LAPT Mar del Plata: Day 1 halfway in the books

lapt-promo.gifIf you go to the southern tip of Argentina, you can see the end of the world. If you go to Mar del Plata, you can see the end of the Latin American Poker Tour's second season. If you go to the end of this day, however, it's a long, long way to Day 2 of the LAPT Grand Final.

For the first time this season, we're enjoying a bifurcated Day 1. One hundred and forty players started this $5,200 LAPT Grand Final. When the tournament director finally called play to a halt, 27 players remained. When the casino smoke cleared, our chip leader was a familiar face.

Jaime Ateneloff is known across this region as the godfather of Uruguayan poker. The PokerStars Blog first took note of him when he made the final table of this season's event in Vina del Mar, Chile. Ateneloff's biggest move of the day came in a giant double-up against Canadian PokerStars qualifier Charles-Alexandre Sylvestre. That hand moved Ateneloff over the 80,000 mark. Sylvestre busted just before the end of the day.

Ateneloff, a 77-year-old businessman, only learned to play hold'em seven years ago during a visit to Costa Rica. The former director of a casino spent most of his life playing five-card draw, but in recent months has proven he's pretty adept at hold'em.

By tonight's end, Ateneloff sat at 108,400 chips, good for the Day 1A chip lead and a decent shot at another final table.

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The bulk of Team PokerStars Pro will be represented on Day 1B, but two tough card slingers stepped in on Day 1A. Their days were very different, but ended with the same result.

Maria "maridu" Mayrinck started her day by flopping the stone cold nuts and getting paid. From there, it was cooler city. The worst of her day came when, on a K-T-T flop, Maridu held K-T. When her opponent three-bet her river raise, she could already sense a sick cooler coming, but made the call. Sure enough, her opponent turned up K-K for the bigger boat and raked in the 12,000 chip pot, sending her stack down to 7,400.

On a subsequent hand, she raised it up pre-flop with A♣ T♣ and got four callers. She checked as the flop came down J-7-3 with two clubs. One opponent led out, the other three called, and she moved all in with her nut flush draw. The move got three of her opponents to fold but the fourth called, tabling 3-3 for a set. The hand was over on the turn, however, the case three falling to give her opponent quads and leave her drawing dead.

Chris Moneymaker's day was just as frustrating, but for much different reasons. If he had a big hand, people got out of his way. If he three-barreled, people called him down. It was a mess. After struggling to gain a foothold all day long, he finally got a chance to double up with pocket tens versus big slick. An ace on the flop and Moneymaker was crippled. He was gone soon thereafter.

"I just couldn't get anything going," he said as he walked out tonight. "Seeya in Monte Carlo."

The couple dozen people left with chips tonight come from all over and each have a story of their own. Among the best is that of Jorge Landazuri, the freeroll qualifier who made it through two massive online freerolls to win his seat in Argentina. Now, he's got a big stack of chips to take him into Day 2. If our counts are correct, Landazuri is sitting in second place on 97,000 chips.

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There are more stories, of course, but there will be time for those when we reach Day 2. For now, we have rest and Day 1B to think about.

Official chip counts are listed at the bottom of this post.

Haven't got enough yet? Then head over to the PokerStars Blog Media Gallery for a look at all of Joe Giron's pictures and the videos from the PokerStars video blog team. If you still want more, head on over to the always-fantastic

For a complete look back at our coverage so far, check out any of the links below.

The Happy City
First tango in Plata
The end of the road
All eyes on Boris
Day 1 begins in the lens
Becker faults
Check out our chips!
Field of final-tablists
Maridu needs a little run-good
22 minutes with Chris Moneymaker
Pettey cash
Picture your chip leaders
Superpancho fail, poker FTW
Table U.S.A.
The rubdown
A world away
Tips from Dennis Phillips
Mexico's finest
Bien jugado

Day 1B kicks off at noon local time (ET +1 hour) on Friday. Join us here as we settle who will meet up with the Day 1A players on Day 2.

LAPT Mar del Plata end Day 1 chip counts

Jaime Ateneloff -- Uruguay -- -- 108300
Eduardo Santi -- Argentina -- -- 96300
Jorge Landazuri De Los Rios -- Mexico -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 96300
Damian Salas -- Argentina -- -- 74200
Pablo Damian Tinca -- Argentina -- PokerStars Sponsored Player -- 65500
Hector Luis Aceval -- Argentina -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 64000
Jose Barbero -- Argentina -- PokerStars Sponsored Player -- 62200
Daniel Alfredo Bizoza -- Uruguay -- Live Qualifier -- 60000
Walter Oaquim -- Brazil -- -- 60000
Angel Manuel Guillen Pereda -- Mexico -- PokerStars Sponsored Player -- 58500
Hugo Spangerberg -- Argentina -- -- 57300
Eduardo Oscar Camia -- Argentina -- PokerStars Sponsored Player -- 56500
Ryan Smith -- United States -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 51100
Juan Serrano -- Argentina -- -- 50600
Daniel Reijmer -- Netherlands -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 49300
Lautaro Curi -- Argentina -- -- 45700
Julian De Berti -- Argentina -- -- 40000
Carlos Javier Benatuil -- Argentina -- -- 38000
Daniel Asis -- Argentina -- -- 36800
Jose Nadal -- Mexico -- -- 35800
Martha Eneida Herrera Gonzalez -- Mexico -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 35600
Tamara Yael Szaingurten -- Argentina -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 34600
Juan Pablo Reverter -- Argentina -- -- 32800
Pat Van Dijk -- Netherlands -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 32100
Rodrigo Caprioli -- -- -- 26400
Diego Allan Gartner Ferrer -- Spain -- PokerStars Online Qualifier -- 25300
Jose Cassano -- Argentina -- -- 23800

All photos © Joe Giron/IMPDI