LAPT9 Uruguay: Two-time champ Oscar Alache ascends to Day 1B chip lead

It was another fast-paced, action-filled day in the big ballroom here in the Conrad Hotel & Casino where Day 1B of the Latin American Poker Tour Uruguay Main Event played out. 

Among the players coming out today was two-time LAPT Main Event champion Oscar Alache of Chile who we watched struggle through the afternoon session, going bust just before the dinner break. That was the last chance to reenter, and so he did, and in the night's final four levels he managed to spin the 20,000-chip starting stack all of the way to a leading 177,700, just nudging past Day 1A leader Fabian De La Fuente (176,400) to return to the biggest stack tomorrow.


Oscar Alache-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7315.jpg

Oscar Alache with chips (again)

There were 176 entries yesterday, and we expected more to come out for today's final starting flight. There were around 100 seated at for the high noon start, and by the first break they'd already eclipsed yesterday's total, with the field ultimately growing to 257 entries. Put together with the Day 1A group -- and adding the five no-shows -- the total turnout is an impressive 438 entries.

A total of 96 players made it through today to join the 59 who survived yesterday. Joining Alache to form the big-stacked brigade tonight were Javier Venegas (159,200), Gustavo Echeverri (138,000), Matheus Zilberknop (112,100), Amos Ben (112,000), Guillero Garcia (110,900), and Lisandro Gallo (107,100). 

Others making it through included Nacho Barbero (86,500), Andres Korn (84,500), Fabian Chauriye (83,400), Bruno Foster (64,800), and Gabrielle Costa (47,900). Click here for a full list of end-of-Day-1B chip counts, and scroll below for start-to-finish coverage of all the action from today. You can also go here for a combined list of all 155 players coming back for Day 2 and their counts. 

Play resumes tomorrow with Day 2 at 12 noon local time (one hour ahead of ET). Join us then as we'll continue to find out together who'll be the next LAPT champion. Until then, dulces sueños! --MH


LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event Day 1B Updates

12:01pm: Day 1B concludes

The last hands of the day have been dealt, and it indeed looks as though Oscar Alache has seized the end-of-night lead. Recap to come. --MH

11:56pm: "Dos manos mas"
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

The better part of ten levels have played out and with the tournament clock stopped, everyone in this Day 1B flight has two more hands until the end of the night. -- WOC

11:49pm: Barbero nearly ruins Ruhen after wild river
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

An entertaining hand just played out on Table 1 involving three Argentinian players -- all sitting in a row -- as they near the call to stop the clock and play the night's final hands.

After Marco Zevola opened for 2,200 from the button, Nacho Barbero three-bet to 6,500 from the small blind, then Hector Ruhen called from the big blind, prompting a fold from Zevola.

The flop came J♣A♣A♠ and both players checked, with Ruhen darting a look at Barbero and offering a wry grin as he did. The turn was the 2♦ and when Barbero bet 5,200, Ruhen called quickly, kind of shaking his head and chuckling to himself as he did.

The river was the Q♦, and Barbero gathered together a bet of 18,500. Ruhen's head shaking slowed down a bit, then he interestingly pulled together chips to put out a raise. Barbero quickly announced he was all-in for a little more, and Ruhen called right away.

Ruhen tabled Q♣Q♥ for queens full of aces, then Barbero showed his hand -- A♥Q♠ for a better full house! The river had brought the case queen and all of that action, and the pair patted each other's shoulders as now both were shaking their heads and how the hand had gone.

Barbero is suddenly up close to 100,000 while Ruhen slips to less than 10,000. --MH

11:41pm: Alache looking like king of flight
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Oscar Alache was one of those late registering gainers after the dinner break and midway through the final level of the night, the reigning LAPT Player of the Year picked up another serious addition to his stack. The pre flop action was missed but after a few raises, there was a three-way all-in, with Alache closing the action with a call of a nearly 50,000 chip shove.

That player held Q♥Q♦ and a short stack, who had close to 8,000, held A♣Q♠. Alache had them both in bad shape though, as he turned over K♣K♠.

The K♥9♠7♣ flop more or less sealed the other two player's fates and after the turn brought the 5♣, they were drawing dead. Both players tapped the table as the 6♦ completed the board and when the dust settled, Alache was teetering on 180,000.

That's likely going to be good for not only the 1B chip lead but also the overall lead heading into Day 2, unless someone can best that figure over the next half-hour. -- WOC


Oscar Alache-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7224.jpg

Oscar on the rise

11:29pm: Gallo grows stack
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

After Bernardo Abramovich limped from the cutoff and the small blind called, Lisandro Gallo squeeze-raised to 3,100 from the big blind, earning calls from both. The flop came 5♣A♣Q♥, and when checked to Gallo fired another bet, good enough to earn him the small pot. 

Gallo has been earning pots in Punta for longer than most in this field. We mentioned earlier how Ernesto Panno had participated in the very first LAPT here in Uruguay (see below, 6:11pm). So, too, did Gallo, who in fact made it all of the way to third place in that event. He'd finish 14th in the LAPT Main in Punta del Este as well, and has been a regular on the tour ever since.

While Abramovich continues to battle with about 38,000, Gallo has grown his stack up over 90,000 now. --MH

11:13pm: Chauriye chipping up
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Checking in on Fabian Chauriye's table, he just kicked off the night's last level by winning a small hand versus Alexandre Sako. 

Chauriye has chipped up over 90,000 now, while Sako slipped to 35,000. --MH

11:04pm: Last level of the night begins
Level 10: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

As the Day 1B field nears just 100 players, they begin the 10th and final level of the night. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
105001,000100


11:01pm: Chauriye wins 'classic' flip against Fernandez
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

To win poker tournaments, you have to win flips and Fabian Chauriye just won a big one against Leo Fernandez. Action was picked up with player opening to 1,600 from early position and after a fold, Fernandez called. The table then folded around to Chauriye, who was in the small blind, and he three-bet to 4,900.

The initial bettor folded and the Team PokerStars Pro inspected Chauriye's stack and then his own. The three-bettor had just under 35,000 behind and after some thought, and a slight shrug of his shoulders, he put all his blue 5,000 value chips into the middle.

It was enough to put Chauriye all-in and the Chilean quickly called, tabling Q♥Q♣. Fernandez held A♣K♦ and the two were off to the races. Chauriye held through the J♥6♦5♠ flop and after the 9♦ fell on the turn, Fernandez had just six outs to score the knockout.

The 6♥ wasn't one of them, meaning Chauriye had survived the classic flip. As the dealer cut down his stack, he turned to his brother Ricardo, who was at an adjacent table to give him the good news. That he was now playing over 70,000 and back near the top of the leaderboard, where he stared this Day 1B flight. Leo Fernandez is also back where he started, with just over a 20,000 chip starting stack. --WOC

10:59pm: Korn collects from Costa
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

A set of community cards showing 3♥6♣2♣4♠Q♦ was enough incentive for Gabrielle Costa to fire a river bet versus her lone opponent, Andres "Cacho" Korn, as she had A♥Q♥ and had paired up on fifth street. 

But the board was good enough for Korn to call, as he had flopped a set with 2♦2♠ and still felt good enough about it to stick around. 

Korn's call earned him the pot, and he's up around 60,000 now. Costa slips to 72,000 near the end of Level 9 . --MH

10:49pm: No stopping Venegas either
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

If there has been on recurring theme throughout this Day 1B flight, it's that only one player is allowed to be over the 100,000 chip mark at a time. Marcello Caleres was the first to break that threshold, before the dinner break, and he kept himself above that number over the last two levels.

Heading towards the end of Level 9 though, Caleres has fallen and Javier Venegas has taken his place. Venegas is even peaking for this second starting session, as he's over 125,000, a mark no one has dared near so far today.

If Venegas is able to continue to build, he could challenge Fabian De La Fuente for clubhouse lead heading into Day 2, as 'FDLF' bagged 176,000 to pace Day 1A's 59 survivors. A complete list of yesterday's counts can be found on the right sidebar of the PokerStars blog. -- WOC

10:38pm: No stopping Zilberknop
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

Matheus Zilberknop of Brazil is doing well for himself here on Day 1B, having steadily accumulated all day to sit among the group of players with bigger stacks midway through Level 9.

Like many others in the field, Zilberknop comes back to the Conrad after having tasted success here before, in his case having final tabled the BSOP Main Event here in Punta del Este back in June (the one won by Jaime Ateneloff). Zilberknop took eighth in that one out of 786 entries, good for a $9,370 score -- the largest of his career thus far.

He's got a smaller field to outlast in this tournament, and it keeps shrinking as they are down around 115 Day 1B players at present (with 59 having made it through Day 1A). Zilberknop's stack of 85,000 right now puts him in good position to make it to tomorrow's Day 2. --MH

10:28pm: Easy translation of 'chip leader'
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

It seems as though every time these English speaking bloggers come to South America, we learn something new and today's Spanish lesson came from Lisandro Gaucho. As we were circling the tournament area, he asked, roughly, "What the chip leader was playing?" to which we shook our head.

We explained that we really only know how to order "jamon y queso" omelettes and the occasional glass of "agua". He then quickly solved the problem himself, asking "cuantos" and pointing to his stack and the room.

After a moment of thought we realized what he was asking and explained that the biggest stack so far today was just over the 100,000 mark. We then wanted to further our journey into the Spanish language and asked, "¿Como se dice 'chip leader'?"

The table looked at each other and laughed, with Gaucho answering, "Eh, 'chip leader'."

Spanish is pretty easy huh? It's also easy to follow all the chip count updates on the PokerStars Blog, with a complete list of big stacks coming at the end of this Day 1B session. --WOC


Ballroom-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7208.jpg

Day 1B continues

10:19pm: Big-stacked Ben
Level 9: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

LAPT Season 6 Player of the Year Amos Ben entered this event late, taking his seat just before the dinner break and end of late registration. However, as we just noted before the last break, he's made the most of his short time at the tables, and now sits with one of the bigger stacks in the room. 

Just now he reraise-shoved over a short-stack's opening all-in to isolate, then tabled A♥T♥ which had his opponent's A♥T♥ dominated. A runout of 8♥J♠A♣7♥6♠ then reduced the field by one while pushing Ben up around 90,000. That's twice the average right now as there are about 120 left from the 257 Day 1B starters. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
9400800100


9:52pm: One more break

With Level 8 done, players are off on their last 15-minute break of the night. --MH


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9:48pm: Caleres still leads, plenty of creme rising
Level 8: Blinds 300/600, Ante 75

Amos Ben-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7182.jpg

Ben built quickly after dinner

Better late than never and while that applies to players peaking heading into the final break of the night, it also is when a lot of the current leaderboard entered this Day 1B flight. Chip leader Marcello Caleres, who held the top stack on dinner, has been here for the last few hours but the same can not be said for some of the most experienced in the field, Amos Ben, Oscar Alache and Leo Fernandez.

Those three came in on either side of the dinner break and have quickly gotten to work building their stacks. Ben has seen the biggest upswing, as he's now playing the better part of 80,000, adding three starting stacks in the course of two hours.

Ben is behind a top-five stack, with Gustavo Echeverri, Javier Venegas, Alache and Fernandez right behind him. Pablo Alma and Claudio Moya are within touching distance, behind three stacks and it will be interesting to see how these players attack the final two periods.

The PokerStars Blog will be here to bring you all the action until the bags come out after Level 10, with a list of the top stacks provided below. --WOC

Player Chip Count
Marcello Caleres103,000
Lisandro Gaucho93,000
Marco Zevola87,000
Matias Manta84,000
Amos Ben81,000
Gustavo Echeverri79,000
Javier Venegas76,000
Andres "Cacho" Korn72,000
Oscar Alache67,000
Leo Fernandez65,000
Murillo Gaissler65,000
Gabriella Costa63,000
Pablo Alma61,000
Claudio Moya 61,000

9:36pm: Hard not to believe earnest Ernesto
Level 8: Blinds 300/600, Ante 75

A three-way hand marked by lots of table talk and laughter made it to the turn with about 8,000 in the pot and the board showing A♠4♥T♠Q♥

Suddenly all grew quiet, that queen on the turn appearing to have changed the complexion of things considerably. It checked around to Ernesto Panno who picked out a bet of 3,500, and his opponents each paused just a beat -- stealing looks at the earnest-looking Ernesto -- before ditching their cards. 

Panno then tabled his hand -- 5♦5♥ (!) -- and that got the table talk started again. Panno has about 25,000 right now. --MH

9:30pm: Federico Roberto's five-bet wins game of 'Chicken'
Level 8: Blinds 300/600, Ante 75

Usually, hands that don't go to a flop aren't exactly reportable but a five-bet changes the situation drastically. Federico Roberto just forced a fold after putting in the fifth raise, to move himself over the chip average.

Action was picked up with Fabian Chauriye opening in the cutoff and Roberto responded with a three-bet to 3,400 from the button. The blinds folded and Chauriye slid out 8,100, for a four-bet, a move that sent his opponent into the tank.

Roberto looked like he was going to fold, shuffling his cards for close to a minute and a half before returning them underneath one of his small denomination chips. He then verbalized "15,000" and put out three neat stacks of yellow 1,000 value chips to total that amount.

Chauriye flicked his headphones from his ear and asked for confirmation, before taking a trip to the tank himself. After another minute of thought from Chauriye, he let his hand go and Roberto was taking in the pot without having to even see three community cards. --WOC

9:19pm: 438 is the number
Level 8: Blinds 300/600, Ante 75

We've just gotten the word -- 438 entries is the official total for this event, counting the 176 Day 1A entries, the 257 on Day 1B, and five no-shows. Prize pool information coming later on! --MH

9:06pm: Fun with Fernandez
Level 8: Blinds 300/600, Ante 75

Earlier today we saw a humorous hand play out between German Fernandez Schemini of Uruguay and Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez. 

The hand had reached the river, with a king the first community card and an ace having bookended the board on fifth street. After a Fernandez check, Schemini had bet into the pot and with a lot of exasperation Fernandez finally folding, showing a king as he did. Schemini then cheekily showed his hand -- a bluff with a couple of medium cards -- and Fernandez held his head in a kind of half-genuine, half-joking dismay.

The table laughed in response, and while time has passed the mood has remained fairly light there post-dinner. Just now things turned a little more serious, though, in a multi-way pot involving Fernandez, Schimini, and Fabian Chauriye.

After a Chauriye open from under the gun to 1,500, five players called including Fernandez in the hijack seat and Schimini in the big blind. The flop put an ace and a king on the board again, and came single-suited -- 8♦A♦K♦. It folded around to Fernandez who fired 2,100, then everyone folded back to Chauriye who studied deeply for nearly a minute before letting his hand go.

When Fernandez mucked face down, declining to show his hand, Chauriye grunted in disappointment. Then the pair engaged in conversation and the smiles returned, Fernandez's hiding whether he'd bluffed or not.


Leo Fernandez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7176.jpg

Leo smiling, not showing

Fernandez has about 25,000 right now, Schemini about 35,000, and Chauriye is still sitting comfortably with over 60,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
830060075


8:53pm: No days off for Carlos Cai
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

Players that bagged during yesterday's Day 1A flight were given an off day before the starting flights combine tomorrow but some players didn't want to miss any of the LAPT9 Uruguay action. Carlos Cai was one of them and he made his time worth it, as he claimed the $200 PL Omaha title just after the dinner break concluded.


Carlos Cai-Winner PLO 200-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7190.jpg

Cai picked up some hardware before Day 2

With one win under his belt already, Cai could pose a threat to add to his LAPT9 haul tomorrow. He'll return for tomorrow's Day 2 session below the chip average but with a workable 30 big blind stack, Cai will be a contender. --WOC

8:40pm: Straight flush catapults Alache
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

"Now?"

So asked the dealer (in Spanish) of a couple of players holding up proceedings briefly to take photos with their phones. What were they snapping? It was the board and two hands -- the aftermath of an all-in involving two-time LAPT champion Oscar Alache.

We noted how Alache had been eliminated just prior to the dinner break, and as expected he bought back in just before the opportunity to reenter was taken away. After chipping up a bit, he got another huge boost just now after knocking out an opponent.

That picture-worthy board was 3♦J♥7♦9♥Q♥, with the losing A♦A♠ on one side and Alache's winner on the other -- K♥T♥ for a straight flush. 

That brings Alache up to around 65,000 now, suddenly close to twice the average stack in the room. --MH

8:27pm: Table 1 is on 'Nacho Time'
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

Playing both live and online, like Nacho Barbero did yesterday, is great for the player that is doing it. He's seemingly always going to have a hand or decision, especially when multi-tabling online. For the other players at the table, it might not be as great when Barbero pays more attention to the virtual felt than the hand that is right in front of him.

Barbero just played a pot against Marco Zevola, with that action opening with a 1,200 chip raise from the latter. Barbero, who was the next player to act, three-bet to 3,000 and while the table folded, Barbero looked like he could care less. He was busy swiping and tapping his iPad, finally picking his head up to see that Zevola had called and already checked the J♣T♥7♦ flop.

The multi-tabler quickly tapped the table as well, seeming more focused on a hand that was playing out on the screen in front of him. The K♣ brought another check from Zevola, this time with a little more force to perhaps nudge the Argentine into a quicker turn decision.

Barbero got his online clicks and taps out of the way before throwing out 3,400 and after some thought, Zevola called. The 5♥ completed the board and Zevola gave another heavy fist to the table. Barbero was on his own time though, as he was facing an all-in on his screen. He clicked call and the cards ran across the screen, followed by the PokerStars 'Knockout!' banner, signifying a successful elimination.

There was no reaction from Barbero but there was a 5,500 chip bet, eventually, and after a few seconds, Zevola mucked and the table readied themselves for the next hand. While he was stacking 35,000 chips, Barbero ordered a coffee from the waitress and went back to clicking, eyes fixed on the colorful screen in front of him... --WOC

8:19pm: Venegas vaults himself into contention
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

Before the dinner break, we reported a majority of the players that were above three starting stacks and through the opening portion of Level 7, Javier Venegas has pushed himself into that category. The Argentine is now behind close to 73,000, which is still only second best at his Day 1B table.

That's because Gabriella Costa still holds the chip lead in that lineup and if you remember, a fortunate river, check the 4:04 PM update below, saved her tournament life against Venegas. Those two have both come back from earlier short stacks and they'll try to continue to chip up, while staying out of each other's way for now, through the rest of this 1B session. --WOC

8:09pm: Ateneloff out
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

Among the early post-dinner knockouts is Uruguay's "Godfather of Poker," Jaime Ateneloff, who couldn't spin his short stack back up after battling gamely the last few levels. --MH

8:02pm: What the big board says
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

The big board has now settled at 257 entries -- which put with yesterday's 176 would mean 433 altogether -- but they'll have to go through and finalize that total before a prize pool will come. 

Right now we're looking at 160 players still left from the Day 1B field. And we can say for sure that number won't be getting any larger, as the ability to reenter went away with the closing of late registration. --MH

7:58pm: Back from dinner, field frozen, official numbers coming soon
Level 7: Blinds 250/500, Ante 50

We're back from the Day 1B dinner break and that means that this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event field is frozen. While the board reads just over 250 players for this second and final starting flight, we are still waiting on the official number from the tournament staff.

When the player count is confirmed, we'll bring you that information, as well as the relevant prize pool information as well. Those figures won't come into play until tomorrow's Day 2 session but players will certainly want to know what they are competing for here in Punta de Este. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
725050050


6:40pm: Dinner break

Having reached the end of Level 6, players are now off on a 75-minute dinner break. When they return they'll play four more one-hour levels before calling it a night. --MH


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6:35pm: Caleres controls chip lead, handful over three stacks
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

We're just a few minutes from the end of Level 6, which means that the leaderboard is starting to come together with more than half of this 1B flight in the books. As it stands, Marcello Caleres, who earlier cracked pocket kings and aces, is controlling the chip lead with just over 100,000.

He's the only player working more than six-figures but there are a handful of players with over three starting stacks. Marco Zevola is one of them, meaning he'll head into the post-dinner portion of play for the second day in a row with a top stack.

Zevola wasn't able to survive last night but 83,000 should put him in a position to succeed on his second attempt. Gabriella Costa was short stacked earlier but is now behind 78,000 and a South American multi-national four-some is hovering just under 70,000 to round out the top stacks.

A complete list of those counts is provided below. -- WOC

PlayerChip Count
Marcello Caleres105,000
Marco Zevola83,000
Gabriella Costa78,000
Fabian Chauriye68,000
Matias Manta67,000
Armando Espinosa 66,000
Bruno Foster 64,000

6:33pm: Costa climbing
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

In a three-way pot Jaime Ateneloff bet the T♦4♦Q♣ flop and only Gabrielle Costa called. Then after the 2♣ turn Ateneloff checked, Costa said she was all-in, and Ateneloff had to let his hand go.

With the dinner break near, Costa is now up around 70,000 while Ateneloff has slipped under 10,000. --MH

6:27pm: No false alarm this time, Fernandez joins late
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

Earlier, there was an imposter among this Day 1B field, as we thought that we spotted Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez. That was not the case, although the back of the unknown player's head looked just like the one we stumbled upon at a central table.

That's where the real Leo Fernandez has begun his 1B run, sitting a few seats to the right of where reigning LAPT Player of the Year Oscar Alache once sat. He's been eliminated and with just over 20 minutes from the dinner break, that means Fernandez and Alache should be near the 20,000 chip starting stack when late registration closes at the start of Level 7.

In his own words, Leo "fought, fought, fought" yesterday, hitting the rail in the final level before the bags came out, so he's hoping for a more successful LAPT9 Uruguay bout today. -- WOC

6:18pm: Caleres cracks kings and aces, moves over 100,000
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

Yesterday, no one broke the 100,000 chip mark until almost an hour and a half after the dinner break but today, midway through Level 6, Marcello Caleres has already eclipsed that threshold. Caleres just cracked pocket kings and pocket aces with pocket tens and while the action was missed, the cards were picked up on their back with Caleres holding his two opponents in a strangle hold.

The chips got in on the T♠9♥6♠ flop, with the player with K♥K♦ and A♠A♦ both covered by the big stacked Caleres. After the 8♣ came on the turn, Caleres had to fade just four cards on the river and he did, with the brick of bricks, the 2♥ completing the board.

When the dust settled, a player to Caleres' right made the assumption that his neighbor was the new chip leader and we're here to tell you that that is definitely the case. Caleres is top of the charts by a decent amount and a complete list of the leaders will be posted before the upcoming dinner break. -- WOC

6:11pm: Panno back in Punta
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

Uruguay is located in southeast South America, along the Atlantic coast. The country is bordered by big Brazil to the northeast, with Argentina curling around the rest of it on the country's west side.

It's unsurprising, then, to find a lot of Argentinians in Punta del Este for these events. Nor was it surprising to see one of them -- Ernesto Panno -- coming back again this year. Panno came to the very first LAPT Uruguay back in 2008, and keeps coming back. 

Panno's best finish here was during Season 3 when he took ninth. He also has many cashes elsewhere -- including many in his native Argentina -- as well as some WSOP scores including one in the biggest Main Event ever back in 2006.

Panno has about 30,000, and a plan to continue playing this event as long as he can. And then likely more in Uruguay as well. --MH


Ernesto Panno-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7136.jpg

Panno plays a mano

6:02pm: On the rail
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

We've lost a few more players here as they push through the halfway mark of Level 6, among them Gaston "Barto" Belluscio.

The big board shows 230 entries so far today, though the total is likely higher. --MH

5:51pm: Verbs about Moya
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

Standing. Thinking. Brooding, really. Then, finally... calling.

That was Claudio Moya just now after a fifth-street card completed a board T♣2♠2♥6♦Q♦. Thereafter he was leaning, looking, seeing an opponent table 6♠5♦, then turning over his own J♥T♠.

Next Moya was pivoting, stepping away, returning, and sitting. 

Now he's stacking. And we're counting -- about 60,000 chips. --MH

5:45pm: A few checking in on the competition
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

Over the last half hour, a few players that successfully navigated yesterday's Day 1A flight have been spotted walking through the tournament area. They earned themselves a day off after bagging chips but Brazil's Victor Teixeira, Argentina's Carlitos Cai and Paraguay's Pedro Aldave are checking in on today's competition.

There might not be much to see just yet, as there is still the better part of four and a half hours remaining in Day 1B, so their best bet is to follow along on the PokerStars Blog. We'll be tracking this field until the end of the night and before the 1B dinner break, which is close to 45 minutes away, we'll bring you a list of the top stacks in the room. -- WOC

5:36pm: Last level before dinner
Level 6: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

They push onward into Level 6 without a break, the last one-hour level before the 75-minute dinner break arrives. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
620040050


5:33pm: Ateneloff drops a few
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

Near the end of Level 5, Jaime Ateneloff found himself in a three-way pot on the river with the board showing T♠6♥J♥6♠7♦. After a check and bet of 7,500, he thought for a short while before finally digging out calling chips. The player in between folded, the bettor showed 9♣8♦ for a straight, and Ateneloff let his hand go.

The 85-year-old Urugayan -- known by many as the "Godfather of Uruguayan poker" -- is back down to about 12,000 now. --MH

5:20pm: Quads are overkill for Vitola
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

The action at Franco Bochina's table continued into the very next hand, as Fernando Vitola opened to 2,000 from under the gun. A short stack then shoved for just over 7,000 after a few folds and once the table passed around to Bochina, who was in the big, he looked like he had a decision on his hands.

Eventually, he elected to fold and he was glad he did, as Vitola quickly called the all-in before tabling J♣J♠. His opponent held 9♥9♦ and was drawing to just two immediate outs.

After the Q♣J♦6♦ flop, he was more or less drawing dead and after the Q♣ turn fell, he was. Just for good measure, or overkill from the short stack's perspective, Vitola improved to quads on the river, as the J♥ completed the board.

Everyone loves quads no matter what stage of a tournament they get them and Vitola has to be loving how his Day 1B session is going thus far, as he's near 40,000. -- WOC

5:16pm: Bochina boats up to stay alive
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

Midway through Level 5, a sizable pot developed at an outer table and while one player held the nuts on the flop, he seemed hesitant to commit a majority of his stack against Franco Bochina. Maybe that's because he knew what was coming on the river, with the action picked up on a board of K♦T♠9♥.

A player in the blinds checked before Bochina bet 1,800, only to see another opponent, who was on the button, call. The player in the blinds then sprung into action, check-raising to 6,800. Bochina quickly replied with a shove, as he moved all-in for 17,600.

The player on the button folded and after he counted down his 30,000 chip stack, the check-raiser called to see Bochina table 9♦9♣. After a few moments, the player turned over Q♠J♣, for a flopped straight and that drew a few looks from players around the table.

Bochina was right next to his opponent, so he couldn't look him directly in the eyes but you could tell the at risk player was slightly annoyed at the apparent slow roll. The 7♦ fell on the turn but Bochina boated up on the river, as the T♦ paired and completed the board.

The losing player didn't say a word but his body language made it look like he was never too comfortable playing that big of a pot, despite having the best of it when the chips went in. Bochina was likely never going anywhere, so it was an unavoidable spot and he's now playing over double starting, with 42,000. -- WOC

5:04pm: Alache steps aside
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

Oscar Alache found himself in a preflop battle with his neighbor on the left, ultimately reaching a point where after an Alache three-bet his opponent pushed all-in with the 8,000 or so he had behind.

That prompted the two-time LAPT champion to reevaluate the situation, looking first at his own stack, then eyeing the tournament clock for several seconds with a look that suggested he was considering how far away they are to late registration ending and the reentry option going away.

At last Alache folded, preserving his stack of almost 20,000 -- incidentally, exactly what he'd get again should he not survive prior to dinner, after which (at the start of Level 7) there is no more reentering. --MH

4:49pm: An Echeverri very good hand
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

With the board showing 2♣T♥3♥3♠3♦ and around 10,000 in the center, Gustavo Echeverri fired a bet of 5,000 and was able to earn a call, after which he tabled his hand -- 5♦3♣ for runner-runner quads. His opponent showed his T♦9♣ -- a thwarted full house -- and Echeverri collected the pot.

The Costa Rican is up around 45,000 now. --MH

4:40pm: Will the real Leo Fernandez, please stand up
Level 5: Blinds 150/400, Ante 50

A trip around the tournament area after the second break of the day revealed that Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez had joined the action, until we got a little closer. The back of the player's head matched; long, dark hair covered by a baseball cap, as well as the hip, casual choice of outerwear.


¿Leo?-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7124.jpg

¿Leo? Nope, false alarm.

As we rotated around the table though, not so much. It was an imposter, perhaps Fernandez's stunt double or long lost relative. Alas, no Leo just yet, meaning we'll keep our eyes out for him over the next two levels before late registration closes. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
515030050


4:20pm: Let's take a break

Four levels down, six to go, and 15 minutes to think about it all. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. --MH


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4:15pm: Keeping up with the 'featured players'
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Just as we did yesterday, heading into the second break of the day, we're updating the PokerStars Blog followers with counts of the players we've featured so far today. A few of these counts represent players near the top of the leaderboard and once that list starts to take a more defined shape, we'll start to incorporate some new names.

As of right now, it's Fabian Chauriye at the top, a position he found himself early in Day 1A. Unfortunately for the Chilean, he wasn't able to keep going and was bounced midway through the day. He'll be hoping for better this time around, along with Bruno Foster.

He's fired a few bullets today but could be breaking even, for the chips he's paid for, if he's able to continue to climb. Cowboy Gustavo Echeverri is sitting strong with over two starting stacks, with Marco Zevola right below that threshold.

An updated look at the 'featured stacks' is provided below and we'll add to that list over the next two levels as more big stacks emerge. -- WOC

PlayerChip Count
Fabian Chauriye57,000
Bruno Foster53,000
Rodrigo Garrido 42,000
Gustavo Echeverri41,000
Marco Zevola37,000
Murilo Gaissler32,000
Bernardo Abramovich31,000
Andres "Cacho" Korn22,000
Nacho Barbero18,000
Gabriella Costa16,000

4:14pm: Moya back for more
Level 5: Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

The Chilean Claudio Moya has been battling away as we move into the latter part of the afternoon. Moya is looking to join the exclusive two-time LAPT Main Event champions club after having won LAPT8 Peru last year.

He followed that triumph with a 19th-place showing here in Punta del Este in the LAPT8 Uruguay Main Event, the third time he's made the top 20 in them.

Moya is low on chips present, but above average in experience surviving deep in these. --MH

4:12pm: Foster forces a fold and his way up the charts
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Bruno Foster's Day 1B exploits have been well documented over the course of the first four levels. He was bounced early and then saw another bullet miss the target but it looks like the third is working like a charm.

Foster was just involved in potentially the biggest pot of the day, after he shoved the turn on a board of 5♥5♣2♣9♥. The Brazilian's shove was for just over 19,500 and with 31,000 in the pot, the winner of the hand would likely find themselves at the top of the leaderboard.

Alas, after close to two minutes of thought, Foster's opponent folded and conceded the pot. He wasn't complaining though, as he then stacked up just over 50,000, almost breaking even on the chips he's paid for today. -- WOC

4:10pm: Gaissler getting along
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

With about 8,000 in the middle and the board showing A♠J♥3♥3♦3♣, Murilo Gaissler watched his opponent check, then he fired a bet of about half the pot in an attempt to win what was in the middle. That's when his opponent check-raised all-in, setting out all of his chips in a single column.

The reraise was with a "dirty" stack -- i.e., chips of different denominations were mixed haphazardly -- though it wasn't too hard to eyeball it and see the bet was for about 15,000. It evidently was a dirty spot, too, from Gaissler's expression, and after thinking for about a half-minute he let his hand go.

This is Gaissler's first ever LAPT event, in fact. He traveled here on a poker-centric trip, playing some in Montevideo before heading over for the festival. The first almost-four levels have gone reasonably well for him thus far, as he sits with a little over 30,000. --MH 


Murilo Gaissler-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7073.jpg

So far, so good for Gaissler

4:04pm: Costa catches river to survive three-way all-in
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Gabrielle Costa just chopped a pot with both her and an opponent holding full houses and a few minutes later, she was involved again, although with the worst hand of three all-ins. The pre flop action was missed but the cards were picked up on their back, with Costa at risk, holding 8♥8♦.

Javier Venegas had both players covered and the best of it, with J♣J♠ and there was a short stack, who was all-in for just over 4,100, holding T♣T♦. After the T♥2♣2♠ flop, the short stack had shot into the lead but with Costa's effective stack sitting just around 15,000, the side pot was more valuable to Venegas.

It looked like it would be his after the 5♦ fell on the turn but once the 8♠ completed the board, he was left wondering how he could get unlucky in two spots. Costa had a different expression, all smiles, as she was saved by the river and back over the starting stack heading towards the last quarter of Level 4.

When the dust settled, the short stack had tripled to a workable 15,000 and Venegas was left as the low man out of the three, with just 7,000. -- WOC

3:52pm: Nacho continues the fight
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Nacho Barbero played Day 1A, and started with everyone else here on Day 1B. Then he found himself back at the cashier's desk as Level 4 proceeded, buying back in again to try to spin up that starting stack.

He's wearing an appropriate cap to represent someone persevering amid challenges. --MH


Nacho Barbero-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7117.jpg

Player: Barbero, N.
Playing style: fight-aggressive

3:36pm: Costa only collects half
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Just now it appeared as though Gabrielle Costa might be about to win a big pot and earn a boost to her stack, as the board showed J♠6♠6♣J♣3♥ and she was tabling J♦9♦. But her opponent, Javier "El Soldador" Venegas, had Q♠J♥ for the same full house, and the pair chopped up what was in the middle.

Costa is still sitting at about 20,000 -- that is, the stack with which she started. Meanwhile Venegas is up around 35,000. --MH

3:22pm: Teetering on 200
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

We're a quarter of the way through Level 4 and as it stands, just under 200 players have entered into this Day 1B flight. That's more than came out yesterday, with the pace of entrants still set to eclipse 250, remember Sergio Prado's breakfast prediction, by day's end.

While some of those entries have come from players trying again, and again, and again, in some cases, most of the faces in Day 1B have been fresh ones. With some players having multiple bullets invested, a growing field could incentivize them to continue to fire, especially if the prize pool continues to ballon. -- WOC

3:09pm: More side events to keep festival rolling
Level 4: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

While the Evento Principal moves into it's forth level of Day 1B, the side event schedule is also getting started for the weekend. Yesterday, two Spades were awarded, with Damian Kutner claiming the $200 PL Omaha title.


Damian Kutner-Winner PLO 200 Event-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7018.jpg

The second 'Spade' went to Damian Kutner

Two more trophies are up for grabs today, including a $200 PL Omaha Hi/Lo event, that started at 2 PM, and a $600 NL Hold'em Turbo event, which begins later tonight at 6 PM. Again, the PokerStars Blog won't be providing updates or coverage of these events but we'll always give the winners their deserving share of blog love.

A complete LAPT9 Uruguay schedule can be found on the LAPT website here. --WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
410020025

3:01pm: Bruno knocked down, gets up again
Level 3: Blinds 100/200

As the day's third level was nearing its close, we saw Bruno Foster losing the last of his stack -- and the last of his third buy-in into this event (counting one from yesterday). Pocket sixes proved his undoing on this one, and as he passed by our table he had a two-word comment to share regarding what had happened.

"Mais uma!"

That's Portuguese for "one more," which at the moment we took to be potentially ambiguous. Was he pointing out how he'd lost one more entry, or was he indicating an intention to fire again?

A few moments later we knew the answer -- the latter. Foster is back at it, hoping he won't have to visit the cashier's desk anymore today. --MH


Bruno Foster-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7080.jpg

Bruised-but-not-beaten Bruno

2:49pm: Vaeza rolls in
Level 3: Blinds 100/200

Over at one of the tables on the side of the ballroom is a well dressed man in his early 60s, sporting silver headphones and tapping his fingers in rhythm in front of his still modest-sized stack of chips. On closer inspection, we recall who he is -- Adolfo Vaeza of Montevideo, remembered to those us who follow the tournament circuit for a short string of successful high roller performances a few years back.

Vaeza runs a construction company and has only travelled occasionally outside of Uruguay for poker. But when he has, he's done well.

After picking up one of his first career tournament cashes in the LAPT Main Event in Punta del Este during Season 2 (when he finished 17th), Vaeza took trips to Monaco, London, and the Bahamas, in the latter two locations finishing fifth in the £20,000 EPT6 Grand Final High Roller, then third in the $25K PCA High Roller in 2010 -- two cashes worth around $450K USD total. 

He continued to make the money in tournaments thereafter, including in more EPT events. But he's also continued to play here in Punta del Este where he's earned smaller cashes. Most recently he won a small BSOP event here at the Conrad (in June).

We'll see if the construction company owner can build a stack here today and get back to another final table. --MH


Adolfo Vaeza-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7126.jpg

Vaeza at work on an indoor project

2:38pm: River saves Elicio Romao
Level 3: Blinds 100/200

A poker hand isn't over until the river, so premature celebrations leave players some room to put their proverbial foot in their mouth when their fates quickly change after the last card is dealt. Elicio Romao's opponent just gave a fist pump on the turn but after the river, Romao was doubling up, much to the displeasure of his opponent.

Action was picked up with a player leading out for 2,100 from early position on a board of A♣K♦3♦. Another player called before Romao raised all-in, for 9,300 total. Immediately, a third unknown player re-shoved, with his stack weighing in at 16,900.

The flop bettor and caller quickly folded and Romao looked like he was in decent shape to double, as he held A♥3♦ to his opponent's A♦Q♥. That was, until the K♠ came on the turn, voiding Romao's flopped two pair. His opponent gave a fist pump but just as he recoiled, the 3♥ spiked on the river, to restore order and give Romao a full house.

There was no fanfare or celebration from Romao, because he's seen immense success across South America and Europe over the last few years. He'll now be looking for another deep LAPT run, after doubling to just over 32,000 midway through Level 3. --WOC


Elcio Romao-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7056.jpg

No celebration for Romao on the river

2:26pm: Field update
Level 3: Blinds 100/200

The tournament clock is showing 174 entries so far here on Day 1B, although we know the actual number is more than that. In other words, with nearly four levels plus the dinner break left to go in late registration, they've already exceeded the 176 entries of yesterday's first Day 1 flight. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
31002000


2:04pm: Break time

Having reached the end of Level 2, players are now off on their first 15-minute break of the day. --MH


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1:53pm: Friendly poker
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

We're seeing a fair number of limped pots here in the early going, including a six-way one just now as the second level of the day nears its close.

Just now came another involving Gaston "Barto" Belluscio in the small blind versus his neighbor in the big who checked his option. The pair then checked down the board, split the pot as both had ten-high, and shook hands when it was all said and done.

All very amiable, though we don't expect such friendly poker to continue too deeply into the afternoon once the antes kick in and blinds increase. --MH

1:45pm: Cuidado de los colores...
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

Yesterday, we saw a misclick win Oscar Alache a sizable early pot and another just played out with just a few minutes left in Level 2 of today's session. A player meant to raise to 300 from under the gun but instead of putting out three black 100 value chips, he threw out three blue 5,000 value chips.

Action is binding without any verbal declaration, so "quince mil" stood as the amount to call. Rafael Bravo looked like he wanted to capitalize on his opponent's apparent mistake and after a few folds, and some laughs coming from Andres Korn, Bravo announced himself "all-in".

He had just over 17,000 and after the rest of the table passed, the misclicker called and tabled T♥T♠. While his raise was likely much, much larger than he intended, he still had a very good hand, something Bravo might not have been expecting.

Bravo held 4♣4♥ and after the board ran out clean for the superior pocket pair, Bravo was eliminated just before the first break of the day. The misclicker stacked his newly won chips and Korn ran down the action for a Emiliano Alcaide, who was on the rail. Alcaide simply said, "Woah." and everyone will certainly be double checking the color of their raises from now on...-- WOC

1:32pm: Enter Echeverri
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

Gustavo Echeverri stands out in any crowd. The gray-haired Costa Rican has turned up occasionally at various LAPT events over the years, most recently final tabling the High Roller at LAPT9 Panama. His cool, tan cowboy hat makes him easy to spot when looking over the heads of the now 140-plus players in action during the second level of Day 1B.

Echeverri has been part of the Costa Rican poker scene for a while, and in fact has the distinction of having had a tournament named after him. Back in June 2002 one of the events in the Linda Johnson Celebrity Challenge series that played out in the Casino Europa in San Jose. Echeverri joined the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Humberto Brenes, Scotty Nguyen, and Howard "Tahoe" Andrew being so honored.

The event was a unique one -- a $10 limit hold'em event (that's right, just ten bucks). But it had unlimited rebuys and a $20K guarantee, and in fact ended up sporting nearly a $50K prize pool with almost $20K going to the first-place finisher. 

Who was the winner? None other than 2002 WSOP champion Robert Varkonyi, just a few weeks removed from his Main Event triumph -- his first cash after winning the Main. No shinola! --MH


Gustavo Echeverri-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7107.jpg

An EcheVERRI interesting story

1:18pm: Aussie, Aussie, Argentine?
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

Bernardo Abramovich is from Argentina but for today's Day 1B flight, and we don't know why, he's rocking some Australian-themed sunglasses. That got us thinking, has an Australian ever made it to the LAPT winner's circle?

The answer, no. In fact, only to Australians has never even made the final table of an LAPT Main Event, although we aren't sure how many have competed on the tour. Even though he may be flying the "defaced Blue Ensign" flag on his sunglasses, he's Argentinian through and through, meaning he's hoping to become the 10th Argentine to ever claim an LAPT title.


Bernardo Abramovich-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7097.jpg

Some Aussie flair for Argentina's Abramovich

Argentinians have the most wins on the LAPT, with Chile and Brazil tied for second with 6 victories each. The United States has 4 titles, good for 4th best all-time and Peru, with 3 wins, round out the top-five. --WOC

1:04pm: Barbero, Zevola looking for better luck
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

The return of players from yesterday's Day 1A flight has continued into Level 2, as Nacho Barbero has just entered and taken his seat at an outer table. While Barbero is the cream of the crop on the LAPT, with two Main Event victories to his name, the Argentine never broke into the top of the leaderboard.

Marco Zevola did though, peaking after the dinner break, only to fall late before the flight wrapped up. Barbero, Zevola and all the revenants from yesterday's opening starting session will hope for some better luck today, as this will be their last chance to make Day 2. --WOC


Marco Zevola-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7122.jpg

Ze return of Zevola

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2751500


12:51pm: Costa on the LAPT stage
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Last night Gabrielle Costa won a satellite and as a result is sitting among those comprising the Day 1B field. Costa has collected a number of cashes over recent years -- mostly in her native Brazil -- but is here looking for her first one in an LAPT event.

Costa has plenty of experience on the big stage as well, both figuratively and literally. She's had success in beauty pageants, among her triumphs being elected Miss Amazonas in 2008. She's also represented Amazonas in poker, being part of the state's team in the Brazil Team Championship.

For those who haven't heard about it, poker really is considered a sport in Brazil, and each year the country stages a championship for which all 18 states send teams. Costa has been part of the squad before -- as has her twin sister, in fact -- and in 2014 helped lead the team to a comeback victory in the championship.


Gabrielle Costa-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7069.jpg

Costa, card player

Costa has gotten involved in several hands during this first level, but still sits with close to the starting stack of 20,000. We'll keep a watch to see how she does in her quest to add a poker crown to the others she's collected. --MH

12:43pm: Already over century mark, how big will 1B get?
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

During the PokerStars Blog team's pre-1B breakfast, we did what bloggers do, make predictions. After 176 players came out for yesterday's 1A flight, Brazil's Sergio Prado said that he wouldn't be surprised if close to 250 players came out for today's session.

Prado would know, as he's worked every LAPT event since Season 1 and clearly knows his way around the South American tournament scene. With over 100 players already seated for today's 1B flight, something that didn't happen until Level 3 yesterday, Prado is looking good on his prediction thus far.

No matter how big or small, the PokerStars Blog will continue to keep you posted on this field's growth until late registration is over. That won't be until after the post-Level 6 dinner break, meaning there is plenty of time to hit that 250 player prediction... --WOC

12:37pm: Foster, Alache briefly together
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

We were going to report that perhaps two of the biggest names in this Day 1B flight, Bruno Foster and reigning LAPT Player of the Year Oscar Alache, were seated next to each other on Table 4. That was, until the latter sent the former to the rail midway through this opening 60-minute period.

Action was picked up on a board of 6♣5♥2♦ and after a player checked from the blinds, Foster checked as well. Alache, who had position on his two opponents, bet 2,000 and after the unknown player called, Foster went all-in fro 5,675.

Alache quickly called and the other player folded after close to two minutes of thought, with Foster admitting he "only had a six". He showed 7♣6♠ and Alache was in good shape with 7♦7♥. The 4♣ gave Foster additional outs to a straight but he couldn't get there, as the 4♦ completed the board and confirmed his elimination.

While Alache took in the pot, to move him up near 30,000, Foster quickly exited the tournament area, only to return a few minutes later with a new seating assignment. He's now back with a full starting stack, hoping that the third time is the charm, after falling late in yesterday's 1A session. -- WOC

12:29pm: Garrido gets here
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Rodrigo Garrido has joined us here at the start of Day 1B, increasing both the number and quality of the field.

Hailing from Santa Catarina, Brazil, Garrido is a familiar figure on the LAPT, particularly when it stops in Brazil where he's cashed in Main Events on multiple occasions. He's also a star of the Brazilian Series of Poker where he's one of the tour's all time top performers, winning the BSOP Player of the Year in 2014. He's also a terror online, where as "rportaleoni" he's won numerous titles including the Sunday Million (also during 2014).

We'll add the Brazilian to our list of "ones to watch" here on Day 1B. --MH


Rodrigo Garrido-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7055.jpg

Rodrigo-go-go

12:18pm: Early action chips up Rodrigo Cella
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Yesterday's Day 1A flight got off to a slow start in terms of action but that isn't the case today. A central table already saw it's first all-in and double up, with Rodrigo Cella quickly increasing his stack against Diego Justo. Action was picked up with Justo opening to 225 the cutoff at the five-handed table, with Cella three-betting to 875 from the button.

Javier Zaldo was in the small blind and after some thought, he called, only to see Justo four-bet to 2,325 when it got back to him. Both Cella and Zaldo called to see the K♥T♣5♥ flop and after the small blind checked, the pre flop aggressor bet 3,300.

Cella called almost immediately and Zaldo released his hand to send two players to the turn. The 7♥ fell and Justo kept his lead in the hand, with a bet of 4,000. Cella didn't waste any time throwing out two blue 5,000 value chips, verbalizing his raise of "9,000". Justo called the raise and then checked after the Q♠ completed the board.

Cella put in his final 3,825, meaning he was all-in inside the first dozen minutes of Level 1. With so much in the pot already, Justo couldn't bring himself to fold, calling only to be shown the nuts. Cella tabled A♥9♥ and while he took in the massive early pot, Justo and Zaldo talked about their holdings. The former claimed to hit a set, while Zaldo said he held "damas", which would have rivered a set.

Regardless of what the other two players held, Cella, is now working double the starting stack with only a quarter of the opening period in the books. Oddly enough, he is seated where Sergio Luis Pego was when he got off to a white hot start in yesterday's Day 1A flight. If only the other two players knew that Cella was in the early hot seat. --WOC

12:15pm: Buenos días (again)
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

There are already 15 tables in action -- most short-handed, some close to full -- which is considerably more than we saw yesterday at the start of the first level. While that might present a contrast, there's something familiar about today's start-of-day field as well, as several players who busted on Friday are back again to take another crack at it today.

Jaime Ateneloff, Ricardo Chauriye, Fabian Chauriye, Marco Zevola, and Andres "Cacho" Korn are among those we saw bust yesterday who have returned today. --MH


Andres Korn-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7086.jpg

Welcome back, Cacho!

12:03pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Players are in their seats and the first hands of Day 1B are being dealt. The starting stack is 20,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
1501000


11:20am: Day 1B is close at hand

Welcome back to the Conrad Hotel & Casino, located in Punta del Este where the the second and final Day 1 flight of the LAPT Uruguay Main Event will be getting underway about 40 minutes from now. 

The Conrad is a nice place to come for those visiting this resort destination. Among the other sights not far from our location is the famous Monumento al Ahogado, a.k.a. the Monument to the Drowned, located at Brava Beach. Or, as it is more often called -- "The Hand."


lamano.jpg

"Come back in a bit... right now I'm in a big hand!"

The Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal created this uncanny work some three decades back, making the four fingers and thumb out of concrete, plastic, metal mesh, and steel reinforcements. It's meant as a warning to swimmers, and certainly does give the impression of a last, desperate wave of someone about to sink below the surface.

Of those coming out for today's Day 1B, some will inevitably see their stacks sink and LAPT title dreams drown, but others will sail on through, riding the waves into tomorrow's Day 2. As was the case yesterday, today's schedule calls for 10 one-hour levels, with late registration and unlimited reentries available through the beginning of Level 7 -- that is, just after the completion of the 75-minute dinner break that will come after Level 6. 

For a while on Friday it looked as though last year's LAPT Uruguay Main Event champion, Mario Lopez, might be bagging up the chip lead at night's end. But his fellow Argentinian Fabian De Le Fuente passed him by before the last level completed, finishing with a leading stack of 176,400 that becomes the target for Day 1B players to try to match.  

A total of 59 made it through yesterday's first Day 1 flight out of a field of 176 entries (click here for a look at all Day 1A chip counts). We expect a few more entries than that today in this $1,500 buy-in event, and will find out together just how big the field and prize pool will be -- as well as how much the champion will be getting.  

We'll be here all day and night once again with updates, chip counts, photos, and more -- including all the big hands we can find -- from the Conrad ballroom. Stick close! --MH


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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at LAPT9 Uruguay: Will O'Connor and Martin Harris. Photos by Carlos Monti. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

Live reporting team
@PokerStars in Uruguay