LAPT Punta del Este: Phillips down (speed kills?)
Of our 327 starters, 238 remain after four and a half levels of play. Already we've witnessed the departures of Humberto Brenes, Martha Herrera, and Jim "MrBigQueso" Collopy, who is currently enjoying a sandwich in the atrium outside the tournament room and recounting his bad beat story to a few friends.
Unfortunately, Dennis Phillips has also just hit the rail, courtesy of an unlucky flop. Phillips got his chips all in on an A-Q-J flop, his two pair queens and jacks in dire shape against his Henry Merchan's A-Q. The turn was a nine, the river a deuce, and everyone's favorite Cardinals fan was left with no more than his precious can of Speed Unlimited. Don't forget, kids -- speed kills. Merchan is at or close to the top of the leaderboard with over 60,000 in his stack, much of it acquired when he knocked out Leo Fernandez earlier in the afternoon.
Most of the top female players in this event, though, are still alive and kicking. Melina Villegas is sitting on 12,000 chips at the moment, while Maria Stern is hanging on with 6,500 chips at a nearby table. Veronica Dabul has a healthy stack of 15,500 and the new addition of Greg Raymer at her table, while behind her, Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck is cruising along with 17,000.
And Victor Ramdin, previously atop the "deathwatch" list is still cooking. "I've got 11,000 and just folded A-Q," he told us after mucking his hand to a reraise.