LAPT7 Panama: Ecenarro Eliminated, Perez Pushed Out, Brenes Bounced

Three more have fallen post-dinner at the LAPT Panama Main Event, bringing the total field down to nine.

Derek Ecenarro began today with the chip lead, and during that wild first hour that saw 16 players fall he steadily accumulated both chips and eliminations. By mid-afternoon, however, the Floridian's day took a downward turn, and by the time players returned from the dinner break he was sitting in 12th position out of 12.

In his final hand Ecenarro pushed his last 160,000 -- just over five big blinds -- from the button with Q♠5♠ and got a big blind call from Javier Rios who held 9♥8♥. The 8♠ came among the community cards to knock out Ecenarro in 12th ($9,670).

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Derek Ecenarro

Yesterday we'd seen the start-of-day chip leader Farid Jattin (tops of 179) become the last player eliminated at the end of the night (in 48th). Today it was a similar story with Ecenarro, who nearly made it to night's end. "Welcome to the LAPT," grinned Brazilian blogger Sergio Prado, reflecting on how no matter how many chips one has to start the day, there's no guarantees of earning one's seat for the next.

That left Venezuela's last remaining player, Luis Perez, as the short stack, and soon enough he'd be committing with A♦J♦ versus Antonio Hogoza's Q♦Q♠. No help arrived for Perez, who finishes 11th ($11,500

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Luis Perez

Alex Brenes has the most famous brother of any player on the Latin American Poker Tour. But Humberto's hermano also has an impressive LAPT track record, one including two near-misses of Main Event titles way back in the tour's first season (a second in Punta del Este and a fourth in Rio de Janeiro).

To those Brenes will be adding a near-miss of a final table, too, after being knocked out in 10th ($11,500) here at LAPT Panama.

After Javier Rios opened with a raise to 75,000 from middle position, Alexander Haber called from one seat over, then Brenes made it 195,000 to go.

The action back on Rios, he four-bet to 326,000, which was enough to make Haber step aside. However, Brenes responded with an all-in shove for about 800,000, and Rios called in a flash.

Brenes: K♣K♦
Rios: A♠A♥

It was a tough spot for Brenes, and five cards later -- 7♥Q♥4♥5♣6♦ -- his tourney was over.

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Alex Brenes

As the pot was pushed Rios's way, Haber couldn't help but animatedly share what he'd folded -- K♥[10h].

The final nine reassembled around a single not-officially-final final table with Rios the new chip leader with nearly 2.5 million and Fabian Ortiz the short stack with a little under 600,000.

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Javier Rios's stack prior to moving to the nine-handed table

Rios appears headed to be in great shape entering tomorrow. Although if we're to heed Sergio's suggestion, nothing is guaranteed for anyone.

Photography from LAPT7 Panama by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese. Also check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.