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LAPT Grand Final: Peppers and Turtles

lapt-promo.gifA better writer than me would figure out what the link is between peppers and turtles, as both played prominently in Day 2 of the LAPT Season 4 Grand Final. They're both green is the best that I could do. That doesn't really lend itself very well to a description of what transpired in the WTC Sheraton ballroom. I was thus left with passing off my frustration at being unable to find a connection between peppers and turtles as a suitable introduction to a recap of the day.

Maybe my cognitive powers are starting to go with my advancing age. Despite being old men, all of the PokerStarsBlog writers were in our seats for the first pitch of the cards. The same can't be said for 3 of the 107 Day 2 starters, who averaged out to being 34 minutes late. Two of those latecomers failed to make the money. Hopefully they'll serve as an example to the 24 players who return for Day 3 and we'll have 100% punctuality.

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Neither Jose Barbero (left) nor Leo Fernandez will have to worry about punctuality on Day 3.

Vincenzo Giannelli introduced my co-blogger, Brad Willis, to a bale of tiny good luck turtles early in the day and boldly predicted a Grand Final win. By the end of the day Giannelli's prediction looked much stronger, as he knocked out Felipe Ramos on the stone bubble and will start Day 3 with the second-largest stack (518,000).

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Vincenzo Giannelli

The middle of the day was punctuated by bouts of passionate yelling and a Player of the Year race so confusingly close that a consummate veteran got hustled by a rascally rabbit. We have two more days to see how their bet turns out but it doesn't look good for the vet.

For one brief moment, time seemed to stop at Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu's table. Already leading the tournament with 625,000 chips courtesy of a Carnival-induced call against Patrick Mahoney in a massive pot, Negreanu flopped a royal draw and got it in for about 200,000 chips against a player with pocket aces. Negreanu missed his draw and fell back closer to the pack.

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Daniel Negreanu just barely missed taking a massive chip lead.

Negreanu bagged up 398,000 chips, slightly above the average stack of 306,000. He fared much better than the only other remaining Team PokerStars Pro. Humberto Brenes took a beat late in the day and limped to the finish with 51,000. They'll both be chasing Caio Pimienta, who finished the day with 607,000 and the overnight chip lead.

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Chip leader Caio Pimienta

By the time we reached the dinner break, the field was reduced to 30 players. We whined and we wailed, we bitched and we kvetched, hoping to eliminate the break. There are pretty Brazilian women calling our names (or so we like to tell ourselves).

Our pleas fell on deaf ears. And so we adjourned to a lovely dinner of shrimp cooked in various ways. When we returned, a half hour of post-dinner play resulted in the last six eliminations necessary to end the day.

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Humberto Brenes is down but not out; he survived post-dinner play

Now we find ourselves, along with the 24 remaining players, with about 15 hours before we need to return to the 1,000-square-foot ballroom of the WTC Sheraton for Day 3. That's a dangerous amount of time under normal circumstances. And Sao Paulo, on this weekend of all weekends, does not present normal circumstances. It's almost an absolute certainty that someone is getting hurt tonight.

But as long as nobody breaks a hand, we'll be back at the media desk at noon for Day 3.

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