LAPT9 Uruguay: Seeking title defense, Mario Lopez leads final 32

Coming into this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event, which will be the last official Latin American Poker Tour festival, players and fans alike had to be wondering if any of the two-time champions could end the series with a record breaking third title. After two starting flights, one of those double winners was atop the leaderboard, as Oscar Alache paced the 155 players who returned for Day 2.

Mario Lopez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7808.jpg

Lopez has looked strong from the start

While Alache ended up recording another LAPT cash, it was another two-time winner that ascended throughout moving day. Mario Lopez started the day in the top-five and he seemingly never fell from that perch, staying within touching distance of the leaders before becoming the first player to eclipse 500,000 after the bubble burst.

The Argentine peaked over 750,000 but a few late speed bumps saw him finish with 572,000, still good to lead the remaining 32 players into Day 3. Brazilian Fernando Araujo is right there with Lopez over a half-million, as he bagged 561,000.

Fabian De La Fuente, who lead through Friday's Day 1A session, was the only other player over 500,000, with Sebastian Ruiz bagging 467,000 thanks to some post-bubble heat. Matias Ruzzi put 457,000 away for tomorrow's 12 PM restart, to round out the top-five.

Matias Ruzzi-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7779.jpg

Ruzzi's 457,000 rounds out the top-five

Julio Grimau (385,000), Cristian Rotondo (373,000) and Julian Albero (341,000) will come back leading the second wave, with the always capable Amos Ben (229,000) and Leo Fernandez (129,000) still in contention. The Team PokerStars Pro came back for Day 2 with just ten bigs, so he'll have to run it up again if he wants to make his first LAPT final table since claiming victory in Panama during Season 5.

Those are just some of the storylines we'll be following tomorrow, as the PokerStars Blog will bring you all the Day 3 action starting at 12 PM local time tomorrow. Click here for a complete list of chip counts for the 32 advancing players -- including all 25 Argentinians. You can also see who has cashed where on the prize pool and payouts page.

Until then, relive all the Day 2 action below. Buenos noches from Uruguay. -- WOC


LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event Day 2 Updates

10:51pm: Schemini sent packing, Day 2 concludes
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

After two quick eliminations to start Level 19, there was a short period of slow play before the final Day 2 knockout. The final player to bow out of today's session was German Schemini, after he shoved just over 85,000 from under the gun.

Cristian Rotondo called on the button and after the blinds folded, he had to fade three immediate outs to send Schemini to the rail. Rotondo held Q♦Q♠ and Schemini needed help, as he tabled K♥T♠.

The board ran out T♣5♦3♣8♠J♣ and even though the short stack paired up on the flop, he couldn't find any help on the turn or river. He was eliminated in 33rd place, meaning the remaining 32 players will now bag up their chips for the penultimate Day 3 session.

That will see the field play down to an eight-handed final table and a complete Day 2 recap, along with a list of the remaining player's chip counts will be posted shortly. -- WOC

10:39pm: Albero takes from Lopez
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

We've lost another player -- this time Diego Vizcay in 34th -- meaning there's just one more knockout to go before the night is done. Mario Lopez appeared to be trying to make that happen just now, but it didn't work out and as a result Julian Albero was the beneficiary. 

After Lopez opened for 16,000 from middle position, it folded to Albero in the big blind who three-bet to 40,000 and Lopez called. The Q♦8♣8♦ flop brought a bet of 52,000 from Albero, called by Lopez, then the K♥ turn earned another bet from Albero, this time for 60,000. Lopez thought a full minute, and called again.

The river was the 8♥, and this time Albero checked. Lopez dug out chips and counted and stacked for a while, but then finally checked behind. Albero showed A♥Q♥ for queens full of eights, and Lopez mucked.

Albero moves up to 415,000 after that one, while Lopez now has 580,000. --MH

10:29pm: One down, two to go; everyone chasing Lopez
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

In the first hand of Level 19, Il Suh was eliminated on Table 2 by Pedro Claus in 35th place. That leaves just two knockouts until the end of Day 2 and a lot of things would have to go wrong for Mario Lopez to not carry the chip lead into tomorrow's restart.

Lopez is playing more than three times the chip average, with 770,000. That's also good for more than 300,000 more than his closest competitor, Brazilian Fernando Araujo.

A complete list of counts will be posted once play concludes but until then, here are the counts just a few minutes into the new period. -- WOC

PlayerChip Count
Mario Lopez 770,000
Fernando Araujo463,000
Fabian De La Fuente434,000
Matias Ruzzi430,000
Jacques Blit416,000
Sebastian Ruiz372,000
Andres Viola369,000
Pedro Claus351,000
Julio Grimau338,000
Juan Parra326,000

10:24pm: Play resumes
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

The final 35 players are back in their seats and play has resumed. Three more knockouts, and play will conclude for the night. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
194,0008,0001,000


10:08pm: Final break, three from the bags
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

This Day 2 session was scheduled to play through Level 20 or until 32 players remained, whichever happened first. After a longer than expected money bubble, it looked like Level 20 was going to be the end point but a quick flurry of eliminations since dinner has it looking like we'll be done sooner than expected.

As it stands, 35 players remain, meaning this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event is just three players from the end of Day 2. When we get down to our final four tables, the players will bag up for tonight and then return tomorrow at 12 PM to play down to an eight-handed final table.

We'll bring you all the action throughout the rest of this Day 2 session, with a list of the top stacks coming shortly. -- WOC


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9:56pm: Albero turns Velez to the door
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

We're now just three players away from the end of Day 2. Not long after the knockout of Nicolas Malandre Godoy in 37th place, Julian Albero turned a set to send Rafael Velez out in 36th.

Action was picked up with Albero opening in late position and after Velez shoved for close to ten big blinds, Albero went into the tank.

He had enough chips to call but he would be relatively short if he ended up being incorrect. After some table talk, Albero did call, to see he was flipping. His 3♣3♠ was up against the short stack's K♦Q♥ and the pair held through the T♣6♦2♦ flop.

The 3♥ came on the turn, leaving Velez drawing dead. The river meaninglessly fell and after receiving a congratulatory handshake from Mario Lopez, Velez headed to the payout desk. Albero isn't going anywhere though, as he's now playing 265,000 with just a few minutes remaining in Level 18. -- WOC

9:46pm: Martinez out; 37 remain
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

Federico Roberto was just all-in with A♦Q♣ and needed to fade the 8♦7♦ of Rafael Martinez. The board came 5♠A♣8♣A♠J♦, giving Martinez one pair and Roberto two, and Roberto survived albeit is still short with 125,000.

Meanwhile the pair were nearly even to start that hand, which left Martinez with only 2,000 afterwards. Half of that went for the ante and the other half went in the middle after Fernando Vitola had opened, with Vitola's K♣Q♥ behind Martinez's A♦3♦. But the board came 6♣T♥6♠3♥... K♥, the river king sinking Martinez for good in 38th place. --MH

9:42pm: Bertoldi's better pair counts for naught
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

Igianne Bertoldi has been short stacked since the bubble burst and even though she got her chips in with a decent advantage, she just hit the rail. Bertoldi open shoved for just over 55,000 from late position and Pedro Claus called in the small blind, only to see he was behind with 5♠5♣.

The Brazilian held J♣J♥ but after the A♠7♠4♠ flop, she had to fade additional outs to a flush. Claus hit on the turn, as the T♠ completed his draw and after the K♠ fell on the river, there was a moment of uncertainty.

Both players reevaluated the board, thinking that potentially it was a chop. It wasn't though, as the five of spades played and Claus scored the knockout. Bertoldi was out in 40th place and Claus is now playing 260,000. --WOC


Igianne Bertoldi-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7579.jpg

Bertoldi bounced in 40th

9:34pm: Grimau gets aggressive to force Vuotto out
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

We mentioned that with the short stacks gone, the bigger stacked players are engaging in some sizable pots. That has continued at Table 1, with Manuel Vuotto at the center of the action again.

This time, a player opened to 21,500, only to see Julio Grimau three-bet to 45,000 from the cutoff. Vuotto, who was on the button, shot his neighbor a look and then cut out a four-bet, sized at 95,500.

The opener folded and Grimau quickly called, brining another interested look from Vuotto. After the A♠A♣3♠ flop, Grimau immediately announced himself "all-in" and with both players holding more or less the same 170,000 chip stack, Vuotto was put to a decision for his entire stack.

He sat in the tank for close to three minutes before eventually folding, drawing a smile from Grimau. Neither player showed but some post-hand table talk revealed that Vuotto had laid down "Reyes", or kings. Grimau claimed to have kings but we'll never know if Grimau was full of it or not.

The Argentine is now playing the better part of 300,000, while Vuotto is behind 165,000. -- WOC

9:22pm: Ruiz versus Ruiz
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

Sebastian Ruiz opened with a raise to 13,500 from early position and it folded to Matias Ruiz who three-bet to 28,500 from the button. The action got back to Sebastian who reraised again to 54,500, Matias called, and the flop came 7♠K♣8♦.

Sebastian plucked 55,000 off of his mountainous stack as a leading bet, and after a couple of beats Matias called. The turn brought the 3♠ and without too much hestiation an all-in shove from Sebastian, and Matias called in a flash.

Sebastian Ruiz: A♠A♣
Matias Ruiz: 8♥8♠

A set for Matias! And after the 4♠ river he'd doubled all of the way up to 450,000. Meanwhile Sebastian falls out of the chip lead, though still has 350,000. --MH

9:11pm: Short stacks hanging on versus Lopez
Level 18: Blinds 3,000/6,000, Ante 1,000

We're discovering Mario Lopez can't win every hand he plays, even if it has seemed like that were the case of late. A couple of the super short stacks just doubled through him as the new level begins, but he's still the leader by far at his table, and challenging Sebastian Ruiz for the overall tournament lead as well.

First it was Federico Rodriguez doubling up after taking 8♦8♠ against Lopez's A♥9♦ and surviving a J♥K♣T♥5♣3♥ board.

Then Rafael Velez did the same after pushing with K♥T♦, getting called by Lopez who had A♦J♦, then watching the community cards come 7♣2♣3♣K♣7♥ to give Velez kings and the pot.

Both Rodriguez and Velez are hovering around 75,000, though, while Lopez is still in command with about 510,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
183,0006,0001,000


9:06pm: Two three-bets, different results for big stacks
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

With a flurry of eliminations dropping this field down near the final five tables, it's given the bigger stacked players some more room to play some real poker. Two interesting hands played out on adjacent tables, with differing results for two big stacked players.

The first saw Lisandro Gallo open to 12,000 from the cutoff and after Juan Parra called on the button, another player called in the small blind. Andres Viola was in the big and he cut out a three-bet to 41,000. Gallo quickly called and the two others folded to send it heads up to the flop.

Viola led the A♠T♣7♦ flop for 32,500 and after an excruciating few minutes in the tank for Gallo, he folded to preserve a 120,000 chip stack. Viola was moving up to 360,000 and while he continues to climb, Fabian De La Fuente is heading in the opposite direction.

FDLF returned from dinner with the biggest stack and after a table change saw him quickly lose chips to Sebastian Ruiz, he dropped a few more bigs to Manuel Vuotto. That hand was picked up with De La Fuente opening to 11,000 and after a player called, Vuotto three-bet the button to 31,500.

De La Fuente put in the necessary chips and the caller folded, to see the A♥J♦2♥ flop. De La Fuente then check-folded to a 32,000 chip continuation bet, dropping the former chip leader down near 325,000. Vuotto, on the other hand, is now peaking for this Day 2 session, working just over 215,000. -- WOC

8:54pm: Santin's short stack goes bust
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

On the money bubble, before the dinner break, Olivio Santin was all-in for his final 5,300 on the river against Oscar Alache. He found a double and then he managed to get into the money after dinner but his short stacked run has come to an end with just a quarter-hour left in Level 17.

Action was picked up with Pedro Claus opening to 14,000 from middle position. A few players later, Santin moved all-in for 22,000 from the cutoff. After a fold on the button, Gabriel Muzzio put in another raise, to 62,000 and that forced Claus out.

Santin was at risk and dominated with A♦J♦, as Muzzio held A♥K♦. The board ran out clean for big slick and Muzzio scored the knockout to send Santin to the rail in 46th place. Muzzio is now near 200,000. -- WOC

8:47pm: Ruiz rushes to top of leaderboard
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

We just noted below how Mario Lopez -- last year's winner of this same LAPT Uruguay Main Event (and the person responsible for bursting the money bubble here today) -- had become the first player to 500,000 chips.

Before we could spend much time talking about him as the new leader, however, a hand developed between Fabian De La Fuente and Sebastian Ruiz at another table -- two of the other biggest stacks in the room -- and it was clear the winner would be in first when it ended.

Picking up the action on the turn with the board showing 7♦7♣3♥6♠, Ruiz checked, De La Fuente bet 35,000, and Ruiz called. The 4♦ on the river was followed by another Ruiz check, and De La Fuente didn't hesitate before betting another 50,000.

Ruiz thought about a minute then tossed out a chip to call, and De La Fuente had already mucked his hand before seeing Ruiz show his A♠3♠.


Sebastian Ruiz-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7643.jpg

Now it's Ruiz taking over first position

Ruiz is up around 570,000 now, while De La Fuente drops back to 370,000. --MH

8:42pm: Lopez leads, first over half-million
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500


Mario Lopez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7346a.jpg

Lopez's title defense looking good

While the post-bubble leaderboard still holds a close resemblance to the counts we reported prior to the dinner break, there has been on big change over the last 40 minutes. That is who is atop the charts, as two-time LAPT champion and the defending champion in this event, Mario Lopez is the first player over the half-million chip mark.

Lopez moved dangerously close to 400,000 after popping the bubble and ever since, he's continued to climb. The Argentine is now playing close to 530,000, which is bad news for the rest of this field as he might be the most accomplished player in LAPT history, let alone that is still alive in this tournament. -- WOC

8:36pm: Three for the price of one
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Double knockouts aren't exactly commonplace but they happen enough where we might not write home, or on the blog, about them. Triple knockouts though, are a horse of a different color.

Those are definitely worthy of blog inclusion, especially when we're in the money. Table 1 just saw close to half the lineup disappear, thanks to Julio Grimau's pocket jacks. The Argentine had three short stacks covered, with the best of it, as he held J♣J♦ to Oscar Alache's A♥J♥, Emeliano Alcaide's K♣8♣ and Federico Prieto's K♠Q♠.

The entire table was on their feet as the 6♣2♥2♦4♣4♠ board ran out and after the river fell, Grimau celebrated taking it all. The other three players hit the rail and when the dust settled, Grimau was behind 285,000. -- WOC

8:27pm: Harreguy hits the rail
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Jose Harreguy was just all-in and at risk with A♣J♦ versus the A♦8♦ of Jacques Blit.

All was okay for Harreguy through the 2♣4♦5♠ flop and 9♠ turn, but the 8♥ on the river caused him to wince with the realization he'd been eliminated. 

Harreguy heads railward, while Blit just moved a little over 300,000. --MH

8:20pm: Hilario knocks out Venegas
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Earlier we reported a big hand between Oscar Hilario and Javier Venegas in which Hilario claimed a big chunk of Venegas's stack. He just took the last of it to send Venegas railward for a min-cash.

Venegas was all-in with 7♠7♥ versus Hilario's Q♦Q♠, and after a queen came among the community cards to seal it for Hilario, Venegas wish the table well and departed to the cashier's desk. 

Hilario has 185,000 now. --MH

8:16pm: "Cacho" first to cash
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Few in the room were as pleased as Andres "Cacho" Korn at the bursting of the bubble. He was down to his last 20,000, and with the next hand he was in the big blind having to give up 5,000 of that.

It folded around to German Fernandez Schemini in the cutoff who looked over at Korn's stack, then raised enough to put Korn all-in. The action reached Korn who checked his cards and called, turning over Q♥5♦ to his opponent's A♥3♦. The board ran out 7♠J♦3♥8♣2♣, and Korn shook hands with Schemini before departing to collect his minimum cash for finishing 63rd.

Roberto Duek went out just a moment later from the neighboring table as the all-ins are coming quickly now. --MH

8:16pm: Lopez's "mano favorito" brings end to bubble and standing ovation
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Mario Lopez has been very active on the money bubble and in the next period of hand-for-hand play, after Jose Perez doubled, he opened to 10,500 from the cutoff. Andres Piaggio then three-bet to 32,000 from the button and after the blinds folded, Lopez announced "cien mil".

He put 100,000 into the middle and Piaggio followed him in, calling off for his close to 70,000 chip effective stack. The hands were kept down until the rest of the tournament area was done playing and Lopez admitted that he had his "mano favorito".

After a minute, Table 3 was given the green light and Lopez tabled 9♣9♥. Piaggio was flipping for his tournament life with A♠K♣ and after the T♣9♠7♠ flop, he was in bad, bad shape.

He picked up some chops outs after the 8♦ fell on the turn but they didn't come in, as the 2♣ completed the board and confirmed his elimination. With the rest of the tables still seated, Lopez put one fist in the air to signify victory and cheers began to ring out around the room.

Lopez shook his opponent's hand and then waved his like a politician greeting a supportive audience. Lopez is a favorite on the LAPT but the rest of this Uruguay Main Event field likes him even more tonight, as he's pushed them into the money.

Everyone has now locked up a $2,420 score but we imagine Lopez has his eyes on a much bigger prize, as he's working the better part of 390,000. -- WOC


Andres Piaggio-Bubble Guy-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7707.jpg

Andres Piaggio's unimproved ace-king popped the bubble

8:10pm: Perez doesn't let the bubble pop
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Going into the dinner break, Jose Perez had just under two big blinds and in the first hand after the 75-minute recess, he was all-in and at risk. Oscar Hilario opened to 11,000 and Perez called for less on the button, with his effective stack sitting at 8,000.

After the other tables completed their hands, the cards were turned over and Perez had to fade three outs to stay alive. The Mexican held A♦Q♣ to A♥6♥ and after the board ran out clean, he had doubled.

He's not out of the woods just yet, as he's now only working five big blinds as the bubble rolls on... -- WOC

8:04pm: Back to the bubble
Level 17: Blinds 2,500/5,000, Ante 500

Players are back from dinner and a new level has begun, again with the tournament being played hand-for-hand as they're one elimination from the money. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
172,5005,000500


6:54pm: De La Fuente's (almost) half-million leads into dinner
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

After the two double ups at the end of Level 16, the rest of the period played out with two hands bringing little to no action. That means that this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event will go on the dinner break with the bubble still waiting to burst, as 64 players remain.

The short stacks will likely plan their survival over the 75-minute recess but Fabian De La Fuente will be plotting his way towards Day 3. He's still at the top of the leaderboard, with just over 475,000.

Juan Parra and De La Fuente have swapped spots since our last chip count update and he will head on dinner with 441,000, with Chile's Sebastian Ruiz also over 400,000.

There is a big drop from the top-three to the rest of the top-ten, as Andres Viola and Mario Lopez are at the top of the second wave. Sergio Benedictis is right behind them, with Matias Ruiz and Cristian Rotondo over a quarter-million.

The rest of the top-ten is all over 200,000 and they'll all come back looking to navigate their way into the money and to tomorrow's penultimate session. The PokerStars Blog will be here to bring you all that action, with updates picking back up around 8 PM local time.

Until then, a look at the Day 2 leaderboard is provided below and all the necessary payout information can be found via the link on the right hand side bar. -- WOC

Player Chip Count
Fabian De La Fuente476,000
Juan Parra441,000
Sebastian Ruiz418,000
Andres Viola286,000
Mario Lopez 283,000
Fernando Araujo281,000
Matias Ruiz265,000
Cristian Rotondo256,000
Jacques Blit242,000
Leo Fernandez236,000

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6:49pm: Two doubles keep bubble from bursting
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

Olivio Santin was all-in on the river of a board of A♠T♥7♥4♦2♥, after betting 5,000 on the turn and getting two calls, from Oscar Alache and Pedro Claus.

He then bet his final 5,300 on the river and after some thought, Alache called to put the short stack at risk. Claus folded and Santin was doubling with his A♦8♣, to Alache's Q♦T♣. That moved Santin up near 45,000, still just over a ten big blind stack, while Alache was left with close to double that amount.

A few minutes later, Hugo Spangenberg was all-in on Table 1, with Fernando Araujo calling the 58,000 chip three-bet shove. After the rest of the tables played to completion, the cards were run, with Spanenberg in a great spot to double with J♣J♥ to Araujo's T♣T♦.

The board ran out clean for the superior pocket pair and Spangenberg doubled to just over 120,000, while Ajauro is still very well stacked with close to 280,000. The bubble might be close too but we still need one more elimination to get into the money. -- WOC


Hugo Spangenberg -LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7661.jpg

It's all good, confirms Hugo Spangenberg

6:34pm: Lopez pushes Oliveira on bubble
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

"Una mano mas," said Fernando Obando, tournament director, and again another hand of hand-for-hand was dealt at all eight tables. Seven finished relatively quickly, but one lingered on for several minutes.

It was one in which Mario Lopez opened from middle position for 8,800, Fernando Oliveira three-bet to 18,500 from the cutoff, then it folded back to Lopez who thought about a minute before four-betting to 40,500. Oliveira took his time, too, then called the reraise, and the pair watched a flop come A♥8♦T♦.

Lopez sat quietly again, then dropped forward a bet of 32,800. Oliveira took close to two minutes, then let his hand go. Lopez has about 305,000 at present, while Oliveira is sitting with 205,000 as the bubble continues. 

"Una mano mas." --MH

6:20pm: Vecchio shoves on Viola
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

The bubble period has been relatively uneventful, without a single all-in and call through the first few periods of hand-for-hand play. Everyone thought there was going to be one on an outer table though, as Leandro Vecchio three-bet shoved over an open from Andres Viola.

The big stack opened to 9,000 from early position and Vecchio shoved for close to 70,000 from middle position. The rest of the table folded and Viola did the same, keeping Vecchio, and the bubble, alive. -- WOC

6:12pm: Pedro Claus puts Alache to the test
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

In the first hand of hand-for-hand play, two-time LAPT champion Oscar Alache was put to the test by Pedro Claus. Pre flop action was missed but after the J♠J♥5♠ flop, Alache checked and the in-position Claus bet 30,000.

Alache had just over 69,000 behind and after close to two minutes of thought, Claus said, quote translated, "If you have to think that much, you are losing."

The Chilean laughed and after a few more moments in the tank, he released his hand. Claus showed the T♦ and then said something along the lines of, "If you have a jack, oh well."

Alache certainly didn't but he's now down near 20 big blinds on the immediate bubble. Claus is looking strong though, as he's near 150,000. -- WOC

6:04pm: Hand-for-hand begins
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

The bubble is here -- one more knockout, and the tournament reaches the money. The tables being newly balanced, hand-for-hand play has begun. --MH

5:58pm: Martinez busts Araujo, one from money
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

The tournament had broken down on Route 66 for a good while -- that is, stuck on 66 players remaining -- when finally another elimination came over at Table 7.

With the board showing T♣6♥7♣Q♥ and about 30,000 or so in the middle, Francisco Araujo had pushed all-in from the hijack seat with his last 36,000 or so, and Rafael Martinez went deep into the tank on the button. He took more than a few minutes, often rechecking his cards and looking as though he very much wanted to part with them.

But finally Martinez came up with a call, turning over K♠Q♠ for an open-ended straight draw. Araujo showed he was ahead with 8♦8♥, but the 9♣ dramatically fell on the river to give Martinez his straight, and Araujo quickly grabbed his hoodie and walked out of the tournament room. 

Martinez is up around 120,000 now, and it appears there was another knockout across the room, meaning they are now just one off the money with 64 players left. --MH

5:47pm: Oliveira doubles near bubble
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

We're still three away from the money because Brazil's Marco Oliveira just scored a much needed double against Rafael Roth.

Action was picked up with Roth opening to 11,500 from under the gun and after some folds, Oliveira three-bet shoved from the cutoff. His all-in registered at 45,400 and after close to a minute of thought, Roth called to see his opponent table J♦J♠.

Roth held A♦K♥, so they were off to the races. The Brazilian held through the Q♦T♠8♣ flop and then through the turn and river, as the board ran out with the 4♦ and 5♣. Oliveira gave a quick fist pump and then began stacking his chips, enough to put him dangerously close to 100,000.

Roth is still comfortably stacked with 115,000, with 66 players remaining. -- WOC

Marco Oliveira-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7586.jpg

Jacks hold for Oliveira

5:39pm: Three to the burbuja
Level 16: Blinds 2,000/4,000, Ante 500

With Level 16 now underway, they are down to 66 players -- just three eliminations from the cash. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
162,0004,000500


5:36pm: Castresana catches cards to keep chair
Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000, Ante 400

Just five players off the cash, Agustin Castresana was in danger of heading to the exit early just now after being all-in for his last 55,000 versus Ruben Barros.

Castresana had A♠K♥ while Barros showed 4♦4♣, and three cards into the postflop portion of the hand -- 2♦7♣9♦ -- Castresana still needed help. But the turn was the A♣ and the river the A♦, giving him trips and the pot, and he survives with about 120,000 now. Meanwhile Barros has 138,000. --MH

5:30pm: Leo juggling his way up leaderboard
Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000, Ante 400

While most of this Day 2 field is strictly focused on one thing, the LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event that is seven spots from the money, Leo Fernandez is performing a juggling act for the ages. He's playing PokerStars on his laptop, watching NFL football on his iPad, messaging friends on his iPhone and enjoying a late lunch, all while scoring a knockout to move himself to the top of the leaderboard.


leo2.jpg

Leonardo Fernandez, Renaissance Man
 

Action was picked up with Fernandez checking in the small blind on a board of J♣5♣4♦ and after Nicolas Betbese bet 5,100 from the cutoff, Fernandez check-raised to 15,300. Betbese got a count and then took inventory of his own stack, before announcing himself "all-in".

Fernandez picked his head up from his extracurricular activities and after eyeballing his opponent's stack, the Team PokerStars Pro put out a stack of chips for a call. He was behind, as Betbese tabled Q♠Q♦ but Fernandez had a monster draw, with A♣4♣.

Immediately, Fernandez shot into the lead, after the A♠ gave him aces up on the turn. Betbese was drawing to just two outs heading to the river and after the 2♠ completed the board, his 56,000 chip stack was heading across the table to Fernandez.

The Argentine stacked up 270,000 before going back to his devices. After coming into today's restart with just ten big blinds, Fernandez is now looking like one of the bigger stacks in the room and he'll hope to continue his juggling act even deeper into this Day 2 session. -- WOC

5:17pm: Hilario hits hand, collects versus Venegas
Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000, Ante 400

Following a middle-position limp, it folded to Javier Venegas in the small blind who raised to 9,000, then Oscar Hilario called from the big blind as did the original raiser. 

The T♥T♠9♥ flop brought a bet of 9,000 from Venegas, called only by Hilario. Then after the J♠ turn Venegas checked, Hilario fired 30,000, and Venegas called.

The river was the 9♣, and with a wary look to his left Venegas checked one more time. Hilario gathered together a bet of 32,500 and carefully slid it forward, and Venegas didn't wait that long before calling.

With a bit of emphasis Hilario then turned his cards over onto their backs, showing K♣T♦ for tens full, and Venegas patted the table as his slid his hand face down to the dealer.

Hilario jumps to about 220,000 with that pot, while Venegas is now down to 24,000. --MH


Ballroom-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7341.jpg

The bubble nears on Day 2

5:01pm: Alache ascends back over 100,000
Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000, Ante 400

Oscar Alache came into Day 2 with the biggest stack out of the two starting flights and while he dropped below the 100,000 chip mark before the last break, he quickly got himself back above that threshold. That was thanks to a timely river against Lisandro Gallo, with action picked up pre flop with an under the gun open to 7,300.

Gallo called in the hijack and Alache completed his big blind to see the Q♥5♠3♦ flop. Both Alache and the opener folded, before Gallo bet 6,500. Alache called and the opener folded to send two to the turn.

The T♣ brought checks from both players and Alache sprung into action after the J♣ completed the board. He bet 15,000 and Gallo quickly called, only to see his opponent slide J♥3♥ across the felt.

"Doble?" Gallo asked, before turning over his own A♦J♠, showing that he likely wasn't calling without a pair on the river. He did though and now both players are playing close to 110,000 ten players from the money. -- WOC

4:48pm: Guillenea doubles through Viola
Level 15: Blinds 1,500/3,000, Ante 400

Juan Pablo Guillenea just earned a small double-up through Andres Viola when his pocket eights held against the latter's ace-six, although he's still sitting with below half the average at the moment.

Guillenea has about 55,000 with 75 players left (12 from the cash), while Viola has 245,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
151,5003,000400


4:23pm: Break time

With 76 players left -- that's 13 off the money -- players are off again on another 15-minute break. --MH


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4:20pm: Parra, De La Fuente pacing field
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

Staying true to form from our starting flight coverage, we waited until the second break of the day to bring you the first complete look at top Day 2 counts. That's when the leaderboard starts to take shape and under two tables from the money, these players will likely not be sweating that bubble.

They will try to impose their will on the smaller stacks and through four levels, two players are imposing themselves on this entire field. Juan Parra and Fabin De La Fuente are each playing three times the chip average, with Parra pacing the field with 385,000.


Juan Parra-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7523.jpg

Parra the pace-setter

De La Fuente has done nothing but climb today as well, picking up where he left off during Day 1A, when he led Friday's flight. He's sitting behind 366,000, with Andres Viola just shy of the 300,000 mark.

Cristian Rotondo sits forth, playing over a quarter-million, after coming back for Day 2 with just under 40,000. Leo Fernandez is playing just over 210,000 after beginning today's session with just over a starting stack.

Those two will hope to continue to build but the remaining 76 players will all hope to lock up a LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event score, with that bubble likely bursting within the next two levels. The PokerStars Blog will be here to track all the pre-bubble action, starting with a look at the current chip counts below. -- WOC

Player Chip Count
Juan Parra385,000
Fabian De La Fuente366,000
Andres Viola284,000
Cristian Rotondo258,000
Diego Justo249,000
Leo Fernandez 212,000
Jacques Blit206,000
German Schemini188,000
Sergio De Benedictis187,000
Lisandro Gallo172,000
Fernando Araujo169,000
Matias Carrera162,000
Julio Grimau158,000
Matias Ruiz148,000
Sergio Luis De Pego143,000
Pedro Claus139,000
Emiliano Alcaide121,000
Javier Venegas118,000
Amos Ben94,000
Mario Lopez 93,000

4:17pm: Big pot puts De La Fuente back in front
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

Fabian De La Fuente opened for 5,600 and it folded to Eduardo Santi who made it 16,000 to go. It folded back to De La Fuente who paused a few beats then called, then the pair watched the flop come 5♦6♥Q♥.

De La Fuente checked, and Santi didn't wait too long before betting 20,000. De La Fuente again acted with deliberation, taking his time before pushing out a raise to 45,000. That sent Santi into the tank for about a minute, and finally he emerged by pushing all-in for around 70,000 total. 

De La Fuente called in a flash, tabling Q♣Q♠ for a flopped set, while Santi saw he was all but drawing dead with A♦K♦. The 8♣ turn did mean the river was no matter, and Santi is out.

De La Fuente is still stacking, but it looks like he now has more than 340,000, making him the chip leader as Level 14 nears its end. --MH


Fabian de la Fuente-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7402.jpg

Fabian looking fabulous

4:12pm: Two tables to payday
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

With 15 minutes remaining in Level 14, the big board in the tournament area reads that 79 players are still alive from the original 438. That means that we are two tables away from this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event field making the money, something we expect to occur on the other side of the next break.

Before then, we'll bring you the first look at the Day 2 leaderboard, with a combination of big and notable counts coming shortly. -- WOC

4:05pm: 'Feature table' home to two of the biggest
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

While the PokerStars Blog will be bringing you all the action from this Day 2 session, the updates from Table 1 might not be coming at the same rate as the rest of the tournament area. That's because the feature table is separated from the rest of the active lineups, something that will come in handy when this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event is down to the final table.

Until then, we'll stop in to check on the action from time to time and midway through Level 14, two of the bigger stacks in the room are seated across from each other at Table 1. Sergio De Benedictis is still working 180,000 and Brazil's Fernando Araujo is close to 175,000.

Those counts aren't good for the tip-top of the current leaderboard but with the chip average sitting near 100,000, both Benedictis and Araujo are in great positions heading towards the money. -- WOC

3:59pm: Barbero bounced; Schemini shoots upward
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

With the board showing all clubs -- 9♣6♣4♣ -- German Fernandez Schemini pushed all-in, sending Nacho Barbero deep into the tank for about three minutes. Finally Barbero emerged to call, putting the last of his stack at risk.

Barbero had top pair and a flush draw with J♣9♦, but the draw was of no use to him as Schemini already had gotten there with Q♣T♣. The turn was the 8♠ and river the 2♠, and Barbero is out.

Schemini now sits with about 205,000. --MH

3:47pm: Gallo gets some from Viola
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

"Champion... champion!"

So said Lisandro Gallo just now (in Spanish) after winning a pot against current chip leader Andres Viola, describing his own play on the river. 

On the turn with the board showing 8♥5♦J♦7♣, Viola had bet 7,400 and Gallo called quickly, making the pot about 13,000. Then after the 4♥ river, Viola bet again -- this time 13,000 -- and after waiting a half-minute Gallo gathered calling chips, then added some more and pushing out a stack of 29,000.

Viola dragged a finger across the air before himself as though drawing a line he was unwilling to cross, and folded his hand.

As the pot was delivered Gallo's way, that's when he offered his self-evaluation. He sits with about 135,000 now, while Viola is still the pace-setter in the room with 275,000. --MH


Lisandro Gallo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7319.jpg

Gallo, grinning like a champ

3:39pm: Thumbs up but Bertoldi goes down slightly
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

Gabriella Costa fell towards the end of Level 12, which means the lone female remaining in this LATP9 Uruguay Main Event is Costa's countrywoman Igianne Bertoldi. She's at a relatively stacked Table 3 lineup, contending with Jacques Blit, Amos Ben and Diego Justo, who just joined that group.

Bertoldi was just involved in hand with Cristian Velasquez, who has a similar stack size to the Brazilian, with that action picked up on a board of J♥8♣5♦5♠. Bertoldi checked the turn and Velasquez bet 5,000, with Bertoldi calling to see the A♥ complete the board.

Both players checked and after Bertoldi tabled 7♥7♠, Velasquez threw over 9♥9♦, with his pair being good enough to win the pot. Bertoldi gave him a thumbs up but her stack takes a slip down, as she's working 55,000. Velasquez is working just under 70,000, which each a dozen or so big blinds from the chip average. -- WOC

Igianne Bertoldi-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7359.jpg

Bertoldi battling below average

3:25pm: Leo leaps up
Level 14: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 300

Leo Fernandez started the day with a stack oof 23,500 -- about half the average at the time -- but now he's in much better shape after doubling up again, this time through Agustin Castresana.

We only caught the aftermath of this one, with Fernandez showing T♠9♦, Castresana Q♥J♦, and the Team PokerStars Pro's hand being best thanks to the A♥2♥8♣Q♣J♠ board. Looked like chips probably got in on the river on that one, given how the river made Castresana two pair and Fernandez while filling a backdoor straight.

Fernandez is up to 160,000 now while Castresana still has 66,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
141,2002,400200


3:18pm: Garcia can't fade fifth street
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300 

Gonzalo Garcia open-raised all-in with his last 14,200 from middle position, and it appeared the raise was going to get through as it folded all of the way around to Eduardo Santi in the big blind. But Santi didn't fold right away, and after getting a count of Garcia's chips he quickly pulled some off of his stack to call.

Santi had K♣T♣ and Garcia A♥8♥, and after the 2♣9♣Q♦ flop and 5♠ it again looked as though everything was going to be all right for Garcia. But the T♦ came on the river, and after grabbing the sides of his head in anguish Garcia wished the table well before departing.

Santi now sits with 148,000. --MH

3:12pm: Click, click, click on Table 4
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300 

Table 4 just went two straight hands without seeing a flop but there was still plenty of action, as a dynamic seems to be developing between three of the eight players. They've been clicking some buttons pre flop and while we have yet to see that dynamic boil over just yet, it's bound to happen eventually.

The first hand saw Nicolas Godoy open the button to 5,500 and after some thought, Fernando Luiz De Oliveira three-bet to 13,500 from the small blind. The big folded and after some thought, Godoy four-bet shoved for just over 50,000.

The Brazilian three-bettor instantly folded and Godoy took in the pot. On the very next hand, Godoy opened again, this time from the cutoff, to 4,800. Oliveira was in position this time and three-bet again, sizing this raise to 10,500.

He was likely trying to attach Godoy for a second hand in a row but he forgot to account for the blinds. That's where Antonio Vilarins was sitting in the small and after he took inventory of his 45,000 chip stack, he four-bet shoved.

Both Godoy and Oliveira immediately folded, leading a few players on the other end of the table to wonder what all those raises were trying to represent. For now, we don't know, as we haven't seen any hands tabled but we imagine these three are looking to keep that kind of information to themselves until they have the goods. -- WOC


??????????-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7551.jpg

An Oliveira chip-check by Brazilian blogger, Sergio Prado

2:58pm: Ricardo cut down
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300 

A short-stacked Ricardo Chauriye was just all-in with A♣Q♠ which gave him the preflop edge against Franco Bochini's A♦T♣. But a T♦5♣3♠ flop swung the advantage to Bochini, and after the 3♦ turn and 6♦ river, Chauriye's Main Event run ended.

Bochini sits with about 60,000. --MH

2:52pm: Castresana continues Day 2 climb
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

Marcelo Caceres peaked midway through yesterday's Day 1B flight but then fell slightly before bag just under the chip average. He hung close to that mark through the first two levels of today's restart but midway through Level 13, he was bounced by Agustin Castresana.

Action was picked up with the Argentine Castresana opening from early position and after the table folded to Caceres, who was in the big, he shoved. His all-in was for 37,000 and with well over 130,000 in front of him, Castresana flicked a chip into the pot for a call.

It was a flip for the short stack's life, as Caceres held J♠T♣ to Castresana's 8♠8♥. While the K♠T♠6♠ flop gave Caceres a stranglehold on the hand, the turn left him in trouble. It was the 8♦, one of only two cards that could win the pot for Castresana and after the 5♣ bricked on the river, the former 1B chip leader was left to bemoan his luck, or lack thereof.

As he headed out of the tournament area, Castresana stacked up close to 170,000, over four times what he began today's Day 2 session with just three hours ago. -- WOC

2:49pm: Guibert gets got by flopped set; Carrera cruising
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300 

With the board showing 2♥4♠A♥, Marco Guibert was all-in and at risk holding A♣K♥ for top pair, top kicker. Alas for Guibert, he was up against Matias Gaston Carrera's 2♦2♣ that gave him a set of deuces. The 3♠ on the turn made a chop possible, but the river was the Q♦ and Guibert is out.

Carrera jumps up to just over 200,000 with that big pot, moving him up near the lead. --MH

2:38pm: Down to 100
Level 13: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300 

Among the players hitting the rail of late was Gustavo Echeverri who fell quickly after starting the day with a top ten stack. 

The field is down to 100 players now, meaning the chip average is around 86,000. --MH

2:30pm: Back from break, just over 100 remain
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

A quick review by the tournament staff found that there are 102 players remaining heading into Level 13, meaning this Day 2 field is just a handful of table breaks from the money.

63 players will cash in Evento Principal and a full list of the payout structure can be found on the right hand side of the PokerStars Blog. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
131,0002,000300


2:12pm: Break it up
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

Two Day 2 levels are in the books and the big board reads 112 players remaining. That means the remaining field will be split in two, the haves and the have nots as we move towards the money.

63 players will cash in this event, with the PokerStars Blog returning to bring you all that action on the other side of break. -- WOC


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2:09pm: Schemini not intimidated by the big stacks
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

There are just a few minutes remaining in Level 12 and there are starting to be a few big stacks at every table of this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event Day 2 session. Two are in close quarters on an outer table but that hasn't fazed German Schemini.

He just played a pot against Diego Justo and Matias Carrera, with that action picked up on a board of Q♥6♣5♣. Justo, who opened the action pre flop, bet 4,600 and after Carrera called in the cutoff, Schemini raised to 11,500 from the button.

Both players quickly called and after the J♦ fell on the turn, they checked to the flop raiser. Schemini cut out 25,500 and slid it across the felt, forcing a race from Justo and a decent trip to the tank from Carrera.

Eventually, he said "No." and pushed his cards to the dealer, while trying to get Schemini to show what he was betting with. He didn't, instead taking in the pot that brings him up near the 100,000 chip mark. Carrera is over that number, with Justo still pacing the lineup with close to 140,000. -- WOC

2:01pm: Bryan Oliver battles back from short stack
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200 

Bryan Oliver came into this Day 2 session with just over a starting stack but heading towards the final stretch of Level 12, he's over the 100,000 chip mark after scoring a double through Gustavo Santucci. Action was picked up with Oliver checking the K♣9♣6♦ flop from the blinds and a player betting 6,200.

Santucci called and after some thought, Oliver check-raised all-in for 48,000. The initial bettor quickly folded and action was then back on Santucci, who took some time to count out his remaining stack. He had just over 60,000, so he was more or less playing for his tournament life as well, if he elected to call.

He eventually did, tabling A♣J♣ for the nut flush draw. Oliver had the best of it, with 6♣5♣ but instead of drawing to the flush, which he likely expected could be his way to victory in the pot, he had to avoid another club falling off. Two black cards came on the turn and river but they were spades, wit the 7♠ and 6♠ confirming the double for Oliver.

When the dust settled, he was behind close to 105,000, while Santucci is down to just ten big blinds heading towards the final ten minutes of the period. -- WOC

1:52pm: Gabrielle gone
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200 

Alas for Gabrielle Costa, her LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event run has come to an abrupt halt here in Level 12.

After Bryce Daifuku opened for 3,500, Costa reraised-pushed her last 27,000 and when it got back to Daifuku he called, not having her covered by a lot. 

Costa had 5♦5♣ and Daifuku A♣K♦, and the A♥8♣6♣7♥J♥ runout gave the latter the better pair and sent Costa to the exit.

Daifuku has close to 60,000 now. --MH

1:49pm: River hits Jiminez
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200 

Following an open from the cutoff, Hector Jiminez reraised all-in for about 15,000 and it folded to Leo Fernandez in the big blind. He thought a moment, then pushed all-in over the top, forcing out the original raiser.

Jiminez had A♠9♠ and Fernandez T♠T♥, and through the K♣7♦9♣ flop and 4♣ turn it looked bleak for Jiminez. But the A♥ fell on fifth street, prompting Jiminez to knock the table in response.

"Ahh...," exhaled Fernandez. "The famous river."

Jiminez has about 32,000 now while Fernandez still has 58,000. --MH

1:42pm: Santin survives, collects from Costa
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

A preflop all-in between a couple of short stacks saw Olivo Santin at risk with 9♠9♦ versus Gabrielle Costa's A♥6♠. The 4♦3♦8♠8♣2♠ runout proved favorable to Santin and he survives, but both players remain well below the average.

Santin has about 16,000, while Costa is playing 22,000. --MH


Gabrielle Costa-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7485.jpg

Costa still smiling

1:36pm: Barging their way into the coverage
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

Over the first level and a half of this Day 2 session, a few players have pushed their way onto the leaderboard. These four players were not exactly on the PokerStars Blog's radar heading into the restart, after slightly pedestrian Day 1 totals, but we can't ignore them any longer.

The biggest of those Day 2 gainers is Sergio De Benedictis, who won that massive flip against Gustavo Echeverri earlier today. Benedictis is up and over 180,000, while Jacques Blit is playing the better part of 175,000. Juan Parra Garcias is also over double the chip average with 160,000 and Diego Justo is just behind him with 155,000.

It's not how you start, it's how you finish and after treading through the starting flights with anonymity, these four players are looking like serious contenders as this field continues to move towards the 100 player mark. -- WOC

1:22pm: Echeverri trying to climb back
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

At the start of play today, Gustavo Echeverri checked in with us over at the desk to take a gander at the chip counts to start the day. Seeing his was just outside of the top five to begin with 138,000, he grinned from beneath the brim of his signature tan cowboy hat.

"Seis," he said, noting his sixth-place position. "Not bad," he added in English.

Alas for Echeverri, the start of Day 2 could've gone better. In fact just now he watched his neighbor Fabian Chauriye open for 3,500 and responded with an all-in push for his remaining stack. After the others folded, Chauriye got a count and then folded his hand, and Echeverri showed his A♣T♣ before collecting the pot.

The pair engaged in talk afterwards, with Echeverri again appearing to be indicating ace-ten suited to have been "not bad" given the circumstances.

Right now he has about 35,000, while Chauriye is up around 110,000. --MH


Gustavo Echeverri-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7345.jpg

Echeverri (a little earlier)

1:19pm: Harreguy more than doubles, Zevola crippled, Muller eliminated
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

A sizable three-way all-in just played out on Table 11 and before the flop, it looked like Marco Zevola was in a great position to shoot himself the chip average. Instead, it was a timely turn card that moved Jose Harreguy over that threshold, with the action picked up pre flop.

Manuel Vuotto opened in early position and Harreguy called, before a few folds put the action on Zevola. He then three-bet shoved from the button, for 36,700 and after a fold in the small blind, Janir Muller called for less in the big.

Muller's stack weighed in at 16,500 and after Vuotto got a count of both at risk players, he elected to fold. With just over 26,000 in front of him, Harreguy was in a tough spot and a minute of thought saw him decide it was time to make a move.

He called and immediately, Zevola tabled A♥K♠. Harreguy cringed, as he flipped over A♠J♠ and while he was dominated, the short stacked Muller was live with Q♣T♠.

Big slick stayed in the lead on the 8♠6♥6♦ flop but after the J♣ turn card, Zevola looked sick to his stomach. The 4♥ completed the board and when the dust settled, Harreguy was stacking up the better part of 80,000.

Muller was eliminated and Zevola might be following him out the door shortly, as he was left with less than 9,000 chips. -- WOC

1:10pm: Bertoldi calls, collects
Level 12: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

With the board showing 5♥K♦4♣3♥4♥ and a decent pot already developed, German Poncio fired a bet of around 15,000 and after thinking a short while Igianne Bertoldi called.

When she did, Poncio patted the felt as a prelude to congratulating her as he showed 8♥7♦ for a failed bluff. Bertoldi tabled A♣5♣ for a rivered wheel, and she claimed the pot.

Bertoldi is up around 70,000 now while Poncio slips to 18,000. --MH

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
128001,600200

12:59pm: Three going for three
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

There are three players starting today's Day 2 with a chance to establish new LAPT records by winning a third Main Event title. All three began the day with big stacks as well, although after nearly one level one has slipped to below average status already.

Oscar Alache (winner of LAPT7 Brazil and LAPT8 Chile) began the day with the chip lead and still has a very healthy 162,000, good for the top five. 


Oscar Alache-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7373.jpg

Alache setting sights even higher

Mario Lopez (winner of LAPT7 Chile and last year's champion in Punta del Este for LAPT8 Uruguay) began with a top five stack but has dropped back a little. He still has 118,000, though, which is nearly twice the average.

Finally Nacho Barbero (winner of back-to-back titles at LAPT3 Uruguay and LAPT3 Peru) started the day with healthy chips, but now sits with just 35,000. --MH

12:53pm: Plenty to play for on PokerStars, too
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

There is almost a $600,000 prize pool up for grabs in this LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event and just over $110,000 will go to our eventual champion. That prize pool is nothing to scoff at but there is plenty to play for on PokerStars as well.

The final weekend of the World Championship of Online Poker is upon us and that means a $10,000,000 GTD, $5,000 buy-in Main Event, two $1,000,000 GTD tournaments and plenty more good value birds.

A few players in this Day 2 session have been seen multi-tabling early, including Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez, Mario Lopez, Bernardo Abramovich and Nacho Barbero. The latter has been tapping at his iPad all weekend and we don't expect that to stop any time soon, especially with so much up for grabs.

A complete list of the WCOOP schedule can be found here.


The World Championship of Online Poker is underway, with huge prize pools up for grabs this weekend. Click here to get in the action.

12:46pm: Benedictis flips better than Echeverri
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

The swings in tournament poker can be brutal at any stage of a tournament but when you come in with a top stack, players usually expect to continue to grow. Gustavo Echeverri likely would have picked up where he left off last night, had he not run into Sergio De Benedictis.

The two just played a massive pot on Table 15 and while the early action was missed, all signs pointed to the chips getting in pre flop. Echeverri held 9♣9♥ and Benedictis had A♣K♣ tabled in front of his seat with the board reading 7♣4♣4♦6♣Q♣.

That seat was empty though, as Benedictis had stepped away to give himself a fist pump to celebrate the double, while Echeverri was left to assess the damage. When the dealer cut down Benedictis' stack, Echeverri had to ship 72,200 one spot to his left, dropping him down near 27,000.

Benedictis on the other hand, is now looking like one of the top stacks in the room, with just under 150,000. -- WOC

12:35pm: Gaissler gaining thanks to successful bluff
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

Muriel Gaissler returned for this Day 2 session just over the chip average but in one of the first hands he played, he ran a river bluff that has put him within touching distance of the 100,000 chip mark. Action in the early stages of the hand was missed but with the board showing Q♠9♣3♦3♠5♦, Gaissler moved all-in from the blinds.

His opponent, Jorge Ramella, asked for a count and when the dealer ran the numbers, Gaissler's stack weighed in at 41,900. That was a large majority of Ramella's stack and after close to two minutes in the tank, he let his hand go.

Immediately, Gaissler tabled his hand and even though he didn't have to, everyone knew why. He wanted to show the successful bluff, slamming 4♦4♠ down on the table, much to the displeasure of his opponent. -- WOC

12:29pm: Fernandez finds a double
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

The lone Team PokerStars Pro in the event Leo Fernandez started today with a short stack, and while he's still below the average he just scored a much needed double-up to keep things going for him.

All-in with A♥Q♦ versus the K♥Q♣ of Marcelo David Albojer, the better hand held through the 9♦9♠7♦T♠9♠ board and Fernandez is up to around 45,000. Meanwhile Albojer slips to about 5,000 and is in the danger zone. --MH


Leo Fernandez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7351.jpg

Leo looking to leap up

12:16pm: Viola vaults in front
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

Andres Viola returned to one of the top stacks in the room, and he just added a few more after knocking out Gabriel Mega.

The pair got all of the latter's chips in on the 5♣Q♦T♦ flop, with Mega holding K♣K♠ and Viola drawing to a flush with A♦7♦. The 3♠ turn was okay for Mega, but the J♦ was not, giving Viola the pot and sending Mega railward.

Viola is up round 220,000 it appears, having jumped ahead of Oscar Alache and Fabian De La Feunte in the early going to grab the chip lead. --MH


Andres Viola-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7048.jpg

Chip Concerto No. 1, for Viola

12:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 11: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

Let's play some cards! The average stack to start the day is just over 56,000. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
116001,200200


11:30am: Alache on top to start Day 2

It's an unseasonably warm Sunday morning in Punta del Este, and soon the poker action will be heating up as well with the start of Day 2 of the Latin American Poker Tour Uruguay Main Event.

We've been reporting on Oscar Alache's LAPT successes for quite some time now, highlighted by two Main Event victories in the space of a few months when he won the LAPT7 Grand Final in late 2014, then went back to his home country and captured the LAPT8 Chile title in Viña del Mar in early 2015. 

Yesterday Alache struggled through the afternoon session, busting just prior to the dinner break and having to reenter just as the opportunity to do so was about to be taken away. He'd start the post-dinner session winning a big hand with a straight flush to crack an opponent's aces, and it was up, up, up from there as he ended the night bagging 177,700 to carry the chip lead into today's second day of play.

Fabian De La Fuente will be Alache's nearest challenger to start the day -- just behind him with 176,400 -- with Javier Venegas, Andres Viola, and another two-time LAPT champion Mario Lopez rounding out the top five. Gustavo Echeverri, Amos Ben, Lisandro Gallo, and a third two-time LAPT winner Nacho Barbero are also returning to bigger than average stacks. 

From the 438-entry field just 155 players will be coming back today, all vying for a piece of the $571,590 prize pool to be divided among the top 63 finishers, with a cool $110,870 prize and LAPT trophy sitting up top awaiting the winner. Click here for a look at the start-of-Day-2 stacks for all 155 players.

The plan today is to continue with one-hour levels as usual, starting with Level 11 (600/1,200/200). They'll take a 75-minute dinner break after Level 16, then come back and likely try to play down to 32 players. 


Ballroom-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7205.jpg

Day 2 awaits

Join us shortly for the start of play as we'll be here all day and night with updates, hand reports, chip counts, photos and more from Day 2 of LAPT9 Uruguay. --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