LAPT8 Brazil: Eight still remain, but Henrique has half the chips!

The final table of the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final was due to begin at 1 p.m. today, but final table photos and other prelimaries delayed the start a short while.

Finally the eight players took their seats around the feature table situated at the front of the Golden Hall here in the World Trade Center São Paulo complex, and the first final table hand was dealt.


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Where they started

With the blinds a big 30K/60K with a newly-increased 10K ante, start-of-day chip leader Afonso Henrique took a decent-sized pot early from Alexandre Rivero. It was a blind-versus-blind hand that saw Henrique use 6♦5♦ to outdraw Rivero's A♠K♠ to claim a chunk of the latter's stack.

Then on the next hand Gustavo Lopes open raised all in for 500,000 from middle position with A♥Q♦, getting a caller from the cutoff in Andrés Herrera who had A♠J♠. The better hand held up, earning Lopes the double up.

About an orbit later Herrera opened from the button, Rivero reraise-pushed for 600,000 from the small blind, and Herrera called. Rivero needed help with K♦Q♠ versus Herrera's T♠T♣, and the board brought not one but two queens to enable Rivero to double-up.

Meanwhile Kawauti became the table's short stack, dwindling down to less than 200,000. As the the level was nearing its close, Kawauti found a hand in the cutoff seat and raised all in with his last 135,000 -- just over a min-raise, in fact.

Lopes then three-bet from the button to 250,000, and Herrera responded with a big four-bet to 910,000 from the big blind. Lopes tanked then folded, and the two remaining players tabled their hands:

Herrera: K♣J♦
Kawauti: A♠J♠

The dealer delivered the community cards -- 3♥4♦8♦2♥Q♠ -- with Kawauti mock-rubbing his brow with a "whew" after the face card on the river.

They crossed into today's second hour and the blinds increased to 40K/80K with a 10K ante. By accumulating several pots along the way, leader Henrique had chipped all of the way up close to 5 million while no one else had as much as 2 million.


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Afonse Henrique

Kawauti was soon all in again, this time for 315,000 from the cutoff, and Herrera made what appeared a somewhat reluctant call from the big blind. Kawauti had Q♠Q♣ and Herrera 7♦6♥, and after the K♣J♦3♣ flop, the 5♦ produced a loud "ahhhhhh" from the BSOP Millions Main Event players who can see the action up on the big screen. The river was safe for Kawauti, though -- the J♠ -- and he survived again.

A little later there was a bit more drama when Carlos Alves was all in against Chauriye following an all-diamond flop, but as Alves was holding the nut flush his double-up was already assured. Then just before the level ended, Chauriye reraise-shoved his short stack over a Henrique button open, and after a long study Henrique folded.

All of which is to say, while there are no knockouts to report, the situation has nonetheless changed considerably. With his massive stack, Henrique actually now has more than half of the total chips in play -- with eight still left!

Check out these counts from just before the break:

1. Afonso Henrique (Brazil) -- 6,475,000
2. Yuri Martins (Brazil) -- 1,550,000
3. Carlos Alves (Brazil) -- 1,140,000
4. Alexandre Rivero (Brazil) -- 920,000
5. Andrés Herrera (Chile) -- 800,000
6. Bruno Kawauti (Brazil) -- 760,000
7. Ricardo Chauriye (Chile) -- 590,000
8. Gustavo Lopes (Brazil) -- 550,000


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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.