LAPT8 Brazil: Leo Henrique Liberal bags big stack to conclude Grand Final Day 1B
A wild, fun Day 1B has come to a close at the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final in São Paulo, Brazil, and while there were a number of big stacks jockeying back and forth as the final hands of the night were dealt, Leo Henrique Liberal of Brazil managed to bag up the most of the day with 194,400.
By the time late registration finally closed the unofficial total of Day 1B entries was 294, which put with the 132 from yesterday adds up to 426 altogether. Today's 140 survivors will unite with the 62 from yesterday, meaning there are still 202 competitors left vying for the last LAPT Main Event trophy of Season 8.
The day began with a nod to the Thanksgiving holiday as we offered an "obrigado" to those of you following our coverage. Then as players began gathering during the early levels, a workshop highlighting local professor Cristiano Torezzan's university course in "Poker Basics" gave us a chance to consider how poker strategy can often apply in non-poker contexts.
It soon became apparent that not only was the Day 1B field for the Grand Final growing even grander, the rest of the massive Golden Hall here in the World Trade Center São Paulo complex was being filled to near capacity as the BSOP Millions kickoff event ultimately drew a staggering 3,850-plus entries -- an all-time high for any tournament in Latin America.
Turning back to the marquee event, two-time WSOP bracelet winner and earner of over $16 million in lifetime cashes Brian Rast had chosen the Grand Final for his first ever LAPT event, and he took the time to share some thoughts with us about Brazil, a home-away-from-home of sorts over recent years for the poker pro after having met his wife and gotten married here.
As the dinner hour approached, the field size increased further, pushing the total number of entries well past 400. Patricio Rojas and Jerson Backmann then pushed ahead themselves as apparent chip leaders, only to be overtaken soon thereafter as play moved past midnight.
Among those battling with below average stacks during the night's last levels was two-time LAPT champion Mario Lopez, whose super last couple of years we took a moment to notice before play wrapped up for the night. Though short then, in the last level Lopez managed to spin it up to end the night with a healthy 116,000.
Luis Gustavo Gutti also proudly bagged a big stack of 181,700 tonight.
And Bruno Nunes appeared to have had the chip lead for a short while before ending Day 1B with 175,400.
Others making it through to tomorrow's Day 2 included the LAPT7 Brazil Main Event champion Caio Hey (103,400), current LAPT Season 8 Player of the Year frontrunner and two-time LAPT champion Oscar Alache (99,000), Diego Ventura (87,700), Brian Rast (69,600), Team PokerStars Pro Online member Jorge Limon (63,400), Bruno Kawauti (59,900), Nicolau Villa-Lobos (46,700), Helio Neves (30,600), Caio Pimenta (30,200), Team PokerStars Pro Online member Caio Pessagno (26,600), Justo Esquivel (24,200), Jeff Gross (22,600), Bruno Politano (22,600), Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari (14,500), and Nicolas Fierro (12,200).
Armando Sbrissa who ended Day 1A with 217,200 will remain the pace-setter to start tomorrow. Play cranks back up tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time with another full and fun day scheduled. Come back here then as we continue the quest to find out who will become the next LAPT Main Event champion.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.