The whirlwind Level 21 drew to a close just past 3pm local time, and with it so did the eliminations. For the first 40 minutes of Level 22, not a single player busted out. Not one.
“The storm before the calm?” joked my colleage Sergio Prado.
That flurry of bust-outs in the early going did shake up the chip counts a bit. Right now, three of the top four spots are occupied by Team PokerStars Pros. Here’s a snapshot of the top five:
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari (2,000,000)
Michal Polchlopek (1,150,000)
Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez (1,130,000)
Team PokerStars Pro Jose Barbero (1,100,000)
Affif Prado (900,000)
We did wind up with one elimination off the feature table just a few moments ago. Rafael de Oliveira opened a pot from middle position with a standard raise. The button player, Leandro Ruy, made a significant re-raise to 200,000, about half of Oliveira’s stack. Oliveira called to a king-high flop, K♣ J♦ 10♥ , then moved all in. Ruy snap-called with A♠ A♥ ; Oliveira showed down A♦ K♠ . The board blanked out from there to send Oliveira to the rail in 20th place.
One thing I did notice as I was making the rounds – the current 2nd-place player, Michal Polchlopek, is playing Day 3 with plugs in his ears. Polchlopek, the only non-Latin American player remaining in the field, hails from Poland. He appears to be the “real deal”, with final table appearances on the IPT, the EPT, the GSOP and at the Aussie Millions.
Polchlopek’s biggest live tournament success to date came in 2010, when he won the IPT Malta Main Event for $266,502, just slightly more than will be handed to the winner here at LAPT6 Brazil tomorrow. He also has a runner-up finish in an EPT9 Sanremo side event that netted him $148,000. This is his first time playing a live poker tournament in South America.
“My friend and I spent three months in Costa Rica to escape the European winter,” he said. “Afterwards we traveled to Argentina and I decided to look up where the next LAPT would be. Once this tournament ends I’ll go back to Europe.”
Polchlopek will be going back to Europe with extra money. Just how much is yet to be decided.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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