LAPT8 Brazil: Manzano, Rojas sent railward; Hey last champ among final 20

We started today with three LAPT Main Event champions left in the field here on Day 3 of the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event in São Paulo. But now we're down to just one, with the Brazilian Gustavo Lopes having been responsible for knocking out two of them.

All in with a below average stack with A♦2♦, LAPT4 Brazil Main Event winner Alex Manzano of Chile was looking to improve versus Lopes's J♦J♠. But Lopes was the one improving on the K♣6♥J♣ flop, giving the Brazilian a set of jacks. By the 3♦ turn Manzano was standing and patting the table, his attempt at winning a second LAPT Main Event title here in São Paulo stopped by a 26th-place finish (R$27,450).


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Alex Manzano

At a neighboring table start-of-day leader Alisson Piekazewicz found himself in a short-stacked situation that had resembled Manzano's, but after flopping a set with pocket sixes Piekazewicz managed to climb back out of danger with a double-up.

A little while later Ramiro Araujo of Brazil was down to less than a quarter million chips -- that is, under half an average stack -- when he watched his fellow countryman Felipe Dalgado limp in from the button. Araujo called from the small blind, then Maximiliano Gallardo made a big raise from the BB to force out Salgado, and Araujo called with his last chips.

It was Gallardo's 5♦5♥ versus Araujo's K♣7♥, and after the board brought no king, seven, or any other favorable combination for Araujo, he was knocked out in 25th (R$27,450).

A short-stacked Pedro Cayo soon followed Araujo out the door in 24th (R$27,450) after his K♥4♣ couldn't hold against William Melo's Q♣T♣ once a ten came among the community cards.

Meanwhile LAPT6 Peru champ Patricio Rojas had started the day second of 32 in chips, but he found himself the short stack and in shove mode in an attempt to get back into contention. Finally it was Lopes who took up the challenge with K♥K♣ versus Rojas's K♦Q♣, and as happened earlier with Manzano, Rojas fell short as well, going out in 23rd (R$31,210).


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Patricio Rojas

The Argentinian Juan Manuel Calderón fell next in 22nd (R$31,210) after his A♥K♠ failed to improve against Anthony McShane's T♠T♣. And Leonardo Foroni's Q♦J♥ couldn't outrun Lopes's A♥Q♣, sending Foroni out in 21st (R$31,210).

That leaves just last year's LAPT7 Brazil Main Event winner Caio Hey among the final 20. You wouldn't have been blamed not to think Hey would be the last of the trio of champs left, not after he began the day 31st of 32. But he's sitting behind a stack of about a half-million chips at present -- below the average, but comfortable enough. And still with a chance of earning a second LAPT Main Event trophy.

Having reached the end of Level 23, the last 20 players are now taking a 75-minute dinner break. Unsurprisingly, Lopes looks to be leading currently -- here are the five biggest big stacks as they go to break:

1. Gustavo Lopes (Brazil) -- 1,160,000
2. Maximiliano Gallardo (Argentina) -- 960,000
3. Alisson Piekazewicz (Brazil) -- 930,000
4. Felipe Difini (Brazil) -- 930,000
5. Anthony McShane (Scotland) -- 920,000

We're off as well -- back a little later to pick up the action once again.

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.