LAPT Sao Paulo: Manzano leads the Day 2 charge

lapt-promo.gifThere's a legend in the poker world called the "curse of the Day 1 chip leader." We've seen it happen dozens of times. Guy or gal runs incredibly well, bags up an insanely large stack, and goes on to spew it all off by the end of Day 2. It's a sad, but all-too-often true. As Day 2 kicked off, all eyes were on Leandro Csome, but instead of witnessing an epic meltdown, we only watched his stack grow by the hour. For a while there, it appeared that Csome would go wire-to-wire. Although by night's end he was still in the lead pack with 959,000, by then chip leader honors had shifted to Alex Manzano, who made a late surge and will enter Day 3 with 1,189,000.

167 players returned to the Sheraton WTC's cavernous ballroom, each one secretly visualizing themselves hoisting the winner's trophy aloft and collecting the top prize of R$615,840. The plan was to play ten levels or down to 24 players, whatever came first. We prepared ourselves for a long day, but the gamble and chutzpah displayed by this group of players went far beyond our expectations. Only fifteen minutes into the ninth level of the day, we were down to our final three tables.

Today was a mixed bag for the field's five remaining Team Pros. Angel Guillen bagged up only 16,000 in chips last night and could not find a double-up this afternoon, ultimately busting out when his Q♠J♠ fell to A♣7♣. Although Nacho Barbero was comfortably cruising through the day, it all came to a crashing halt when he made an ill-timed bluff against Joao Torres. After Torres opened for 5,100, Barbero three-bet to 15,000 and Torres made the call. Barbero checked the K♠6♠2♠ flop over to Torres, who checked behind. The turn came the 7♦ and Barbero led out for 15,000. Torres min-raised to 30,000 and Barbero shoved in an attempt to push his opponent off his hand. Unfortunately for him, Torres snap-called, turning over A♠4♠ for the flopped nut flush. Barbero tried to muck his cards, but was forced to reveal his 6♥9♥. Oops.

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One of our favorite success stories on the LAPT is that of Daniela Zapiello. After winning her way in on a satellite, the petite 24 year-old Sao Paulo native made the final table at Season 3's stop in Punta del Este, Uruguay, ultimately finishing fifth for a life-changing $52,110 score. She entered Day 2 with just over 37,000 in chips, but her stint on the short stack wouldn't last for long. She got her money in the middle with pocket tens against Christian De Leon's A♦Q♠, flopping a set and turning a full house to KO the Mexican Team Pro and double her stack to 74,000. Less than an hour later, she was up to 170,000 after busting yet another tablemate and before we could even write up the hand and return to the floor, she was raking in another giant pot, a boom mike hovering over her head and a camera zooming in on her face. Half an hour after that, she was up to 265,000 after flopping a straight against an opponent's two pair. That proved to be Zapiello's high-water mark for the day, her stack yo-yoing throughout the evening before she bagged up 235,000.

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Maria "maridu" Mayrinck was hoping for a less frustrating time than she had yesterday, but picking up kings and then aces in two mis-dealt hands would send even a zen master reeling. Mayrinck chipped up to nearly 100,000 in the first few levels, but by the time we reached the money bubble, she was one of the shortest stacks left in the field with 27,000. She was almost resigned to her fate as the bubble girl when over at the next table, Diego Vilela moved all-in for his last 35,000 holding A♣J♦. Rodrigo Garrido made the call with pocket queens and flopped a set, sending Vilela to the rail empty-handed. The remaining 64 players were all in the money and guaranteed at least a R$9,570 payday. Mayrinck was eliminated in 60th place a short time later, leaving Humberto Brenes as the last Team Pro standing. Brenes will enter Day 3 with an above-average stack of 601,000.

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Man. Myth. "Chark." Humberto.

Right after the dinner break, Joao Neto seized the chip lead in a cooler of a hand. Neto got more than 400,000 in the middle before the flop with pocket kings, only to run into Marcelo Farias de Andrade 's pocket aces. Neto must have been due a bit of run-good, however, as he hit a set on the K♦T♥7♦9♠4♠ board to take him up to 875,000 in chips. Neto kept on truckin' all evening and will start Day 3 with 1,089,000.

Speaking of run-good, our new chip leader Alex Manzano had no shortage of it today. Manzano eliminated two players in the last hour of play to take his stack into the seven-figure range. After snap-calling Neuri Campos' all-in with pocket queens, he outran his opponent's ace-king in nausea-inducing fashion, an ace appearing in the door with a queen right behind it. A few orbits later, Manzano sent Joao Torres packing when he flopped a set of fours against Torres' pocket kings in an 800,000 pot.

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Alex Manzano

In the strangest incident of the day (heck, one of the strangest we've ever seen on tour), Leandro Csome had the dubious honor of winning the easiest pot of the tournament. Following Csome's 15,000 opening raise, Gustavo Prato moved all-in for 120,000. Prato's cards were uncapped and set a bit further out than normal (they were in front of his chip stack) and as the player on his left folded, the dealer swept both hands into the muck. With Prato's chips in the middle without a hand to play, Csome simply had to call the all-in and turn up his hole cards to win the pot and send Prato packing. Several floor supervisors attended to the situation, agreeing that not only was it impossible to recover Prato's cards and play out the hand, but that it is ultimately the player's responsibility to protect his cards. On the flip side, Csome could have elected to fold, surrendering his initial 15,000 raise and allowing Prato to pull his chips back. But that's all water under the bridge now.

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Leandro Csome

Our final 24 will return at 1pm tomorrow to play down to a final table of eight. We do hope you join us again. For a complete look at the chip counts head over to the LAPT chip count page and to see what they're competing for, take a gander at the prizes and winners page. We know about four words in Portuguese and none of them are printable here (except "cerveja") so if you'd like to read about the day in Brazil's native tongue, check out the PokerStars Brazilian blog. If it's Spanish you prefer, look no further than the Latin American blog.

If you missed any of today's action or just want to relive it all, click on these links:

Levels 11-14 live updates
Levels 15-19 live updates

That's all, folks-- it's caipirinha time. Bon noite from Sao Paulo.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sao Paulo