LAPT8 Brazil: Meet the final eight
Welcome to the fourth and final day of the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event from São Paulo, Brazil. From 426 entries just eight players remain, and later today one of them will become the last LAPT Main Event champion of Season 8.
Brazil is well represented at this final table with six of the eight players being from the host country, with the other two coming from Chile. The group includes Brazil's all-time leader in online earnings, a near-November Niner, a player making his second LAPT Main Event final table of the season, and another making his second straight LAPT Brazil Main Event final table.
Before action begins, let's find out a little more about each of the final eight.
Seat 1: Alexandre Rivero (Brazil) -- 1,490,000
Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Alexandre Rivero has been collecting cashes at the Brazilian Series of Poker since 2010, accumulating the equivalent of nearly $240,000 USD altogether. His biggest cash came at the 2011 BSOP where he won the R$3,400 High Rollers event for a R$101,300 first prize (worth about $55K USD).
Rivero has also done well on the European Poker Tour and at the World Series of Poker, including taking 19th in a $5K event at the WSOP in 2013.
Seat 2: Afonso Henrique (Brazil) -- 2,885,000
Also from São Paulo, Afonso Henrique will carry the chip lead to the final table after having made a late surge on Day 2 to move into first position, then doing so again at the end of last night's play to edge in front with eight left.
Henrique has been picking up cashes of late in tournaments in Brazil in both hold'em and Omaha, but wherever he finishes today will represent his biggest tournament score by far.
Seat 3: Ricardo Chauriye (Chile) -- 1,345,000
Ricardo Chauriye is finishing a strong year of tournament poker where he's picked up several cashes around his native Chile and Panama, with the highlight coming over at LAPT8 Peru in Lima where he made the Main Event final table with a short stack before falling in eighth for a $19,060 cash.
Before that Chauriye's largest previous tournament score had come at the Gran Final Campeonato Nacional de Poker EPS in Santiago where he finished fourth of 257 in the Main Event for a prize worth just over $13,000 USD.
Seat 4: Yuri Martins (Brazil) -- 2,710,000
Close to the chip lead to start today is Yuri Martins of Curitiba. While Martins has accumulated a few live tournament cashes over the last five years totaling just over $100K USD, it's online where he's best known as a true superstar and one of Brazil's most accomplished players, having earned more than $5 million in the virtual realm.
As "theNERDguy" on PokerStars, Martins's most memorable finish -- and the biggest cash for a Brazilian ever online -- was when he took second in the 2014 WCOOP Main Event behind Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz, earning $708,251.21 after a six-way deal.
Seat 5: Bruno Kawauti (Brazil) -- 495,000
Bruno Kawauti enters today's final table shortest in chips, although the 30-year-old from São Paulo has perhaps the most renown outside of Brazil of those remaining thanks largely to his deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event where he finished 15th for a $451,398 cash.
While Kawauti has numerous BSOP cashes and an impressive online résumé as well to his credit, his best previous LAPT Main Event finish was 66th at LAPT6 Panama.
Seat 6: Gustavo Lopes (Brazil) -- 580,000
Gustavo Lopes of Brasilía -- known also as "Vascao" (his favorite football club) -- will likewise begin today on the short side, chip-wise, after having enjoyed the chip lead briefly for part of the evening during Day 3.
Lopes has a handful of cashes from the BSOP and LAPT adding up to just under $70K (USD) overall, including having made this very final table a year ago at the LAPT7 Brazil Main Event. There, too, he began with a relatively short stack and became the first one out in eighth, a finish he'll hope to better this time around.
Seat 7: Carlos Alves (Brazil) -- 545,000
Our third short stack Carlos Alves of São Paulo comes to today's final table with just a few previous BSOP cashes, with this being his first on the LAPT.
His biggest win came late last year in the 2014 BSOP Millions at São Paulo where he took 28th in the High Roller event for R$12,570. He's already guaranteed a prize much greater than that here.
Seat 8: Andrés Herrera (Chile) -- 2,735,000
Finally in second position in the counts to start the day will be Andrés Herrera of Chile who has nearly $100K USD worth of tournament earnings to his credit.
His biggest live career cash so far was for $35,575 in the LSOP Chile 2013 Main Event where he took runner-up at a tough final table including two-time LAPT Main Event winner Mario Lopez (who finished third). Meanwhile playing as "gmcrafter" online he's also earned more than $800,000.
Here is how the payouts are scheduled for the final eight finishers:
Play begins at 1 p.m. local time -- that's three hours ahead of Eastern time, and three hours behind CET. They'll be up on the feature table at the front of the Golden Hall in the World Trade Center São Paulo while action in other Brazilian Series of Poker events continues at the other 150-plus tables in the room.
We'll be here from start to finish to report on the action. You can also watch it all live over at PokerStars.tv by clicking here. Join us then to see who becomes the Grand Final champion.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.