With 45 returning and a plan to play down to the eight-handed final table, it appeared this morning that a long day was in store for Day 3 of the LAPT Peru Grand Final Main Event. A little less than six one-hour levels later, such speculations proved misguided thanks to a wild, fast-paced, action-filled afternoon and early evening.
As if to prove how wild the day was, Jerson Backmann of Mexico started the day in 41st position out of the 45 players who had returned, then finished with the chip lead entering tomorrow’s final table with a stack of just over 3 million.
During the day’s first two levels no less than 16 would fall, and in fact if not for some good fortune for some that number could have been higher.
Among the early knockouts today was start-of-day-2 chip leader Henry Zapana (36th), Ariel Scaparro (26th), and Walid Mubarek (25th). Meanwhile Gilmar Gallegos quickly climbed the counts to enjoy the chip lead with 21 left.
Another rush of eliminations followed while Daniel Campodonico took over the top spot, with start-of-day-3 leader Nacho Barbero’s quest to win a record-third LAPT title falling short with a 17th-place finish.
With two tables left, Thiago Nishijima was the next out in 16th, followed by Nestor Silva (15th) and Claudio Moya (14th), at which point the Chilean Oscar Alache had cruised out into the lead.
Backmann was still short then (12th of 13), and after three more knockouts — Carlos Henrique da Rocha (12th), Gilmar Gallego (11th), and Ariel Celestino (10th) — he was still in the lower half of the counts when the nine-handed not-quite-final final table commenced.
But Backmann would win a big pot early versus Carlos Sobenes to chip up and contend for the lead. That’s when the lone American remaining, Ryan Deroo found himself knocked back down to just 126,000 after losing a preflop all-in versus Luis Perez.
After a Deroo open, Perez had pushed from the big blind with J♠J♣ and Deroo called with A♣K♥, but after a 2♥10♣8♣10♠J♥ board Deroo was down to just over three big blinds.
Deroo did manage one double-up a couple of hands later, this time hitting a pair with A♥Q♠ versus Jakub Kyrian’s J♣J♥. But before long he was open-pushing again from the button for 270,000, and getting called by new chip leader Backmann from the big blind.
Deroo had 8♣7♦ while Backmann had K♠5♠. The 6♦Q♠Q♣J♦4♣ board then missed the American, ending his run in ninth.
Play was paused with just about five minutes to go in Level 26. Here’s how the chip counts will look when play starts back tomorrow, with a final table at which a different country will be represented at each of the eight seats:
Jerson Backmann (Mexico) — 3,005,000
Oscar Alache (Chile) — 2,235,000
Marcos Exterkotter (Brazil) — 2,150,000
Jakub Kyrian (Czech Republic) — 1,710,000
Luis Perez (Venezuela) — 1,570,000
Jose Torre (Argentina) — 1,105,000
Daniel Campodonico (Uruguay) — 1,005,000
Carlos Sobenes (Peru) — 695,000
We’ll refrain from making any further predictions about how things might go on Sunday when play resumes at 12 noon. What’s assured is drama — whether quickly delivered or lengthily protracted — as Season 7 of the Latin American Poker Tour discovers its Grand Final champion. See you mañana!
Photography from LAPT7 Peru by Carlos Monti. Check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at PokerStars.tv. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.