LAPT Mar del Plata: The rubdown
Normally, we'd call this rundown, but for reasons that will soon become very obvious, we've chosen another title.
Here's a quick chop-chop massage version of what's happening in the room at this hour.
Players are on break as we head into Level 9. Fifty-two out of the initial 140 players remain. Tournament Director Mike Ward says there is no reason to believe we won't play ten or eleven levels tonight. That would likely put us somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 players coming back for Day 2. Those players will be joined by whoever makes it through Day1B.
When we last joined you, Canadian PokerStars qualifier Charles-Alexandre Sylvestre was the runaway chip leader. It seemed nothing could stop him from finishing the day near the top. That's when one Jaime Ateneloff. Known across this region as the godfather of Uruguayan poker (think Costa Rica's Humberto Brenes), Atenelof made the final table of this season's event in Vina del Mar, Chile. Sometime within the last hour, Atenelof managed to take around 40,000 chips away from Sylvestre. No doubt you've guessed, that makes Atenelof the chip leader with more than 80,000 chips.
The 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 ready to play this hold'em thing.
Elsewhere in the room, things aren't necessarily as exciting, unless you're Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Alex Gomes. The two Brazilians aren't playing until tomorrow, so they've been finding other ways to kill time. We spied them shooting craps a bit ago. That must have been a bit tough on their muscles, because this is what they're doing right now.
Indeed, it is a hard-knock life being a Team Pro, and don't let anyone tell you different.