Friday, 9th December 2022 11:46
Home / Uncategorized / LAPT5 Punta del Este: Nacho vs Brazil

lapt-promo.gifYou’ve seen the ad, I’m sure. I wrote about it during the Season 4 Grand Final at Carnaval in Sao Paulo. It begins with a voiceover that declares, “We are 10,000 people in Brazil, holding our breath” as Team PokerStars Pro Jose “Nacho” Barbero faces off against a Brazilian player in the streets of Brazil.


In Punta del Este, we are 10,000 media members, holding our breath to see if Brazil can defeat Nacho (and by proxy all of Argentina) in his bet against fellow Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari.

As I explained on Day 1, the terms of the bet are simple. If there are more Argentinians than Brazilians at the final table of this event, Akkari will pay Barbero $2,000. If things go the other way, Barbero owes Akkari $4,000. An equal number of Argentinians and Brazilians at the final table results in a push.

There were about 5 Argentinians for every 4 Brazilians that started the event back at noon on Thursdays. That ratio of Argentinians-to-Brazilians held for the survivors at the end of Day 1 and again at the end of Day 2.

At the beginning of Day 3, there were 28 Argentinians and 22 Brazilians among the 76 starters. Argentina claimed the top four stacks in the room, but Brazil countered with four of the next six biggest stacks. The two countries were evenly distributed among the second top ten chip counts as well, with Argentina place 12th, 16th and 20th and Brazil owning the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th place stacks.

Since then, however, the Brazilians have begun to assert themselves. With three eight-handed tables left in the tournament, Brazil has taken over the lead from Argentina. Nine of the surviving 24 are Brazilian; only seven are Argentinian.

LAPT PUNTA DEL ESTE SEASON 5 Brazilian Flag.JPG

Of course, having surviving players isn’t enough. Those players stand a better chance of making the final table and counting for purposes of the bet if they have lots of chips. Right now, the big stacks are evenly dispersed between the two countries. Guido Ruffini of Argentina leads with 530,000, followed by Brazil’s Francisco Neto (500,000). Argentina’s Eduardo Santi is sitting 3rd with 450,000. Diego Vilela and Antonio Guedes of Brazil are both close behind with about 400,000.

Brazil claims stacks 6 through 8; Argentina fights back with stacks 9 through 11. The remainder more or less alternate back and forth between the countries down to Argentina’s Federico Borello (115,000).

We shouldn’t forget that several other countries are repsented in the final 24 players. Although they don’t figure into the Akkari-Barbero bet, they’re all fighting for a spot at the final table and a chance to win the whole thing tomorrow. Those other players include the lone non-LATAM player left, Vladimir Dobrovolskiy of Russia. PokerStars host Lynn Gilmartin chatted with Dobrovolskiy for the Day 3 mid-day update:


But as we come down the home stretch to the final table, the eyes are on the Brazilians and their slim lead over the Argentinians. If Brazil out-points Argentina at the final table, I’m positive that Akkari will never let Barbero live it down.

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