LAPT Nuevo Vallarta: Pre-dinner movers & shakers

Of the three long rows of poker tables that blanket this ballroom, one has broken entirely. With approximately 164 players remaining out of our 242 starters, two-thirds of the field remains in contention for an LAPT title.

Maria Stern unfortunately will not make her second LAPT final table here in Nuevo Vallarta, and is now sweating her husband Max from the rail. Also eliminated within the last hour was actor-singer Sergio Mayer, who, during his bust-out interview lamented the presence of "muchos coyotes" (a lot of sharks) at his table.

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Alex Brenes

Faring better is LAPT Punta del Este runner-up Alex Brenes. Seated only a few tables away from his "chark"-wielding brother Humberto, the younger Brenes has built his chip stack up to 48,000 and is among the chip leaders. Most of those chips came his way when he cracked his opponent's K-K with 7-7, the money going in on a 7-3-3 flop.

Shirley Rosario's stack also continues to climb. On a flop of 8h-6d-4h, the small blind checked, Rosario bet 2,200 and her opponent called. Both players checked the 2d on the turn. When the Kd hit the river, the small blind checked again, opening the door for Rosario to fire out a 4,000 bet. Her opponent quickly mucked and Rosario took down a nice pot.

A few minutes later, I passed by Rosario's table. She motioned me over.

"That hand before... I had nothing!" she said with a wink and a smile.

Nice hand, Shirley.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour