniard caught fire in Las Vegas, winning his three titles within a handful of days. He started by taking down a $10,000 buy-in PLO event for $220,400. Just a couple of days later he won the $15,000 PLO bounty event for another $228,000, plus $75,000 in bounties.

After completing the hat trick, his series earnings and PGT rankings were more than double his nearest competitors, resulting in a clear victory on the series leaderboard that saw him earn yet another trophy and a $25,000 championship bonus.

“I thought maybe I could win one trophy, or at least two among my friends, but didn’t expect to take home four,” Guerra Cabrerizo told PGT reporters after the series wrapped up. “It was a really good series. For PLO players, this was our dream. They were really good tournaments, all of them. [The PokerGO Studio] was fantastic, and the staff was great. I would like everyone who plays PLO to come next time.”

Guerra Cabrerizo ended with 774 total points. This was enough to not only earn him the series championship but also to move him into the outright lead in the 2023 season-long PokerGO Tour points race. He surpassed PokerGO Cup champion Cary Katz, who now sits in second place with 693 points.

With 2,092 Card Player Player of the Year points also earned during this series, Guerra Cabrerizo now sits in 17th place on that leaderboard.

Guerra Cabrerizo reportedly took up poker more than a decade ago, but really found his stride when he focused his efforts on pot-limit Omaha.

“Once you get to PLO, you never go back to two cards,” said Guerra Cabrerizo. “I really enjoy the entirety of the game.”

New Faces Shine In Early Events

The action kicked off with a $5,000 buy-in event that attracted a field of 200 by the time registration closed, setting the record for the most total entries in an owned-and-operated PGT event. The huge turnout resulted in a prize pool of $1,000,000 that was paid out among the top 29 finishers.

After two days of action, Daniyal Iqbal came away with the title and the largest share of the prize money with $160,000.

Iqbal isn’t a poker pro, although the engineer from Rochester, New York plays poker as a serious hobby.

“I play PLO cash at home. Some home games. I’m just here for a week to have some fun,” he said.

Allen Shen won his first live poker tournament title in style, defeating Poker Hall of Fame member and fellow Canadian Daniel Negreanu heads-up in the second event on the schedule, a $5,000 PLO bounty tournament.

Shen earned $91,290 from the main prize pool as the champion, along with $36,000 in additional payouts thanks to 18 bounties cashed. This was the Toronto native’s largest recorded tournament score yet, topping his $20,000 cash for a 13th-place showing in the kickoff event of this same series and the $14,049 he earned for winning a WSOP Online Circuit PLO event last December.

Negreanu, Canada’s all-time money leader with more than $49.7 million in lifetime cashes, added $69,810 and 70 PGT points as the runner-up. This was his first of three in-the-money finishes recorded during the series.

Nacho Barbero Continues Live Circuit Hot Streak

Jose Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero moved into first place on the 2023 POY leaderboard after a red-hot start to the year. The Argentinian’s latest big score saw him come out on top in the first $10,000 buy-in event at the series, defeating 130 entries for the trophy, 660 POY points, and the top prize of $234,000.

“You can’t stop the Year of Nacho!” Barbero asserted as the final river card of this event made his win official.

This was Barbero’s fourth final-table finish and second title of the year. Just a week before this victory, he finished as the runner-up in a $25,000 buy-in turbo no-limit hold’em event at the Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam for another $460,000. A few days before that, he won the $15,000 buy-in event at the same series for $600,000.

Barbero’s largest score of the year, though, came when he placed fourth in a field of 1,014 entries in the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship. His deep run in the PSPC saw him earn a career-high payday of $1,551,300.

This victory increased Barbero’s to-date POY earnings to more than $2.8 million, but he was not yet done racking up cashes at this festival.

Sean Troha has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in high-stakes PLO tournaments. The North Olmsted, Ohio native broke out last summer by winning the $10,000 PLO championship event at the WSOP for his first bracelet and the top prize of more than $1.2 million.

Troha notched his second-largest victory on the circuit at this series, topping a field of 80 entries in the $10,000 PLO eight-or-better event to win $200,000, increasing his career earnings to more than $2 million.

The first of Guerra Cabrerizo’s three wins at this festival came in the second $10,000 buy-in standard PLO event. A total of 112 entries created a prize pool of $1,120,000, and after two days of four-card action, Guerra Cabrerizo came away with the title and the top prize of $220,400.

At the time this was the second-largest tournament score recorded by Guerra Cabrerizo, trailing the $234,328 he earned as the winner of a €2,350 buy-in PLO event at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov back in 2019. Of course, he was only a few days from adding a pair of even larger wins to his résumé.

The final $10,000 buy-in event of the series was the first and only event on the schedule to include a mix of PLO variants all spread in the same tournament. The $10,000 buy-in mixed PLO event utilized a rotation of standard pot-limit Omaha, pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better (PLO8), and Big O (five-card PLO8).

With 86 entries, there was $860,000 in total prize money up for grabs. The largest share of that went to eventual champion Jim Collopy, who banked $206,400 for the win. This was already the third cash of the series for the two-time bracelet winner, who still had one more deep run left in him to go.

Guerra Cabrerizo Runs Away With Series Honors

Just one day after his big win in the $10,000 buy-in event, Guerra Cabrerizo battled his way back to the winner’s circle in event no. 7, the $15,000 PLO bounty tournament, to take $228,000 from the main prize pool, and another $75,000 in bounties.

This tournament was originally slated to play out over the course of two days but ended up cruising to a winner in a single day. By the time the 114-entry field had been narrowed to a final table of seven, Guerra Cabrerizo held a sizable lead with just shy of half of the total chips in play.

Top POY race contenders Isaac Haxton (6th – $68,400) and Alex Foxen (3rd – $125,400) were among the tough competition that Guerra Cabrerizo squared off against at this final table. This was Haxton’s ninth final-table finish of 2023, with three titles won and more than $4.6 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. As a result, Haxton now sits in third place on the POY leaderboard. Foxen has now made seven final tables this year, with $885,160 in POY earnings and one title won. This latest score was enough to move him into fifth place in the overall POY standings.

Guerra Cabrerizo closed out his incredible series by winning the largest buy-in tournament on the schedule. The $25,000 buy-in championship event played out over the course of two days, with a field of 83 entries buiding a prize pool of $2,075,000.

The strong turnout was narrowed down to just 16 contenders by the end of day 1. Guerra Cabrerizo came into day 2 in seventh chip position, but by the time the final table of seven was set, he had climbed to third.

Four-time bracelet winner Josh Arieh was on the losing end of a big pot that saw Guerra Cabrerizo climb the leaderboard. Arieh was ultimately the next to hit the rail, when his flopped top two pair clashed with the pocket aces and nut flush draw of Krasimir Yankov. An ace on the turn sent Arieh home with $103,750 for his seventh-place finish.

Nacho Barbero was the next to be eliminated. His pocket kings ran into the pocket aces of Yankov, who ended up with a heart flush to win the pot. Barbero earned $124,500 for his sixth-place showing. This was his fifth final-table finish of the year, with two titles won and $2,969,800 in POY earnings accrued along the way. That doesn’t even include the $587,520 he earned along with his first career WSOP bracelet last summer.

Jim Collopy backed up his earlier win with another final table. He got all-in with pocket aces against the flopped two pair and open-ended straight draw of Yankov. Collopy turned a set of aces, but Yankov improved to an ace-high straight.

The river changed nothing and Collopy was eliminated in fifth place for $166,000. With 343 points and $409,800 in earnings accumulated during this series, Collopy ended up finishing second in the PGT PLO points race.

Bracelet winner Chris Lee’s run in this event came to an end when his short stack went in with pocket tens. He was up against the pocket jacks of Guerra Cabrerizo, which ended up making the nut flush to win the pot. Lee took home $207,500 as the fourth-place finisher.

Yankov had racked up knockouts but lost a big pot against Ren Lin to fall to the bottom of the pack during three-handed play. He ended up with the last of his stack in preflop with A-8-8-7 facing the A-K-Q-J of Lin. Yankov’s pocket pair was best through the turn, but a face card on the river saw him eliminated in third place for $269,750.

With that, Lin took more than a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Guerra Cabrerizo, but a pair of big double-ups flipped the script. Guerra Cabrerizo then took more than a 4:1 lead thanks to winning a big pot with a rivered ten-high straight.

The final hand saw all of the chips go in on a ADiamond Suit 9Spade Suit 2Club Suit 8Club Suit 3Spade Suit board. Lin revealed 9Heart Suit 9Club Suit 7Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit for a flopped set, but Guerra Cabrerizo had ASpade Suit 6Club Suit 5Spade Suit 4Heart Suit for a rivered six-high straight.

Lin secured $352,750 as the runner-up finisher, the third-largest score of his career, while Guerra Cabrerizo locked up the top prize of $518,750.

This victory officially secured the PGT PLO series championship for Guerra Cabrerizo, even though one more event was still playing out. Event no. 9 was a $2,200 buy-in five-card PLO tournament. A 95-entry field resulted in a prize pool of $190,000. In the end, it was bracelet winner Ronald Keijzer who secured the title and the final event trophy of the series.

The Dutch player took home $43,700 for the win, increasing his career earnings to $1.1 million in the process. This was his fourth recorded tournament title, all coming in PLO events. His largest score was the $475,033 he banked as the $3,000 six-max PLO event winner at the 2018 WSOP.

Keijzer defeated two-time bracelet winner Tommy Le heads-up for the title. Le took home $30,400 as the runner-up, adding to his lead as the top-earning pot-limit Omaha tournament player ever with more than $3.5 million in cashes in PLO events.

Both of Le’s bracelet wins came in PLO, with victories in the 2017 and 2021 running of the $10,000 championship event of the game. Tommy’s brother Allan Le finished sixth in the event, earning $11,400. ♠

Final Series Leaderboard

Rank Player Wins Cashes Earnings PGT Points
1st Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo 3 3 $967,150 774
2nd Jim Collopy 1 4 $409,800 343
3rd Nacho Barbero 1 3 $380,900 331
4th Sean Troha 1 4 $269,600 266
5th Josh Arieh 0 4 $305,750 264
6th Ren Lin 0 2 $382,750 242
7th Isaac Kempton 0 3 $214,290 209
8th Eelis Parssinen 0 3 $207,600 208
9th Jonas Kronwitter 0 2 $203,200 203
10th Maxx Coleman 0 4 $229,000 196