LAPT Sao Paulo: Levels 1-4 live updates (Blinds 100-200-25)

lapt-promo.gif4:15pm: Break time
Players are on a 15-minute break. We'll be moving to a new post for levels 5-8.

4:07pm: Full prize pool information
We now have the full payout list for LAPT Sao Paulo. You can find it by clicking that link. The R$ 2,391,630 prize pool will go to the top 64 finishers of this event. Winners will walk away with a minimum of R$ 9,570. The champion will pocket R$ 615,840. If you're not reading from Brazil or don't typically pay your bills in Brazilian Reals, the exchange rate currently sits at at approximately 1 Real = .6 USD.

If our math is correct, that means the victor will pull in somewhere in the neighborhood of $370,586.11 American. Looking back at past statistics, only one LAPT winner (Season 2 Grand Final champ) Dominik Nitsche has won more. He picked up $381,030. However, it should be pointed out, the buy-in for that tournament was $5,200 USD and the field was only 291 strong. Also, due to the vagaries of field size and payout percentages, the prize pool in Nitsche's event was also less than this main event.

So, the upshot of all of it is this: The 536 players in the LAPT Sao Paulo main event is by far the biggest field in LAPT history. It is also carries the biggest prize pool in the four seasons of the LAPT. The winner of this event will be the second-biggest winner since LAPT began (and only by a small margin).--BW

3:54pm: When it rains...
Following his double-up only minutes ago, Martin Sansour continued riding his wave of good fortune and picked up another substantial pot. On a 9♣4♠2♣ flop, Sansour checked from the big blind, the cutoff checked, and the button made it 2,000 to go. Sansour called and the cutoff folded. The turn came the 3♦ and Sansour checked again. The button bet 3,100 and just as the chips hit the felt, Sansour announced a raise to 7,500. The button gave up his hand and Sansour raked in the pot, increasing his stack to 33,000. --KB

3:53pm: Big money comin'
We've just had a sneak peek at the payouts, and they aren't tiny. Here's what we know: The prize pool amounted to R$ 2,391,630. The winner of this event will take home R$ 615,840. We'll have a full list of payouts in just a few minutes.--BW

3:40pm: Sansour sailing
It seems Season 3 LAPT Grand Final champ Martin Sansour's case of run-good is still hanging around. Down to around 10,000 in chips, he saw a flop with 6♠7♠. The flop was the pretty, but dangerous kind: T♠5♠9♦. With the gutterball and flush draw, he got it all in against K♣K♦. The 5♣ on the river was a whiff (and took away one of his spade outs, to boot), but the 8♥ filled up his straight for the double-up. --BW

3:29pm: Nacho Supreme
Over on Nacho Barbero's table, there was already 3,600 in the pot when the flop came down K♣8♥4♥. Barbero led out for 1,400 from the small blind and his lone opponent on the button raised to 5,200. Barbero called, and both players checked the 9♠ on the turn. The river was the 3♥ and Nacho tossed out 5,500. The button folded and with that pot, Barbero took his stack up to more than 55,000. --KB


3:16pm: Blinds up
With three levels of play in the books, the players are keeping the 100-200 blinds the same and adding a 25 ante.--BW

3:10pm: So, what does a record-breaking field look like
In case you were curious about what this record-breaking field looks like, this might shed some light on it.--BW


2:58pm: Official (record-breaking) numbers
With registration now closed, the final tally of players in the LAPT Sao Paulo main event stands at 536. As we noted before, this is the largest event in the history of the LAPT, shattering the previous record of 398 players at Season 1's stop in San Jose, Costa Rica. --KB

2:52pm: A long way from West Virginia
We're always on the lookout for early big stacks, and the largest one we've seen so far belongs to Hobart Adkins, a man with a deep Appalachian drawl and more than 57,000 in chips. Adkins won his seat in a satellite and hopes to turn yet another matchstick into a lumberyard-- he accomplished that very feat last summer when he made a runner-up finish in the Espana Poker Series-Madrid for more than $82,000. --KB

2:45pm: Chip counts
Check out the chip count page (link on the right) for some fresh counts from the break.

2:40pm: Fresh faces
A couple of new but familiar faces in the crowd: Bolivar Palacios who most recently lit up the PCA for a 6th place finish. Just a table away is Nico Fierro who final tabled the LAPT Season 3 Grand Final. --BW

2:20pm: Back from break
It's going to take a while to get this many people back in their seats, but it's time to get the cards back in the air. --BW

2:18pm: The incredible bouncing Gomes
We reported early on in the day that Alex Gomes' crushed set (he ran into a well-disguised straight) had him down below 4,000 in chips. At the break, Gomes had...wait for it...42,000.--BW

2:17pm: Players take a 10-minute break

1:54pm: A Brazilian triptych
The lineup on Table 18 just got tougher. Now occupying the one seat is Christian Kruel, a Rio de Janiero-based player who, according to his tablemate Maria "maridu" Mayrinck, was the first Brazilian pro to find major success on the international tournament circuit in the post-boom years. Kruel made the final table of the PCA Main Event back in 2005, finishing in eighth place for over $90,000 and last summer won the Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event for a $77,000 score.

On his left is one of the LAPT's great success stories. On our Season 3 stop in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Daniela Zapiello parlayed a satellite win into a fifth-place finish in the main event, earning $52,110. The petite Sao Paulo native is now a full-time MTT grinder on PokerStars. Since her score in Punta, she's won the $22 cubed and the $27.50 $30k Guarantee for over $14,000 combined and made a runner-up finish in the $11 rebuy last month for another $6,875. --KB


Daniela Zapiello

1:49pm: One big happy family
After a day that saw the outer hallway acting as an overflow area for tables, the Hallway 40 are finally making their way into the main room. Only one table of the exiled remains on the other side of the big doors. --BW

1:35pm: Cox goes for broke
Shortly after falling back to 7,200, Rory Cox limped in with a host of others at his table (something that has proven to be fairly normal around these parts). Everybody checked the Q♦5♦3♦ flop. On the 8♣ turn, Cox called a 1,500 bet. Cox faced a 2,200 bet on the 9♠ river. He wasted no time before tossing in his last 5,225 chips. That earned him the pot without a showdown. In other news, five people, including Cox limped into the next pot... --BW

1:22pm: Cox can't connect
American Rory Cox is another player experiencing a rough go of it in the early levels. Down to 9,000 in chips, Cox called from the big blind following a 300-chip opening raise from middle position and a call from the button. The flop came down 7♠3♠2♥ and Cox led out for 550. Both opponents called. Cox slowed down and checked when the Q♦ hit the turn, the initial raiser checked, and the button made it 1,000 to go. Cox called and the middle position player folded. Both players checked the J♣ on the river, the button turning up K♣Q♠ for the win as Cox mucked. He's down to 7,200 in chips. --KB

1:18pm: Leo and the "Chark"
Leo Fernandez made a fashionably late arrival to the tournament, showing up just in time to play the second level. In a second pairing of Team Pros, Fernandez is seated at the same table as Humberto Brenes, who along with his usual menagerie of shark card cappers, is wielding a larger one today. This one is almost a foot long... and it squeaks when squeezed. --KB

1:06pm: Start your engines
In the old days around the LAPT, we had but one stock car driver in the field. Gualter Salles was always our go-to man for racing cliches. Now we have another. Thiago Camilo sits in the field today, too. A one-time racing Salles teammate, Camilo is now racing for another team. If we're lucky, we can convince the guys to go heads-up on the streets of Sao Paulo (which, if you're at all familiar with Sao Paulo traffic, means they'll be racing at about 2 mph). In any case, Camilo is no slouch at the poker table. He's won several high-dollar event on PokerStars. Now, it's time to see how he plays here on his home turf. --BW


Thiago Camilo playing Day 1

Camilo in 2008 in the International Stars Kart Challenge

1:00pm: Blinds up, 75-150

12:57pm: Gomes stumbles early
The board read 6♥2♥8♦3♠T♠ as we happened upon Table 41, current home to Brazilian Team Pro Alex Gomes. The player in seat 2 led out for 1,125 on the river, Gomes quickly raised to 2,700, and a third opponent in seat 7 snap-called. Seat 2 folded and the cards went on their backs.

Gomes turned up 8♥8♠ for a flopped set, but his opponent showed 4♠5♥ for a six-high straight. Gomes is down to 6,200 from his 20,000 starting stack, but nevertheless offered a smile and a few words in Portuguese (nice hand?) to the man raking in his chips. --KB


12:39pm: Top 5 LAPT fields
With about 20 minutes left to play in the first level (and until registration is scheduled to close) we already know this will be the biggest LAPT main event field in history. Until we get the final numbers, here's a look at the top five LAPT fields. --BW

Sao Paulo (Season 4): ?
San Jose (Season 1): 398
Lima (Season 3): 384
Florianopolis (Season 3): 364
Punta del Este (Season 1) 351


Team PokerStars Pro Christian de Leon sitting among the record field

12:27pm: More familiar faces
As we continue to wade through the record field, here are a few more people we've recognized: Damien Salas, Jesus Bertoli, Max Stern, Rory Cox, and soccer star Paulo Rink. --BW

12:14pm: Packing 'em in
Although registration is still open (and there is still a long queue at the window), it's pretty safe to say that this event has already shattered previous LAPT attendance records. At least 50 tables are packed into a cavernous ballroom here at the Sheraton WTC, and about half a dozen tables are set up in the outside hallway.

Despite the huge crowd, two Team PokerStars Pros found themselves drawn to the same table-- Angel Guillen and Christian De Leon, who both hail from Mexico. We've also spotted Andre Akkari, Alex Gomes, LAPT Vina Del Mar runner-up Vincenzo Giannelli, Gualter Salles, newly minted Team Online player Diego Brunelli, and Costa Rican poker queen Maria Stern. --KB

12:01pm: Shuffle up and "something in Portuguese"
Despite not understanding much of anything said just a minutes ago, the cards are now in the air. We'll be back shortly with a look at who is playing today. --BW

11:50am: The Day 1 trickle
Players are beginning to trickle into the tournament room. Some of them are slower than others. I won't make any guesses why. In unrelated news, the LAPT and PokerStars threw a nice little party down the street last night. I was in bed by midnight, but in the words of Sergio Prado, our Brazilian correspondent, last night's event was a "Brazilian Party," which apparently goes a long way toward explaining everything. --BW


A publishable photo from last night's welcome party

11:24am: LAPT Sao Paulo ready to begin
If the LAPT was going to break a record for the size of a main event field, this was the place to do it. Sao Paulo is one heckuva big city. It's the most populated in the southern hemisphere with more than eleven million people inside the city's border and millions more in the greater metropolitan area. It's one of the world's top ten biggest cities and packs nearly 8,000 residents into every square kilometer.

So, it is coming as no surprise that this main event will be the biggest in LAPT history. Before today, the biggest ever field was 398 strong. That came during Season 1 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Since then, only Season 3's LAPT Lima main event came close.

Moments ago, we heard from the tournament staff that registration numbers are creeping up toward the 500 mark. The tourney is capped at 560 players, so it's going to get close regardless.

As such, it's going to be a long day. We're told the players will be slogging through a ten-level day and not finishing until some time after midnight.

We'll be here reporting starting at noon local time (that's ET +3 hours, if you're keeping score) until play breaks for the night. Stick with us. This is going to be a big one. --BW


LAPT Sao Paulo live update reporting team (in order of amount of unnecessary sugar consumed last night): Kristin "Change100" Bihr (ten tablespoons), Brad Willis (also ten tablespoons, and no it was not a coincidence)

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Sao Paulo