LAPT Mar del Plata: All eyes on Boris

lapt-promo.gifCards went in the air only moments ago and as the first hand was dealt, every camera in the room was fixated on one table. Still and video lenses created a nearly impenetrable ring around the slice of felt housing Boris Becker, the rail full of fans behind him all craning their necks and holding point-and-shoot cameras aloft to get a glimpse of the tennis legend, who arrived here at the Casino Central decked out in a sharp black suit. One table away, Chris Moneymaker, himself used to the attention, played his first few orbits in relative anonymity as the media fixated on the blue-eyed, platinum-haired star of the court.

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Boris Becker

Joining Becker and Moneymaker in today's field are a number of familiar faces on the Latin American Poker Tour. Fabian Ortiz, who took down the title in Vina del Mar is playing today, as is Argentinian native Damian Salas, who finished that event in third place. Team PokerStars Pro J.C. Alvarado, fresh off his victory in the SCOOP Main Event is playing tomorrow, but stopped in to chat with fellow Mexican Christian de Leon, while at the other end of the room, two of the brightest female stars from South America, Martha Herrera and Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck are seated across from one another.

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Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck

Mayrinck has already jumped out to an early chip lead after flopping the nuts on the very first hand. Holding A-T, she saw a K-Q-J flop, led out for 300 and got one caller. The turn came the 3♦ and she fired out another 500, earning another call. The 7♠ hit the river and she made a 750 chip value bet, her opponent, who revealed top two pair with K-Q, paying her off a third time. Maridu dragged the pot and her stack is already up to 13,000.

"Be afraid of the black nails!" she joked, referring to her very goth-looking mani-pedi.