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LAPT Rosario: Bianchi leads final table, Habernig goes for back-to-back titles

lapt-promo.gifIt's hard to find a Red Bull in South America. I'm sure it's available somewhere, but south of the equator their preferred variety of energy drink comes in a black can emblazoned with a red lightning bolt and the word "SPEED." That's right, folks. Speed in a can. Not everyone was drinking it today but they might as well have been, as it took only a little over five hours to whittle our Day 3 field from 24 players to a final table of eight.

Nico Fierro suffered a disastrous end to Day 2, losing the vast majority of his stack to Bolivar Palacios when his A♦Q♠ did not improve against pocket aces. Although he came into play today with only 110,000, Fierro doubled up through the chip leader within the first twenty minutes, his A♣A♦ holding up against Francisco de Belaustegui's K♥J♥. Minutes later, he knocked Fernando Davicino out in 23rd place, his K♦T♣ holding up against Q♥J♥ in a pre-flop all-in. Fierro survived the day and made the final table. He'll enter play tomorrow with 406,000.

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Nico Fierro

The man atop the Day 2 leaderboard, however, was unable to maintain his chip advantage. Francisco de Balaustegui started bleeding chips when he doubled up William Ross, followed by Jose "Indio" Guevara only moments later. De Belaustegui put the last of his chips in the middle with A♦T♦ and ran into Martin Sansour's pocket jacks, his tournament ending with a 15th-place finish.

The only Team PokerStars Pro to make it to Day 3 was Angel Guillen, who spent the afternoon under the bright lights of the TV table. Guillen ended up on the wrong end of a coinflip, his pocket fours falling to Nico Fierro's A♦Q♥.

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When the field condensed to two tables, Roberto Bianchi turned into a veritable chip vacuum. Bianchi's chip count crossed the seven-figure mark when he eliminated Mario Niciforo in 14th place, his pocket sixes holding up against A♣8♥. Less than ten minutes later he knocked out Croatia's Branimir Brunovic in 13th, and twenty minutes after that KO'ed Luis Bonnet in 11th. Bianchi reached a high-water mark of 1.7 million, but lost a bit back toward the end of the day, finishing up with 1,242,000 in chips.

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Roberto Bianchi, the man with the chip lead

Terrence Chan had the roller-coaster ride of the day. Arriving for play fourth in chips, Chan quickly moved up to more than 500,000 after slicing Carlos Perez's stack nearly in half. His run-good, however, seemed to run out when he moved to the TV table. He ran into aces. He ran into kings with ace-queen. And on a heartbreaker of a hand, his A♥J♦ couldn't hold against William Ross' J♣2♦, a deuce spiking on the river to leave him on only ten big blinds. Chan ended up moving in with pocket eights and Matthias Habernig insta-called with pocket tens, the board running out K♦T♠Q♦K♥3♥ to send him home in tenth place.

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Speaking of Matthias Habernig, the young Austrian made his second consecutive LAPT final table tonight and will attempt tomorrow to equal Jose "Nacho" Barbero's feat of back-to-back LAPT titles. Less than two months ago, Habernig won the LAPT Florianopolis, earning $247,491 and he'll start tomorrow's final table in the middle of the pack with 463,000 in chips.

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After less than four full levels of play, the final table was set when Gustavo Flessak moved in for his last 240,000 and Roberto Bianchi called. Bianchi flopped a set of sevens against Flessak's K♥T♣, leaving us with our final eight. Here's how they stack up:

Seat 1: Roberto Bianchi (Argentina) 1,242,000
Seat 2: William Ross (USA) 352,000
Seat 3: Ivan Saul (Argentina) 179,000
Seat 4: Nico Fierro (Chile) 406,000
Seat 5: Matthias Habernig (Austria) 463,000
Seat 6: Martin Sansour (Peru) 952,000
Seat 7: Bolivar Palacios (Panama) 1,000,000
Seat 8: Daniel Ades (Argentina) 514,000

If you missed any of today's action, click over to the Level 17-22 updates for more details. If you speak Spanish, well, you're a step ahead of us Yanks, but our pal Reinaldo has all the skinny on the PokerStars Latin American Blog. To see what they're playing for, hit up the LAPT Rosario prizes and winners page and full chip counts can be found on the LAPT Rosario chip count page.

The final table kicks off tomorrow at noon and we'll be here with bells on. Do join us again.

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