LAPT Playa Conchal: Adios, Maria
From a distance, it appeared that Maria Stern had tripled up early, a stack of dark-colored checks beneath her four orange 1,000-denomination chips.
Alas, it was only a trick of the light, the stack in question actually comprised of black 100-denomination chips rather than the navy 5,000s, Stern's stack down to 4,600 from her initial 20,000.
Looking fresh and rested in a purple and turquoise Pucci print blouse, Stern saw me eyeing her chip stack.
"I raised before the flop and a player with two jacks called. I flopped top two pair when it came down A-K-3 and bet big, but the player with the jacks called. Turn was a jack and, well, you know," she said with a smile. "Just like on the internet."
Stern was confident that she'd reclaim those chips but it just wasn't her day. Shortly before the first break, she got the rest of her stack in, but couldn't find a double-up. Her WSOP bracelet-winning husband, Dr. Max Stern is still in, as is her grandson.
Stern passed by media row on her way outside, after wishing her grandson good luck.
"You know what happened!" she said with a laugh as she passed through the doors into the Costa Rican sunshine.