Two Team PokerStars Pros entered this event — Christian de Leon of Mexico and Andre Akkari of Brazil.
When players returned from the dinner break, 57 remained, meaning after two more eliminations the money bubble would at last be burst in this 410-entry event. It would take about 40 more minutes for those two eliminations to come.
Perhaps you can guess where this is going.
Uncannily, the two Team PokerStars Pros were the last two knockouts before the cash.
The first hand back saw de Leon double his super-short stack up for a third straight hand (going back to pre-dinner play), thus bringing him up over 30,000 and allowing him the luxury of folding a few hands.
Then on the sixth hand of the level Marco Zevola opened with an under-the-gun raise, then “El Grillo” pushed his last 26,000 in from the button and both Claudio Lopez (big blind) and Zevola called.
The two remaining players both checked the A♠3♦7♣ flop, then after the 10♥ fell on the turn Lopez check-folded to a Zevola bet — showing pocket nines as he did — and the latter turned over A♦2♦ for aces.
“Ahhh,” said de Leon as he showed Q♠10♦, disappointed that his pair of tens weren’t best.
The river was a trey, and de Leon was done. He smiled and congratulated all before moving over to the side of the tournament area.
Three hands later Akkari busted in somewhat similar fashion after pushing his last 17,000 in and finding himself up against two opponents.
One of them — Juan Cordoba — bet out the other following the flop, and he and Akkari tabled their hands. The board showed 7♠8♦10♣, and Akkari was behind with A♣5♦ versus Cordoba’s Q♦Q♥.
As they waited to deal out the hand, de Leon moved over to offer his teammate some encouragement.
The turn was the 4♥ and river the K♠, and Akkari was out.
On his way to the rail, the announcement was made that those who were left had made the money. With a wide grin Akkari laughingly waved and accepted the applause directed his way for unlocking — finally — the door to the tournament’s $904,460 prize pool.
Following that lengthy bubble, the eliminations should start coming rapidly now as they play down to 32 tonight.
Photography from LAPT8 Chile by Carlos Monti. Watch the stream at LAPT Live. You can also follow the action in Spanish on the PokerStars blog and on Facebook, and in Portuguese on the blog and on Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.