With all due respect to our neighbors up north, the last place you’d expect more than half of the finalists in the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Costa Rica Main Event final table to call home would be Canada. Forgive me if I’m missing an obvious correlation here. Perhaps it’s the fact that both countries start with the letter “C?” Beyond that, I’m struggling to think of much else these two countries have in common. Nevertheless, five of the eight finalists playing in this afternoon’s title session hail from the great country that brought us five-pin bowling, the ‘Abdominizer’ and the Hart Brothers.
Leading that group is 29-year-old Sol Bergren, who knocked out both Steven Merrifield and Daniel Mar in the same hand with 11 players remaining, catapulting himself to the top of the leader board where he remained until last night’s bag and tag. Bergren’s lead, while certainly not insurmountable, is going to make it difficult for the other seven finalists to get traction. With more than 25 percent of the total chips in play, the young Canuck remains the odds-on favorite to win the title.
Amid yesterday’s carnage, we lost the last of the Team PokerStars conglomerate. Alex Gomes and Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck each put up a strong effort in making it to Day 3, but both fell just shy of reaching the final table. Gomes was the first to go (30th) after getting "coolered" on the river, making two pair against an opponent’s straight. Mayrinck managed to last a little longer (24th), but was eventually ousted by final tablist Darren Keyes (also of Canada), whose jacks outraced Mayrinck’s ace-queen.
Other notable Day 3 casualties include Rory "The Wily Tican" Graham (29th), Americans Kenny Hicks Jr. (18th) and William Reynolds (13th), and former chip leader Eduardo Hernandez from Guatemala (15th), who fell victim to a bad beat put on by fast talking Eric Levesque ( vs. all in preflop).
For a deeper look into the LAPT Playa Conchal final table, be sure to check out the video preview below:
Final table action is scheduled to resume today at 12:00 p.m. local time (GMT -6) when our nine finalists return to the felt one last time to play for the whole kit and caboodle; a $172,000 grand prize and an LAPT title to their name. Tune in to PokerNews for the conclusion of the PokerStars.net APPT Playa Conchal Main Event for exclusive videos, photos, chip counts and up-to-the-minute updates direct from the tournament floor!