LAPT San Jose: The field shrinks and stacks grow
219 players started in today's field. After six full levels and thirty minutes of Level 7, ninety remain in the hunt for the championship. That makes the average stack a shade over 22,000. For this stage of the tournament, 22,000 chips doesn't feel like much but it's actually a very playable thirty seven big blinds.
Lots of players woud kill to have 22,000 chips now, as some of them haven't been over the starting stack at any point of the tournament. Liv Boeree, who was eliminated before the dinner break, had a rough day that she recounted for PokerStars.tv:
For every short-stacked player there's a player who has well above the average chip count. Players to the right of the dealer on Table 20 probably wish they could trade places with players to the left of the dealer. The players in the one-, two- and three-seats, Craig Bergeron, Joel "JMPRODIGY" Micka and Brian Tate, have over 50,000 in chips each. Tate is in the catbird seat, with position on Bergeron and Micka and the ability to hammer away at his shorter-stacked opponents once Bergeron and Micka are out of the way. The unfortunate player to the left of all three of them? None other than Humberto Brenes.
It's anybody's guess as to why the tournament is playing as fast as it is, but a recent hand Tate played may provide some insight. On a flop of 7s-8h-2s, Tate raised to 7,000 after his opponent acted first and bet 2,500. With 15,000 behind his original bet, it was push or fold time for Tate's opponent. He elected to push. Getting about three-to-one on his money, Tate shrugged and called. He couldn't have thought he was ahead with As-8s; he likely figured he had twelve outs to beat what smelled like an overpair. Instead he found himself up against Jh-7d and in the lead. He spiked an unnecessary spade on the river to take down the pot and send another player to the rail.
With ninety players remaining, eight-handed play is now upon us. A chair will be removed from each table upon that table's next bustout. "We should arrive at the final table in about forty five seconds," announced Tournament Director Mike Ward. "Tighten up, people. I'm getting paid by the hour." That makes two of us.