9:38pm: Alex Manzano wins LAPT Sao Paulo in shocking final hand
Alex Manzano came in for a raise to 270,000 pre-flop and Joao Neto made the call. On a 3♦2♠2♣ flop, Neto check-called a 275,000 bet. Neto then check- called a 615,000 bet on the 7♣ turn. The river was the 4♦. Neto checked, and Manzano went into a deep period of thought. He asked for a count of Manzano’s chips. Satisfied, Manzano announced he was all-in.

Neto looked tortured. He asked the dealer to spread out the pot. He’d started the hand with at least three million and was still fairly deep. Finally, after more than five minutes of thought, he called. Manzano stood from his chair and silently raised his hands in the air. Neto hung his head.

Manzano slid 5♣6♣ into the middle of the table, the rivered straight. For more than a minute, Neto’s hand sat face-down on the table. Finally, the dealer turned it over: A♠8♦, aka ace-high.

With that, Alex Manzano was the LAPT Sao Paulo champion. For his efforts he won a published R$ 615,840. Neto pockets a published R$ 352,760. We’ll have a full wrap-up in just a bit. –BW


9:23pm: Back in action
Joao Neto and Alex Manzano are back in their seats of 60,000-120,000-10,000 blinds.

7:55pm: It’s over (until 9:15pm)
With two players remaining, it’s apparently dinner time. Back in 75 minutes. -BW

7:52pm: Manzano forces a fold
Alex Manzano opened for 285,000 on the button and Joao Neto made the call from the big blind. Neto checked the 10♠8♠7♣ flop over to Manzano, who bet 275,000. Neto called and they went to the turn which fell thee 2♥. Neto checked again and Manzano slid out a 700,000 bet. It was enough to scare away Neto and Manzano took down the pot. –KB

7:45pm: Heads-up chip counts
At this stage, the chips counts stand as you see below. –BW

Alex Manzano: 6.8 million
Joao Neto: 3.9 million

7:31pm: Marcelo Fonseca eliminated in 3rd place (R $224,800)
All the chips were in the middle again preflop, this time Joao Neto racing for his tournament life with 3♣3♠ against Marcelo Fonseca’s A♣K♦. Neto’s baby pair held on the 8♣5♥8♥10♦6♠ board, leaving Fonseca on only 295,000 in chips–less than three big blinds.

After posting the 10,000 ante, Fonseca shoved for 285,000 on the next hand and both Neto and Alex Manzano called. Manzano and Neto checked down the 10♦7♠2♠7♥J♥ board until Manzano made a small river bet, eliciting a fold from Neto. Fonseca turned up A♠K♠, but Manzano paired up on the flop with his 8♠10♥, eliminating Fonseca in third place. –KB


7:24pm: Manzano doubles again
Somewhere the fat lady just sat down and opened a book. This thing isn’t over. On a flop of 4♦2♦8♠, Alex Manzano bet the flop, Joao Neto raised him, Manzano shoved, and Neto called.

Neto: 8♥10♥
Manzano: A♦5♦

Neto missed on the 7♥ and Q♠ turn and river and now Manzano now has the lead. Neto, after having a massive lead sits in third place..–BW

7:14pm: Manzano takes a piece of Neto
This thing doesn’t belong to Joao Neto yet. He just doubled up Alex Manzano to more than two million. Manzano held A♣3♣ to Neto’s K♣J♥. The board didn’t do anything to help Neto, and Manzano is back up over the two million mark. –BW

6:55pm: Back to the table and bigger blinds
The three remaining players are now at 50,000-100,000-10,000. –BW

6:44pm: Updated chip counts
Frankly, with less than three minutes left in the level, we’re not sure where everybody went. We took a look at the chip counts and have come up with the following:

Joao Neto: 7,650,000
Marcelo Fonseca: 2,130,000
Alex Manzano: 1,700,000

When everybody returns, we’ll get back to reporting. –BW

6:29pm: Kamikase crashes, Marcio Motta out in 4th place (R$ 165,000)
Joao Neto has another scalp, this one courtesy of Marco “Kamikase” Motta. Motta just got A♥10♥ all-in pre-flop versus Neto’s 6♥6♠. The board, Q♥7♠4♣8♥2♠, offered some drama, but ultimately left Motta crashing in fourth place. For valor and courage in battle, Motta was awarded R$ 165,000. –BW


6:10pm: Csome’s luck runs out, gone in 5th place (R$ 117,190)
After making miracles happen in the last few minutes, Leandro Csome has ended Argentina’s hopes for the championship. His last gasp was all in with K♦5♥ versus Joao Neto’s 9♦9♥. The board ran out 7♥Q♠3♠10♠3♣ and Csome headed for the rail, his Argentina flag waving ahead of him. For his efforts he earned a lot of hugs from his buddies on the rail…and R$ 117,190.–BW


6:00pm: Csome doubles up
On the hand immediately following his loss to Manzano, Leandro Csome managed to get 6♦7♣ to outrun Joao Neto’s Q♠10♦ all-in pre-flop when the board flour-flushed. Chips, they are a-flyin’. –BW

5:57pm: Manzano recovering
After losing the big pot to Marcelo Fonseca, Manzano was down to less than 600,000. He got it all in versus Leadroa Csome. Manzano held A♠7♠ to Csome’s Q♣7♥. Manzano’s hand held and he moved up just north of 1.1 million. –BW

5:42pm: Brazil celebrates it’s oito
Marcelo Fonseca has barely played a pot so far today, but just now got it all in for around one million holding A♣J♥ versus Alex Manzano’s A♠Q♣. It was a bad spot for the Brazilians as they cheer for their first LAPT championship. The flop, 4♠7♦9♥, didn’t offer much, but after the turn came as the 10♣, the Brazilians started screaming. “Oito! Oito!” they cheered, beseeching their Brazilian poker gods for an eight (we won’t mention which Team Pro was yelling the loudest, but her online name rhymes with “maridu.”). The river: 8♥. After that hand, Fonseca was near two million, while Manzano fell back to less than 900,000. –BW


5:32pm: Brazil championship watch
As has been oft-repeated this weekend, Brazil has never won a LAPT event. This is the third time the LAPT has visited this country, and each time the locals have had to watch the trophy get on a plane. Brazil started the main event with 60% of the field. With three out of the five remaining players, it STILL has 60% of the field. After looking at Joao Neto’s stack, one anonymous member of the Brazilian press said, “We’re going to win this.” Careful, Brazil. These chickens ain’t yet hatched. –BW

5:29pm: Updated chip counts
During this quick break, we took a stroll up on stage and peeked at the chips. That can get you killed in some rooms, but we were unmolested for now. Here’s how things stack up with 50 minutes left in this level. –BW

Alex Manzano — 1,850,000
Joao Neto — 5450000
Leandro Csome — 2,150,000
Marcelo Fonseca — 1100000
Marcio Motta — 900,000

5:21pm: Santiago Nadal eliminated in 6th place (R $93,270)
With little more than seven big blinds remaining in his stack, Santiago Nadal open-shoved for 590,000 holding A♦J♣ and Leandro Csome snap-called with K♥K♣. The 10♣8♠4♣ flop was no help to Nadal although he picked up a straight draw on the turn with the Q♠. The crowd chanted “Rey! Rey!” begging for a king on the river, but instead it was the 7♠, sending Nadal home in sixth place.

At the moment, we’re on a short, unscheduled break. –KB


Sixth-place finisher Santiago Nadal

5:16pm: Some action

5:04pm: Henrique Bernardes eliminated in 7th place (R $69,350)
Henrique Bernardes had been riding the short stack since the final table began and at last he pulled the trigger, getting the last of his chips in the middle before the flop against Alex Manzano.

Bernardes Q♠J♥
Manzano A♣K♠

There was a king in the door for Manzano as the flop came down K♣5♦4♥. The 10♥ on the turn gave Bernardes a serious sweat as he picked up an open-ended straight draw, but the river blanked out with the 4♦.

Bernardes typically confines his poker-playing to low-stakes home games rather than major tournaments, and his R $69,350 score tonight is by far a career high for him. –KB


Leandro Csomes embraces 7th place finisher Henrique Bernardes

4:50pm: Nadal refusing to go away
Though once again down to 330,000 Santiago Nadal isn’t giving up the ghost just yet. When Leandro Csome open-shoved from the button, Nadal made the call from the big blind with K♠10♦, well ahead of Csome’s 10♥Q♠. The board ran out A♥5♥K♣6♦7♠ and Nadal is back up to 700,000. –BW

4:14pm: Nadal doubles through Manzano
On the first hand back from break, Santiago Nadal open-shoved for his final 250,000. Alex Manzano asked for a count, and when he realized the piddling amount, made the call.

Nadal: K♣6♥
Manzano: A♠8♥

The board ran out K♥7♦9♥4♣J♠ and Nadal doubled to around 600,000. Manzano now has around 1.75 million. –BW

Blinds up: 30,000/60,000/10,000

3:49pm: Joao Neto doubles through Leandro Csome
As many of you know, Joao Neto’s online name is “joao bauer.” And for those of us gringos who are fans of the long-running TV show 24, we’ve been calling him “Jack Bauer” all week, joking that like Kiefer Sutherland’s character, he’ll do WHATEVER IT TAKES to win this tournament. After this pot, he’s a whole lot closer to doing just that.

The hand started innocently enough, with an opening raise to 115,000 from Joao Neto. Leandro Csome slid out a 330,000 three-bet and with the action folded back around to Neto, he moved all-in for 1.6 million. Csome made the call turning over A♥Q♦, while Neto could only show J♥10♦.

The crowd sprung to their feet, shouting in a deafening mix of Spanish and Portuguese as the flop came down 3♠6♥2♦. Csome sprinted offstage into the crowd, joining his contingent of supporters. When the J♦ spiked on the turn, the roof practically lifted off the ballroom, Neto raising his arms aloft in victory. But it wasn’t over yet. Csome could still catch an ace or a queen to wrest away the pot.


It wasn’t to be. The K♥ on the river sealed the double-up for Neto, taking him up to a chip-leading 3.3 million while Csome fell to 1,725,000. –KB


3:34pm: A view from the rail
With more than half of the remaining players hailing from Brazil, there’s little question why the rail is thick right now. This is Brazil’s chance to win its first LAPT title. –BW


3:22pm: Bruno Politano eliminated in 8th place (R $45,440)
Alex Manzano opened for 115,000, Bruno Politano moved all-in for about 850,000 and Maznano made the call. They were off to the races, Politano with 10♥10♣ and Manzano holding A♠K♣.

Manzano couldn’t have asked for a better flop, a king appearing in the door as the dealer fanned out K♠Q♠4♠. Without a spade in his hand, Politano was drawing to a single out, the 10♦. No miracles this time as the turn and river fell the A♣ and the 5♣ and Politano exited the stage in eighth place.


Bruno Politano, not quite as jubilant as he was in the last photo

With that pot, Manzano is up to about 2.6 million and is closing in on chip leader Leandro Csome. –KB

3:09pm: Henrique Bernardes doubles through Joao Neto
Down to his last 255,000, Henrique Bernardes open-shoved from middle position and Joao Neto made the call from the big blind.

Bernardes Q♥Q♠
Neto 7♦10♣

Bernardes’ queens held up on the 10♠9♦3♦5♠8♠ board and found new life, his stack back up to 625,000. –KB

3:05pm: Politano gets it right back
Bruno Politano, down to his last 385,000, open-shoved from the hijack. Santiago Nadal moved all-in to isolate with his 850,000. With the cards on their back, it looked like this:

Nadal: 10♠10♦
Politano: 5♥A♣

After the turn, the board was 3♦J♣6♥9♣

From the audience, someone called, “Ace on the river.”

The dealer complied, and laid out the A♥. Politano ran to the end of the stage, slid on his knees like a footballer, and pointed both index fingers to the audience. Politano is now back up to around 750,000. Nadal is back to just a little more than 450,000. –BW


2:50pm: Santiago Nadal doubles through Bruno Politano
Santiago Nadal open-shoved for 455,000 from early position and Bruno Politano made the call from the big blind.

Nadal K♠K♥
Politano 9♦9♣

Nadal’s kings were safe on the J♥8♠4♠ flop, but the 10♥ on the turn gave everyone pause as Politano picked up an open-ended straight draw. The river, however, was a harmless 3♠ and Nadal doubled up to about 900,000. Politano is now the table short stack with less than 500,000. –KB

2:47pm: Blinds up
After playing out the rest of yesterday’s final level, the players are now up to Level 26 and 25,000-50,000-5,000 blinds. –BW

2:39pm: Lights on!
We’re back at the table and the chips are shuffling again. LAPT President David Carrion stopped by to give us the full story of today’s descent into darkness. Most of the power outages today were the result of a power outage on the entire black surrounding the Sheraton World Trade Center. Power has since been restored. The last outage was actually the TV production crew’s generator getting disconnected when somebody stepped on a cord. Now…it’s time to play again. –BW

2:20pm: Lights out
It looks like we’re having some power problems again here, folks. The lights just went off at the final table and we’re on an unscheduled ten-minute break. Sort of gives new meaning to “all-in in the dark.” –KB

2:15 pm: Csome’s shove scares off Politano
Leandro Csome opened the pot with a 90,000 raise and Bruno Politano, to his immediate left, three-bet to 190,000. The action folded back to Csome who moved all-in and after a short stint in the tank, Politano gave up his hand. Politano is down to 830,000. –KB

2:13pm: Your final table
It’s like a family Christmas photo before Uncle Herb starts talking about his gall bladder surgery. That is, this is the last time the final table players will all be happy at once, so we took a picture. –BW


2:08pm: First hand underway
With 18 minutes left at the 20,000-40,000-5,000 level, the players are in action. I’ve set the O/U on finish time at 11:44pm. And I’ve taken the over. –BW

1:58pm: Almost there
After a series of city-wide power outages, player introductions are about to begin. –BW

1:17pm: Mesa final
There’s a huge buzz in the Sheraton WTC ballroom right now as last-minute preparations for the final table of the LAPT Sao Paulo are hastily carried out. Cameras are swarming, lights being focused, black-clad crew members are speaking in rapid-fire Portuguese into walkies and several of our Team Pros are shooting interviews in front of a giant green screen just to the left of the TV stage. This record-shattering field of 536 has been whittled down to a final table of eight, five of them Brazilian natives who hope to at last win an LAPT title for their home country.

A couple of spoilers, however, stand in their way. Argentina’s Leandro Csome bagged up 2.875 million in chips last night, over a million more than his closest competitor, Chile’s Alex Manzano.


Alex Manzano (left) and Leandro Csome

To learn a bit more about our eight final tablists, check out the LAPT Sao Paulo final table player profiles.

We were scheduled to shuffle up and deal at 1:00 pm local time (EST+3), however, the power in the entire city of Sao Paulo has been going out in regular intervals over the last couple of hours, and the start time has now been moved to 2:00pm. Stick with us, though. However long it takes, we’ll be here until someone lays claim to this:


LAPT Sao Paulo live update reporting team in order of ounces of beef consumed last night: Kristin “change100” Bihr (at least 10), Brad Willis (a lot more than 10, and one chicken heart)


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