LAPT Punta del Este: All Hail Cesar Mostafa


Two miniature versions of the Uruguayan flag are printed on the felt of every poker table at the Mantra Casino. If you don't know, the Uruguayan flag is one of the oldest flags in the world consisting of nine stripes alternating between light blue and white. The top corner of the flag features the a gold sun otherwise known as the Sol de Mayo, which represents Inti the Inca sun god, who is the giver of light.

I found it fitting that "the giver of light" is literally within inches of where the dealer fans out the community cards. Hopes and dreams are fulfilled and crushed with every turn of the card, so it would not be out of the ordinary if players on Day 2 were praying to the sun god to keep a watchful eye on their progress during the tournament. After all, poker players are a superstitious breed and every single one who advanced to Day 2 hoped to continue their march towards the final table.


More than half of the 307-player field at the LAPT Punta del Este was eliminated on Day 1. A total of 145 players returned for Day 2, and only 48 of them would guarantee a cut of the $1 million prize pool. When the dust settled, only 24 fortunate souls advanced to Day 3.

Cesar Mostafa from Paraguay ended Day 2 with 529,000 in chips. He will begin Day 3 as the overall chipleader. Humberto Brenes and Jose "Nacho" Barbero were the only Team PokerStars Pros to survive the cut on Day 2. Brenes nursed a short stack for most of the afternoon before a timely double-up which kept him above water for the rest of the Day. Brenes ended Day 2 with 350,000 in chips. Nacho finished with 335,500. Stephen "Stevie444" Chidwick also advanced to Day 3 with 255,000 in chips.


Team PokerStars Pros Leo Fernandez, Veronica Dabul, and Nacho Barbero

One of the bright moments on Day 2 was the emergence of a 23-year-old Brazilian woman named Daniela de Lima Zapiello. At one point, it seemed as though Zapiello was playing every single pot as she amassed a stack. She seized the chip lead in the late afternoon when she became the first player to surpass the 500,000-chip mark.

Zapiello was involved in one of the most spectacular hands of the day when play reached the money bubble. Zapiello opened for a 10,000 raise. One player in middle position called and Pedro Komaromi also called on the button. All three players checked the flop of A♥A♣7♠. Zapiello led out on the turn for 15,000 when the [10s] fell. The player from middle position called, while Komaromi raised to 50,000. Zapiello flat-called and the middle position player folded. The river was the 8♥. Zapiello moved all-in. Komaromi snap-called with pocket tens for tens full of aces. That's when Zapiello slapped her A♠8♣on the felt for aces full of eights. Humberto Brenes consoled an utterly devastated Komaromi as the "Bubble Boy" made the walk of shame and left the tournament area.


Daniela De Lima Zapiello

Zapiello's heater eventually came to a halt and she lost a chunk of her stack. Late on Day 2, Nacho Barbero and Cesar Mostafa battled back and forth for the lead. When Day 2 was finally complete, Mostafa stood alone at the front of the pack. However, Zapiello is not far behind with 485,500.


Cesar Mostafa

The top 48 players were paid out. Team PokerStars Pro Veronica Dabul finished in 38th place. Among the other notables who cashed were Damian Salas (31st place), Lee Marvin Funk (35th), PokerStars qualifier Michael Brunner (46th).

Unfortunately, Team PokerStars Pros Maria 'Maridu' Mayrinck, Leo Fernandez, and Veronica Dabul did not advance to Day 2. Dabul finished in the money in 38th place.

Stay tuned for official chip counts, which we will post on the LAPT Punta del Este chip count page.

For complete prize pool information and a list of players who cashed on Day 2, head over to the LAPT Punta del Este prize pool and winners page.

Our Spanish is terrible and our Portuguese even worse, so if you'd like to re-live Day 2 in either tongue, hit up our colleagues at the PokerStars Spanish blog or the PokerStars Brazilian blog.

If you're keen to stick with the English language, here's a look back at our Day 2 coverage:

LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 17 and 18 (3,000-6,000, 500 ante)
LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 15 and 16 (2,000-4,000, 400 ante)
LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 13 and 14 (1,200-2,400, 300 ante)
LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 11 and 12 (800-1,600, 200 ante)
LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 9 and 10 (500-1000, ante 100)
LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2 Preview

Don't forget about our video blog team either. Check out their interviews and recaps over on

Join us again tomorrow at noon local time (EST+3) for continuing coverage of the LAPT Punta del Este. That's when we will find out which of the final 24 players will advance to the final table.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour