LAPT9 Uruguay: Pedro Claus fills bag full of chips to lead to Main Event final table

We had a feeling an Argentinian player might be leading to starting tomorrow's final table here at the Latin American Poker Tour Uruguay Main Event. After all there were only 25 among the final 32 (!), and indeed one of them -- Pedro Claus -- will be the frontrunner when tomorrow's final day kicks off.

Claus grabbed the chip lead during the late afternoon and held onto it through the end of the day as he ultimately collected 2.23 million. Quite a lot to fill a bag at night's end, not unlike the big bag of children's gifts carried around by his namesake every Christmas. We don't expect him to be gifting them to anyone tomorrow, though.


Pedro Claus-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8116.jpg

Pedro Claus

When play began on this Day 3 of the Latin American Poker Tour Uruguay Main Event, just 32 were left from the 438-entry starting field, all with an eye toward making tomorrow's eight-handed final table and earning a big piece of the event's $571,590 prize pool -- perhaps the $110,870 sitting up top for the winner.

At the start of play two-time LAPT Main Event champion Mario Lopez held the chip lead, and as he maintained his big stack during the early going it appeared very likely he'd at least be making it to tomorrow. But as the field whittled down -- with Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez one of the early knockouts in 29th -- Lopez saw others pass him in the counts, eventually going out in 14th.

Fernandez and Lopez were two of those 25 Argentinian players among the final 32, but with 13 left there were still 10 of them among the field. LAPT Season 6 Player of the Year Amos Ben of Chile next fell in 13th, followed by two more Argentinians -- Fabian De La Fuente (12th) and Julio Alberto Grimau (11th) -- the latter unfortunately losing his stack in a hand in which he misread his cards (see the hand report -- and reports of every other elimination today -- down below).

Meanwhile Claus had already well established his chip lead, widening it even further at the nine-handed final table which ultimately only lasted about an orbit. 

The night ended with one last Argentinian, Fernando Vitola, falling to one of the remaining Brazilians, Fernando Araujo. That pot put Araujo up to 1.49 million to end the night to secure him second position in the counts, but not nearly enough to challenge the wide lead of Claus. 

Here's how the counts stack up to begin tomorrow's final table, where Argentina will be sending six players and Brazil the other two:

Pedro Claus (Argentina) -- 2,230,000
Fernando Araujo (Brazil) -- 1,490,000
Manuel Vuotto (Argentina) -- 1,416,000
Nicolas Pernigotti (Argentina) -- 1,043,000
Ruben Barros (Argentina) -- 866,000
Sergio De Benedictis (Argentina) -- 772,000
Marco Oliveira (Brazil) -- 562,000
Cristian Andres Rotondo (Argentina) -- 294,000

Argentina already holds the record with nine LAPT titles, more than any country. Come back tomorrow starting at 12 noon local time (one hour in front of ET) and we'll find out together if the country wins a 10th -- or if Brazil picks up their seventh Main Event trophy.

Until then, buenas noches! --MH


LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event Day 3 Updates

8:07pm: Fernando Vitola eliminated in 9th place ($10,400)
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

A few hands after Ruben Barros doubled, short stack Fernando Vitola tried to do the same. He didn't have the same success though, as he shoved 306,000 from middle position and found a caller in Fernando Araujo.

The Brazilian was in the small blind and after the big blind got out of the way, Vitola saw he was drawing to just three immediate outs. The Argentine held A♦T♠ to A♥Q♠ and after the Q♦8♣7♣ flop, needed running cards to stay alive.

Fernando Vitola-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7904.jpg

Fernando Vitola - 9th place

The 8♦ confirmed his fate on the turn, as he was officially drawing dead and as the 4♥ fell on the river, the rest of the final table celebrated making it official. Vitola got congratulations from the entire lineup and then headed to the payout desk, while Araujo, with some cheers from the Brazilian contingent on the rail, stacked up just under 1,500,000.

That looks like it will be good for second best coming into tomorrow's final day, with a complete list of counts coming shortly. -- WOC

7:59pm: Barros bumps up through De Benedictis
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

On the third hand after the redraw, Ruben Barros open-raised to 80,000 from middle position, leaving himself about 260,000 behind, and it folded around to Manuel Vuotto in the big blind.

Vuotto checked his cards and began to study Barros, and he responded by taking off his Miami Heat baseball cap and glasses, grinning widely as he did. Eventually Vuotto decided it best to fold, showing an A♦ as he did.

On the very next hand, Barros open-raised again -- this time for 100,000 -- and it folded to Sergio De Benedictis in the cutoff who announced he was reraising all-in. The action quickly folded back to Barros who called right away, tabling A♥K♦ while De Benedictis showed A♠Q♣.

The board ran out 5♥A♦5♠4♦9♦, and now Barros is up to 895,000. Meanwhile De Benedictis slips to 775,000. --MH


Ruben Barros-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7942.jpg

Barros no longer the short stack

7:50pm: Unofficial final table, one more elimination ends Day 3
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

We're now down to our unofficial LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event final table and save for Sergio De Benedictis, the counts remain the same as when we came back from the dinner break. De Benedictis is now playing 1,000,000 but there are a still a few short stacks hoping to make the final eight, including Fernando Vitola and Cristian Andres Rotondo.

They are each near ten big blinds and will be the ones to watch over the next few orbits. One more elimination will end Day 3, with the PokerStars Blog bringing you all the action through the rest of the night. The final table seating assignments are listed below. -- WOC

Final Table

Seat 1: Manuel Vuotto
Seat 2: Nicolas Pernigotti
Seat 3: Ruben Barros
Seat 4: Pedro Claus
Seat 5: Fernando Araujo
Seat 6: Cristian Andres Rotondo
Seat 7: Marco Oliveira
Seat 8: Sergio De Benedictis
Seat 9: Fernando Vitola

7:42pm: Federico Roberto eliminated in 10th place ($8,640)
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

Fernando Vitola got two shoves through on Table 2 within the first five minutes of Level 25 but when Federico Roberto moved all-in at the adjacent table, he was looked up. Manuel Vuotto opened to 67,000 from the hijack and Sergio De Benedictis called in the cutoff before Roberto three-bet shoved the button.

He had just under 320,000 and after the blinds, and Vuotto, folded, De Benedictis snap called to put the short stack at risk. It was a flip, with Roberto holding A♥J♥ to De Benedictis' 7♥7♦.

After the Q♦Q♣7♠ flop, that flip was more or less over and the short stack was drawing dead after the 6♥ fell on the turn. The 5♠ meaninglessly completed the board and Roberto hit the rail in 10th place. He'll miss out on the unofficial final table but De Benedictis will be taking nearly 1,000,000 into that nine-handed redraw.


Federico Roberto-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7978.jpg

Federico Roberto - 10th place

A complete list of the new seating assignments will be posted when play resumes. -- WOC

7:35pm: Play resumes; 10 remain
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

We're back! They're back. Poker is happening. Just two more eliminations and we'll know who has made the next LAPT Main Event final table. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2515,00030,0004,000


6:20pm: Ten remain on dinner, Claus sits atop counts

The remaining ten players decided to take their scheduled dinner break after Level 24. They'll return in 75 minutes to first combine to an unofficial nine-handed final table, with one player separating that group from the "mesa final".


Pedro Claus-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7888.jpg

Pedro Claus is top of the charts into dinner

As it stands, there is a pretty wide gap between the top and bottom halves of the leaderboard, with four players sitting with over seven-figures and the rest below the chip average. Pedro Claus leads with nearly 2,000,000, with Manuel Vuotto sitting second with 1,500,000.

While those two are pacing the field, there will be a few players coming back at or just over the ten big blind mark when play resumes. Fernando Vitola will be the shortest, with exactly ten bigs, meaning all eyes will be on the Argentine when Level 25 begins.

The PokerStars Blog will be here to bring you all the action on the other side of dinner, with play set to resume just after 7:30 PM local time. A complete list of the remaining counts is provided below.

Table 1
Seat 1: Sergio De Benedictis - 645,000
Seat 2: Federico Roberto - 367,000
Seat 3: Marco Oliveira - 657,000
Seat 4: Nicolas Pernigotti - 1,007,000
Seat 5: Manuel Vuotto - 1,561,000

Table 2
Seat 1: Fernando Araujo - 1,211,000
Seat 2: Pedro Claus - 1,985,000
Seat 3: Ruben Barros - 494,000
Seat 4: Cristian Andres Rotondo - 417,000
Seat 5: Fernando Vitola - 305,000

6:18pm: Julio Alberto Grimau eliminated in 11th place ($7,480)
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

Fernando Araujo raised to 50,000 from the cutoff and it folded around to Julio Alberto Grimau who called from the big blind. The flop fell 6♥Q♥9♣, and Grimau chose to push all-in, earning a call from Oliveira.

Oliveira had K♦Q♣ while Grimau tabled A♦J♥. The turn was the Q♦, which actually meant that Grimau was drawing dead. However, that didn't stop him from watching intently as the dealer burned a card and produced fifth street -- the 5♥.

That's when Grimau did something that surprised everyone -- he cried out in celebration! He walked several steps away from the table, continuing to shout, when the table called him back in a pleading chorus. Clearly he'd thought somehow he'd won the hand, and they had to set him straight.

He came back to the table, and as the dealer was pointing out how Arauj0 had won Grimau pushed his cards forward, then realized to his dismay -- they weren't two hearts, but a heart and a diamond! He'd thought he pushed all-in on a flush draw and had gotten there on fifth street, but alas for him he'd misread his hand.

Grimau is out in 11th, and Araujo is the beneficiary of his tournament-ending misstep, as he's now stacking about 1.05 million. --MH


Julio Grimau-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7970.jpg

Julio Alberto Grimau - 11th place
 

6:12pm: Fabian De La Fuente eliminated in 12th place ($7,480)
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

Prior to the two table redraw, Fabian De La Fuente was at or near the top of the leaderboard for the past two days. A few speed bumps had dropped him down but De La Fuente showed he could work a short stack as well.

Eventually, he got down to the ten big blind mark and when the table folded to him on the button, he shoved for 248,000. The small blind folded and Manuel Vuotto was there in the big to put FDLF at risk.

Vuotto held 5♠5♦ and needed to hold against the K♦8♥ of the short stack. He did, as the 9♠4♠2♣T♠J♦ board confirmed De La Fuente's 12th place elimination.

He'll earn just under $7,500 for his LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event run, while Vuotto has to have his mind on the final table. The Argentine is behind nearly 1,650,000 and battling for the chip lead with Pedro Claus. -- WOC

Fabian de la Fuente-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8027.jpg

Fabian De La Fuente - 12th place

6:05pm: Vitola victorious thanks to runner-runner straight
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

Almost immediately after Amos Ben was dispatched from Table 2, Fernando Vitola got his short stack in with pocket jacks. Vitola shoved for 148,000 from the button, after Ruben Barros opened to 56,000 from under the gun.

Barros snap called after the blinds folded and his Q♣Q♥ was in great shape against the short stack's J♣J♥. Vitola was more or less dead after the K♠Q♠5♥ flop but the A♣ on the turn gave him a small chance at survival.

Sometimes, all you need is a small chance and Vitola took his, as the T♣ completed the board to save his tournament life. Barros had stepped away from the table when the hands were tabled and after another player alerted him that he'd hit a set, he returned, only to see the destruction on the river.

He could only shake his head and Vitola was doing the same, except without the negative body language. He doubled to just over 325,000 and while he's still one of the shortest stacks, he's still alive. -- WOC

5:54pm: Amos Ben eliminated in 13th place ($7,480)
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

The frequently active Fernando Araujo opened for 50,000 from middle position, and it folded to Amos Ben in the blinds who reraise-shoved with his last 290,000. Araujo thought for about a half-minute, then made the call, showing A♠J♠ versus Ben's 7♣7♠.

The flop rolled out A♥J♥8♦, putting Araujo in front, and after the Q♠ turn and T♦ river Ben stood and shook hands with Araujo before departing in 13th.


Amos Ben-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7913.jpg

Amos Ben - 13th place

Araujo's up-and-down day continues, and now he has 640,000. --MH

5:52pm: Half-hour to dinner, maybe
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

We're midway through Level 24 and a 75-minute dinner break is scheduled once this period concludes. As of now, that's the plan but if this remaining field agrees to forgo the dinner break, we'll continue playing.

Don't worry, we'll keep you posted no matter what happens, as we're just a few spots from the LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event final table. -- WOC

5:45pm: Pernigotti continues to punish De Benedictis
Level 24: Blinds 12,000/24,000, Ante 3,000

Shortly after the two table redraw, Nicolas Pernigotti made a tough river call against Sergio De Benedicitis with fourth-pair and a few moments ago, he just picked up another pot in a battle of the Argentines.

This time, Manuel Vuotto opened the action with a limp from under the gun and De Benedictis limped as the next player to act. It folded to Pernigotti, who was in the big blind, and he raised to 124,000.

Vuotto let his hand go but De Benedictis hung around to see the K♠K♦5♥ flop. Both players checked and they did the same after the Q♣ fell on the turn. The 4♣ completed the board and Pernigotti slid 121,000 into the middle, with his opponent snap calling.

De Benedictis might have thought he caught Pernigotti trying to push him around but he wasn't, as Pernigotti tabled A♣A♥. De Benedictis cursed under his breath and then shipped a decent portion of his stack across the table. He's now down to 320,000, while Pernigotti is peaking with 1,160,000. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2412,00024,0003,000


5:30pm: Claus claims more from Araujo
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

In the last hand of the level, Fernando Araujo opened for 40,000 from the cutoff, then leader Pedro Daniel Claus three-bet to 102,000 from the button. The blinds got out, Araujo called, and the flop came J♦6♣3♥.

Araujo checked, Claus bet 125,000, and Araujo called. Both then checked both the 6♠ turn and 4♠ river.

Araujo showed A♥Q♦, but Claus had it beat with K♦J♠ to take the pot.

Araujo is down around 505,000 at present, while Claus has climbed way up over 2.3 million to build a substantial lead with 13 left. --MH

5:22pm: Mario Lopez eliminated in 14th place ($6,580)
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000
 
Fabian De La Fuente opened with an all-in shove from late position and it folded to Mario Lopez in the big blind. Down to less than 200,000 -- though a bit more than what De La Fuente had -- Lopez thought a short while and then called, tabling A♥7♥.

Alas for Lopez, De La Fuente had A♣9♥, and after the board came 3♠T♣J♦8♣Q♣ to give De La Fuente a straight and the pot, Lopez was down to just 37,000.

From that 3,000 went in as the ante and 10,000 as the small blind on the next hand for Lopez, and when De La Fuente made another raise he called the other 24,000 and was all-in and at risk.

Lopez had T♥9♥ and a fighting chance against De La Fuente's K♥J♦, but the board came A♦7♥6♠5♦3♦ and Lopez's quest for back-to-back LAPT Uruguay Main Event titles -- and a record third LAPT win -- ended with a 14th-place finish.


Mario Lopez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7882.jpg

Mario Lopez - 14th place

De La Fuente now has about 440,000. --MH

5:18pm: Another battle of the big stacks
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

A few moments after the encounter between Mario Lopez and Manuel Vuotto, another massive hand played out on the other table. The pre flop action between Pedro Claus and Ruben Barros was missed but on a board of K♠Q♦T♠, Claus bet 88,000.

Barros then raised to 220,000 and after taking an inventory of his own stack, Claus verbalized "all-in". Barros sat still and after close to five minutes of thought, Claus called the clock to leave Barros just 60 seconds to come to a decision.

He had 610,000 behind and was well covered, meaning he was playing for his tournament life if he were to call. Eventually, he folded and Claus showed him T♣T♥ and judging by the talk after the hand, Barros seemed to admit to folding pocket queens.

We'll never know but according to our translator, Barros was not happy with his fold. Nevertheless, he's still working close to an average stack, while Pedro Claus is now contending with Manuel Vuotto for the chip lead with nearly 1,400,000. -- WOC

5:10pm: Vuotto levels Lopez, leaves former leader short
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

The biggest pot of the tournament just played out on Table 1, with the encounter leaving Mario Lopez with under ten big blinds. Action was picked up with Manuel Vuotto opening to 45,000 from middle position and Lopez three-bet the hijack to 98,000.

The rest of the table folded and Vuotto called, to see the A♠9♣6♠ flop. He thought for a minute before sliding out 107,000, a bet Lopez quickly seemed to be interested in. He asked for a count and then cut out chips of his own, although they were sized for a raise.

He put 248,000 in front of him and almost immediately, Vuotto announced "all-in". Lopez snap called and tabled A♥Q♥ but he was drawing thin against his opponent's 6♥6♦. With the better part of 1,300,000 in the pot, Vuotto's flopped set was a massive favorite and after the K♥ fell on the turn, the pot was his.

Lopez already started cutting down his stack as the 3♦ meaninglessly completed the board and when their chips were totaled, Lopez had Vuotto slightly covered. The effective stack of Vuotto weighed in at 640,000, meaning he doubled to close to 1,450,000 and Lopez was left with just over 170,000. -- WOC

4:59pm: Grimau gets a much needed double
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Julio Grimau was one of the shorter stacks after the redraw and that meant he needed a double and needed it badly. With just over a quarter-hour remaining in Level 23, he had a chance at a double, getting 290,000 in with 9♠9♦.

He was looked up by Pedro Claus, who is the big stack at Table 2, with A♦K♠. The board ran out T♣8♣6♠2♥3♣ and Grimau got the double to move himself back up near the 600,000 chip mark. -- WOC

4:53pm: Matias Ruzzi eliminated in 15th place ($5,880)
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Down to less than 100,000, Matias Ruzzi got his chips in behind Q♥8♥ and was racing versus Ruben Barros's 4♦4♥.

The race was over by the turn, though, as the community cards came 9♦6♣9♣4♣6♥. Ruzzi is down in 15th while Barros jumps up to 890.000. --MH


Matias Ruzzi-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7858.jpg

Matias Ruzzi - 15th place

4:45pm: Araujo doubles through Ruzzi
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Just after getting his kings cracked versus Pedro Daniel Claus, Fernando Araujo found himself all-in and at risk with A♥T♦ versus Matias Ruzzi who had A♦7♦.

The board came a comfortable A♣T♠3♦J♥2♥ for Araujo, and he's back to about 670,000 while Ruzzi slips to 95,000. --MH

4:40pm: More for leader Claus
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000
 
Fernando Araujo opened from middle position and got two callers -- Pedro Daniel Claus to his left, and Fernando Vitola from the big blind.

The flop came 4♦Q♣K♣, and it checked to Claus who bet 84,000. Vitola folded but Araujo called. Both then checked the 8♠ turn, and after the 5♣ river Araujo checked again. Claus gathered together a bet of 140,000, and Araujo called right away.

Claus showed he'd rivered a flush with A♣T♣ while Araujo showed his now second-best flopped set of kings, made with K♥K♠.

Claus is still stacking, although it looks like he's up around 1.4 million now. Meanwhile Araujo has 325,000 and Vitola 190,000. --MH

4:34pm: Gabriel Muzzio eliminated in 16th place ($5,880)
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Marco Oliveira open-pushed for around 200,000 from the button, then Gabriel Muzzio called all-in for his last 145,000 or so from the small blind. After some thought Fabian De La Fuente folded from the big blind, and the two others showed their cards:

Oliveira: A♣2♦
Muzzio: A♦Q♦

The flop came J♦5♥4♠ and the turn the 8♣, and Muzzio appeared about to double. But the river brought the 3♠ -- and a swift rap of the knuckles on the table from Oliveira at the sight of the straight-filling card. 

Muzzio is out in 16th, while Oliveira has 525,000 now. --MH


Gabriel Muzzio-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7906.jpg

Gabriel Muzzio - 16th place

4:30pm: Final two tables
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

The players have redrawn for their new seats and save for Sergio De Benedictis and Manuel Vuotto, who just scored knockouts, the counts are more or less where we left them after the last break.

Table 1
Seat 1: Sergio De Benedictis
Seat 2: Federico Roberto
Seat 3: Marco Oliveira
Seat 4: Gabriel Muzzio
Seat 5: Fabian De La Fuente
Seat 6: Nicolas Pernigotti
Seat 7: Manuel Vuotto
Seat 8: Mario Lopez

Table 2
Seat 1: Fernando Araujo
Seat 2: Pedro Claus
Seat 3: Ruben Barros
Seat 4: Julio Grimau
Seat 5: Amos Ben
Seat 6: Cristian Andres Rotondo
Seat 7: Fernando Vitola
Seat 8: Matias Ruzzi

4:22pm: Rodriguez falls before redraw
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Immediately after Hugo Spanenberg went out in 18th place, another short stack fell to bring on the two table redraw. Federico Rodriguez moved all-in from late position for 175,000 and Sergio De Benedicitis called in the blinds.

Rodriguez held K♥T♣ but he was up against the big stack's A♠A♦, meaning he was in trouble. Rodriguez picked up some additional outs after the J♦T♦5♠ flop but once the 3♠ and 4♥ completed the board, he was eliminated in 17th place.

He'll miss the redraw and after stacking up just over 950,000, De Benedictis racked his massive stack and waited for his new seating assignment. A complete list of the new lineups will be posted shortly.

4:17pm: Spangenberg sunk in 18th
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Hugo Spangenberg was just all-in for his last 240,000 or so from middle position with K♦9♣ and was up against Manuel Vuotto's K♠T♠ in the big blind.

That was a bad enough spot for Spangenberg, but the A♠8♠5♠ flop made it even worse, giving Vuotto a flush. The turn and river were no matter, and Spangenberg is out in 18th.

Vuotto is back up right around 1 million now, close to Pedro Daniel Claus for the chip lead (who is sitting close, too, just to Vuotto's left). --MH


Hugo Spangerber-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7843.jpg

Spades spell end for Spangenberg

4:12pm: Play resumes; Pedro Daniel Claus leading final 18
Level 23: Blinds 10,000/20,000, Ante 3,000

Players are back and cards are in the air, with Pedro Daniel Claus now the new chip leader. He's sitting just over a million, with Manuel Vuotto -- who'd been the first to a million earlier -- sitting to his right in second place with over 800,000.

Here's a look at the stacks at the moment:

                  
NameCountryChips
PEDRO DANIEL CLAUSARGENTINA1,050,000
MANUEL VUOTTOARGENTINA810,000
MARIO LOPEZARGENTINA 760,000
RUBEN BARROSARGENTINA720,000
AMOS BENCHILE610,000
FERNANDO ARAÚJOBRAZIL 570,000
SERGIO DE BENEDICTISARGENTINA 570,000
JULIO ALBERTO GRIMAUARGENTINA 310,000
MATIAS RUZZIARGENTINA370,000
CRISTIAN ANDRES ROTONDOARGENTINA 335,000
FEDERICO ROBERTOARGENTINA330,000
GABRIEL MUZZIOARGENTINA320,000
NICOLAS PERNIGOTTIARGENTINA305,000
FABIAN DE LA FUENTEARGENTINA265,000
FERNANDO VITOLAARGENTINA250,000
HUGO SPANGENBERGARGENTINA240,000
MARCO OLIVEIRA BRAZIL 190,000
FEDERICO RODRIGUEZARGENTINA185,000

Two more busts and they'll redraw to two tables. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
228,00016,0002,000


3:59pm: Take a break

They're down to 18, and those who are left are now taking another 15-minute break. --MH


Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

3:56pm: River saves Rodriguez
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Federico Rodriguez has been grinding a short stack for the entirety of this Day 3 session and while he's still well below the chip average, he now has more room to work. Rodriguez rivered a double against Hugo Spangenberg, after the former shoved for just over 100,000 from middle position.

Spangenberg called in the big blind with T♥T♦ and he needed to fade three immediate outs, as the short stack had K♦8♦. The board ran out 7♣7♦3♠7♠K♥, with the final card keeping Rodriguez alive.

It was a decent blow to Spangenberg, who is now under a quarter-million, with Rodriguez right behind with close to 230,000. -- WOC

3:47pm: Battle continues; Lopez cripples Justo, who then busts in 19th
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Mario Lopez and Diego Justo have been going at it ever since the draw and while Justo might have won the last battle, reported below, Lopez just won the war. Early action was missed but with the board reading 9♥8♦5♥4♠4♦, Justo checked from the small blind.

He had just over 220,000 in front of him, with Lopez sitting right below that mark in the big blind. After a minute of thought, the two-time LAPT champion announced "all-in" and Justo went into the tank. Two minutes later, he called, only to be shown 9♣4♥ for a rivered full house.

As Justo's stack was getting cut down, he flashed K♥8♥ and he threw his hand into the muck after the dealer gave him his rebate. He had Lopez barely covered, 5,000 more to be exact, and those chips went in on the next hand. Justo was eliminated in 19th place, while Lopez is now back near the top with close to 800,000. -- WOC


Diego Justo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7893.jpg

Justo busto

3:37pm: Justo jumps up, Lopez loses a few
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Just now Mario Lopez was the one taking the initiative in a hand versus Diego Justo as the board came 6♣Q♠8♦7♠. After Justo checked the turn Lopez bet, and Diego called again. 

The river came the 5♦ and this time Justo was the one firing, and with an exasperated look Lopez called. Justo tabled 6-4 for a rivered straight, and Lopez turned his pocket tens over in his hands for a moment before sending them to the dealer.

Lopez is at 370,000 now, while Justo jumps to 330,000. --MH 

3:28pm: Ruiz busts in 20th
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Shortly after losing that big pot to Manuel Vuotto, Sergio De Benedictis was all-in with his short stack against Sebastian Ruiz.

Ruiz had raised all-in from the button with A♣6♣ and De Benedictis woke up with Q♦Q♣ in the big blind. The board ran out 9♠J♠5♠7♦6♦, and De Benedictis was back to 250,000 while Ruiz had slipped to just a little more than that.

A couple of hands later De Benedictis had Ruiz covered when the latter was all-in with K♦Q♦ versus the J♣J♠ of De Benedictis, and following a board of T♣7♠7♥J♦5♣ De Benedictis had a full house and Ruiz was on the rail in 20th place.

De Benedictis has bounced all of the way back to over half a million now. --MH


Sebastian Ruiz-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7981.jpg

Ruiz run out in 20th

3:18pm: Vuotto vaults in front
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Sergio De Benedictis opened from the button, then Manuel Vuotto reraised to 81,000 from the small blind and when the action got back to De Benedictis he called.

The flop came T♣Q♦3♥, and Vuotto led for 103,000. De Benedictis called. The turn then brought the 8♣ and a check from Vuotto, and when De Benedictis went all-in, Vuotto called.

De Benedictis showed K♦Q♥, but Vuotto had A♥A♣, and after the 3♦ river Vuotto had earned a huge double-up. He's the new leader, up around 1.12 million now, while De Benedictis plunges to 105,000. --MH

3:15pm: Pernigotti picks up a double
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

After getting rivered by Amos Ben, Nicolas Pernigotti was left with under ten big blinds and a few hands later, that short stack got in against Mario Lopez. Pernigotti open shoved for close to 130,000 and Lopez called in the big blind.

It was a flip for the short stack's life with T♣T♦ against Lopez's Q♣J♠. The board ran out A♠A♣4♦9♠9♣ and Pernigotti's pair held to move him back up to a workable 270,000 chip stack. Mario Lopez is still sitting comfortably with well over 600,000. -- WOC

3:06pm: Amos Ben leaves Pernigotti pondering
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

While Pedro Claus was dispatching Sergio Luis Di Pego with a flush, a sizable pot developed on Table 1. Amos Ben opened to 35,000 from the cutoff and Nicolas Pernigotti three-bet the button to 80,000.

The blinds folded and Ben called, to see the T♥8♣6♠ flop. Ben then shoved, for 163,000 and that sent Pernigotti deep into the tank. He only had close to 220,000 behind, so he was put to a decision for the majority of his chips.

Eventually, he did call and he was in good shape to score the knockout, with Q♣T♠ to Ben's 7♥7♠. The 5♠ gave the former LAPT Player of the Year some additional outs, which came in when the 9♠ completed the board.

While Ben collected the double thanks to a rivered straight, Pernigotti was left pondering what could have been. He was down to 140,000, while Ben is now up and over the chip average with 520,000. -- WOC

3:02pm: Claus flushes Di Pego's pair
Level 22: Blinds 8,000/16,000, Ante 2,000

Table 3 has been home to some of the more aggressive play that we've seen since the redraw and that dynamic just boiled over in a hand between Pedro Claus and Sergio Luis Di Pego. Action was picked up with Claus opening to 38,000 from under the gun and Di Pego three-betting to 90,000 as the next player to act.

The rest of the table folded and after evaluating the situation, Claus announced himself "all-in". Di Pego asked for a count but he was well covered, with a nearly 200,000 chip effective stack. Eventually, he called, tabling A♦K♣.

Claus held 8♠7♠ and after the A♥9♠5♥ flop, it looked like Di Pego was in a great spot to double. It's never easy though and the 3♠ on the turn added a serious sweat, one that eliminated Di Pego in 21st after the 2♠ spiked on the river.


Sergio di Pego-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7880.jpg

Flush punches Di Pego out

Claus had hit his flush and after letting our a roar of a celebration, he was stacking up the better part of 640,000. On the other end of the spectrum, Di Pego paced around the tournament area for a good five minutes, explaining his bad beat to a few other players before heading to the payout desk to receive his 21st place ticket. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
228,00016,0002,000


2:54pm: Araujo's aces dispatch Viola
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

Fernando Araujo has been very aggressive so far today and that aggression just paid off in a big way. The Brazilian picked up pocket aces and got Andres Viola to commit all his chips pre flop with jacks.

Action was picked up with Araujo opening to 26,000 from under the gun and after some folds, Viola three-bet to 69,000 from the small blind. Araujo eyed his opponent's stack and then announced "all-in", with Viola instantly calling for close to 130,000 more.

Viola was in big trouble with J♦J♣, as Araujo tabled A♣A♥. The board ran out 9♥3♣2♣5♣Q♣, with Viola's flush being no good as Araujo held the ace of clubs. The Argentine was eliminated in 22nd place, as Araujo moved back up near the top of the charts with 690,000. -- WOC

2:45pm: Ruiz runs into Benedictis' shove
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

With big stacks at every table, we're sure to see some deep stacked, tactical play as we continue to work down to a final table. Sebastian Ruiz has tried to bully his table with some pre flop raises but Sergio Benedictis wasn't having any of it in a recent hand.

Ruiz opened with a raise to 26,000 from the cutoff and after a fold, Benedictis three-bet to 75,000. Ruiz got a count and then cut out a four-bet, sized at 126,000.

Immediately, Benedictis five-bet shoved and the Chilean quickly folded, conceding the pot while dropping close to a quarter of his stack in the process. He's comfortably sitting with 310,000 but Benedictis is well over double that mark, with just under 700,000 in front of him. -- WOC

2:32pm: Roberto flops straight, gets a boost
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

A big three-way hand just played out between Federico Roberto, Manuel Vuotto, and Pedro Daniel Claus.

With the board showing 9♠7♠J♣, Roberto checked from the big blind and Vuotto in middle position bet 47,000. Claus called the bet from the cutoff, but when it rolled back to Roberto he pushed all-in for 199,000. Vuotto thought about it but folded, then Claus got a count and made the call.

Claus had J♥T♠ for top pair and a gutshot, but Roberto already had the straight with T♦8♦. The A♥ turn and A♣ river didn't change anything, and Roberto earned a big boost up to 540,000. Meanwhile Vuotto still has 570,000 while Claus slips to 275,000. --MH

2:23pm: Pernigotti busts Bornhausen; 22 left
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

Eduardo Bornhausen open-raised all-in with his last 112,000 from the cutoff and got a caller in Nicolas Pernigotti playing from the big blind.

Bornhausen had 7♥6♥ and hopes of improving against Pernigotti's A♠T♣, but the 3♠T♦2♣9♠J♠ board didn't cooperate and he's out in 23rd place.

Pernigotti has right at 500,000 now. --MH


Eduardo Bornhausen-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7835.jpg

Bornhausen is out

2:20pm: Barres busts Albero right after redraw
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

Almost immediately after the three table redraw, Julian Albero was hitting the rail in 24th place. The Argentine got all-in with T♥T♦ and was in big trouble against Ruben Barres' K♣K♦.

Albero's effective stack of 210,000 was heading across the table after the 7♦5♠4♣9♥J♠ runout. The chips got in pre flop but we imagine it was an unavoidable spot, as both players had overpairs to the board until the turn.

While Albero headed to the payout cage, Barres is now over 530,000, good for one of the top stacks on Table 1. -- WOC

2:14pm: Seating assignments for final three tables
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

Table 1
Seat 1: Julian Albero
Seat 2: Cristian Andres Rotondo
Seat 3: Marco Oliveira
Seat 4: Ruben Barres
Seat 5: Matias Ruzzi
Seat 6: Andres Viola
Seat 7: Julio Alberto Grimau
Seat 8: Fernando Oliveira

Table 2
Seat 1: Eduardo Bournhausen
Seat 2: Fernando Vitola
Seat 3: Amos Ben
Seat 4: Nicolas Pernigotti
Seat 5: Gabriel Muzzio
Seat 6: Diego Justo
Seat 7: Hugo Spangenberg
Seat 8: Mario Lopez

Table 3
Seat 1: Sergio Luis Di Pego
Seat 2: Fabian De La Fuente
Seat 3: Federico Roberto
Seat 4: Sebastian Ruiz
Seat 5: Federico Rodriguez
Seat 6: Sergio De Benedictis
Seat 7: Manuel Vuotto
Seat 8: Pedro Daniel Claus

There are 45 minutes left in Level 21. --MH

2:08pm: Redraw!
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

After a short break to rack chips and find their new seats, the remaining 24 players are ready to resume action in Level 21. This LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event field will see another redraw when 16 players remain and then another when we're down to the eight-handed final table. --WOC

1:59pm: Parra's pair no good, down to three tables
Level 21: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 2,000

A few minutes after the restart, Juan Parra moved all-in from under the gun for 122,000. Amos Ben folded and Hugo Spangenberg re-shoved from middle position, which forced folds from the rest of the table.

Spangenberg had Parra well covered and it was a flip for the short stack's life, with the LAPT old guard holding 7♣7♦ to Spangenberg's A♣K♦. That flip was more or less over on the flop, as the A♦J♣6♥ board shot the Argentine into the lead.

He'd hold through the Q♥ turn and the 8♦ river, sending Parra and his pair out in 25th place. The Chilean will miss the three table redraw, which will be posted shortly, along with an update of the remaining player's chip counts. -- WOC

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
216,00012,0002,000

1:36pm: Break time

With 25 players left, they're off on the first 15-minute break of the day. --MH


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1:31pm: Doubles a-plenty
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

There have been several double-ups of short stacks as Level 20 nears its close, kicked off by Federico Rodriguez getting one through Amos Ben.

After Rodriguez shoved for 95,000 from the cutoff with A♠K♦, Ben called from the small blind with K♠Q♠. The board came 2♦A♥Q♥9♥T♠, and Rodriguez bumped up close to 200,000 while Ben slipped to 145,000.

After that Diego Justo earned a double on the neighboring table, moving up to 275,000, while Federico Roberto did the same on the feature table, moving his stack up to 315,000. --MH

1:26pm: Jose busted by Oliveira
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

Gonzalo Jose opened for 21,000 from early position and it folded around to Marco Oliveira in the big blind who called.

The flop came A♦5♥Q♠ and Oliveira checked, and when Jose said he was all-in for his last 95,000 or so, Oliveira called right away.

Jose showed K♠8♠ and was well behind Oliveira's A♠9♣. The board completed K♥ then 6♦, and Jose is out in 26th. Oliveira moves up around 300,000. --MH

1:29pm: Vuotto faults near top after dispatching Brouchoud
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

Manuel Vuotto and Luciano Brouchoud have been building a dynamic over the last few orbits and that dynamic just boiled over to send the latter to the rail in 27th place. Action was picked up with the board reading K♦Q♥T♥3♦ and after Vuotto led from the blinds, Brouchoud moved all-in.

Vuotto snapped for the short stack's effective count of 130,000 and tabled K♠3♠, for two pair. Just a jack could save Brouchoud, as he held A♠6♥, meaning the A♥ on the river was too little, too late.

When the dust settled, Brouchoud headed to the payout cage and Vuotto began stacking up close to 600,000. After starting Day 3 with just 85,000, Vuotto has easily been the biggest gainer today and he's now going to be contending for the chip lead as we approach the three table redraw. -- WOC


Manuel Vuotto-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7949.jpg

Vamooo Vuotto

1:20pm: Fernando Oliveira flipped to the rail
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

It's been an up and down day for the Brazilians, including Fernando Araujo. He's still very much alive, but another Brazillian player has fallen, as Fernando Oliveira just lost a flip for his tournament life against Pedro Claus.

Action was picked up pre flop, with Oliveira opening to 22,000 from late position. Claus responded with a three-bet to 75,000 and Oliveira four-bet shoved for close to 180,000.

Claus snap called, tabling 8♥8♦ and he had to hold against his opponent's A♥J♦. He did, as the board ran out 5♦3♠2♣T♠K♥, to send Oliveira packing in 28th place. Claus is now behind close to 450,000. -- WOC

1:12pm: Ruiz folds aces, Pernigotti collects
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

After preflop action had built a pot of about 90,000 between Sebastian Ruiz (cutoff) and Nicolas Pernigotti (big blind), the flop came 5♥A♥T♦ and Pernigotti check-called a bet of 36,000 from Ruiz. The turn was the Q♣ and the action went similarly, with a check by Pernigotti, then a call of another bet from Ruiz. 

That left Pernigotti with about 130,000, considerably less than the size of the pot. The river then brought the J♠ and without too much hesitation Pernigotti said he was all-in.

Ruiz hated the sound of that, and after tanking for some time he folded his hand, flashing his cards -- A♠A♦ -- as he did.

Pernigotti jumps to about 355,000 now while Ruiz has 555,000. --MH

1:03pm: Another double on "mesa cuatro"
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

The Table 4 action has continued towards the midway point of Level 20, as Manual Vuotto just scored another double. This time, it was against Luciano Brouchoud, who just got a double himself, only to have those chips for less than two full orbits.

Action was picked up with Brouchoud opening to 21,000 from the cutoff and after some folds, Vuotto three-bet to 53,000 from the big blind. Brouchoud called and both players checked the K♣7♥4♥ flop.

The 8♦ fell on the turn and Vuotto bet 64,000, only to see his opponent quickly push two full stack of blue 5,000 value chips across the line. The bet was for 200,000 and it was enough to put Vuotto all-in, as he had 174,000 in front of him.

He didn't waste any time calling, quickly tabling A♦K♦. Brouchoud also had top pair, with a flush draw, K♥Q♥, but an inferior kicker. The 9♣ on the river meant that Vuotto's kicker would play and he was doubling to 450,000.

Meanwhile, Brouchoud is now down below 15 big blinds, with 130,000. -- WOC

12:54pm: Araujo clipped by Vitola, both now near half-million
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

Fernando Araujo was working a sizable chip lead after eliminating Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez but he's now back down with the rest of the big stacks, after doubling Fernando Vitola. Action was picked up with Vitola opening in early position and Araujo three-betting from the button.

The blinds folded and in a flash, Vitola had announced himself "all-in", for 237,000, and Araujo put in the chips to call. He had the best of it, with T♦T♠ but he had to hold against the A♥Q♣ of Vitola.

The Brazilian big stack kept his lead in the flip through the K♣J♠4♦ flop and the 7♣ turn. He couldn't through the river though, as the Q♥ completed the board and kept Vitola alive. Had the river bricked out, Araujo would have been the first player to crack seven-figures but instead, both players are teetering on 550,000. -- WOC

12:45pm: Table 4 action continues...
Level 20: Blinds 5,000/10,000, Ante 1,000

A majority of our action throughout the first 45 minutes of Day 3 has played out on Table 4, with Hugo Spangenberg at the center of most of it. The Argentine came into today with just over 150,000 but after doubling through and eliminating Jacques Spangenberg, found himself near the top of the leaderboard.

He's now back below the chip average though, as Luciano Brouchoud just doubled through Spangenberg, with the chips getting all-in on the A♣J♦9♠ flop. Spangenberg held A♦9♦ and Brouchoud was good shape with J♥J♣.

The T♠ and 8♦ completed the board, with Brouchoud's effective stack weighing in at 153,000. He's now just over 320,000, with Spangenberg playing 260,000. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
205,00010,0001,000


12:38pm: Leo Fernandez out; Araujo takes lead; 28 left
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

As the level neared its end, Fernando Araujo opened for 18,000, then Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez jammed his last 160,000 in the middle and when it folded back around Araujo called quickly.

Fernandez had A♠Q♥, but exhaled frustratedly as he saw Araujo's Q♠Q♣. The board came 5♥7♥J♣K♦K♣, providing no help to Fernandez who falls in 29th.


Leo Fernandez-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7840.jpg

Fernandez felted

That pot moves Araujo up and into the chip lead now with about 830,000. --MH


Fernando Araujo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7863.jpg

Fernando Araujo, out in front

12:35pm: Spangenberg bounces Blit
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

Jacques Blit opened for 18,000 from the hijack seat, then watched Hugo Spangenberg raise to 36,000 from the next seat over in the cutoff. The others got out, Blit called, and the flop came A♥T♣2♠.

Blit checked, then Spangenberg hesitated just a beat before saying he was all-in. Blit didn't seem too happy about it, but nonetheless said he was calling, committing his last 120,000 or so. 

Blit had top pair with A♠3♠, but Spangenberg had that beaten with A♦Q♥. The board completed 4♥ then Q♠, giving Spangenberg two pair and ending Blit's run in 30th. Spangenberg has 460,000 now. --MH


Jacques Blit-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-7765.jpg

Jacques Blit, just bounced

12:34pm: Blit involved again, shipping another double
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

Jacques Blit came into this Day 3 session with just over 325,000 but he's now playing half that amount. The Argentine doubled Fernando Oliveira up a few minutes ago and he just sent another decent portion of his stack to Hugo Spangenberg.

That action was picked up with Pedro Claus opening to 20,000 from late position and after a few folds, Blit three-bet to 43,000 from the small blind. Spangenberg was in the big and he then four-bet shoved, for 125,000.

Claus asked for a count of Blit's remaining stack, which was near 280,000 but after a few moments of thought, he released his hand. Blit didn't look like he could do the same, although he certainly wanted to, rolling his eyes as he flicked a chip into the middle of the pot for a call.

Blit's Q♠9♠ was live against Spangenberg's A♠K♠ but after the J♥4♣3♥J♠A♥ runout, the short stack was awarded the double. He's now playing close to 250,000, while Blit is down near 165,000. -- WOC

12:26pm: Ruzzi lets Leo live, Oliveira bests Blit
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

On adjacent tables, two meaningful hands played out with close to 15 minutes remaining in Level 19. The first saw Matias Ruzzi open to 17,000 from middle position, before Leo Fernandez three-bet shoved for 123,000 from the button.

The Team PokerStars Pro was shoving for close to 15 big blinds but Ruzzi didn't want to give Fernandez anymore than he had to, flashing the A♦ before sending his hand to the muck. A few moments later, there was another three-bet shove, this time on Table 4.

Jacques Blit opened to 18,000 from the hijack and after a fold, Fernando Oliveira shoved the button for 82,000. The blinds folded and Blit sigh-called, tabling K♠J♠. He was dominated, as Oliveira held K♣Q♠.

The board ran out T♦8♥4♠A♠2♦, with Oliveira fading the river after Blit turned a flush draw. The Brazilian is now playing over 20 big blinds, while Blit is down near 250,000. -- WOC

12:19pm: Hilario out in 31st; Ruiz near lead
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

There was another quick knockout to start the day as Oscar Hilario has falled in 31st place after a hand with Sebastian Ruiz.

We arrived as the last community card was being dealt and the hands already tabled. The board read J♥2♥K♦4♥6♣ and Hilario had Q♥J♦, meaning he'd paired his jack on the flop. But Ruiz had K♠J♠ for a better pair of kings, and Hilario is out.

Ruiz is up around 570,000 now, close to Mario Lopez for the chip lead. --MH

12:14pm: Vuotto makes trips, triples; Gallo out
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

There was early action to report with a three-way preflop all-in involving Hugo Spangenberg, Lisandro Gallo, and Manuel Vuotto. Spangenberg had the other two covered, with both Gallo and Vuotto in for their last 85,000.

Spangenberg: Q♠Q♣
Vuotto: A♣5♣
Gallo: A♠9♠

The 8♥5♥3♠ flop and J♠ turn kept Spangenberg in front, although did put a flush draw on the board for Gallo. Then came the river -- the 5♦! Vuotto made trips with his five and tripled up to around 240,000, while Spangenberg falls to around 120,000.

Meanwhile Gallo becomes the day's first elimination in 32nd place. --MH

12:05pm: Day 3 begins
Level 19: Blinds 4,000/8,000, Ante 1,000

Players are in their seats and play is underway. There are 32 to start, but just eight will remain by the time the day is done. 

About a half-hour is left in Level 19. The average stack to start today is 273,750. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
194,0008,0001,000


11:25am: Lopez leads final 32 to begin Day 3

Yesterday as we kicked off Day 2 we were wondering if two-time LAPT Main Event champion Oscar Alache might be about to make a run at a record third title. The Chilean returned to the chip lead with 155 players left and lasted well into the evening, but ultimately hit the rail in the money in 52nd to fall shy in his quest.

The field further winnowed down to just 32 before play concluded, with Carlos Zapata (51st), Olivio Santin (46th), Igianne Bertoldi (40th), Rafael Martinez (38th), and finally German Fernandez Schemini (33rd) all being sent from the tables to the cashier's desk. Left to proceed onward were no less than 25 Argentinian players (!) among the final 32, with one of them leading the way in search of his own LAPT trifecta.


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

Lopez, leading again

Mario Lopez won his first LAPT Main Event title back in Chile during Season 7, then in Season 8 a year ago won this very same event in Uruguay to claim a second title. He returned to a top five stack to start yesterday, and when the bagging commenced at night's end Lopez was the one with the chip lead having built up to 572,000.

Fernando Araujo and Fabian De La Fuente both also will start today with over half a million, with Matias Ruzzi, Jacques Blit, LAPT Season 6 Player of the Year Amos Ben, and Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez among the others still in contention.

Stick close as we'll be following the action from start to finish here today as they play from 32 down to a final table of eight players. Play starts in a little over a half-hour at 12 noon, which is when the hand reports, chip counts, pictures, and more will start coming your way from Punte del Este. --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
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