Ninety-three players returned to the Mantra Resort & Casino for Day 2 of the PokerStars.net Latin America Poker Tour Punta del Este in Uruguay, all seeking their spots at the final table. Over 350 players began the event, and Jorge Gonzalez took the chip lead into Day 2. His opponents as Day 2 began included top pros Vanessa Rousso, Humberto Brenes and 2004 World Champion Greg "Fossilman" Raymer.
The early going on Day 2 was fast-paced, with half the field eliminated in the first four levels of play. Among the Day 2 eliminations was Mark "PokerH0" Kroon, who started Day 2 with a very short stack, but picked up three early double-ups to move to the upper echelons of the leader board. Barely an hour later, Kroon's chip roller coaster was at a low point when he found himself all in holding . Mario Bonanata called his all-in move preflop with , and rivered the four-flush to crack Koon's straight on a board of .
Kroon was not the only high-profile player who exited Day 2 empty-handed. Team PokerStars pro Raymer joined him on the rail when he busted after losing a big coin flip with A-K against an opponent's pocket sixes. That hand left him crippled, and Raymer got it all in shortly thereafter with on a board of . His opponent called with , and when the turn and river ran out , ace high was good to send the former World Champion home just before the money bubble.
Jamal Kunbuz was the unfortunate bubble boy when he tangled with Alex Brenes. After calling Brenes' raise preflop, the last few of Kunbuz' chips went in on a flop of . Brenes quickly called with for top set, and Kunbuz was in trouble with for the overpair. Nothing unexpected happened as the turn and river ran out , and Kunbuz finished on the bubble.
The field rapidly thinned once the bubble burst, with Humberto Brenes among the post-bubble casualties. Brenes went out courtesy of Team PokerStars teammate Alexandre Gomes when he moved all in over the top of Brenes' preflop raise with A-J. Brenes called with A-5, and no help came on the board for Brenes as Gomes took the chip lead with the elimination.
As the field narrowed, there were several huge hands on the way to the final table. In one, Juan Jose Perez virtually guaranteed his spot in the final when he elimination two opponents in one hand! Perez raised preflop, and was called by Jose Ramon Ponce Mohamed. Ferrero Fulvio moved all in over the top, and both opponents called. The flop came down , and Mohamed moved all in instantly. Perez snap-called, and the hands were revealed:
Mohamed led with his overpair, but the on the turn gave Perez two pair. The river was the , and Mohamed and Fulvio were both eliminated, leaving just ten players standing. Vanessa Rousso ran pocket nines into Jose Miguel Espinar's pocket aces soon after, and the remaining nine players were playing for seats at the eight-handed final table.
Carlos Alberto Curi ended the day when he busted in ninth place ($12,765). Curi got all his chips in ahead when he called Alexandre Gomes' preflop raise with . Gomes tabled , and the flop came down . The flop left Curi in the lead, with Gomes drawing to a non-heart six to eliminate him. The turn gave him just that, as the appeared and left Curi looking for an ace or a heart on the river for his tournament life. The on the river was neither, and with Curi's elimination the final table was set.
That hand also put Gomes firmly in the chip lead going into the final table, as the remaining eight chip stacks looked like this as Day 2 drew to a close:
Alexandre Gomes - 763,000
Gylbert Drolet - 691,000
Jose Miguel Espinar - 675,000
Lisandro Gallo - 465,000
Alex Brenes - 457,000
Paulo Cesar Ribeiro - 281,000
Juan Jose Perez - 167,000
Sidney Chreem - 93,000
Join PokerNews at noon local time as the eight finalists play for the PokerStars.net LAPT Punte del Este championship.