LAPT Mar del Plata: Taking over

lapt-promo.gifGreatness is not simply a matter of survival. Greatness comes from prospering while others merely struggle to stay afloat. While your countrymen tiptoe around expandiing sinkholes, you build high rises. It's not necessarily the Art of War, but we're only talking about poker, so it'll do.

That is simply a prelude to introducing our new chip leader, Luis Jaikel. Just a bit ago, Jaikel came out on the good end of a sickly little cooler. His opponent held a king and ten on a board with two kings and a rivered six. Jaikel's pocket sixes looked pretty damned good by the end and he raked a chip leader's pot worth 90,000.

Costa Rica's Jaikel has been around for longer than a lot of these kids have been out of diapers. His first recorded tournament cash came in 1994 at the Queens Poker Classic. Since then, he's finished in the money dozens of times with showings on the EPT, WPT, and LAPT. His last recorded cash was an 11th place finish in San Jose during LAPT's first season.

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Not too far away sits a much younger Mark Ioli. Decked out in a Semi-Pro headband, Versace shades, Bose QC2s, and a pair of silver Nike kicks, Ioli knows that merely struggling on to Day 2 isn't going to do him much good if he plans to win. Hence, he's been playing a little fast. About 20 minutes ago, he'd worked his stack up north of 60,000. All things were going his way until he go moved to Table 1.

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There sat Andre Akkari. The Team PokerStars Pro has been biding his time today and hadn't found a way to build a huge stack. He was a little below average when Ioli arrived at the table. That's when things started to get interesting.

Almost right off the bat, they got Akkari all-in for around 15,000. The Team Pro held A♥ K♣ to Ioli's Q♣ Q♠. The board ran out 7♠ 7♣ 8♣ K♦ 4♣ and Akkari doubled to more than 30,000.

Over the course of the next few minutes, Akkari went nuts and built his stack to more than 60,000, while Ioli fell all the way back to less than 10,000. Wanna guess what happened next? No. Fine, then we'll tell you. They played the exact same hand as before.

Akkari: A♦ K♦
Iloi: Q♥ Q♦

This time, Ioli came out on top when the board ran out 8♠ J♦ 4♠ 8♥ 7♦.

Still, Ioli had only worked his way back up to 20,000 after just minutes before being on 60,000.

Akkari, for his part, has done the move-big or go home thing again. When this level began, he was headed toward life support time. Now, he has more than double the chip average.

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With three and half levels left to play and 62 players remaining in Day 1B, we're putting our money on Akkari finishing strong. He's built himself a high rise and it's doubtful he lets it slide into a hole.