LAPT Florianopolis: Matthias Habernig leads on return to Brazil


The Latin American Poker Tour made its welcome return to Brazil today. It was in Brazil that the tour was born two years ago, and its latest incarnation didn't disappoint, with a world champ and a few local heroes here for the day one festivities.

All the familiar faces from one of the world's most popular tours were in town, 356 of them to be exact, complete with umbrellas to protect them against the weather outside and a healthy disregard for the $2,500 buy-in each of them had paid in some form or another. After eight hours of play that field was reduced by more than half and left 19-year-old Austrian player Matthias Habernig with the chip lead.

Habernig, who played the last LAPT event in Lima, was pragmatic about his position tonight, pointing towards an extended period of good cards more than anything else that left him with the lead.

"I was on a really good run," said Habernig. "I had set over set for a 60k pot. Ace-king versus ace-queen then kings versus queens. So I was really lucky. I started very aggressive but I didn't need it!"

Chip leader in Florianopolis Matthias Habernig

A wobble at the end nearly changed that, again the Austrian pointing to powers beyond his power.

"In the end I lost some chips but I sucked out on the last hand. A very good day."

Behind him were the pack, led by David Bortnik (108,800), Felipe Ramos (105,900), Rafael Pinheiro (98,625) and Liu Valladares (88,400)

David Bortnik

An alternative version of these days like these was repeated, with variable success, all over the place.

Two foreign raiders caught the imagination of most in the room when they took their seats this afternoon. The first was reigning World Champion Joe Cada, enjoying the last months of his premiership. He busted late in the day against Javier Pinto who will take a story from this event if not a cash finish.

Joe Cada

WPT winner Victor Ramdin made up the other half of the North American Team Pros. He fared no better than Cada, also finding himself on the rail before the close.

Victor Ramdin

At times it was a close run thing for Angel Guillen. A few weeks ago the Mexican Team PokerStars Pro was facing the business end of the World Series Main Event, eventually departing two from the money. It was a fact not lost on him when he leapt to an early lead, busting Nacho Barbero and local hero Andre Akkari. "Karma's a bitch" he joked as he enjoyed a little turn of good fortune. At peaks tonight he was up well past the 100k mark, but a return to normal karmic service meant he finished on 75,000.

Angel Guillen

The Brenes boys - Humberto and his two sons Jose and Roberto - each failed to reach day two. There were equally tough days elsewhere for the ranks of Team PokerStars Pro.

Humberto Brenes

New boy Christian de Leon busted early, as did Alex Gomes. With half of the Brazilian pros gone it was left to Gualter Salles and Maria Mayrinck to fly the flag for the home nation. For Salles it was not for long, busting late when his last ditch king-seven ran into pocket fours, while for Mayrinck a last hour spent mostly on tilt left declaring she would be out by the close. She was.

Christian De Leon

Despite what sounds like endless carnage there will be plenty to shout about on day two. Behind Guillen was Leo Fernandez who bagged up 58,150 tonight. Veronica Dabul also returns with 25,000.

Leo Fernandez

That does it for tonight though. There is no day 1b at LAPT Florianopolis. Instead we fly straight into day two tomorrow. A total of 356 players played today, with 20 tables broken you can knock around 200 from that figure, a figure we'll make official once organisers do their thing, possibly in the early hours of tomorrow. The same goes for the official chip counts which will be made available on our chip count page once they're rubber stamped around sun up.

Until then relive the events of the day at the following links:

Back to Brazil
Level 1 and 2 updates
Level 3 and 4 updates
Level 5 and 6 updates
Level 7 and 8 updates

If you prefer your blogs with Latin flair as opposed to English stiff upper lip, then try out our Spanish and Portuguese blogs. Our thanks also to our photographer Carlos Monti who overcame my language barrier to provide today's unrivalled pictures.

Until tomorrow then. Boa Noite.