Alex Manzano Wins 2011 LAPT São Paulo

Alex ManzanoWith much of the Brazilian-dominant crowd hoping to see one of the five Brazilians become the first Brazilian LAPT champion in its history, Manzano definitely wasn’t going to have an easy time of it, but he eventually prevailed in the end.

To Manzano’s credit, he managed to become the eventual winner even with a tough seat draw at the final table, positioned between Brazilian João “joao bauer” Neto (3rd in chips) and Argentina’s Leandro Csome (1st in chips).

At the start of the final table, Manzano was content with not getting involved in many hands, allowing the other big stacks to create the action. With his big stacks, he was allowed to play patient poker and wait for premium hands.

Bruno Politano was first to be resigned to the rail when his pocket tens didn’t hold up against Manzano’s AK.

Next, two of the big stacks decided to get caught up in a huge pot, when Neto opened from the button with JT for 115,000, but Csome three-bet in the big blind to 330,000 with AQ. Unfortunately for Csome, Neto hit a jack on the turn to the delight of the Brazilian crowd, and was forced to pay more than 1 million chips.

Next to get eliminated was Henrique Bernardes, with his short stack he was forced to move all-in with QJ. Manzano managed to pick up Big Slick again, eliminating Bernardes after flopping a king.

Then Neto, after doubling his stack in the massive pot earlier, was able to bully his opponents with his big stack, and in one hand managed to check-raise the river against Csome with total air, showing his bluff.

Next to go was Mexico’s Santiago Nadal. The increasing blinds gave him no choice but to  move all-in with AJ , but was called by Csome with pocket kings, eliminating Nadal in sixth place.

Neto found a new gear after Nadal’s elimination, while Manazano’s stack seemed to be on a downward slide. Neto proceeded to take out Csome with pocket nines against Kd-5h, then won a coin flip against Marcio Motta with pocket sixes against Ah-Th.

With the play now three-handed and the blinds at 50,000 and 100,000, two hands quickly changed Manzano’s outlook for winning the tournament.

In one hand, he moved all-in with Ac-3c surviving against Neto’s Kc-Jh. In a second hand a short while after, Neto applied massive pressure to Manzano by three-bet-shoving a 4d-2d-8s flop. Manzano with 8h-Th and top pair ended up tank calling for all his chips. Neto was drawing with Ad-3d but didn’t improve.

Just like that, Neto found himself incredibly short stacked and was involved in a pre-flop flip against Fonseca’s Big Slick with pocket threes. Fonseca barely had him covered in that hand. The pocket threes held up and Fonseca was eliminated a few hands later.

The heads-up play was decided between Manzano (6.8 million in chips) and Neto (3.9 million in chips) but even with the strong support from the Brazilian crowd, Neto was unable to take down the event. Manzano collected R$615,840 for his hard fought efforts.