LAPT7 Brazil: Vascao vanquished, seven remain

The first hour of final table play here in Sao Paulo produced two key double-ups and one elimination. First to put his chips at risk was Alex Sako, who shoved from the big blind over Andre Cuco's opening raise. Cuco called, his A♣K♥ racing with 9♣9♠. Sako's pair held up and he doubled to 3,245,000, leaving Cuco on the short stack. Cuco has chipped up a bit since with some well-timed shoves and reshoves, and now sits with 2,080,000.

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Alex Sako, no longer the short stack

Victor Sbrissa had bulldozed his way to 13.1 million in chips when Sako led off the action with a min-raise to 240,000 from the cutoff. Sbrissa three-bet to 540,000 on the button and Joaquin Ruiz four-bet to 1,035,000 from the small blind. Sako gave up his hand and after a long tank, Sbrissa shoved. Ruiz called, tabling Q♠Q♥ while Sbrissa revealed... Q♣9♦. Ruiz's queens held up and he doubled to 8.3 million.

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Ruiz in the tank

Only moments later, Ruiz opened from the cutoff and Gustavo Vascao shipped in his last 700,000 from the big blind with 2♣2♦. Ruiz called with 3♥3♦. Ruiz turned a set and rivered a boat on the A♥J♠9♠3♣9♥ board, sending Vascao to the rail in eighth place (R$75,530).

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Gustavo Vascao, eighth place

Here's a look at the current chip counts. Ruiz has ground his way out to a small lead while Sbrissa's fast and loose play has reduced his stack to 8.25 million. Sbrissa has played over 30% of the hands dealt so far while the rest of the table is in the 10-15% range.

Joaquin Ruiz - 9,530,000
Victor Sbrissa - 8,250,000
Angel Guillen - 3,245,000
Caio Hey - 2,525,000
Alex Sako - 2,230,000
Andre Cuco - 2,080,000
Juan Pablo Franco - 885,000

Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the final table in both Spanish and Portuguese is available via PokerStars.tv. You can also follow the Spanish feed at PokerStars or via Facebook, and the Portugeuse feed at PokerStars or via Facebook.

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.