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PokerStars LAPT Grand Final Day 1b: Robin Chesne Takes Lead

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The overall field for the LAPT Mar del Plata more than doubled on Day 1b, as 151 players came out to join the 140 from Day 1a. This field was stacked, with 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem leading a field that included several Team PokerStars Pros, including Andre Akkari, Veronica Dabul and Leo Fernandez, along with 2008 WSOP final-tablist Dennis Phillips. J.C. Alvarado took to the felt looking to continue his hot streak after claiming a PokerStars SCOOP title earlier this month. By the end of the day only 35 players were left from the starting field, with Robin Chesne leading the pack.

The LAPT Mar del Plata was truly a family affair. Max and Maria Stern were the only husband and wife team in the event with four WSOP bracelets between them, and both took the field on Day 1b. Now living in Costa Rica, the Sterns have become fixtures on the Latin American Poker Tour. Maria Stern has an LAPT final table to her credit from the LAPT Costa Rica, as well as a recent cash at the LAPT Vina del Mar. Maria outlasted her husband at Mar del Plata; Max busted on Day 1b as Maria went on to Day 2.

It’s nothing unusual to see two members of the Brenes clan playing in the same event, but this event saw three poker-playing Breneses take the field. The godfather of Costa Rican poker, Humberto Brenes, was at the tables with his ever-present sharks, as was his brother Alex. The new addition to the field was Humberto’s son, Roberto. Roberto became the first Brenes to fall, early in the day, when Horacio Courdin’s {Q-Clubs}{J-Clubs} outran his {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds} on the {A-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{8-Clubs} flop. They got it all in on the flop and Brenes was drawing extremely thin. The {3-Diamonds} on the turn left Brenes drawing dead, and when the {3-Hearts} came on the river Courdin eliminated both Roberto Brenes and a third player in the hand who was also all in.

Other notable eliminations on Day 1b included APPT Macau champ Eddie Sabat, Dennis Phillips, J.C. Alvarado, and Veronica Dabul. The Brenes clan had only one survivor to Day 2, as Humberto busted late on Day 1b at the hands of David Schechter. Brenes moved all in preflop and Schechter went into the tank for a moment before calling with {A-Spades}{J-Spades}. Schechter had Brenes’ {A-Clubs}{5-Clubs} dominated, and as the board ran out {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, Brenes exited the field with grace.

Brenes’ bustout started a late surge of big-name eliminations as three other members of Team PokerStars Pro headed to the rail before the end of the night. Joe Hachem never got on track for Day 1b, and he got the last of his chips in preflop with {K-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. One opponent holding {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds} called him, and when no queen came down, the champ was busted. He was followed shortly thereafter by Alex Gomes and Andre Akkari, the latter going out when he moved all in with {A-Spades}{J-Spades} against pocket queens and failed to catch up.

As the day drew to a close, Robin Chesne took over the chip lead in dramatic fashion, busting an opponent with pocket queens on a board of {7-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{5-Clubs}. His opponent couldn’t find an ace to go with his {A-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}, and Chesne took the top spot on the leaderboard with mere minutes left in the day. Chesne led a field of 35 survivors that included Team PokerStars Pros Leo Fernandez, Maria Stern, and Alex Brenes.

Join PokerNews at noon local time as the 62 surviving players make their way to the final table.

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