There was just over a half-hour left in Level 19 to start Day 3, and during that time four players fell. Then two more were swiftly knocked from the feature table by leader Javier Venegas, who has increased his chip edge over the field considerably with 26 left.
First to go was Guido Ruffini of Argentina in a hand that started with an opening raise by Claudio Schafer from middle position, a call from Juan Grinspun from the small blind, and a squeezy three-bet from Ruffini in the big blind.
Ruffini’s two Chilean opponents called, and after he continued on a 9♠8♥3♠ flop only Schafer stuck around. The 5♣ turn brought another bet of Ruffini of 90,000 — more than half what he had left — and when Schafer pushed Ruffini called right away.
Ruffini had the best starter in hold’em — A♠A♦ — but that hand was way behind the turned set of fives Schafer had with 5♦5♥. The river blanked, and Ruffini was out in 32nd ($5,340).
The Peruvian Cesar Humberto Lopez Lazo followed in 31st ($6,240), his K♥J♦ no good against Ivan Luca’s two black kings. Then Luis Esquivel of Chile went out in 30th ($6,240) when his A♥Q♦ couldn’t improve against Fabian Chauriye’s J♦J♠. Another Chilean, Gabriel Urra, then was knocked out in 29th ($6,240) when his A♠2♣ failed him versus Rodrigo Quezada’s A♣7♥.
Meanwhile on the feature table the Argentinian Marco Zevola was felted in 28th ($6,240), losing a big one to Venegas when the latter’s pocket queens held against Zevola’s two jacks.
Shortly after Diego Yarur of Chile took his chances against Venegas in a hand that saw Yarur all in with A♣J♣ against Venegas’s pocket nines. A flop of A♦10♣8♥ looked nice for Yarur, but it was followed by a 6♦ and a roar-evoking 7♥ river — a runner-runner straight for Venegas, running Yarur out in 27th ($7,140).
That pot pushed Venegas way up to 993,000, increasing his lead over the field as Level 20 proceeds.
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.