Jerónimo balos will bring the most coveted trophy from the 2023 Kings Series of Poker (KSOP) in Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires in his baggage. The Albiceleste representative, a member of Team Cetáceos, defeated the Colombian Sebastián Fonseca in the series’ Main Event heads-up match.
Before to the final table, the two finalists had agreed to a split (deal) of the tournament’s main prizes based on the number of chips each held in his possession. It was agreed to leave a R$63,000 (US$12,600) difference at stake, which would stay in Jerónimo’s possession. balos afterwards got R$346,500 (US$69,300) in addition to the bracelet and the champion’s trophy. Fonseca was awarded R$283,500 (US$56,700) for coming in second place.
Fernando Garcia of So Paulo, who received R$155,000 (US$31,000) for finishing in third place, rounded up the podium for the tournament. In addition to Ramom Aguiar (fourth place, R$103,000; US$20,600), Diego “Gordo Chamuyo” Cortazzo (fifth place, R$72,000; US$14,400), Jhonatan Sáenz (sixth place, R$55,000; US$11,000), Johnatan “Dodô” Oliveira (seventh place, R$45,000; US$9,000), Jorge Andrés O
Hence, Argentinian and Colombian players dominated this KSOP Main Event. Diego Cortazzo contributed his fifth-place finish to balos’ stunning victory for the tango nation. Saenz and Osuna were the Colombians who followed in the footsteps of the runner-up, Fonseca. The four finalists who protected the interests of the host nation had to settle with the bottom step of the platform as their best accomplishment.
This difficult core event of the series, held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Resort in Rio de Janeiro’s capital, attracted 1,111 entrants, which almost equaled the guaranteed R$1,500,000 (US$300,000) prize fund that the organizers had established. After a buy-in of R$2,500, 127 players paid in to earn at least R$5,000 (US$1,000) in minimum cash payouts.
During the raucous celebration with which balos’ friends acknowledged his outstanding performance, he accepted MundoPoker’s offer to describe the journey that took him to the championship on this career-defining evening:
“That was a phenomenal competition, and I was able to reach the final table. After approaching this final table with a little stack, I did not anticipate winning. But, the hands began to join and I gained confidence, and I was afterwards able to ascend the ladder “said the victor.
Jerónimo recounted a hand in which he quadrupled his chips with AK against the Colombian Osuna and the Brazilian Oliveira, who placed their stacks in the center with JJ and KK, respectively, when asked about the crucial moment in his ascent to the podium. When balos flipped an A on the turn, fortune smiled upon him, allowing him to strike the best pair on the board, which was enough to keep him with the pot and put him in contention for the podium.
On his opponents at this final table, the champion’s appraisal was commendable “The three Colombians were really challenging players. While I play poker as a pastime and not with the rigor of a professional, I recognized that they were playing really well, particularly Jorge Osuna, whom I complimented for his performance at the table. Unfortunately, he departed early due to terrible luck. Also, the Brazilians were quite competitive. The Argentinian (Cortazzo) was already familiar to me from competitions in Buenos Aires. It was a luxurious final table in which all players perform really well. No player contributed any benefit. We played excellent poker “The guy from Buenos Aires said.
The fact that balos finished in 12th place in the Warm Up event at the beginning of this KSOP visit was an indication that he was already prepared for big things. He subsequently participated in a freezeout, during which he jokingly admitted that his performance was subpar: “I don’t believe I lasted more than 15 minutes in the competition… I failed to account for the fact that it was a tournament that did not allow re-entry, and as a result, I made a strategic error “, he said.
His route to the Main Event began when he qualified for Day 2 with a stack of 60,000 chips in the one preliminary stage flight he needed. With this stack, equal to 30 BB when he returned to competition on Sunday, he was able to advance smoothly, increasing his chances until he reached the prize positions and paved the way to the RIO Sheraton’s winner’s circle.
balos said he planned to have a few beers with his teammates with whom he traveled to Rio; however, the real celebration will take place upon his return to Buenos Aires, as he stated: “When I get back home we will definitely have a good dinner with all the teammates, there are eleven of us, and of course I will celebrate with my family.”
However, the Porteo was quick to admit that in the midst of his elation at winning the KSOP Main Event, he is quite tempted to extend his stay in Brazil until the days of Rio de Janeiro’s extravagant carnival: “Tomorrow I have a 10 a.m. flight home, but I’m not sure I’ll take it,” he said with a chuckle. Jerónimo did not hesitate to announce that he intends to return to combat at the next festival stop in Balneario Cambori.
Regarding the current success of Argentinean players, such as Damián Salas, Andrés Korn, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero, Alejandro ‘Papo MC’ Lococo, and Ezequiel Waigel, among others, he stated that this is largely due to the “self-taught” effort of his countrymen, as “there is not a good national league” in Argentina. In this way, the ‘cetáceo’ contributed:
“We Argentinians must go to other countries to participate in poker tournaments that provide the full range of services required by poker players. In my opinion, the KSOP is the finest tournament in the area, even surpassing the BSOP (Brazilian Series of Poker) “.