LAPT8 Brazil: Alisson Piekazewicz leads final 32 to end Grand Final Day 2
After all of Level 19 and just the first part of Level 20, the Day 2 field in the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final at São Paulo was cut down to 32 players and play was halted for the night. At the conclusion of play Brazil's Alisson Piekazewicz had nudged ahead of everyone to claim the overnight chip lead, bagging a hefty 722,000.
The day began with sunny skies and 202 players still with their eyes on the prize of winning the final LAPT Main Event title of Season 8. And speaking of prizes, the prize pool is getting divided by the top 63 finishers, with a handsome R$727,620 sitting up top for the winner.
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari started the day with one of the shortest stacks left, and early on his ace-king fell to an opponent's ace-queen to make his day a short one.
Akkari hopped over into the Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event, however, as did more than 850 others. Brian Rast and Jeff Gross -- who like Akkari busted the Grand Final this afternoon -- were also part of that huge first starting flight, which promises to grow ever larger over the next two Day 1s.
Play continued, with an interesting hand early on showing why a thumbs up gesture -- usually pretty easy to understand in most contexts -- can be something decidely less clear at the poker table.
The field was whittled further down, and as it approached 100 players Maximiliano Gallardo grabbed the chip lead for a time, adding considerably to his enjoyment. Then post-dinner break it was Ariel Celestino seizing the top spot as the money bubble neared.
Brazil's Pablo Reis was the unfortunate 64th-place finisher, with Team PokerStars Pro Online's Caio Pessagno barely outlasting him to min-cash.
Amos Ben went out a short while later in 48th, then a little later start-of-day chip leader Armando Sbrissa went out in 41st when his ace-ten failed to top Bruno Kawauti's pair of queens.
Meanwhile Patricio Rojas, winner of LAPT6 Peru, rose in the counts to end less than a big blind behind Piekazewicz with 713,000.
Ariel Celestino bagged the third-largest stack to end play (676,000), with Bruno Kawauti (532,000), Maximiliano Gallardo (501,000), and LAPT4 Brazil champion Alex Manzano (456,000) also finished well, while last year's winner here Caio Hey likewise survived albeit with a short stack of 129,000. Click here for a full list of the 32 survivors' chip counts.
The final 32 will return at 3 p.m. on Saturday to pick things up again, with the plan tomorrow being to play down to the eight-handed final table. Join us again then as we get another step closer to learning who will be the next LAPT Main Event champion.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.