LAPT Grand Final: Meanwhile, back at the tournament...

lapt-promo.gifIn between all the samba dances, caipirinhas and Brazilian flash mobs, there's this little poker tournament going on in the WTC Sheraton ballroom.

We're halfway home on Day 3. Playing for three hours has resulted in eight of the sixteen executions scheduled for the day. Among the ranks of the fallen is Team PokerStars Pro (and Day 3's shortest stack) Humberto Brenes. Brenes came close to final tabling here in Sao Paulo at the start of the season, notching a 15th-place finish last February. This year he "qualified for Carnival" in 23rd place.


Carnival is this year's parting gift for the recently eliminated

For the remaining sixteen players, the stakes keep going up. The big stacks remain Caio Pimenta and Vincenzo Giannelli, who both seem poised to push through to tomorrow's final table. Giannelli, we remind you, predicted at the start of Day 2 that he would win the tournament. Talk is cheap but he's doing his best to back it up with action.

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is showing no ill effects from a late night at Carnival last night, a night he described as "a +EV life decision that does conflict with poker EV but feels like the right call". (For what it's worth, Brad Willis and I agree with Daniel.) He's worked his stack up to more than 730,000 in chips, a respectable 60 big blinds at the current blind level. As reported by our colleagues at PokerNews, Daniel's gunning to become the first player to make the final table of an EPT event, APPT event and LAPT event. He accomplished the first two legs at EPT Vienna (4th place) and the APPT Grand Final in Sydney (9th place) in 2010.

These two tables aren't the only table in the room, of course. Day 2 of a re-entry side event kicked off at noon, as did a super satellite to this evening's BRL10,000 Super High Roller event. For those with a little more gamble in their blood there's a BRL600 Turbo event at 6pm.

The room is packed, the chips are chirping and the cards are flying. It's exactly what you'd expect for an LAPT Grand Final.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in Grand Final