LAPT Punta del Este: Final table player profiles

lapt-promo.gifThe Elite 8. That's what we're calling the final table of the LAPT Punta del Este. One of the Elite 8 is going to be crowned the next LAPT champion. There's a seven to one chance that we'll have only the second Latin champion ever since the inception of the LAPT. Nicolas Cardyn, a Frenchman via London, U.K., is attempting to become the third straight European to win the LAPT Punta del Este. Standing in his way are three Argentineans, two Brazilians, one Colombian, and a local player from Uruguay.

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Final Table Seating Assignments:
Seat 1: Roman Suarez (Argentina) - 403,000
Seat 2: Norbert Ludger (Uruguay) - 1,596,000
Seat 3: Jose "Nacho" Barbero (Argentina) - 548,000
Seat 4: Bernardo Dias (Brazil) - 840,000
Seat 5: Andres Korn (Argentina) - 503,000
Seat 6: Nicolas Cardyn (France) - 988,000
Seat 7: Daniela Zapiello (Brazil) - 560,000
Seat 8: Marco Caicedo (Colombia) - 666,000

LAPT Punta del Este final table player profiles

Seat 1: Roman Suarez, Argentina--403,000 chips

25 year-old Roman Suarez holds a degree in Electronics and is currently studying Public Relations. Originally from Palomar, Argentina, he turned pro two years ago and now plays all the big tournaments in his home country. He started playing freerolls online, eventually stepping up to play for real money, Now he plays the most expensive tournaments in South America and recently won the largest event ever held in the province of Corrientes, Argentina. He starts off today as the short stack with 403,000 in chips.

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Roman Suarez


Seat 2: Norbert Ludger, Uruguay--1,595,000 chips

A man of dual nationalities, Norbert Ludger is half-German, half-Uruguayan and splits his time between the two countries. He works for the German government and took up poker about two years ago. When asked about his greatest poker accomplishment, he thought long and hard before recalling a $300 tournament at the Conrad Casino in Punta del Este where he cashed for about $2,000. He comes into play today as the dominant chip leader, a role he assumed on Day 3.

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Norbert Ludger


Seat 3: Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Buenos Aires, Argentina--548,000 chips

One of the top pros from Argentina, Nacho Barbero is the last member of Team PokerStars Pro standing in this event. A former Magic: The Gathering player, Barbero learned poker from some of his friends on the Magic circuit and began playing online. Most recently, Barbero finished in ninth place at the Season 2 LAPT Grand Final in Mar del Plata and won a $925 no-limit hold'em side event at the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He has six World Series of Poker cashes on his resume including a final table in last year's $1,500 limit hold'em shootout and two cashes in the Main Event.

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Jose "Nacho" Barbero


Seat 4: Bernardo Dias, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - 840,000 chips

Bernardo "Bedias" Dias is a 20-year old marketing student from Southern Brazil. He's been spotted hobbling around the tournament area on crutches. Dias hurt his knee playing football with his friends. "I'm not very good," he joked. Where Dias lacks skills on the football field, he's an ace on the tennis court and played semi-professionally for ten years. Dias is also a frequent online player. He won his seat to the LAPT Punta del Este through an online qualifier. He has a fourth-place finish at the Sunday Million and finished 106th place on the 2009 TLB.

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Bernardo Dias


Seat 5: Andres Korn, Buenos Aires, Argentina--503,000 chips

40-year old Andres Korn took up poker about five years ago and now plays regularly in casinos around Buenos Aires, where he works as a real estate broker and lives with his wife and their new baby. Primarily a no-limit hold'em cash game player, this is his first time playing on the LAPT. He cites his cash finish in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event as his biggest poker accomplishment, although a win today could certainly change that.

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Andres Korn


Seat 6: Nicolas Cardyn, London, U.K.--988,000 chips

Nicolas Cardyn is originally from France but has lived in England for the last 12 years. He graduated from Warwick University with a degree in business management. During his time at university, Cardyn support himself through poker. The 22-year old is a heads-up no-limit hold'em cash game specialist and doesn't play too many MTTs. After graudation, he moved to Peru to work an internship, but he didn't like the situation, so he quit shortly after his arrival. His friends from London were coming down to play in the LAPT Punta del Este, so Cardyn decided to try to win his seat online -- and he did. Cardyn starts the final table second in chips.

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Nicolas Cardyn


Seat 7: Daniela De Lima Zapiello, 23, Sao Paulo, Brazil--560,000 chips

Daniela Zapiello emerged as a contender in this event on Day 2, when she took the chip lead and began wielding her big stack like a lethal weapon. Zapiello dropped out of high school as a teenager, not to travel the world or play poker professionally, but to provide for her family. After working at a supermarket, in a shoe store and as a telemarketer, a friend helped her find a job as a poker dealer. Zapiello caught on to the game quickly during her 2 1/2 years in the box and now supports her family with her poker winnings. Playing as "Zapiello" on PokerStars, she made her largest cash ever last fall, winning over $10,000 for a third-place finish in the Daily Eighty Grand. She earned her seat here in a PokerStars satellite and hopes to become the first woman to win an LAPT title.

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Daniela Zapiello


Seat 8: Marco Caicedo, Colombia--666,000 chips

Originally from Cali, Colombia, Marco Caicedo is a 39 year-old entrepreneur. Married with two sons, he started playing poker five years ago in home games. Caicedo bought in directly to the LAPT Punta del Este after coming in fourth in a tournament in Panama a few weeks ago.

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Marco Caicedo

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour