LAPT8 Brazil: Grand Final part of another BSOP big show
We've been talking about how today's first Day 1 flight of the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final is also helping kickoff of the culminating stop of this year's Brazilian Series of Poker. Once again the BSOP has spent a year traveling all over South America's largest country, going to Balneário Camboriú, to Rio Quente, to Natal, to Brasília, and now for a third time to São Paulo.
This final BSOP stop is designated the BSOP Millions, so named for the millions in Brazilian reais due to be won during the 32 scheduled events. There also seem to be millions of things to think about when organizing such a huge festival, a topic taken up in this afternoon's midday press conference just outside the Golden Hall.
Those behind the table included several BSOP officials, Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, Friend of Team PokerStars Felipe "Mojave" Ramos, and Team PokerStars SportStar and Brazilian footballer legend Ronaldo Nazário.
As was explained, there are 151 tables available for use in the Golden Hall, and they're going to need them all, for sure, as some days will see as many as eight different tournaments in action.
Thousands will be playing, and there are over 400 employees working for the BSOP to help ensure all goes smoothly. They are also well prepared with 300,000 physical chips that will be constantly passed back and forth across the sleek black felt over the next week-and-a-half.
Handling such a huge undertaking has is familiar ground, though, for the Brazilian Series of Poker, now coming to the end of its 10th season. For the BSOP, it's SOP.
As one might have guessed at a gathering like this in São Paulo, Ronaldo was the center of attention. The SportStar sported familiar wide grin as he excitedly talked about his favorite new outlet for competition.
"Poker is a passion for me now," said Ronaldo, noting as well his recent victory in a celebrity tournament in Macau. He attributed that success to having received lots of coaching from Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari ("24/7," he says).
Ronaldo's near-term poker plans include playing in another celebrity tournament here tonight, then coming back this Sunday to host a "home game." Looking down the road a bit the word is he'll be returning to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January where he managed to weave his way to a 26th-place finish in the 2015 PCA Main Event.
Interestingly, while Ronaldo was interested in talking poker, a lot of the questions from the press were about soccer.
Ronaldo shared his thoughts regarding the current Brazilian football team, and also drew some analogies between well-played cards and well-placed kicks.
Heading back over to the Grand Final, we find more players have taken their seats so far on Day 1A. A few players have lost their seats, too.
On an ace-high flop, Marco Zevola unfortunately ran his A♣K♠ into Yuri Kerzhapkin's A♦A♠ to make an early exit. And Nicolas Fierro also hit the rail after going to battle with pocket jacks against Felipe Difini -- unfortunately for "PKaiser," the latter was holding pocket kings.
More than 100 have registered to this point on Day 1A, with late registration remaining open through the start of Level 7.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.