lapt-promo.gif4:47pm: Alex Komaromi wins Uruguay’s first LAPT title
Alex Komaromi came in for a raise to 150,000 and Claudio Piedrabuena made the call. Both players checked the flop of 4♠7♣K♦. On the J♣ turn, Piedrabuena checked, Komaromi bet 225,000, and Piedrabuena announced he was all-in for around 1.3 million. Komaromi snap-called with J♥4♥. Piedrabuena had K♣10♣ for top pair with the flush draw. He blanked on the 2♦ river and finished in 2nd place for $141,220.

Now, Komaromi is celebrating his $244,720 win and Uruguay’s first title.

We’ll be back with a wrap-up in just a few minutes. –BW

4:37pm: Call, check, bet, fold
Lots of limping, checking, and relatively uncontested pots thus far this level. Claudio Piedrabuena has made a couple of big raises, including one all in on the turn, but not much chip movement has occurred of late. Alex Komaromi still has about 6.5 million to Piedrabuena’s 1.5 million. –MH

4:20pm: We’re back
The final two players are back in their seats to play for the trophy. –BW

4:11pm: Komaromi reclaims lead
Alex Komaromi opened for 135,000 from the button, then Claudio Piedrabuena pushed all in. Komaromi called instantly, committing his entire stack of 3.25 million.

Komaromi A♦K♠
Piedrabuena A♠10♥

The crowd rose in anticipation, all eyes fixed on the screens above to see what the community cards would bring. The first three were good for the Uruguayan — K♥9♣5♦. Then came the turn, the 3♣.

“Vamo! Vamo!” cried Komaromi after the turn card fell, ensuring that the 9♦ on the river was no matter. Suddenly the pair is back to where they were when heads-up play began, with Komaromi out in front with just over 6.6 million versus Piedrabuena’s 1.45 million.


That was the last hand of Level 26, meaning the players are taking another break before action resumes. –MH

4:03pm: Piedrabuena scores big double for chip lead
Claudio Piedrabuena was not messing around with post-flop play. Nearly all of his raises had been 10x the big blind. It was happening over and over again. Finally, Alex Komaromi had enough. He pushed all-in over the top. Piedrabuena took a bit, but finally called for his final 2,375,000 with 10♠10♦. Komaromi showed A♥J♠. If Komaromi won the race, he’d win the tournament. Otherwise Piedrabuena would score the chip lead. The board ran out 2♦2♠8♦Q♥K♦ and Piedrabuena moved up to 5.8 million, good for the lead over the Uruguayan. –BW

3:56pm: Heads-up battle continues
Following that double-up with pocket rockets, Claudio Piedrabuena continues to battle with his short stack, having committed it a couple of times thus far but getting no call from Alex Komaromi. Komaromi maintains about a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Piedrabuena. There’s about 15 minutes left in Level 26. –MH


3:37pm: Aces for Piedrabuena = double-up
Alex Komaromi limped from the small blind/button, then Claudio Piedrabuena announced he was pushing all in for his last 805,000. Komaromi called, showing A♦6♦, but Piedrabuena had picked up A♥A♣.

The board ran out K♣4♠7♦6♥5♦, and Piedrabuena doubles to about 1.7 million. He’s still well behind Komaromi, who now has about 6.45 million.

3:26pm: Varela out in 3rd; Komaromi huge lead entering heads-up
Alex Komaromi opened with a button raise to 130,000, and Claudio Piedrabuena quickly folded from the small blind, excusing himself from the table as he did. Engelberth Varela called from the big blind, and the two remaining players saw the flop come 3♣A♥7♣. Varela checked, Komaromi bet 160,000, and after a short think Varela called.

The turn was the Q♠. Varela quickly checked again, and this time Komaromi bet 335,000. Varela took his time, carefully carving out the chips to call. Finally, after more than a minute, the Venezuelan called, leaving himself about 975,000 behind.

The river was the 5♠. Varela checked right away again, and Komaromi paused about 10 seconds before declaring himself all in. Varela sat with his hand over his mouth, looking up at Komaromi as he contemplated the situation. Finally he called, tabling A♦6♠ for top pair. Alas for Varela, Komaromi had A♣8♣, meaning his kicker played and Varela is out in third ($88,970).

Komaromi has 7.63 million to Piedrabeuna’s 810,000 to start heads-up play. –MH


Engelberth Varela, 3rd place

3:20pm: Tick, tock, tick…
If you were one of those people who said, “Well, now that they’ve talked business, we’ll be out of here pretty quickly,” feel free to slap yourself. After nearly half an hour of play, the chips have barely moved. It’s slow going now. Grab a bowl of chips and get comfy. –BW

3:06pm: Level 26 begins
Blinds 25,000/50,000 now, with a 5,000 ante. –MH

2:56pm: Play resumes
Our final trio are back in their seats. About 10 minutes remain in Level 25. –MH

2:42pm: While we’re waiting
Business talk continues between the three remaining players. While we wait for them to discuss what they’re having for dinner, or whatever it is they are trying to negotiate at this point, here’s some action. –BW

2:39pm: Updated chip counts (3 remain)
Alex Komaromi still has the big lead and hopes to claim the first-ever LAPT title for Uruguay. –MH

Alex Komaromi (Uruguay) — 5.47 million
Engelberth Varela (Venezuela) — 1.9 million
Claudio Piedrabuena (Argentina) — 780,000

2:30pm: Carlos Watanabe out in fourth ($65,430)
Engelbeth Varela came in for a raise to 100,000. With only 120,000, Carlos Watanabe moved in from the small blind with 5♣5♠. Varela made the call with Q♠J♣, spiked the Q♣ on the flop, and sent Watanabe packing in fourth place for $65,430.

That hand puts Varela up to 1.9 million. The three remaining players have scooted off into the hallways to talk business. We’ll be back when they are. –BW


Carlos Watanabe, 4th place

2:21pm: Four Brazilians, four bustouts; Pasini out in 5th
It folded to Brazil’s last hope, Felipe Pasini, in the cutoff who raised all in for 410,000 total. Carlos Watanabe folded from the button, then super-stacked Alex Komaromi pushed all in over the top from the small blind. Claudio Piedrabuena folded the big blind. Cards on their backs…

Komaromi 10♦10♠
Pasini Q♦J♦

The flop came A♥5♦8♥, and Komaromi’s tens were still best. The turn was the 3♠ and river the 3♣, and Pasini is out in fifth for $46,600.

Komaromi of Uruguay moves up to around 5.35 million now, well ahead of his three remaining foes. –MH


Felipe Pasini, 5th place

2:04pm: Neto nabbed in 6th
Nelson Neto opened for 100,000 from the hijack seat, then Alex Komaromi reraised to 230,000 from the button. The blinds folded, then Neto took just a few seconds before reraising all in for 900,000 total.

Komaromi tanked for a full two minutes, during which time the entire room fell silent. Finally came the call, which when the news was delivered to the crowd by the announcer, the room exploded with noise. Komaromi tabled 8♥8♣ and Neto A♥Q♠.

Neto began calling for a queen, but the flop came K♣5♣10♥. Then the 8♠ fell on the turn, but Neto was still drawing live to a possible straight. The dealer burned a card and turned over the river — the A♠ — and Neto is out in sixth, earning $37,190.

That’s three of the four Brazilians down — just Felipe Pasini remains. Komaromi remains the big chip leader, his 4.19 million now representing about half the chips with five players left. –MH


Nelson Neto, 6th place

1:50pm: Piedrabuena takes chunk from Varela
Claudio came in for a raise and was immediately three-bet to 275,000 by Engelberth Varela. Play folded back around to Piedrabuena who immediately announced he was all-in for 700,000. Varela took a couple of seconds, but wasted no more time calling with J♥J♣. This time, he was way behind. Piedrabuena tabled K♠K♥. The dealer quickly spread out the 2♥9♦7♦5♥Q♠ board. After the chips found their proper home, Varela was sitting with 1.6 million to Piedrabuena’s 1.5 million. –BW


Claudio Piedrabuena celebrates after doubling up

1:41pm: Fernando Araujo out in 7th
On the first hand back from a short between-levels break, it folded around to Fernando Araujo in the small blind who open-pushed for 195,000 total, and Engelberth Varela called from one seat over.

Araujo A♠K♦
Varela J♥10♣

Araujo had the lead to start, but the 10♥9♦5♦ paired Varela and put the Brazilian at risk. The turn was the 6♣ and river the 5♣, and Araujo is out, earning $27,770 for his seventh-place finish.


Fernando Araujo, 7th place

Varela is up to 2.55 million, creeping closer to leader Alex Komaromi’s 3.3 million. –MH

1:37pm: Blinds up
Blinds are now 20k/40k/5k. –BW

1:23pm: Claudio Piedrabuena holds for double
Claudio Piedrabuena raised to 75,000, leaving himself only about 250,000 behind. Fernando Araujo put him all-in and Piedrabuena quickly called with pocket tens. Araujo only had A♣7♣. The board ran out K♣7♥Q♦9♦2♣ and Piedrabuena doubled to more than 700,000. Players are now on a 15-minute break. –BW

1:11pm: Watanabe doubles through Araujo
Carlos Watanabe opened with an all-in raise to 190,000 from the cutoff and it folded to Fernando Araujo in the big blind who made the call. Watanabe showed 8♠8♥ and Araujo A♦6♠. The board ran out 10♠3♠J♥9♦Q♣, and Watanabe doubles back to 430,000 — around what he he had at the start of today’s final table. Araujo, meanwhile, slips to 520,000. –MH

1:05pm: Rafael Monteiro out-kicked, out-chipped, out in 8th ($18,360)
Engleberth Varela raised to 70,000. That got a re-raise to 170,000 from Rafael Monteiro. Varela was having none of it and bumped it to 390,000. Sensing the inevitable, Monteiro moved all-in for 710,000 and got the quick call.

Varela: A♠K♣
Monteiro: A♣Q♣

The board ran out 3♦4♠3♠7♦9♥ and Monteiro was gone. He earned $18,360 for his eighth place finish. –BW


Rafael Monteiro, 8th place

12:41pm: Neto steals chips from Varela
On the first hand, Felipe Pasini open-shoved from under the gun and got no callers. The second hand began similarly, with Nelson Neto likewise opening with an all-in raise — for about 400,000. It folded around to Engelberth Varela who called from the button, and the blinds got out.

Neto K♣J♦
Varela 3♥3♦

Varela’s pocket pair remained best after the 7♥6♦7♣ flop and 10♥ turn, but the K♠ fell on the river, sending Neto into an ecstatic bit of celebrating.


Included in his expression of joy was the surprise donning of a ski mask — no shinola! — followed by Neto jumping off the stage and running over to the crowd for a brief celebration with his supporters.


Finally, Neto returned to his seat. We think he’s grinning.


He’s taken the mask off now, but Neto looked a bit like a thief for a moment there. His theft of chips from Varela means he’s back up to about 820,000, while Varela slips to 1.42 million. –MH

12:31pm: Final table begins
The introductions are complete and the first hand of the 2011 LAPT Punta del Este final table is being dealt. During those intros, leader Alex Komaromi entered with a Uruguayan flag draped around his shoulders, earning a large cheer from the crowd. He then sat down behind his big stacks of white (25,000) and blue (5,000) chips, their colors neatly matching the stripes of his home country’s flag.

The other players appear to have cheering sections, too, so it looks like we’re about to witness an exciting Sunday afternoon of poker. There are about 50 minutes remaining in Level 24 (blinds 15,000/30,000, ante 5,000). –MH

12:16pm: Almost there
LAPT President David Carrion is presently introducing the final eight players to what has already become a decent-sized crowd of fans and friends gathered here in the Mantra Resort and Casino poker room. A few more minutes, then poker! –MH


David Carrion, LAPT President

11:45am: Komaromi clear leader, but LAPT Punte del Este picture still developing
It’s a bright, mild, sunny day here in Punta del Este, quite a contrast from the dark, cold, rainy night on which arrived. Also relatively less cloudy is the question of who is going to claim the trophy and $244,720 first prize for this LAPT main event. A leader has emerged, and just eight of the original 422 entrants remain.

But still, there’s much to be determined.

Of those who are left, four hail from Brazil, and one each from Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay. Its the latter — young Alex Komaromi of nearby Montevideo — who returns to a healthy chip advantage, his 2.92 million representing just over a third of the remaining chips in play.


Alex Komaromi

While most of the others sport below average stacks, Engelberth Varela of Venezuela is well within shouting distance of Komaromi, beginning today with 1.84 million. Here’s how the final eight will be arranged and how many chips each will have for today’s first hand:

Seat 1 – Rafael Monteiro (Brazil) — 810,000

Seat 2 – Felipe Pasini (Brazil) — 345,000

Seat 3 – Nelson Neto (Brazil) — 405,000

Seat 4 – Carlos Watanabe (Peru) — 430,000 

Seat 5 – Alex Komaromi (Uruguay) — 2.92 million

Seat 6 – Claudio Piedrabuena (Argentina) — 490,000

Seat 7 – Fernando Araujo (Brazil) — 860,000

Seat 8 – Engelberth Varela (Venezuela) — 1.84 million

All will become clear soon. Start refreshing this page about 15 minutes from now for start-to-finish coverage of today’s final table. Meanwhile, click here to learn more about each of our final eight. –MH

Live coverage of LAPT Punta del Este is brought to you by Brad “Let’s do this” Willis and Martin “You have an ambiguous reference, there” Harris.


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