LAPT9 Uruguay: Main Event final table live updates

6:55pm: Pedro Claus wins LAPT9 Uruguay ($90,630); Fernando Araujo runner-up ($70,000)
Level 31: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

That was quick -- just one hand of heads-up, and it's all over!

Fernando Araujo had the button to start, and after checking his cards he open-pushed his last 1.3 million. Claus -- as he's done all tournament long -- didn't hesitate before acting, calling right away.

Araujo: K♦6♣
Claus: Q♠Q♣

Claus had the big edge while Araujo was looking for a saving king. The board came T♠7♦6♠, then 7♣, then 8♥ and it was all over -- Claus had won!


Pedro Claus-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8311.jpg

Pedro Claus - LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event champion

Claus and Araujo shared a warm handshake, both smiling broadly as they had been doing for much of the last hour or so. Araujo was clearly pleased after having been the short stack for so long today to have made it to the three-way deal and a runner-up finish.


Fernando Araujo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8275.jpg

Fernando Araujo - 2nd place

Back in a few with a full recap of the exciting conclusion to LAPT9 Uruguay! --MH

6:54pm: Heads-up chip counts
Level 31: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Pedro Claus -- 7,460,000
Fernando Araujo -- 1,300,000

6:49pm: Manuel Vuotto eliminated in third place ($70,000)
Level 31: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Pedro Claus opened for 275,000 on the button, and it folded over to Manuel Vuotto in the big blind who carefully checked his cards, then announced he was pushing all-in for his last 1.06 million. Claus called without hesitation.

Vuotto had Q♠9♠ and needed help against the K♦9♥ of Claus. But the flop came K♣7♦3♦ to improve Claus even further with a pair, and after the 6♥ turn card that made the 2♥ a final bit of trivia, ending Vuotto's run in third.

They're rolling straight into heads-up play, with Claus enjoying a commanding lead to start versus Fernando Araujo. --MH


Manuel Vuotto-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8319.jpg

Manuel Vuotto - 3rd place

6:43pm: Araujo doubles through Vuotto
Level 31: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Down to his last 795,000, Fernando Araujo open-raised all-in from the small blind, and after a short think Manuel Vuotto called from the big blind.

Vuotto was initially ahead with A♥5♦ versus Araujo's J♠8♥, but the board came 2♦T♦8♦7♥7♣ to give Araujo the double.

Araujo is up to 1.61 million now while Vuotto slips to 940,000. --MH


Fernando Araujo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8285.jpg

Araujo earns a double

6:40pm: Updated three-handed counts, Claus way out in front
Level 31: Blinds 60,000/120,000, Ante 20,000

Instead of a 75-minute dinner break, the remaining three players have elected to take a quick ten minute recess. They'll now return to Level 31, with Pedro Claus holding a sizable chip lead. 

The Argentine is behind just over 6,000,000, with his countryman Manuel Vuotto sitting second. He's over 4,000,000 behind Claus, while Fernando Araujo will have to battle back again to claim the LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event title, as he's under seven-figures. -- WOC

Player CountryChips
PEDRO DANIEL CLAUSARGENTINA6,080,000
MANUEL VUOTTOARGENTINA1,610,000
FERNANDO ARAÚJOBRAZIL970,000

LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
3160,000120,00020,000


6:34pm: Claus continues to build into break
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

While there might have been a few bumps in the road when we were stuck at a six-handed final table, ever since, Pedro Claus has been at the top of the leaderboard ever since. He's now sitting with over 50% of the total chips in play, after picking up a decent pot against Manuel Vuotto.

Action was picked up with Claus opening the button to 225,000 and after a fold, Vuotto came along in the big blind. He check-called 320,000 after the Q♣T♠7♣ flop and after the 2♦ fell on the turn, Vuotto led for 350,000.

Quickly, Claus announced himself "all-in" and with just over 1,600,000 behind, Vuotto was put to a decision for his entire stack. Eventually, he folded and Claus showed him T♣T♥ for a flopped set.

No matter what situation Claus has found himself in, he's always seemed to have it and he'll now head into the next break with just shy of 5,600,000. A complete list of the remaining three counts is coming shortly. -- WOC

6:26pm: Araujo picks up one; Claus still leads
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Fernando Araujo raised to 225,000 from the button and Pedro Claus called from the small blind. 

The flop came A♣2♥J♠ and Claus checked. Araujo continued for 200,000, and Claus called. Both then checked the 6♠ turn.

The river brought the A♦ and another check from Claus, and when Araujo slid out two tall columns of blue chips -- a bet of 500,000 -- Claus folded.

Araujo wins that one, but Claus is comfortably in front with a little over 4 million right now, with Araujo next with 2.5 million and Vuotto third with about 2.2 million. --MH

6:19pm: Final table fun
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

We're sensing a theme here following the even-chop deal, as the trio continue to get along famously, with Pedro Claus and Fernando Araujo joking around a lot on their side of the table.

Both just checked their way to a river, then showed down the same queen-eight hand to chop a pot, sharing a laugh afterwards.

Another hand between them followed, also checked to the river. In this case Claus started checking by knocking the table five times -- knock, knock, knock-knock-knock -- and Araujo responded by completing the musical phrase with two knocks -- knock, knock! --MH

6:11pm: Araujo gets back to 2,000,000
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

After dropping since the last break, Fernando Araujo is back to 2,000,000 after shoving against Manuel Vuotto. Action was picked up pre flop, with Araujo limping the small blind, only to see Vuotto raise to 340,000 from the big.

The Brazilian quickly announced himself "all-in" and after two minutes of thought, Vuotto elected not to call the 1,700,000 chip shove. Instead, he preserved his 2,600,000 chip stack, good for second at the three-handed final table. -- WOC

5:58pm: Claus accumulating at 'friendly table'
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

While PokerStars Blog photographer extraordinaire Carlos Monti was circling the three-handed final table, Ferndando Araujo said, "Otro mas.", meaning that he only wanted one more picture, that being with the LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event trophy. Monti laughed and made mention about how "friendly" the remaining three were despite the stakes they were playing for.

Once Monti exited the tournament area, the friendliness stayed but the leaderboard shifted back to Pedro Claus, who picked up three sizable pots against Araujo. The first was picked up with Claus calling the small blind and Araujo raising to 225,000.

Claus called and then checked the K♦J♠6♦ flop, only to check-raise after Araujo continued for 200,000. Claus made it 540,000 and Araujo let his hand go. Claus showed J♦7♦, for middle pair and a flush draw, and Araujo admitted it was a "good flop."

It got better for Claus, as a few hands later, he was winning another battle of the blinds. Claus raised to 225,000 from the small and Araujo came along from the big to see the Q♠8♣4♠ flop.

Claus check-called 200,000 and then both players checked the 9♠ on the turn. The 4♣ completed the board and both players checked again, with Claus' Q♠J♠ winning the pot.

He wasn't done though, as another blind versus blind encounter shot him to a sizable chip lead. The pre flop action was missed but both players checked the Q♥9♦8♣ flop, with Claus leading for 225,000 after the 9♣ paired the board on the turn.

Araujo called and after the 8♠ double paired the board on the end, Claus slid out 490,000. Araujo couldn't believe the runout, as he flashed J♦T♣ before going into the tank. The friendly Claus didn't flinch though, instead giggling at how unlucky his opponent had gotten...again.


Pedro Claus-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8297.jpg

Pedro Claus, friendly chip leader

Claus has been the thorn in Fernando Araujo's side since the start of this final table and while he didn't get a call on the river, as the Brazilian folded, he had gotten there again. He showed 9♠5♠ and Araujo was cut down to 1,700,000, while Claus is now the big stack with 3,800,000. -- WOC

5:49pm: Back in action
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

The final trio is back in their seats and battling for the extra $20,630 and the LAPT Main Event trophy. --MH

5:40pm: Quick break
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

After playing a few hands post-deal, the players decided to take a short mid-level break. In the few, small hands that preceded the break, they actually pulled nearly even with one another in the counts -- fitting after that even chop. --MH

   
NameCountryChips
PEDRO DANIEL CLAUSARGENTINA2,975,000
MANUEL VUOTTOARGENTINA2,905,000
FERNANDO ARAÚJOBRAZIL 2,800,000

5:23pm: Three-way deal!
Level 30: Blinds 50,000/100,000, Ante 10,000

Right after Sergio De Benedictis's knockout in fourth culminated Level 29, the clock ticked over to begin Level 30 before being paused in order for the final three players to talk about a possible deal.

At the time Fernando Araujo had the lead with a bit over 3.6 million, Pedro Claus was next with 2.775 million, and Manuel Vuotto third with about 2.35 million. 

It was one of the most amiable deal discussions we've seen, in fact, with the three players eyeing each others' stacks quickly, then right away deciding upon an even three-way chop of most of the remaining prize pool -- $70,000 to each player, with $20,630 left aside for the winner.

The whole process took just a couple of minutes -- less time than it took to get a picture of the three afterwards, in fact -- and play has already resumed. --MH


Deal-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8272.jpg

The three amigos, post-deal


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
3050,000100,00010,000


5:15pm: Sergio De Benedictis eliminated in 4th place ($39,700)
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

A small double wasn't enough to get Sergio De Benedictis out of the danger zone so while Martin Harris typed that hand up, we prepared for either the greatest comeback of all-time or another bust out. While it took us a few hands to get there, De Benedictis eventually bowed out in 4th place, with his first involvement dropping him even lower.

Action was picked up with Fernando Araujo opening to 180,000 from the cutoff and with just a handful of big blinds in front of him, De Benedictis called on the button. The blinds folded and after the A♣K♥8♥ flop, Araujo bet 125,000.

De Benedictis had just 200,000 back and after a minute of thought, he folded, leaving himself under three bigs. Araujo showed the K♣ and De Benedictis was left in a more or less must call situation a few hands later.

He was in the big blind, with just 90,000 behind his 80,000 big blind. Fernando Araujo shoved the small blind and De Benedictis called, needing his K♣2♣ to hold against T♠9♥ to double.

De Benedictis did, as the 8♠6♦4♥4♦6♥ runout gave him a little more room to work. He was up near 400,000 but those chips got in on the very next hand, after Araujo continued to punish the table with another raise from the button.

The Argentine three-bet shoved the small blind for 370,000 and after his 180,000 chip open, Araujo flicked in a chip for the call. He held A♥T♥ to the short stack's K♦Q♥.

The K♥Q♠2♦ flop shot De Benedictis into the lead but the 2♣ gave Araujo some additional outs on the turn. The Brazilian didn't use an ace on the river to score the knockout though, instead spiking the J♦ to make broadway to send De Benedictis out one spot from the podium.

When the dust settled, the remaining three players, who were all relatively closely stacked, took a few minutes to talk about a potential deal. -- WOC


Sergio De Benedictis-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8191.jpg

Sergio De Benedictis - 4th place

4:59pm: De Benedictis earns small double
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

One hand after getting crippled in that preflop all-in with Fernando Araujo, De Benedictis open-pushed his last 220,000 with J♠J♣ and was called by Pedro Claus in the big blind with Q♥7♥.

The K♦Q♣4♠ flop caused De Benedictis to wince again at the sight of a queen on the flop, but the J♥ happily popped out on the turn to put him in front and make the river no matter. De Benedictis is back to 500,000 now but still in the danger zone. --MH

4:55pm: Araujo doubles through De Benedictis to grab lead
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

In the very next hand after Nicolas Pernigotti's elimination, Fernando Aruajo opened for 180,000 from the button, then Sergio De Benedictis three-bet to 380,000 from the small blind. It folded back to Araujo who didn't wait long before announcing he was reraising all-in, and De Benedictis -- who only had Araujo slightly covered -- called right away.

Araujo: A♣Q♦
De Benedictis: A♠J♦

The flop came 2♥J♠Q♣, prompting an pained "ooh" from De Benedictis as he saw his jack pair but Araujo also catching a queen. The turn was the 2♠ and river the K♠, and after the counting was done Araujo is right at 3 million now and in the chip lead while De Benedictis has slipped to just 230,000. --MH

4:48pm: Nicolas Pernigotti eliminated in 5th place ($31,160)
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000


Nicolas Pernigotti-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8268.jpg

Nicolas Pernigotti - 5th place

Despite his persistence, Nicolas Pernigotti had a potentially impossible route back into contention at this final table. He got one double but when he tried to get a second, he ran into Sergio De Benedictis, who sent Pernigotti packing in 5th place.

Action was picked up with Pernigotti open shoving from middle position for 300,000 even. The table folded to De Benedictis, who was in the big blind, and he snap called to try to score the knockout.

He had the short stack dominated, holding A♥T♠ to Q♦T♥. Pernigotti needed running cards to save his tournament life after the A♣9♣7♠ flop and there was a little sweat after the 8♥ fell on the turn.

That's all it was though, a sweat, as the 4♠ completed the board and confirmed his elimination. While he headed to the payout desk to collect his over $31,000 score, De Benedictis was stacking up just over 1,600,000, -- WOC

4:39pm: Pernigotti, the persistent
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Nicolas Pernigotti has been on the brink of elimination for a while now, but he continues managing to keep his seat. 

Not long ago he was in the big blind and folding to a raise, leaving himself with just 275,000. On the next hand it folded to him in the small blind, and as he saw Pedro Claus in the big blind holding out chips in preparation to call if he shoved, he folded his 4-2 offsuit face up.

Three folds later Pernigotti was in the big blind again, and this time called all-in versus Claus's open from UTG. He turned over A♣6♦, then cried out with a grin as he saw Claus's A♦6♠. Five cards later, they chopped.

Next Pernigotti was on the button and raising all-in for his last 180,000 with A♠9♣ and got called by Fernando Araujo who had A♦3♠ in the big blind. The board came 6♥J♠9♦4♣3♦, pairing both players' kickers, and Pernigotti is still alive though with less than 400,000. --MH

4:28pm: Ruben Barros eliminated in 6th place ($24,400)
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

Despite coming back from break in the middle of the pack, Ruben Barros was just bounced in 6th place, after started the level losing a decent portion of his chips to Pedro Claus. A few hands later, Claus came back to take the rest of his opponent's stack, with the first hand picked up pre flop.

Barros opened the small blind to 165,000 and Claus called in the big to see the A♥8♥3♠ flop. Barros led for 180,000, only to see the big stacked Claus raise to 425,000. Barros shot his opponent a look and eventually folded.

He was disappointed to lose chips and drop down near 575,000 but after he saw Claus' A♠8♦, for two pair, you could tell he had just avoided a disastrous situation. A few hands later, disaster did come though, at the hands of Claus.


Ruben Barros-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8194.jpg

Ruben Barros - 6th place

Barros open shoved for close to 550,000 from early position and Claus immediately called. The rest of the table folded and Barros was drawing to just three immediate outs with A♣8♦. He was against Q♥Q♦ and after the 9♦4♦2♦3♣9♣ runout, he was eliminated.

He'll make just over $24,000 for his final table run, finishing two spots better than his 8th place run in last year's LAPT8 Uruguay Main Event. Meanwhile, Pedro Claus is back to the top of the charts, with close to 2,800,000. -- WOC

4:17pm: Play resumes; 6 remain (still)
Level 29: Blinds 40,000/80,000, Ante 10,000

All six players made it through those last two one-hour levels, with Manuel Vuotto the new leader and Fernando Araujo having climbed up into second position now. Here are the updated counts:

      
NameCountryChips
MANUEL VUOTTOARGENTINA2,295,000
FERNANDO ARAÚJOBRAZIL 2,065,000
PEDRO DANIEL CLAUSARGENTINA1,990,000
RUBEN BARROSARGENTINA950,000
SERGIO DE BENEDICTISARGENTINA 770,000
NICOLAS PERNIGOTTIARGENTINA415,000


Final Table-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8251a.jpg

Six-handed play continues

They'll play a couple more levels and might take a short dinner break afterwards -- whoever is left, anyway. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2940,00080,00010,000


4:02pm: Take a break

Players are now taking another 15-minute break.  --MH


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4:01pm: Araujo takes a big chunk from Pernigotti
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

In the last hand of the level, from middle position Fernando Arauja opened for 130,000 and Nicolas Pernigotti called from the small blind.

The flop came J♣9♥2♥ and both players checked. The turn then brought the 2♣ and bet of 175,000 from Pernigotti which Araujo called.

The river was the T♠. Pernigotti checked, and after hesitating a moment Araujo bet 380,000. Pernigotti thought for a while -- a minute or so into the break -- before finally calling, and Araujo turned over K♥Q♥ for a rivered straight. Pernigotti showed his hand with some disgust -- A♠J♠ -- and quickly left to get some fresh air and clear his head from that one.

Araujo heads into the break with 2.065 million now, having bounced all of the way back from short-stacked status. Meanwhile short-stacked is what Pernigotti is now with just 415,000. --MH

3:58pm: Anyone keeping track at home?
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

It feels like the last two levels have been filled with shoves, shoves and more shoves, with very few calls and even fewer pots that have made their way to the river with meaningful action.

That trend has continued to the end of Level 28, as Nicolas Pernigotti just three-bet shoved from the cutoff, after Manuel Vuotto opened in the hijack. The open was sized at 140,000 and Pernigotti's shove checked in at 750,000.

There would be no Argentine on Argentine battle though, as Vuotto folded, after close to two minutes of thought. We're now just a few minutes from the end of the period and another break. -- WOC

3:50pm: Claus pushes Pernigotti off hand
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

We haven't been mentioning Nicolas Pernigotti much until lately today, but we have another hand to report involving him already.

In this one Pernigotti opened for 135,000 from the button, then Pedro Claus reraised enough to put Pernigotti all-in. The latter thought a while then folded, and now sits with about 740,000. Claus meanwhile is up to 1.85 million. --MH

3:46pm: Ace-king finally doubles Araujo
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Fernando Araujo has shoved an almost countless amount of times over the last two levels and he finally got looked up. The Brazilian moved all-in for 550,000, from the big blind, over top of Sergio De Benedictis' under the gun 140,000 chip open.

De Benedictis called and Araujo was in a great spot to double, with A♠K♥ to A♥T♦. The A♦J♠9♥Q♥5♥ runout kept big slick ahead and when the dust settled, Araujo was over 1,000,000 for the first time in recent memory. De Benedictis is dangerously close to that amount as well. -- WOC

3:38pm: Pernigotti joins the 'pushing party'
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

After not involving himself much over the last few orbits, Nicolas Pernigotti found himself just over the ten big blind mark. He then joined the pushing party which was previously a one-man Brazilian show.

Pernigotti moved all-in for 720,000 from under the gun and that shove got through, with another working a few hands later to move him just over seven-figures. In between, Fernando Araujo successfully shoved, to keep himself near ten bigs. -- WOC


Nicolas Pernigotti-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8173.jpg

Pernigotti persisting

3:29pm: Another shove from Araujo
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

If we were working smarter, not harder, we would have likely just found a template for the "Arajuo shoves again" posts. Every situation is different though, kind of, and we're not in the business of copying and pasting.

Araujo has been in the business of playing Route 1 poker though, as he's more or less had one play over the last few orbits. Despite his numerous shoves, he's yet to get looked up and this time, he forced folds with a 420,000 chip shove.

That moves him up close to 600,000, which is still only ten big blinds. -- WOC

3:21pm: Barros bounds upwards
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Ruben Barros has quickly improved his situation after winning two hands in a row, bluffing both times.

The first saw him playing a relatively small pot with Fernando Araujo, pushing the latter off a hand with a river bet and then showing ace-high afterwards. That knocked Araujo back down to 450,000.

In the next one Barros opened for 125,000 from the cutoff, Sergio De Benedictis called from the big blind, and the flop came J♦5♥Q♦. Both checked, then after the 7♥ turn De Benedictis bet 125,000, Barros shoved, and De Benedictis folded.

Barros showed his hand -- 9♥8♥ -- and collected the chips. Call that one a semi-bluff.

Barros is now up around 1.95 million, while De Benedictis has 1.7 million. --MH


Ruben Barros-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8250.jpg

Barros keeps barreling

3:10pm: Vuotto vaults ahead
Level 28: Blinds 30,000/60,000, Ante 10,000

Sergio De Benedictis put out a raise to 115,000 from the button, then was told he had to raise to at least 120,000 here in Level 28. Only Manuel Vuotto then called the raise from the small blind, and the flop came 6♣8♠5♥.

De Benedictis checked, Vuotto bet 200,000, and De Benedictis folded. After some prodding, Vuotto showed his hand -- 6♦6♥ -- and collected the pot.

Vuotto has now pulled ahead into the chip lead with 2.55 million, while De Benedictis has 1.9 million. --MH


Manuel Vuotto-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8241.jpg

Vuotto takes over lead


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2830,00060,00010,000


3:06pm: Three in a row for Araujo
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Through the final few minutes of Level 27, Fernando Araujo moved all-in three times and while he didn't get looked up on any occasion, he's now entering the next period over the ten big blind mark.

The first move saw Araujo shove for 395,000. The rest of the table folded and that moved Araujo near a half-million. A few hands later, he was all-in again, this time from the big blind.

Nicolas Pernigotti opened the cutoff to 110,000 and Araujo's shove weighed in at 485,000. Pernigotti couldn't bring himself to call, conceding the pot to his Brazilian counterpart.

The very next hand, Araujo shoved the small blind and Sergio De Benedictis folded in the big, pushing the Brazilian up to 820,000. That's his highest peak since returning from the last break and he'll now head into the next period with a workable 14 big blind stack. -- WOC

2:53pm: De Benedictis back in front
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Pedro Claus opened for 140,000 from middle position and it folded to Sergio De Benedictis who called from the small blind, and after a bit of thought Manuel Vuotto folded from the BB.

The flop came 4♣2♣Q♠. Claus bet 195,000 and De Benedictis called. Both then checked the 2♠ turn, then after the 5♦ completed the board, Claus checked again. De Benedictis took the opening to bet 325,000, and after considering things a short while Claus folded.

The big stacks continue their battling, with De Benedictis now leading once more with 2.18 million and Claus close with 2.08 million. --MH

2:47pm: Araujo all-in (again)
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Fernando Araujo just open-raised all-in again with his short stack from the small blind, Sergio De Benedictis gave up the big blind, and Araujo showed one card -- the A♥ -- and collected the pot.

The Brazilian remains the short stack, though, with just 375,000. --MH


Fernando Araujo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8232.jpg

Araujo seeking to climb back

2:43pm: Araujo gets one through
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

We go from the two big stacks to the other end of the spectrum, as Brazil's Fernando Araujo is still the short stack. He just got a shove through, moving all-in for close to seven big blinds from middle position.

That bumped him up to 450,000 but if he's going to get back into contention at this final table, he'll likely need to get a double to do so. As it stands, he's the only player below ten big blinds, with Ruben Barros sitting as the other player under 1,000,000. -- WOC

2:34pm: Claus takes the chip lead back
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

The big stacks have continued to battle towards the midway point of Level 27. Sergio De Benedictis just took the chip lead but it was only momentarily, as Pedro Claus took it right back thanks to a timely river.

Action was picked up with De Benedictis opening to 115,000 from under the gun and after some folds, Claus called in the small blind. Both players checked the A♣K♦J♠ flop, with both tapping the table for a second time after the 8♣ fell on the turn.

The 4♥ completed the board and Claus led for 150,000, a wager that De Benedictis snap called. Claus tabled 4♣4♠, for a rivered set and De Benedictis shot from his chair before sending his hand into the muck.

He was visibly frustrated with how he played the hand, tapping himself on the head for maybe not thinking, a continuation of our recent theme. He's still well stacked with 1,700,000 but the chip lead is now back in Claus' corner, as he's working 2,400,000. -- WOC

2:21pm: De Benedictis grabs pot, chip lead from Claus
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Just after that short conversation about thinking (see just below), Pedro Claus had a lot to think about in the very next hand versus Sergio De Benedictis.

After Claus opened for 130,000 from the hijack seat, De Benedictis called from the button and the flop came 5♦9♣6♦. Claus quickly continued for another 130,000, and De Benedictis called.

The turn brought the K♦, and Claus checked this time. De Benedictis then fired 160,000, and even before the chips had been set forward Claus had called.

The river was the K♠. Claus led for 280,000 this time, again acting without hesitating, and De Benedictis didn't wait too long either before jamming with an all-in raise to 680,000.

Now Claus had to stop and think. He took about a minute-and-a-half, then finally let his hand go, and De Benedictis earned the big pot.

De Benedictis moves up into the chip lead on that one, in fact, nudging just up over 2 million while Claus slips to 1.95 million. --MH


Sergio De Benedictis-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8236.jpg

Sergio surges ahead

2:16pm: Playing vs. thinking
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

Ruben Barros opened for 150,000 from middle position and it folded around to Manuel Vuotto in the big blind. As has been his custom, he took a little while to think about what to do -- not inordinately long, but a bit longer than the others have been tanking.

Barros joked with Vuotto a little about taking his time, to which Vuotto responded with a grin. "Don't you guys think?" he asked (in Spanish). Chip leader Pedro Claus had an answer.

"I don't have to think," he said. "I see the cards, and I play!"

That earned some chuckles all around as Vuotto folded. And maybe a little something to think about going forward. --MH

2:10pm: Brazil can't catch a break
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

It seems as though the majority of time we are mentioning Fernando Araujo, he has been on the losing end of the pot. He just took another hit, this time against Sergio De Benedictis.

Action was picked up with Araujo completing the small blind and the Argentine checking his option in the big. The Q♦8♣5♦ flop brought a check and a bet of 50,000 from De Benedictis. Araujo came along and the same pattern of betting played out after the K♥ fell on the turn, with the wager sized at 125,000.

The J♥ completed the board and both players checked, with De Benedictis tabling Q♣3♣ for two pair. Araujo had Q♠5♠ and again, he was shipping some chips. He's now down near 575,000, which is just over ten big blinds, while De Benedictis is working 1,150,000. -- WOC

2pm: Play resumes; 6 remain
Level 27: Blinds 25,000/50,000, Ante 5,000

The remaining six players back and Level 27 is underway. They've colored up the chips one last time, getting rid of the yellow 1,000 chips, and a fresh count reaffirms Pedro Claus's lead. He's 1.1 million clear of nearest challengers Manuel Votto and Nicolas Pernigotti, with the other three players a bit behind. Here are the stacks to begin the new level:

      
NameCountryChips
PEDRO DANIEL CLAUSARGENTINA2,760,000
MANUEL VUOTTOARGENTINA1,660,000
NICOLAS PERNIGOTTIARGENTINA1,645,000
SERGIO DE BENEDICTISARGENTINA 1,020,000
FERNANDO ARAÚJOBRAZIL 860,000
RUBEN BARROSARGENTINA720,000

Pedro Claus-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8221.jpg

No one's been able to pry chips from Pedro's Claus


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2725,00050,0005,000


1:44pm: First break of the day
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

We've played to the first break of the day and the remaining six final table players are now on a quick 15-minute recess. Counts when we return. -- WOC


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1:38pm: Pernigotti picks one up before period ends
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

The last ten minutes of Level 26 played out with little to no action but the period did end with Nicolas Pernigotti picking up a decent pot against Manuel Vuotto.

Vuotto opened the cutoff to 85,000 and after some thought, Pernigotti three-bet to 230,000 from the button. The blinds folded and after the deliberate Vuotto thought for close to a minute and a half, he flashed A♦J♠.

As he sent his hand into the muck, Pernigotti showed the A♣. We don't know what his kicker was but he was taking in the pot before the entire table exited the tournament area on their first break of the day.

A complete list of the remaining counts will be posted shortly. -- WOC

1:28pm: De Benedictis three-bets, collects
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Ruben Barros opened for 105,000 from the hijack seat and after taking a gander at what Barros had behind, Fernando Araujo called the raise from the cutoff.

It folded to Sergio De Benedictis in the small blind who took his time acting. After close to a minute of thought, he announced a reraise and pushed out columns representing 330,000.

It folded back to Barros who paused a couple of beats before folding, and Araujo stepped aside as well.

All three of the players involved in the hand are close at the moment -- De Benedictis moves up to 990,000 after that one, Araujo sits behind 950,000, and Barros is playing 935,000. --MH

1:27pm: Claus clips Araujo on the river, again
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

With two short stacks down, we could see some more tactical play from the rest of this final table. Pedro Claus and Fernando Araujo battled earlier, with the former clipping the Brazilian on the river and he just did so again to move near 2,500,000.

Action was picked up with Claus opening to 102,000 from the small blind, with Araujo calling in the big. The A♦9♠7♠ brought a bet of 110,000 from Claus and Araujo called to see the 7♣ pair the board on the turn.

Both players checked and they did the same after the 8♦ fell on the river. Claus tabled 8♣6♠ and Araujo cringed, showing 5♣5♠. Again, he was good until the river but more importantly, he again only lost the minimum.

He's still over 1,000,000, which is good for over 20 big blinds, while Claus increases his chip lead on the remaining lineup. -- WOC

1:19pm: Cristian Andres Rotondo eliminated in 7th place ($18,340)
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

The first time Cristian Andres Rotondo and Nicolas Pernigotti got involved in a pot, the two chopped it up with the same hand. The second, Rotondo was not as fortunate, as he shoved 230,000 from middle position and was dominated once Pernigotti called from the small blind.

The short stack held K♠8♦ to Pernigotti's K♥Q♥ and after the Q♠J♠9♥ flop, Rotondo's best chance of survival was another chop. The 7♣ didn't help on the turn and after the 9♠ paired the board on the river, he was eliminated in 7th place.

He'll make just under $18,500 for his final table run and Nicolas Pernigotti now looks like he's third in chips (behind leader Pedro Claus and Manuel Vuotto) with nearly 1,400,000. -- WOC


Cristian Rotondo-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8215.jpg

Cristian Andres Rotondo - 7th place

1:11pm: Claus, Vuotto add to big stacks
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

The two hands following Marco Oliveira's elimination in eighth place saw Marco Vuotto raise and take one from under the gun, then Pedro Claus do the same from middle position.

Both have big stacks relative to the other five, with Claus still leading with 2.31 million and Vuotto in second position with 1.75 million. --MH

1:03pm: Marco Oliveira eliminated in 8th place ($13,040)
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Marco Oliveira open-raised all-in for his last 404,000 and it folded around to Ruben Barros in the cutoff who reraised all-in over the top. Everyone else stepped aside, and after Oliveira showed his 2♠2♥ he saw he was well behind the K♦K♥ of Barros.

The board ran out an uneventful 9♦A♠8♣Q♥T♠, and Oliveira is out in eighth, leaving only Fernando Araujo to represent Brazil going further versus the six Argentinians.

Barros is up around 1.05 million now. --MH


Marco Oliveira-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8180.jpg

Marco Oliveira - 8th place

12:54pm: Double chop for Rotondo
Level 26: Blinds 20,000/40,000, Ante 5,000

Short stack Cristian Andres Rotondo moved all-in early and found no callers but in back to back hands, he shoved and had to settle for a chop on both occasions. The first saw Rotondo move all-in fro 268,000 from middle position and after Nicolas Pernigotti called in the small blind, both players tabled variants of ace-ten.

The rainbow board meant that each took back their bets and half the blinds and antes but on the next hand, Rotondo was in better shape for a double. He moved in for just under 290,000 and after Pedro Claus called in the big, he tabled Q♥Q♣.

Claus held A♣9♥ and after the 9♦8♣7♠T♣6♣ runout, Rotondo saw the river keep him from increasing his stack. He's still below the ten big blind mark, while Claus still holds the chip lead as the only player over 2,000,000. -- WOC


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2620,00040,0005,000


12:51pm: Araujo minimizes his losses
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

It's taken the better part of the first level but the top two stacks coming into this final table just got involved for the first time. Chip leader Pedro Claus opened to 78,000 from middle position and Fernando Araujo, the next player to act, called.

The rest of the table folded and both players checked the J♥7♣6♣ flop, with Claus checking the J♦ turn as well. Araujo bet 80,000 and Claus quickly came along, with both players checking the A♦ after it completed the board.

Claus tabled A♥K♦ and Araujo shook his head, before showing Q♣Q♠. It was a minimal loss for the Brazilian and if these two players had played the hand differently, it could have been an even bigger loss for Araujo. Instead, he played his pocket pair cautiously and is still very comfortably near 1,300,000.

The chip leader gets back to where he started the day, with Claus playing 2,200,000. -- WOC


12:43pm: Vuotto chips up
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

The pace of play has been very deliberate in the early going. Case in point -- the following hand only reached the turn, though took around eight minutes to complete.

It began with Manuel Vuotto limping in from under the gun, then Ruben Barros raised to 73,000 from middle position. It folded to Sergio De Benedictis in the big blind who called, and the trio saw the flop come 9♠2♥5♣.

Action checked to Barros who continued for 130,000, and only Vuotto called. The turn then brought the 3♦ and a leading bet of 152,000 from Vuotto, and after some thought Barros stepped aside.

You read that in just a few seconds, but as we say mentally add in long stretches in between each action for a full picture. 

Vuotto chips up to about 1.64 million with that pot, while Barros now has 725,000. --MH

12:25pm: One orbit, one flop
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

This final table has gotten off to a slow start, with the hand between Pedro Claus and Sergio De Benedictis the only one going to a flop through the first orbit. There has been some pre flop battling though, including a shove from short stack Cristian Andres Rotondo.

He moved in from middle position, for 263,000 and forced the table to fold, picking up the blinds and antes. There have also been a few three-bets as well, none of which have been called to see further action.

While we haven't seen that much action through the first 20 minutes of play, we imagine that once the final table gets comfortable, we'll see some pots develop. -- WOC

12:16pm: De Benedictis draws first blood
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

After two raise and takes from Nicolas Pernigotti, the final table saw their first hand go to the flop between Pedro Claus and Sergio De Benedictis. The chip leader opened to 69,000 from middle position and De Benedictis called out of the small blind.

Manuel Vuotto thought for a few moments in the big before releasing his hand, sending two players to the Q♦7♠6♦ flop. De Benedictis checked, to see Claus continue for 75,000.

De Benedictis then min-check-raised, clicking it back to 150,000. Claus called and after the K♣ fell on the turn, De Benedictis announced himself "all-in". The shove was for just over 515,000 and after a quick trip to the tank, Claus folded.

De Benedictis took in the pot, drawing first blood at this final table to move up near the 950,000 chip mark. Claus take a small hit to drop near 2,000,000. -- WOC

12:08pm: Final table underway!
Level 25: Blinds 15,000/30,000, Ante 4,000

Players are all here, the preliminaries are done, and the first hand of the LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event is being dealt. Here are those seating assignments and stacks again as play kicks off:

Seat 1: Manuel Vuotto (Argentina) -- 1,416,100
Seat 2: Nicolas Pernigotti (Argentina) -- 1,043,000
Seat 3: Ruben Barros (Argentina) -- 866,000
Seat 4: Pedro Claus (Argentina) -- 2,230,000
Seat 5: Fernando Araujo (Brazil) -- 1,490,000
Seat 6: Cristian Andres Rotondo (Argentina) -- 294,000
Seat 7: Marco Oliveira (Brazil) -- 562,000
Seat 8: Sergio De Benedictis (Argentina) -- 772,000


Final Table-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-8159.jpg

Ready to battle!

And a reminder of what they're playing for: 

1st: $110,870 
2nd: $69,740 
3rd: $50,020 
4th: $39,720 
5th: $31,160 
6th: $24,400 
7th: $18,340 
8th: $13,040

There are almost 35 minutes left in Level 25. --MH


LEVELSMALL BLINDBIG BLINDANTE
2515,00030,0004,000


11:30am: Final table player profiles

From the 438 entries into this LAPT Uruguay Main Event just eight are left with a chance to win the title and $110,870 first prize. With about a half-hour to go until the first final table hand gets dealt, take some time to get to know the eight players who remain:

Seat 1: Manuel Vuotto, Argentina -- 1,416,000

If momentum in poker counts for anything, Manuel Vuotto has it. The Argentine, one of six at this final table, did nothing but climb on Day 3 en route to bagging a top-three stack. While it's his first final table appearance on the LAPT, a decent run of results, including a win worth $56,000 on the Codere Poker Tour in Uruguay from this past summer, could mean Vuotto is the most in form of the final eight. 

Seat 2: Nicolas Pernigotti, Argentina -- 1,043,000

Main Events are where Nicolas Pernigotti has done all of his tournament damage over the last two years, which means that while he's also making his first LAPT final table appearance, he has some experience upon which to draw. Pernigotti finished third in a High Roller event at the Circuito Argentino De Poker in Buenos Aires this spring, good for a nearly career best score. He'll try to best that finish today, coming back in the middle of the pack with just over seven-figures. 

Seat 3: Ruben Barros, Argentina -- 866,000

At the end of Day 3, Ruben Barros asked if there were a special prize for making back-to-back final table appearances. Barros finished eighth in last year's LAPT8 Uruguay Main Event, which, oddly enough, is also his only live tournament cash to date. There might not be a "special prize," but Barros does get a chance at some redemption, as he looks to best that finish from 2015 today. 

Seat 4: Pedro Claus, Argentina -- 2,230,000

Compared to the players at the top of the leaderboard throughout the last few days, Pedro Claus has a relatively modest tournament résumé. He's not a past LAPT champion or reigning Player of the Year, but that could all change within the next few hours as he will notch a career best score today. The only question -- can he Claus the finish line ahead of the rest, after entering the final table with a sizable advantage at the top of the charts?

Seat 5: Fernando Araujo, Brazil -- 1,490,000

One of two Brazilians doing battle with the half-dozen Argentinians at today's final table is Fernando Araujo, one of the more experienced players at the final table with more than a quarter million dollars' worth of tournament cashes over the last six years, including many on the Brazilian Series of Poker and a few at the WSOP as well. He'll be looking today to top his career-high score of R$113,000 (about $46K USD) for winning a BSOP High Roller in São Paulo in 2014. He'll also try to better his seventh-place finish here in the LAPT4 Uruguay Main Event.

Seat 6: Cristian Andres Rotondo, Argentina -- 294,000

Cristian Andres Rotondo has been cashing in LAPT Main Events since Season 3, part of his success in tournaments over the last half-dozen years. Rotondo also has numerous cashes in South America and the U.S., and most recently made the money in the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event. He's returning to the short stack today -- beginning with less than 10 big blinds -- and so will need to spin up his stack early in order to further his LAPT9 Uruguay Main Event run.

Seat 7: Marco Oliveira, Brazil -- 562,000

Joining Araujo as the other representative of Brazil at today's final table will be Marco Oliveira, winner of nearly $200K in tournaments since 2010. This is Oliveira's second career LAPT final table as he took eighth at LAPT6 Panama. He's also coming off no less than three final tables at the BSOP's Punta del Este series back in June, and so has a lot of recent experience on the main stage in the Conrad's tournament poker room.

Seat 8: Sergio De Benedictis, Argentina -- 772,000

Sergio De Benedictis rounds out our final eight, collector of numerous cashes in his native Argentina as well as a couple from side events at LAPT6 Chile. His largest career cash came in April of this year at teh Madero Poker Master Cup in Buenos Aires where he won an ARS$8,500 event for a ARS$565,080 first prize worth nearly $40K USD. Making the top three today will earn him more that, though like the others he'll have some work to do to catch frontrunner Claus. 


Location-LAPT Punta del Este-9 Season-6599.jpg

The Conrad Hotel & Casino


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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