4:13pm: Break time; a dozen remain
The final 12 players have reached the second 15-minute break of the day.
4:04pm: Double double
Another quiet stretch just now, then two double-ups in quick succession, one on each of the two remaining six-handed tables.
One saw Nelson Neto open for 50,000 from the cutoff, then chip leader Andrey Tsitovich shove all in from the big blind. Neto called instantly, turning over 6♠6♦, while Tsitovich showed A♦5♥. The board ran out J♥T♣2♥2♠3♣, and Neto doubled to about 920,000. Tsitovich slipped to 650,000.
The other hand was a blind-vs.-blind situation, with Alex Komaromi open-shoving from the SB with K♣5♣ and getting called by Luis Bonnet in the BB who held A♣T♥. That flop came 4♥2♦7♥, then the turn was the 5♥, pairing Komaromi. But the river was the A♦, saving Bonnet who now has 360,000. Komaromi falls back to 560,000. --MH
3:48pm: Minond doubles through Buxhoeveden
Action has slowed considerably over the last 20 minutes, with many pots remaining small-to-medium and not a lot happening after the flop. However, there was a recent hand in which one of the smaller stacks, Oded Minond scored a needed double-up versus the Austrian Erik von Buxhoeveden.
The hand began with Buxhoeveden opening for 42,000 under the gun, then it folded to Minond. He checked his cards, then announced he was reraising all in for 204,000 total. It folded back to Buxhoeveden who called, showing K♣Q♦ to Minond's K♥J♦.
The flop was good for Minond, coming 5♦J♥4♦ and quickly taking him from way behind to way ahead. The turn was the 6♥ and river the 9♦ and Minond now sits with 456,000. Buxhoeveden, meanwhile, slips to around 300,000. --MH
3:26pm: Updated chip counts (12 remain)
Here's a quick approximation of the stacks as they sound midway through Level 22. --BW
Andrey Tsitovich -- 1,150,000
Engelberth Varela -- 980,000
Claudio Piedrabeuna -- 895,000
Erik von Buxhoeveden -- 820,000
Alex Komaromi -- 800,000
Fernando Araujo -- 780,000
Rafael Monteiro -- 680,000
Felipe Pasini -- 620,000
Nelson Neto -- 390,000
Carlos Watanabe -- 375,000
Luis Bonnet -- 335,000
Oded Minond -- 270,000
3:22pm: The still-blushing bride
We mentioned earlier that today is Max and Maria Stern's 50th wedding anniversary. A little earlier today, PokerStars.tv caught up with Maria for a chat. --BW
3:15pm: Level 22 begins
Just a dozen players left. Blinds now 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante. --MH
3:10pm: So long, Suh
Three players -- Fernando Araujo, Il Suh, and Andrey Tsitovich -- had already built a pot when the flop came 8♣5♣T♦. Araujo checked, then Suh pushed all in for 330,000. Tsitovich folded, but Araujo quickly called.
Two pair for Araujo and an open-ender for Suh. The turn was the 2♦ and river the K♠, and Suh is out in 13th. After enduring much of the early part of the day with a short stack, Araujo has suddenly catapulted into the chip lead with about 1.1 million. --MH
3:04pm: Christian Diego Pereira busto in 14th
Just as we were watching Cassio Kiles go down, Christian Diego Pereira got queen-seven all-in form the small blind against queen-jack. He couldn't suck out and headed for the cage in 14th. --BW
2:59pm: Kiles vanishes in cloud of steam
How the mighty have fallen. Just a couple of hands ago, Cassio Kiles was on top of the world. Now he's gone. Just a couple of hands after losing the monster against Erik Von Buxhoeveden, Kiles came in for a raise to 35,000 from the button with T♦T♠. Engelberth Steve Varela Moreno moved all-in from the small blind with A♠J♥. Kiles called. His hand held through the flop and turn, but withered on the river when the A♦ hit the felt. So, last night's chip leader has just been eliminated in 15th place. --BW
2:52pm: Blind vs. Blind for nearly a million
Erik Von Buxhoeveden limped in from the small blind, just ahead of Cassio Kiles'. Kiles made it 56,000 to play. Buxhoeveden immediately announced all-in for 454,000. Kiles took a couple of minutes, but finally announced his call.
The flop have the advantage Kiles with a K♠2♦T♥. The turn, 5♦, changed nothing. The river wasn't so nice. The 2♠ dropped on the river to give Buxhoeveden the 900,000 pot. Kile's, meanwhile, is steaming as hot as you might imagine. --BW
2:41pm: River card crushes Cristian in 16th
It folded around to Alex Komaromi -- the sole remaining Uruguayan in the field -- who raised to 40,000 from the small blind. Olaru Cristian -- the last Romanian -- then reraised all in for about 280,000 from the BB. Komaromi thought about a minute, then made the call.
Komaromi showed A♠5♠ and Cristian 6♠6♦. The flop was safe for Cristian, coming J♠3♥T♦. The turn then brought the 7♠, putting a flush draw out there for Komaromi. The dealer burned a card and turned over the river... the 4♠. A flush for Komaromi, and Cristian is out in 16th.
Komaromi has about 645,000 now. --MH
2:34pm: Arruabarrena bounced in 17th
Alejandro Federico de Arruabarrena just got T♥T♣ against Fernando Araujo's A♥Q♦. The board A♦6♥Q♣K♣8♣ and Arruabarrena's day ended in 17th place. We're now down to two tables of eight players apiece. --BW
2:29pm: Balaguer bags 18th place finish
After a raise in middle position, Mariano Agustin Balaguer pushed all-in for 210,000 from the small blind. Engelberth Moreno woke up with pocket sixes in the small blind and called. The original raiser folded and Balaguer and Moreno took the board heads-up.
The board ran out 6♥4♥8♠[7♥J♣ and Balaguer was gone in 18th. --BW
2:21pm: Varela flushed
After leaping up the counts there at the end of the previous level, Engelberth Varela has taken a hit to fall back down below the 300,000-chip mark.
Claudio Piedrabuena was all in before the flop with A♥Q♥ versus Varela's A♦K♣. Varela had the lead through the turn, as the board came 8♥7♣7♥6♣. But the river was the 2♥, completing a flush for Piedrabuena and knocking Varela down to about 290,000.
Piedrabuena, meanwhile, jumps up to around 900,000. --MH
2:16pm: We're back
Players are back in their seats and poker is being played once more. They've reached Level 21, where the blinds are now 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante. --MH
2:01pm: Break time
The last 18 players are taking their first 15-minute break of the day. --MH
1:59pm: Blind vs. blind spells end for Toranzo
Down below the 200,000 mark, Nicasio Juan Sanchez Toranzo open-shoved all-in from the small blind with K♦J♠. Nelson Neto, with only 220,000 himself, called with Q♥J♦. The flop was a fairly boring 2♦5♥8♥, but imagine Neto's Brazilian scream when the Q♠ hit on the turn to give him the lead. The 9♣ fell uselessly on the river and Toranzo was gone in 19th place. --BW
1:49pm: Varela on the rise
Engelberth Varela has pushed up close to the 1 million mark as we near the first break of the day. Two hands in particular helped propel him close to chip leader Cassio Kiles.
In the first, Mariano Balaguer opened for 24,000 from the hijack seat, then Varela raised to 54,000 from the cutoff. It folded to Rafael Monteiro in the small blind who pushed all in, forcing out the BB and Balaguer. Varela quickly called, showing K♥K♣ to Monteiro's A♦K♠. The board came 6♣8♣5♦2♠6♥, and Varela scored a big double up.
Soon after came a hand between Varela and Il Suh in which Varela check-called Suh on every street as the board ran out 4♠Q♦2♠8♣5♥. Suh showed K♠T♦ and Varela 6♦6♠, and Varela scooped the pot. He now sits with about 730,000. --MH
1:45pm: Updated chip counts (19 remain)
Cassio Kiles -- 1.05 million
Rafael Monteiro -- 940,000
Andrey Tsitovich -- 570,000
Engelberth Varela -- 550,000
Erik von Buxhoeveden -- 540,000
Claudio Piedrabeuna -- 515,000
Carlos Watanabe -- 470,000
Felipe Pasini -- 435,000
Alex Komaromi -- 430,000
Il Suh -- 420,000
Nicasio Toranzo -- 365,000
Mariano Balaguer -- 235,000
Luis Bonnet -- 195,000
Fernando Araujo -- 185,000
Christian Pereira -- 180,000
Nelson Neto -- 160,000
Alejandro de Arraubarrena -- 185,000
Olaru Cristian -- 130,000
Oded Minond -- 125,000
There are 10 minutes left in Level 20. --MH
1:26pm: Monteiro stymies Fuentes
Rafael Lopes Monteiro has claimed another victim. After three-betting Martin Fuentes with 6♦6♠, he called Fuentes' all-in four-bet. Fuentes held K♣K♦, well ahead until the board ran out 5♥Q♥6♥7♥A♦. That puts 34-year-old Uruguayan out in 20th place. --BW
1:23pm: Max Stern's anniversary finish
Dr. Max Stern, a fixture on the LAPT, is celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with wife Maria at his side. They are one of only two WSOP bracelet-winning couples in history. Stern came in to Day 3 of the main event here in Punta with a short stack. Though he managed to double up once, it wasn't enough. He just moved all-in under the gun for 87,000 with 6♥6♦. Nicasio Toranzo made the call in late position with A♣T♠. Toranzo hit the A♠ on the flop and Stern went out in 21st place. Happy anniversary, Max! --BW
1:11pm: Day 1 chip leader finishes 22nd
Juan Jose Perez, taught to play by Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez, just blew up here in a meta game catastropher against Rafael Lopes Monteiro. Perez four-bet all-in for a near average stack with 8♥5♥. His timing was poor. Monteiro held Q♥Q♠. The board ran out 9♣T♣5♦4♣7♦ and the man who finished Day 1 with the chip lead went out in 22nd place. Monteiro now has more than one million in chips.--BW
1:00pm: Level 20 begins
The blinds are now 6,000/12,000, and the ante has doubled to 2,000. 22 remain. --MH
12:46pm: Gomes gone in 23rd
Juan Jose Perez opened with a raise to 21,000 from middle position, then Martin Fuentes, sitting to Perez' left, reraised to 145,000. It folded back to Gabriel Gomes who called all in with his last 22,000 from the small blind. The big blind folded, as did Perez.
The flop was 9♥Q♦7♣ and turn T♣, and Gomes' fives were still best. But the river brought the J♦, filling a Broadway straight for Fuentes and sending Gomes out. Fuentes now has 225,000. --MH
12:32pm: Munoz no more, out in 24th
With Max Stern still with chips, 60-year-old Jose Munoz of Chile wasn't the oldest player left with 24 remaining. Munoz is no more, however, having been knocked out and forced to leave his seat to the left of Stern.
Munoz open-shoved his short stack from the cutoff and got a caller in Nicasio Toranzo from the small blind. Munoz had Q♥8♥ and Toranzo A♦3♣. The flop came 2♠8♦K♥, pairing Munoz, but the A♦ on the turn swung the advantage back to Toranzo. The river was a red jack, sending Munoz out with a payday of $6,120 for finishing 24th.
That's four eliminations in just over a half-hour of play. Toranzo now has about 610,000. --MH
12:27pm: Jose Luis Rodrigues goes down in 25th
That was not the turn Jose Luis Rodrigues was looking for. His K♥J♥ just went down to Nicasio Toranzo's K♣T♠ on a A♠J♣6♥Q♠9♣ board. That takes us down to three tables of eight players apiece. --BW
12:18pm: Pastor punted in 26th
Another early elimination to report, as the Argentinian Manuel Pastor has been knocked out in 26th.
In his final hand, Pastor saw his countryman Claudio Piedrabuena open for 27,000 from early position, then Pastor shoved for about 240,000 from a seat over. It folded back around and Piedrabuena quickly called, tabling Q♣Q♠. Pastor turned over A♣Q♥. The five community cards came 2♠2♦4♦J♠6♥, and Pastor is out. Piedrabuena now has about 590,000. --MH
12:06pm: Zuccotti cut down in 27th
Just after the announcement came to begin play, Alejandro de Arraubarrena was all in before the flop for 170,000 with K♠Q♣ and was up against Fernando Zuccotti's A♠Q♥. The 8♠7♥5♣ meant Zuccotti was still in front, but two kings came on the turn and river, giving de Arraubarrena the double-up and leaving Zuccotti with just about 60,000.
Soon after it folded around to Zuccotti in the small blind who pushed his short stack all in de Arraubarrena was there again, calling from one seat over. Zuccotti showed J♦9♦ and de Arraubarrena A♠T♣, and after the board came 2♥5♣5♦3♣Q♥, Zuccotti's day was done. Meanwhile, de Arraubarrena now has about 420,000. --MH
12:01pm: Day 3 begins
Players are seated around the final four tables and cards are in the air. --MH
11:35am: 27 players, one trophy
We are about a half-hour away from the restart of the 2011 LAPT Punta del Este main event. When the first hands of Level 19 are dealt a little after noon here in the poker room at the Mantra Resort and Casino, there will be 27 players sitting behind stacks of chips, all hoping to negotiate their way to tomorrow's eight-handed final table.
Those 27 players come from 11 different countries, with Argentina the most represented (with 11), followed by Brazil (with 6).
It's the Brazilian Cassio Kiles who returns to the biggest stack today, a late Day 2 push leaving him with a nifty 1.12 million to start today's play. The lone Russian left in the field, Andrey Tsitovich, is Kiles' nearest foe with 712,000, followed by Juan Jose Perez of Argentina (617,000), Fernando Araujo of Brazil (407,000), and Nicasio Toranzo of Argentina (390,000).
Get your mouse ready. Refreshing of this page to commence in about 30 minutes. --MH
Live coverage of LAPT Punta del Este is brought to you by Brad "D & Dos' dad" Willis and Martin "ElkY's uncle" Harris.