It was a short day at the City Center Casino in Rosario, Argentina. Two dozen players arrived promptly at noon to play down to a final table in the PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Season Three Grand Final. Five hours later, the dirty business was done, and only eight remained with a shot at $322,280 and an LAPT title.
After several hours of unstoppable aggression, Argentinian Roberto Bianchi finished at the top of the counts. Bolivar Palacios and Francisco de Belaustegui began Day 3 as chip leaders, separated by less than a big blind. While de Belaustegui floundered and found himself on the rail in 15th place, Palacios flourished. He will go into his second LAPT final table just behind Bianchi. He may be fifth in chips, but all eyes will be on Matthias Habernig when final table action begins on Sunday. He won the most recent LAPT in Florianopolis, Brazil last month. If he is crowned victor of LAPT Argentina, he could be the second person this season to win two in a row. Jose "Nacho" Barbero achieved that feat in Punta del Este and Lima earlier this year.
Nico Fierro Gottner enters the final table sixth in chips, but that could change in a matter of minutes. Gottner has a penchant for swingy levels. He went from slightly above average stack to massive chip leader in the last few orbits of Day 1. Then on Day 2, he lost most of his chips in the last level to start Day 3 very short. He was back to big stack again an hour into the day.
Daniel Ades took the opposite approach. He scarcely put a chip into the pot all day, blinding away until he found pocket kings. That strategy almost backfired when Bianchi called with sixes and flopped a set, but Ades turned a bigger set to double up and coast to the final table. Argentinian Ivan Saul also conserved his blinds to sneak into the final table as short stack. William Ross, seventh in chips, is the sole representative of the United States at the final table.
Angel Guillen was the only Team PokerStars Pro to return today, but his shot at the title ended in 17th place. Terrence Chan continued to run circles around his tablemates until one unsuccessful check-raise bluff left him under ten big blinds. From there he doubled and shrank again, then ran pocket eights into a pair of tens to finish in 10th place. With the elimination of short-stack Gustavo Flessak in ninth, the final table was set by 5:30.
Final table line-up:
Seat 1: Roberto Bianchi (Argentina) - 1,242,000
Seat 2: William Ross (USA) - 352,000
Seat 3: Ivan Saul (Argentina) - 179,000
Seat 4: Nicolas Alberto Fierro Gottner (Chile) - 406,000
Seat 5: Matthias Habernig (Austria) - 465,000
Seat 6: Martin Sansour (Peru) - 952,000
Seat 7: Bolivar Palacios (Panama) - 1,006,000
Seat 8: Daniel Ades (Argentina) - 514,000
Join us LIVE on Sunday at noon local time when we play down to a Season Three LAPT Grand Champion.
Be sure to check PokerNews for all the latest action, eliminations and chip counts as Day 2 of the LAPT Season 3 Grand Final gets underway.
Speaking of big tournament action, check out our $10,000 Sunday Million Freeroll on PokerStars. This is the fourth big Sunday Major freeroll we have had in as many months, and this time the qualification target has been slashed.