LAPT8 Brazil: Celestino, Beláustegui, Liberal out; Difini leading last 17

They've played another hour-long level at the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final in São Paulo, Brazil. Now just 17 remain gathered around three short-handed tables -- still another nine knockouts to go before play concludes on Day 3.

Ariel Celestino had about half a million chips coming back from the break -- around 16 big blinds' worth -- then found himself involved in a hand with fellow Brazilian Felipe Difini who had about twice that amount to begin.

The pair made it to a 7♣5♣3♥ flop, after which Celestino check-raised a bet by Difini. The latter responded with an all-in push, and after some time in the tank "Bahia" came up with a call, turning over Q♣7♦ for top pair of sevens.

Celestino winced a little, though when he saw Difini table A♣A♦, and after the 9♦ turn and T♠ river Brazil's top-ranked tournament player was out with a 20th-place finish (R$34,970).


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Ariel Celestino

Francisco De Beláustegui of Argentina followed Celestino out in 19th (R$34,970) after a hand versus Yuri Martins. The pair had checked a 6♦Q♣8♠ flop, then Beláustegui called a bet by Martins after the J♠ turn. The river then brought the 2♦ and an all-in shove from Martins, called by Beláustegui. The latter had T♠T♥, but Martins's J♣8♣ for two pair was best and Beláustegui was done.


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Francisco De Beláustegui

Just a moment later another Brazilian, Leo Henrique Liberal, was all in at another table for his last 110,000 with A♣J♦ and ahead of Scotland's Anthony McShane's Q♣J♥. An ace on the flop made things seem even more secure for Liberal, but the turn and river brought running queens, and Liberal made his exit in 18th (R$34,970).

Difini is the clear chip leader at present, now up around 1.4 million as they move into Level 25.

Meanwhile, we should give a shout to Chile's Oscar Alache, who with the elimination a little earlier of Patricio Rojas in 23rd place has now secured the LAPT Season 8 Player of the Year.

Photography from LAPT8 Brazil by Carlos Monti. You can also follow the action in Spanish here and in Portuguese here.

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.