LAPT7 Chile: Melo nears milly as rough river sinks Shark

The rush has begun, with nearly 30 knockouts since the bubble burst before dinner to carve the field down to less than 60 players halfway through Level 17.

We mentioned the early bustout of Brazil's Nicolau Villa-Lobos. He finished in 81st, with Argentina's Jose Marso also among the minimum-cashers after he went out in 78th. LAPT4 Colombia Julian Menendez has also been eliminated in 71st.

The post-dinner wave of eliminations has also included one of the three Team PokerStars Pros making it to the money, Humberto Brenes.

The Costa Rican found himself all in on the feature table holding J♥J♣ versus the A♥9♦ of Yeres Resk. The 7♣Q♠9♥ flop and Q♦ turn were both safe for the Poker Hall of Fame nominee. But the A♣ fell on fifth to end Brenes's tournament run in 68th.

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Brenes's bustout, as shown on the LAPT live stream (see below for links)

In a recent blog post, Brenes discussed a few different goals he has for 2014, one of which is to win some tournaments among those he plans to play on the LAPT, at the WSOP, and at EPTs in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

He came up short here, although we know he's already looking ahead to Sao Paulo and the LAPT's next stop.


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Brenes bounced

Looking at those who remain, Jefferson Melo has been distancing himself from the field since before the bubble period arrived, and now is closing in on 1 million chips with no one else with half as much at the moment.


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Melo nearly with a milly

Here's what the top of the leaderboard looks right now:

Jefferson Melo (Brazil) -- 946,000
Thiago Decano (Brazil) -- 460,000
Pedro Padihla (Brazil) -- 450,000
Rodrigo Henriquez (Chile) -- 378,000
Walid Mubarak (Peru) -- 315,000

Among the others still battling, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari has about 200,000 while his lone remaining teammate David Williams is sitting with just under 150,000.

Victor Sbrissa, Ken Aldridge, and Raul Pino are all right above or below 170,000, just under the average at present. Fernando Mazzeo has about 150,000. And last year's LAPT Chile champion Pablo Tavitian is battling with a shorter stack of about 80,000.

Photography from LAPT7 Chile by Carlos Monti. Follow live streaming coverage throughout LAPT7 Chile in Spanish at PokerStars or via Facebook as well as in Portuguese, also at PokerStars or via Facebook.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.