The third season of the PokerStars-sponsored Latin American Poker Tour was a long time in the running, as it started in November of 2009 and wasn’t scheduled to end until nearly a year later. But just before said Grand Final, one more stop was added to the tour, and that was Florianopolis, Brazil, a beautiful island town off the coast of Santa Caterina. Though the weather wasn’t ideal, the Costao do Santinho Resort was an ideal location to escape the gray and concentrate fully on the LAPT event at hand.
The Florianopolis leg of the tour kicked off on August 5 and required a $2,500 buy-in, which was equivalent to R$5,000 in the local currency. And there were 364 players who bought in, which made for a prize pool of R$1,624,200. That money was to be used to pay out the last 48 players standing, with the ultimate winner taking home R$435,000. The 364-player field thinned as the day moved on, as will happen during eight levels of play and some of the casualties of the day included Victor Ramdin, Joe Cada, Alexandre Gomes, Andre Akkari, Humberto Brenes, Gualter Salles, and reigning LAPT champion Jose “Nacho” Barbero. And when the chips were counted at the end of the night, Matthias Habernig looked to be the Day 1 leader with 130,350 chips.
Day 2 began with only 183 players still in the running, and that number obviously diminished through the day. The goal was to get into the money by the end of the night, though some who didn’t make it that far included Veronica Dabul, Dan Frank, and Angel Guillen. When action finally went hand-for-hand on the money bubble, it took nearly an hour to find the hand that would move them forward. It was Alexandre Fracari who pushed his last 40K all-in with , and Francisco Azocar called with . The flop changed everything when it came to give Azocar the pair of aces, and the turn and river eliminated Fracari in 49th place. That left the rest of the players with a guaranteed R$8,120 in prize money.
Bruno Kim Martino was the first to cash in 48th place, notable Leo Fernandez soon busted in 41st place, and Paolo Santiago was the last to exit for the night in 37th place. The leaderboard then showed Rudy Blondeau in top chip position with 536,500 chips and a solid edge going forward.
Day 3 found some quick eliminations, starting with Kwang Ho Han leaving in 36th place. Notables who followed through the day included Juan Carlos Herrera in 31st place, Jorge Arias in 24th, and Andre Sa in 15th. After Guilherme Garcia departed in 10th place, one more needed to go before the final table was official. It took nearly an hour for another player to leave, but it finally happened when Pedro Velasco decided to risk his last chips from the big blind after a raise from Matthias Habernig in the small blind. Habernig showed , and Velasco turned over . The race didn’t last long, as the board came , and Velasco was eliminated in ninth place with R$22,750.
The final eight returned for the fourth and last day of play on August 8, and their initial set-up at the table was as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Alex Richard Martins ||435,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Dayan Vardanega||761,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Rudy Blondeau||597,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Rodrigo Scartezini ||204,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Robson Kozan ||598,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Andre Scaff ||814,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Matthias Habernig ||3,205,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Miguel Velasco ||511,000 |
Action began with some double-ups for the shorter stacks, as Velasco stayed alive and up to 700K through Vardanega, and Martins doubled through Blondeau.
The most recent double-up left Blondeau with approximately 140K, and it only took a few hands for him to move it all-in. Martins called with , which was quite a bit ahead of Blondeau’s . The flop only helped Martins when it came , and the on the turn gave him two pair. The river brought the , which officially ended the day for Rudy Blondeau, who exited in eighth place with R$32,480.
Scartezini started the day as the shortest stack and finally found a spot in which to double up. His last 188K went all-in with , and Vardanega called from the big blind with . The first four cards to come on the board were , which made things interesting as Vardanega added straight cards to his number of outs to eliminate his opponent. But it was the on the river that did it, cracking the aces of Scartezini. The suckout left Rodrigo Scartezini disillusioned and out in seventh place with R$48,700.
With play moving along rather quickly, there was another player all-in soon after. Scaff decided to push all-in with for his last 340K, and it was chip leader Habernig who called with . Scaff was going to need help, but the board brought all low rainbow cards with , and Habernig added to his lead. Andre Scaff hit the rail in sixth place with R$65,000.
Kozan had been relegated to a stack of only 275K and moved it all-in with , a solid hand with which to double up. Martins called with . Though the flop of was innocent enough, the on the turn gave Martins the set of fives. A on the river ended the tournament for Robson Kozan, who took home R$81,300 for his fifth place finish.
Velasco was the next to move, doing it with and his last 500K chips. Habernig decided to call with , and the race was underway, but as the two watched, all they saw was the board produce . Nothing could save Miguel Velasco from finishing the tournament in fourth place, which was worth R$113,700.
Three-handed play took some time, and action slowed quite a bit as the three tightened up. But eventually, it was Martins who took the risk. With little more than 650K, Martins shoved with , and Habernig called with . Habernig kept the lead as the board brought a flop of , turn of , and river of . That left Alexandre Richard Martins out in third place with R$154,000.
The final two players then took their seats for the one-on-one battle, and they launched into it with the following chip counts:
Matthias Habernig 5,730,000
Dayan Vardanega 1,400,000
Habernig started by pushing his big stack around quite heavily. But Vardanega finally went into battle on a board of A-K-4-4-9 with K-4, which beat the 7-4 of Habernig. Vardanega doubled to 3.15 million, which was ever closer to the 4 million-plus of Habernig. And some further aggression from Vardanega eventually put him into the lead.
Vardanega sat with nearly a 2-to-1 lead over Habernig at one point, the first time that the latter was not the chip leader at the final table. But a big pot for Habernig with Q-5 on a Q-4-J-10-5 board beat the J-8 of Vardanega and propelled Habernig back into the lead.
It didn’t take long from there for another big hand to develop. The two went to see a flop of , and a bet from Vardanega was met by a call from Habernig to see the on the turn. It was Habernig who bet from there, and Vardanega check-raised all-in for a bit less than 2 million chips. Habernig called without hesitation holding , and that two pair dominated the of Vardanega. Finally, the was placed on the board as the river card, and Dayan Vardanega had to accept the second place finish and the R$251,700 that went with it.
Matthias Habernig won the LAPT Florianopolis, for which he was awarded a trophy and R$435,000.