LAPT9 Brazil: Alisson 'heyalisson' Piekazewicz ends Day 1 with massive chip lead

Day 1 of the final Latin American Poker Tour Main Event on planet Earth has come to an end.

There are rumors the tour might pick up on the moon in the future, but for now we're in São Paulo and Alisson Piekazewicz leads the Day 1 survivors with 605,700.

Piekazewicz, known as heyalisson on PokerStars, is a Brazilian pro who mostly plays online, but he's had an increased presence on the live scene the last few years. Piekazewicz scored his biggest cash and first major live victory earlier this year when he won the $5,300 NLHE 8-Max tournament at the 2016 PCA. Now Piekazewicz is hoping to end the 2016 BSOP season with another victory.

Alisson Piekazewicz-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-0177.jpg

Allison Piekazewicz

While Piekazewicz was the largest stack to make it through the day, he'll have a lot of company. Day 1 saw 307 players come and take a shot at eternal LAPT glory and after 10 levels of play, only 123 remain. Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari busted in the last hand of the day but Leo Fernandez made it through with 174,900.

Vivian Saliba finished the day second in chips with 360,700. Saliba won a huge chunk of her chips after dinner when she won a three-way set-over-set-over-set all-in. Iago Leonelli is in third with 333,200, and Luis Blumbero rounds off the top four with 327,300.

Vivian Saliba-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9848.jpg

Vivian Saliba

Jeff Gross also eked into Day 2 with 46,300 and Brazilian Olympic swimmer Fernando Scherer survived with 196,300.

We also had all four two-time LAPT champs take a shot at the LAPT hat trick for the last time, but only few of them made it through the day. Jose Ignacio Barbero, Oscar Alache, Mario Lopez and Fabian Ortiz are the only multiple LAPT champions in the world (we haven't checked the moon yet) and only Alache and Barbero made it through the day. Alache will start Day 2 with 115,000 while Barbero finished with 168,500.


Oscar Alache-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-0209.jpg

Oscar Alache

But hope isn't lost for anyone quite just yet. Late registration is still open till the start of Day 2, so players still have time to rebuy.

Those who did will come back tomorrow at 2pm to play another 10 levels of poker. Play will start on level 11 with 1,200/1,400 blinds and a 300 ante. Join us tomorrow for more live updates from LAPT9 Brasil and if you can't wait, read about today's events below.

Boa noite! --AV


Day 1 coverage

1:53am: Two more hands
Level 10 - Blinds 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

The clock has stopped at 15 minutes and play will go on for another two hands before we bag and tag for the night. Stay tuned for a wrap of the day's events. --AV

1:44am: Medeiros doubles with just seven high
Level 10 - Blinds 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

If you get a double up and all you're holding by the river is seven-high, you know you're running good. That's the situation that Leandro Medeiros finds himself right now.

He got all-in for around 80,000 against a player on an 8♥3♠A♣9♣ board, and held 6♥7♥ for an up-and-down straight draw. His opponent had the 5♣6♣ for a flush draw and gutshot.

The river came the A♠ and the seven high was good. Medeiros now has around 160,000, leaving his opponent with 85,000 behind. --JS

1:30am: 30 minutes left
Level 10 - Blinds 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

We're just half an hour away from the chip bags coming out. There are plenty of big names still in, so stick around for the end-of-Day 1 big stacks and notable names. --JS

1:20am: The rich get richer
Level 10 - Blinds 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

Allison Piekazewicz is steamrolling right now, putting his big stack to good use and collecting more and more chips.

This latest hand was an interesting one, and would play out over more than ten minutes. I picked up the action on the 4♠Q♠8♣ flop. Three players checked, including Fernando Scherer and Piekazewicz, to the player on the button who made a bet of 8,500. I don't know his name yet, and you'll understand why shortly.

Scherer made the call, and then after a fold it was back on Piekazewicz. He then raised it up to 25,000 and only the button player called. The turn came the A♣ and the chip leader continued for 27,000, which again was called.

The river came the 8♦ and Piekazewicz announced all-in. The button player was tormented by this, and went into the tank for more than five minutes. He was actually visibly shaking at one point as he played with his chips. After a while he started laughing at the situation: does this guy really have something or is he just bullying me?

He eventually folded, and that's why I don't know his name. I didn't have the heart to ask him when he'd just lost such a big pot. Having said that, he still has 124,500 behind, while Piekazewicz is cruising to the end-of-play chip lead with a monstrous stack of around 530,000. --JS

1:05am: Third time lucky for Akkari?
Level 10 - Blinds 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari has fired a third bullet into this event, and was already all-in when I just saw him.

The board read 7♥T♠J♣A♠7♦ and Joaquin Melogno had checked to Akkari. There was around 26,000 in the middle and Akkari moved all-in for 31,700, which sent Melogno into the tank. He kept talking to Akkari, but it was a fruitless endeavour as the Team Pro had headphones on and was watching something on his phone.

Whatever Melogno was saying (it was in Portuguese, which unfortunately I can't understand), he wasn't allowed to as the dealer told him off twice. It's safe to assume he was probably telling Akkari and his tablemates what hand he held.

In the end he gave it up and Akkari raked it in. He has just shy of 58,000 now. --JS

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
101,0002,000300

12:55am: Urge to call
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Sometimes you just have to call on the river, even when you know you're behind.

Well, at least that's how Leo Fernandez plays the game.

Fernandez and Leandro Medeiros were on the river of an 8♦5♣K♥2♠ board and Medeiros bet 8,000 when checked to.

Players had checked the turn and river, but Fernandez raised to 4,000 preflop from the hijack and Medeiros had called from the button.

Fernandez put Medeiros on a deuce and was proved right when Medeiros turned over A♥2♥.

"I called him with queen-high," Fernandez said.

"He knew you had him beat and he still called," Jose Ignacio Barbero said and shook his head.

Sometimes you just gotta call. --AV

12:48am: Simão gives some to Osvaldo
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Lewis Osvaldo opened to 3,600 but was then three-bet to 8,600 by João Simão. That raise was called and it went heads-up to the 4♣K♠7♣ flop. Osvaldo checked to the raiser who continued for 6,500, but Osvaldo didn't budge.

The turn came the Q♥ and both checked to see the A♦ river. This would prove expensive for Simão as Osvaldo immediately led out for 30,000. Simão went into the tank for a couple of minutes but eventually paid off the bet, only to muck when Osvaldo showed A♠K♦.

Simão now has 135,500, while Osvaldo is up to 230,000. --JS

12:40am: Scherer swimming in the right direction
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

It's been a good day for former Brazilian Olympic swimmer Fernando Scherer. He's up to 163,000 - more than three times the starting stack.

His latest chips came in a smallish pot which involved chip leader Allison Piekazewicz. The man known online as 'heyallison' opened to 4,000 which picked up a caller before Scherer called in the small blind. They all saw the 6♠6♥8♥ flop and it checked around, so the 5♠ turn hit the felt. It checked to the two-time bronze medalist and he led for 10,000, which was enough to take it down. --JS


Fernando Xuxa Scherer-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-0012.jpg

Fernando Scherer

12:30am: Leader in the night
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Allison Piekazewicz is pretty perky for 12:30am.

He's twirling chips in his hands, smiling and raising a lot. He's got a good reason to be happy. Piekazewicz appears to have the chip lead with about 450,000. He's getting involved in big pots and pushing opponents off hands at every stage, from preflop to the river.

His tablemates are obviously less enthused about having to play with the tournament chip leader this late in the day.

Piekazewicz is an online pro and a BSOP regular. He's been on the poker scene since 2012 but he's had a particularly good 2016 when he started off the year with a victory in the PCA 8-Handed NLHE $5K.

That victory gave Piekazewicz a $175,750 payday and he's cashed in the BSOP in March and August. Now he's hoping to get the BSOP hat trick this year and add an LAPT cash to his resume. --AV

12:20am: All four now in
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

At 11:40pm we told you about the three two-time LAPT champs still in - Nacho Barbero, Oscar Alache, and Fabian Ortiz. The only one missing was Mario Lopez.

Well, we can now confirm that all four are now in, as Lopez has taken his seat. It's not been the best start for him however, as his 50K starting stack is down to 38,000. --JS

12:13am: Akkari busts second bullet
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Andre Akkari's seat was empty after the break, and after a bit of snooping it turns out he busted his second attempt at this tournament just before the players took off. Will the Team Pro return tonight? Will he wait until the morning? Will he re-enter at all? Stay tuned to find out. --JS

12:05am: AND we're back
Level 9 - Blinds 800/1,600, 200 ante

Just two more 60-minute levels of play left here on Day 1. --JS

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
98001,600200

11:50pm: Break
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

We've now hit the final break of the day. Players will have 15-minutes to do whatever their heart desires and they'll come back for two more levels of poker before we bag and tag. --AV

11:46pm: Set over set over set
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

Vivian Saliba is near the top of the leaderboard after a wild set-over-set-over-set all-in.

Action picked up on the turn of a A♣3♥2♠7♣ board. There was about 10,000 in the pot and Saliba, who was under the gun, had 12,500 in front. Pedro Totorvich was all-in from 38,100 from middle position and Mario Santin rejammed for about 140,000 from the big blind.


Vivian Saliba-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9851.jpg

Vivian Saliba

Saliba thought, looked at her cards and shook her head. She had 82,000 behind, the call was for all her chips. She looked at both her opponents and then her cards, and even with a set of aces it was a risky call. She was scared of the straight on the board, but called anyways.

She flipped over A♠A♦ while Totorovich showed bottom set with 2♣2♦ and Santin tabled a set of sevens with 7♠7♥.

Totorovich hit the rail while Santin was left with about 36,000 and Saliba skyrocketed to about 215,000. --AV

11:40pm: Three two-time LAPT champs...but who's closest to a third title?
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

Three of the four two-time LAPT champions are still alive in this event. The only one we're missing is Mario Lopez, who must be deep in another event elsewhere.

But out of Oscar Alache, Jose 'Nacho' Barbero, and Fabian Ortiz, who is closest to becoming the one and only three-time LAPT champ?

Well, right now it's Argentina's Barbero, who's sitting with around 140,000. The next one down is Chile's Alache who's playing 90,000 right now, and trailing them both is Argentina's Ortiz, who has just 28,000. --JS

11:30pm: Crema of the crop
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

This hand was pretty interesting, and it resulted in pure disbelief for Fred Viana.

Thiago Crema opened under the gun to 2,500 and it folded to Viana in the cutoff. He made a three-bet to 7,200 and when everyone else folded Crema made the call. The flop fell 5♣5♠6♦ and Crema checked, letting Viana continue for 6,000. Crema then bumped it up to 17,000 and that bet was called.

They went to the turn and saw the A♠ land. Crema went back to checking, but Viana wasn't done betting. He made it 13,000 and got a call, resulting in a 9♠ river card. Crema checked and Viana checked behind pretty quickly, but couldn't believe it when Crema revealed his A♦5♦ for a full house. It was pretty clear that Viana had got unlucky in some way, but as he mucked we'll never know quite how bad it was.

Viana drops to 30,000 after that hand, while Crema increased to 165,000. --JS

11:20pm: A lot for Alache
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

Oscar Alache is now past the six-figure chip mark.

In one recent pot, Matias Rossi raised to 2,500 from the hijack and Alache made it 6,200 from the small blind. The big blind folded, Rossi shuffled his cards for a bit and then called.

Alache then bet 5,100 on the 2♦5♠8♠ flop and Rossi thought again. He grabbed one card with each hand and twirled them on the felt. Then he called.

The turn brought a T♣ and another bet from Alache. This time the two-time LAPT champ threw in a bet worth 15,000.

It was too much for Rossi and he folded. The pot put Alache up to around 100,000 while Rossi dipped to 60,000. --AV

11:05pm: Strong holding for Strong
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

From one big double up (the Melogno hand below) to another. I picked up the action in this one on the river of a T♣A♥T♥K♠9♠ board, with 7,400 in the middle. Rodrigo Strong had made an almost pot-sized bet of 6,700, but was then raised to 15,000 by Massimo Di Leo.

Strong was in the tank when I arrived but after another 20 seconds or so he stacked up all his chips and moved all-in for roughly 57,000. Di Leo didn't take too long to call, but he'd be disgusted to see Strong show his K♥K♦ for a turned full house. It wasn't that Di Leo got sucked out on, it's just that the 9♠ river was about the worst card for his 9♣9♦ as it gave him a weaker boat.

Strong's getting stronger and now sits with roughly 123,000. --JS

10:57pm: A king for Fernandez
Level 8 - Blinds 600/1,200, 200 ante

Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez was grimacing and tilting his head back and forth.

Federico Sturzenegger had just moved all-in on a 5♠J♣8♦ flop and Fernandez wasn't happy. Fernandez had opened to 2,300 preflop and Sturzenegger made it 5,800. Fernandez thought for a bit and then called.

The flop hit the board, Fernandez bet 5,500 and that's when Sturzenegger moved all-in for 39,800. Fernandez was immediately taken aback and that's when he started grimacing and tilting his head back and forth. The masseuse temporarily stopped masseusing and Fernandez shuffled his cards back and forth.

"Enjoy your kings," Fernandez muttered and he folded his hand.

Sturzenegger flashed a K♣ but the other card was left a mystery.

The hand put Sturzenegger up to 60,000 while Fernandez is still well above average with 130,000. --AV


Leo Fernandez-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9909.jpg

Leo Fernandez

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
86001,200200

10:46pm: Melogno secures huge double up
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

Wow, what a hand and what a time to be last year's BSOP High Roller champion Jaoquin Melogno. He kicked this one off with an open which was called by Fernando Scherer in the cutoff, Fabiano Kovalski on the button, and Helio Neto in the small blind. The four players saw a T♠7♠3♥ flop and it both Neto and Melogno checked. Scherer took the betting lead for 4,700, which got rid of Kovalski, only to be three-bet to 12,900 by Neto.

Action was back on the pre-flop raiser and now Melogno started counting out chips. He made a four-bet to 33,000 and Scherer threw his hand away. Neto then jammed, and Melogno made a quick call.

Neto - 8♠9♠
Melogno - T♦7♦

Neto had a huge draw with the open-ended straight flush draw, but he'd need to hit against Melogno's top two pair. The Q♥ turn changed nothing, so it was all down to the river. It came the 5♦ which gave the huge pot to Melogno, who's 80,000 stack only just covered Neto's.

Melogno is now playing around 180,000. --JS

10:34pm: Closing in on 300
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

Most dinner breaks are followed by a steady stream of players busting the tournament.

With the amount of meats served in restaurants in this hotel, you'd expect the lethargic crowd to lazily push their chips all-in in order to go back home and nap, but there's been a reversal of that. There's a steady stream of players coming in to the tournament.

The dealer at the table filled with stacks is handing them out left and right. We entered the dinner break with about 250 players and that number quickly rose to about 300. Maybe it was the dinnertime caipirinhas that inspired the new flock of players or maybe it was the allure of the LAPT title beckoning them.

Whatever it was, it worked. We'll see how many more register for play today and how many wake up inspired to take a shot at LAPT glory tomorrow morning. Could be a handful, could be a million. Well, probably not.

Only time will tell. --AV

10:22pm: Saliba and Ortiz back in and battling
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

Vivian Saliba and two-time LAPT champ Fabian Ortiz both busted before dinner, but they're now back in on their second bullet. They're also seated at the same table, and just played a small pot together.

It started with a 2,300 open from Saliba from under the gun +1, which picked up one caller before Ortiz also called on the button. The blinds folded and it went three to the 6♠2♣A♠ flop.

Saliba might be playing a little more cautious on this entry however, as she opted not to c-bet and checked. The other caller checked too, and Ortiz made a bet of 3,300. Everyone folded.

That's how you win two LAPTs folks; you bet, they fold, you win. Easy. --JS


Have events in Brazil inspired you to start playing poker? Click here to open a PokerStars account.

10:12pm: Team Pro Bros
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari is hanging around starting stack while enjoying a post-dinner massage.

In a recent hand, Wilson Lopes called from the cutoff and Akkari did the same from the button. The big blind checked and a 3♣T♠9♦ flop hit the board. Lopes bet 2,600, Akkari called and the big blind folded.

The turn brought a 4♥ and a round of checks. The river was a T♥ Akkari bet 3,400. Lopes called and Akkari showed 8♣6♣ for air while Lopes showed J♥9♥ for a pair of nines. Nines took down the pot and Lopes chipped up to 125,000 while Akkari dropped to about starting stack on his second bullet.

The other Team PokerStars Pro in the field, Leo Fernandez, is on his third bullet but is doing fairly well. Fernandez is also getting a massage but he's more than doubled his stack to about 130,000. --AV

10pm: Cooler for Strong sends him out the door
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

It took just a couple of hands - and more than a little bad luck - to send LAPT9 Chile champ Rodrigo Strong to the rail. After Rafael Pandolfo opened to 2,300, it folded to Strong on the button and he made a small three-bet to 4,900. Pandolfo came along.

They saw a J♠T♥8♣ flop hit the felt and it checked to the last aggressor. Strong then moved all-in for what looked to be around 20,000 and Pandolfo's chips beat him into the pot. He snap-called and tabled the 7♦9♦ for a flopped straight, meaning Strong's Q♥Q♠ needed help.

He didn't find any on the 5♣ turn, so only a nine on the river could save him. Instead it came the K♠ and Strong was sent packing. He can still re-enter though, should he wish to give this final LAPT another shot. --JS

9:50pm: We're back
Level 7 - Blinds 500/1,000, 100 ante

Players are back from their 75-minute dinner break and ready for some more poker action.

Blinds are 500/1,000 with a 100 ante and there will be four more levels of play before we end the day. Stay tuned for more coverage from the final LAPT stop ever. --AV

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
75001,000100

8:35pm: Dinner break
Level 6 - Blinds 400/800, 100 ante

That's it.

Six levels of play have come and gone and players are now on a 75-minute dinner break. Around 250 players have joined the fray and 208 remain. Late registration is still open until the start of day 2 so that number is bound to grow.

Some of the contenders include Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Leo Fernandez. Akkari is hoping to take down his first LAPT title on home soil while Fernandez is battling for his second.

Two, two-time LAPT champions are still in contention. Oscar Alache and Jose Ignacio Barbero both have two titles and will come back from dinner break to try and get closer to a third.

Other players are done for the day including Fabian Ortiz and Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino but they still have the chance to come back.

While they might wait till tomorrow, the rest of us will be back from dinner in 75 minutes. --AV

Ballroom General View.jpg

8:20pm: Gross getting stronger
Level 6 - Blinds 400/800, 100 ante

Charleston Betzel did what his name suggests - he made an open bet and was immediately three-bet by Jeff Gross to his left to 5,200. When it folded back to Betzel he called and the flop came 6♦T♠J♥. Both checked.

The dealer then burned and turned the 9♥ and now Betzel led out for 6,000 and got a quick call from Gross. It was a similar story on the 7♣ river; Betzel led for 12,000, Gross called, and his T♣8♣ for a pair of tens was best against Betzel's Q♣9♦ for a pair of nines. Gross has 88,000 now. --JS

8:05pm: Athletic poker
Level 6 - Blinds 400/800, 100 ante

We had a few star athletes that started the day. There were a pair of rugby players and a swimmer. The rugby players came out swinging and now it appears as if they've both been eliminated. Fernando Scherer, a former Olympic swimmer, is still going steady and strong.

Scherer appears to be near the top of the leaderboard despite losing a few pots to Fabiano Kovalski.

Kovalski is seated to Scherer's left and every time he raises, Scherer stares him down. In one hand Kovalski three-bet after Scherer raised from the button. Scherer wasn't too happy about that one and folded

A few hands later Scherer raised to 2,000 from the cutoff and Kovalski re-raised to 5,100. Scherer stared him down again but called that time. The flop came 8♠5♣Q♠ and Kovalski took it down with a bet.

Despite losing those hands, Scherer is still near the top of the leaderboard with close to 200,000. --AV

7:46pm: Notable chip counts
Level 6 - Blinds 400/800, 100 ante

We've now entered Level 6 (the last before dinner) and here's how a few of our notable players are getting on: --JS

Andre Akkari - 53,000 (Team PokerStars Pro)
Leo Fernandez - 44,000 (Team PokerStars Pro)
Fernando Scherer - 207,000
Jeff Gross - 52,000
Rodrigo Strong - 28,000
Nacho Barbero - 86,000
Vivian Saliba - 18,000
Oscar Alache - 25,000
Samara Lúcio - 42,500
João Simão - 48,000

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
6400800100

7:30pm: Alache takes a hit
Level 5 - Blinds 300/600, 100 ante

Oscar Alache was crowned LAPT champion twice, but now he lost a chunk of his stack after he ran into a pair of kings.

In that hand, Alache raised to 1,200 and unbeknownst to him, Luis Quintiliano got dealt a pair of kings on the button. Quintiliano three-bet to 3,500 and the blinds got out of the way. Alache called and checked the T♣3♣2♦ flop. A 5♦ came on the turn and Alache checked again.

This time Quintiliano fired off a bet worth 10,000 and Alache called. A 6♥ completed the board and Alache threw out a final check. This time Quintiliano checked behind and tabled K♣K♥.

Alache looked at his cards one last time, disappointed they couldn't take down the kings. The hand left Alache with about 27,000 while Quintiliano chipped up to 80,000. --AV

7:20pm: Three more for your list
Level 5 - Blinds 300/600, 100 ante

In all the hubbub, there are three players we've yet to mention. First off we've got LAPT9 Chile champion Rodrigo Strong in the field. The Brazilian took home $120,565 for that win, which kickstarted a fantastic year which has also seen him finish third in the UKIPT Marbella Main Event for €110,653.

Then there's Samara Lúcio. You might remember her from this time last year, when she became the sixth person to become a Spin and Go millionaire. She entered a $5 Spin and Go, and took it down for a cool $1 million, beating odds in the ballpark of 3 in 10 million.

We've also got João Simão in the mix. The man known as 'INeedMassari' on PokerStars has more than $4.5 million in online winnings, and is a former world number one ranked online player. He's also pretty darn popular here; I just saw him move tables and he spent the next five minutes shaking the hands of everyone nearby. --JS

7:05pm: Tense all ins and smooth wins
Level 5 - Blinds 300/600, 100 ante

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino is hanging with about 25,000 and has moved in a few times but gotten no callers. The Argentinian rugby player is confident on the field but he's looking a bit cold and nervous here.

He's put on a hoodie, some headphones and when he's in a hand, he wraps his hood around his mouth and tries to give nothing away. Gonzalez has yet to score a major tournament cash and he's looking to change that this event.


Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9829.jpg

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, pre-hoodie, headphones and all-in mode

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari on the other hand is well-versed in the pokers and looks quite comfortable on his second bullet. He also recently took down a pot and his hovering at around starting stack.

In that hand Victor Gomes de Castro raised to 1,200 from under the gun and got three callers, including Akkari who was on the button. Action folded to Akkari when the flop came T♣A♣8♥ and the team pro bet 3,500.

Two of the players folded while Gomes de Castro called. Both players then checked the K♦ on the turn and did the same when a 7♦ completed the board. Gomes de Castro sowed Q♦Q♣ but Akkari tabled K♥Q♥ for a pair of kings.

Akkari took down the pot and his stack grew to about 46,000. --AV


Andre Akkari-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9932.jpg

Andre Akkari

6:50pm: Gross crippled by a kiss
Level 5 - Blinds 300/600, 100 ante

This first bullet hasn't gone the way Jeff Gross would have liked. He's got just six chips left in from him, and none worth more than 1,000.

The hand that crippled him went something like this. When I arrived looked like Wendel Lauterte had three-bet to 3,100, which Gross called. Clevio Viana de Costa then four-bet to 10,000 and only Gross came along.

The flop fell 2♦3♦4♥ and both checked to the K♠ turn. Gross checked and de Costa led for 10,000. After a little thinking time Gross made the call and the river came the 8♠. Gross checked once more and de Costa made it 10,000 once again. Gross had just 13,300 behind so this was for most of his chips.

But he looked interested. He looked like he wanted to call. He played with his chips, thought through the hand in his head, and then said "Reentradas right?"

This is indeed a re-entry tournament and Gross picked up his two blue 5,000 chips and gave them a good luck kiss. He made the call and showed the 5♣5♦, but that was no good against de Costa's 2♥2♠ for a set.

Gross has 3,300 left, and chances are he'll be using one of those reentradas soon. --JS

6:35pm: Back for more
Level 5 - Blinds 300/600, 100 ante

Players are back from their 15-minute break and will have two more levels of play before they go on their 75-minute dinner break.

After that there will be four more levels before we bag and tag for the night. --AV

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
5300600100

6:20pm: Break time

Players have gone on another 15-minute break. --JS

6:19pm: Klaar makes crying call
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

Helder Klaar will be kicking himself when he thinks back at this hand. After Antoine Jean-Luc Voyer opened from the hijack and Klarr called in the cutoff, it folded to the big blind of Duarte Filho and her three-bet to 3,800. Both called.

The flop came J♦T♥A♥ and it checked around to the K♠ turn, bringing four to broadway. Filho now led out for a pot-sized bet of 13,000 and only Klaar called to see the 8♣ river. Filho bet the same 13,000 again and after a minute of thinking Klaar made the call. He mucked though when he saw Filho turn over the A♣Q♣ for a straight.

Klaar tossed his cards into the middle with frustration, but he's still alive with around 30,000. Filho is up to around 75,000. --JS

6:15pm: Back for more
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

It didn't take long for Andre Akkari to rebuy. He fired his second bullet so fast we suspect he's on automatic fire.

But while Akkari is taking his second shot at his first LAPT title, Oscar Alache is taking his first shot of the day at his third title.

Alache won LAPT7 Peru and then followed it up with an LAPT win in Chile, his home country. Alache is one four dual-LAPT champions and this will be his final shot at becoming the only three-time LAPT champion.

He's got some competition though. Both Ignacio Barbero and Fabian Ortiz are in the field and both have two titles a piece.

Stay tuned to see if they can pull off the LAPT hat trick. --AV

6pm: Akkari is outta here
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

Team Pro Andre Akkari has just busted his first bullet. He check-shoved for 19,700 over a 6,100 bet on a 3♠K♦A♦ flop with the 4♦7♦, and was tank-called by his opponent who held the A♣4♠. The turn came the 3♥ and the river the T♣ and Akkari tapped the table and left.

Place your bets now as to whether or not he'll fire a second bullet. --JS

5:58pm: Nacho's topped up
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

The search is over. Nacho Barbero has re-entered, and has found himself on Vivian Saliba's table.

The two were both just involved in a pretty unremarkable pot. It was three-handed with Ramon Sorgatto and they all saw a 2♥K♥T♣ flop. It checked around to the 6♠ turn and Sorgatto led out for 3,200. Both Barbero and Saliba folded. --JS

5:55pm: Dispatches from the other Main Event
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

The stadium-like venue for the BSOP Millions festival is large enough to multiple main events at the same time.

While players are still flowing into the LAPT Main Event, the monstrous BSOP Millions Main Event has ticked below 100 players. One of the players still in contention for that title is Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Mojave Ramos. The final 95 players are now guaranteed R$14,750 (US $4,342) and Ramos is well above average and hoping to take home the title on home soil.


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Felipe Ramos and his tower of a stack at the feature table

Ramos isn't just Brazilian, he's a São Paulo native who gave readers some advice on what to do yesterday (mostly what to eat) while they're visiting São Paulo.

Right now he's focused on playing poker though since the top prize for the BSOP Millions Main Event is R$1,150,000 (US $338,389). Ramos is currently on the feature table and you can watch all the action (in Portuguese) right here. --AV

5:37pm: Gross pulls a few back
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

On a 6♦K♠5♦ flop, Jeff Gross checked it to Nicolas Malandre and he fired out a bet of 1,600. Gross called to see the 3♣ turn, which he'd check again. Melandre fired another bullet worth 3,500 and that was called quickly.

The J♦ completed the board and both checked, letting Gross take it down at showdown with his T♦T♥. Melandre mucked, and Gross got back up to 47,000. --JS


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5:30pm: Where for art thou Nacho Barbero?
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

Do my eyes deceive me? Or is two-time LAPT champ Nacho Barbero out of this event?

He's certainly not in the seat he started in, and there's no sign of him on any other tables either. Not to worry, if the Argentine has bust, he can always re-enter. This event has unlimited re-entries, open until the start of Day 2 tomorrow. --JS


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Any nachos about?

5:25pm: Saliba and Sturzenegger
Level 4 - Blinds 250/500, 50 ante

Vivian Saliba, the Paulista PLO champion, has been tangling with Federico Sturzenegger a lot.

The two have been involved in several pots and now they're almost even in chips after Saliba took down the latest one.

In that hand, Saliba opened to 1,025 from the cutoff and Sturzenegger called from the button. The flop came 6♠4♦7♦ and Saliba bet 800. Sturzenegger threw in a raise to 1,800 and Saliba called.

A 5♣ came on the turn and there was a round of checks. Players checked again when the 9♦ came on the river and Saliba turned over 8♥6♥. Sturzenegger looked at his cards, sighed and threw them in the muck.

Sturzenegger was left with about 38,000 while the hand put Saliba up to about 40,000. --AV

Vivian Saliba-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9848.jpg

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
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5:15pm: Tough start
Level 3 - Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

Andre Akkari isn't the only one having a bit of trouble early on. Jeff Gross just lost a bunch of chips after calling a big river bet from Fabian da Costa Teixeira.

I arrived at the table to see a 17,500 pot and Gross on the button. The action was on Teixeira, and he made it 12,725 to go leaving himself around 20,000 behind. Gross thought for a minute and eventually made the call, but he'd muck when his opponent flipped over the A♥A♣.

Gross dropped to 33,000 after that one. --JS

5pm: Gross makes his entrance
Level 3 - Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

Jeff Gross took the first few levels off but has just taken his seat in this event. We spoke to Gross yesterday where we told us all about how he feels about poker in Brazil, his love of football, and hanging out at Ronaldo's house playing poker at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Check out that article here.


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Gross with Ronaldo and PokerStars Blog's own Sergio Prado

4:55pm: About Schmidt
Level 3 - Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

There goes our first elimination. I picked up the action on a 3♥K♥7♣9♥ board, and a 30,000 pot was being played heads-up between Lewis Osvaldo and Carlos Schmidt. Osvaldo led for 15,000 and Schmidt was in the tank on the button. Eventually he stacked up all his chips and slid them over the line (around 35,000 total), and Osvaldo snap-called.

It was not surprising when we saw his hand: K♣K♦. Schmidt could only muster the J♦9♦ for second pair which was drawing dead to the set. The T♣ river changed nothing, and Schmidt made his exit.

Meanwhile Osvaldo has got off to an incredible start and is surely our chip leader right now with 190,000. --JS

4:40pm: Early dip
Level 3 - Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

And the party's off to a rough start for Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari.

Akkari raised to 1,025 from the hijack and got a call from the cutoff and button. Rubem Furtado was on the big blind and threw in a call as well.

All four players checked the 4♥K♣2♥ flop and a 4♣ came on the turn. Furtado bet 2,500 and only Akkari called.

A 3♣ completed the board and Furtado put out another bet worth 7,500. Akkari folded and was left with about 14,000 while Furtado's stack rose to nearly 80,000. --AV

4:25pm: Look who decided to join the LAPT Party...
Level 3 - Blinds 200/400, 50 ante

While Felipe Ramos is running deep in the BSOP Millions Main Event, his fellow Brazilian Pokerstars Team Pro Andre Akkari took his seat in this LAPT Main Event just before the break.

Vamo Akkari! --JS


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Andre Akkari

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
320040050

4:02pm: Break
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

Level 2 is done and players are now on a 15-minute break.

3:57pm: Carballo tackles Fernandez on the river
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez came in late, but dipped early.

In one hand, with about 3,500 in the pot, Fernandez and Ignacio Carballo, an Argentinian rugby player, were faced with a 2♠3♣A♣5♥ board. Both players checked but then Fernandez fired off a 5,500 bet when a Q♠ came on the river.

Carballo thought for a bit and then raised to 15,000. Fernandez quickly folded and was left with 28,300 while Carballo rose to about 72,000. --AV

Ignacio Carballo-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9869.jpg

Ignacio Carballo

3:50pm: Arriba Saliba!
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

One of the first players to take a seat in this event was Vivian Saliba, a São Paulo local who has had quite a year. She became the Paulista State PLO champion, as well as winning the CPH (Paulista Hold'em Championship) Main event, becoming the first woman to do so. She also represented Sao Paulo for the Paulista State team at the Brazil National Poker Championship, and came 11th in this very event last year, too. Let's see how she gets on this year. --JS


Vivian Saliba-LAPT-BSOPMILLION2016-9851.jpg

Vivian Saliba

3:45pm: Perez picks up the pot in his poncho
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

The action folded to Carlos Perez, who has arrived wearing a poncho over his t-shirt, and he opened to 2.5x the big blind, 750. The man to his immediate left, Luis Quintiliano then made a less than double three-bet to 1,300, and when it folded back to Perez he made the call.

The dealer spread a K♣2♣5♠ flop and Quintiliano continued for 2,000, which Perez called, taking us to the 7♠ turn. Quintiliano didn't slow down, now leading out for a 3,500 second barrel. Perez counted out calling chips but then adding quite a few to them, eventually raising it up to 9,200. That was enough to get his opponent to fold, and Perez raked in his new chips, but not before adjusting his poncho. --JS

3:30pm: A pair of Argentinians
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

Champions just keep on coming in.

Two recent additions include two Argentine LAPT champs. Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez won LAPT5 Panama for $171,930 back in 2012 and he also took down the LAPT5 São Paulo High Roller that same year.

Fernandez finished 2nd in the PCA High Roller before that and now he's on the hunt for his second LAPT title.

The other Argentinian already has a pair of LAPT titles. Jose Ignacio "Nacho" Barbero won two LAPTs in a row back in season 3, earning the nickname of "Back-to-Back Barbero". It was an incredible achievement, especially since Barbero won the £20,000 High Roller at EPT London a few months after that. --AV

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Jose Ignacio Barbero

3:15pm: One minute silence
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

As you may have heard, last night a tragic plane crash resulted in the death of 76 people, including the majority of a Brazilian football team, Chapecoense. Needless to say there is a sombre feeling in the air today as everyone is mourning such a terrible loss.

We've just had a one minute silence here in the poker room to remember those who lost their lives. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. --JS

3:05pm: Player of LAPT
Level 2 - Blinds 150/300, 25 ante

The LAPT's 9th season has featured five stops and dozens of events. Now that we're gearing up for the finale, we're also getting ready to crown the Player of the Year. Amos Ben is currently in the lead with 561.24 points and it's really no surprise, Ben always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard every season.

Last season the Chilean player finished 4th in the POY race and before that he finished second. That was step down for this dedicated LAPT grinder because he managed to clinch the Player of the Year title in season 6. Season 5 was a rough one for Ben since he didn't finish in the top 10, but he did finish a smooth 10th in season 4.

Ben, of course, is playing in the BSOP festival, but he has yet to take a seat at the LAPT Main Event because he still has chips in the BSOP Millions Main Event. Ben still has until the start of tomorrow to register for the event though and make his final hurrah as the player of the year, which would easily guarantee him LAPT Player of the Series status in our hearts. --AV

Amos Ben-BSOPMILLION2016-8758.jpg

Amos Ben Haim -- 561.24
Diego Vizcay -- 487.03
Nicolas Malandre Godoy -- 411.41
Cesar Lopez Lazo -- 375.73
Patricio Andres Rojas Parra -- 364.34
Georgios Sotiropoulos -- 361.97
Fabian Chauriye Rabah -- 349.72
Lucas Tabarin -- 347.77
Janir Muller -- 336.11
Taylor von Kriegenbergh -- 324.78

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
215030025

2:50pm: 100 players, and here are two of them
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200

It's getting busier here now, and you could say the field is getting tougher. Two-time LAPT champ Fabian Ortiz is here to try and win his third title in the tour's last ever event. Ortiz is fresh from a $123,244 win in the ARS$9,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event at the Circuito Argentino De Poker just last week.

Joining him is the talented pro Ricardo Chauriye. He's also had a great year, having taken down a €2,200 NLH side event at EPT13 Barcelona in August for €90,170, and also finishing third in a €1K turbo for €62,000 two days previously.

Chauriye knows a thing or two about this LAPT Brazil event. He placed fourth last year for R$261,340 ($70,152) and will hoping to go even further here this week. --JS

2:40pm: A few more
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200

Players keep rolling in and tables keep popping up.

LAPT regular Carlos Herrera is in the field with a Colombian flag draping his chair. Some of the recent additions involve some heavy hitters. Ignacio Carballo and Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino are fairly new to the felt, but they're at home on the rugby pitch. Carballo plays for Club Pucara, an Argentine Rugby Union, while Gonzalez is currently playing for the Jaguares.

Gonzalez is also part of the Argentina's national rugby team known as Los Pumas and he's also a part of the Argentine team that plays in the Rugby Championship. Now Gonzalez is hoping to cement his name in Argentinian poker with an LAPT title.

So far we've seen one player who's already had that honor and he won it in this very city. Chile's Alex Manzano won LAPT4 São Paulo for $368,722 back in 2011. It was his first tournament cash and he's stayed on the scene ever since. Manzano has scored four more LAPT cashes since his victory and he won a €10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event at EPT Barcelona for € 237,500 this August.

Now Manzano is hoping to put a seal on his LAPT career by taking the very last LAPT title. --AV

2:20pm: The early starters
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200

Players are still buying in and taking their seats, but we've already got a few notable names in the field.

Former Brazilian swimmer and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Fernando Scherer is playing. He's had a great BSOP so far, taking down theR$3,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event earlier this week for R$34,800. We wrote a piece about him which you can find here.

Also in the mix is Wagner Petry, a talented player who managed to take down two side events at LAPT9 Chile back in March. --JS


Wagner Petry-Winner PLO-LAPTViña9s-8331.jpg

Petry celebrating in Chile

2:01pm: Vamo! Cards are in the air
Level 1 - Blinds 100/200

We're off and running in the LAPT. There aren't too many players in seats just yet, but it's going to get busier and busier as the day goes on. We'll be back shortly after a walk around to see who's turned up early. --JS

11:15am: Last ever LAPT starts today

After a couple of days keeping an eye on the BSOP Millions here in São Paulo, it's time for our attention to switch over to the main reason we're in town. Today kicks off Day 1 of the last ever Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) stop before it becomes part of the PokerStars Championship and Festival brand.


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The poker room at the Sheraton WTC

After nine fantastic seasons, the LAPT will be sorely missed. But never fear; the largest ever tournament festival in Latin America has already been announced for next year! The PokerStars Championship in Panama will take place in March 2017, and you can find out more information on that event by clicking here.

We're sure to be in for an action-packed few days here at LAPT9 Brazil, and I do mean few. This R$8,000 buy-in tournament will play out over just three days, with only one Day 1 flight. We'll be bringing you live updates of that right here all day, so bookmark this page now. Then it'll be Day 2 tomorrow, and we'll play down to a winner on Day 3 on Thursday.

We believe the plan today is to play 10 one-hour levels, with 'reentradas ilimitadas' (or unlimited reentries) available through the beginning of Day 2. The starting stack is 50,000 with the blinds at 100/200, and there will be a 75-minute dinner break after Level 6.

Last year's winner in this event was Yuri Martins. The guy known online as 'theNERDguy' outlasted a field of 426 to take home the first place prize of R$652,509.


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2015 winner Yuri Martins

But who will be champion this year? That's what we're here to find out! Play kicks off at 2pm local time, so join us back here then. Obrigado! --JS


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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at LAPT9 Brazil: Alexander Villegas and Jack Stanton. Photos by Carlos Monti. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog
Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Latin American Poker Tour