LAPT Punta del Este: The Back 40

If you've spent any time in farming country, you know the Back 40. Those acres on the back part of the property make for a long walk. The Back 40 here at the Mantra Resort and Casino takes us out the door, through the Wine Bar, up an escalator, through the casino, into the VIP room and over a velvet rope. There sit several overflow tables that simply could not fit in the main tournament room.


If you're observant, you'll notice something. Though some quirk of randomness, it seems as though most of the Costa Rican field has been seated in the Back 40.

Melina Villegas, she of the serial live satellite qualifying, is up on her knees and overlooking her domain. Nearby is Jose Rosenkrantz. Ten feet behind her is Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes. Off in the corner is the always lovely Maria Strern. It's as if somebody took the LAPT San Jose event and moved it a few thousand miles south to Uruguay.


Melina Villegas

In other news, we just saw a huge pot develop against three big names here in Punta. We picked up the action on af K♥-[10S]-Q♥-9♣ board. Martha Herrera moved all in for her final 1,525. Team PokerStars Pro made the call. Veronica Dabul sat on the button and after a minute or so of thought, raised 3,000 more. Again, Raymer made the call. When the river came the 9♠, Raymer barely thought before pushing all-in for a little more than 5,000. Dabul tanked hard. It seemed fairly clear she had a jack, but she couldn't be sure that Raymer didn't slowplay an A-J or boat up on the river. After nearly five minutes, Dabul tossed in the call.

"If you have the ace-jack, you're good," Raymer said and rolled over J-8. Dabul smiled and turned over J-T. Herrera made it official and turned over a jack of her own. After a pot that took nearly ten minutes, the three players chopped it up and moved on.

Finally, in the Bad Beat of the Day story, PokerStars-sponsored player Leo Fernandez managed to get his opponent all-in on a Q-Q-2 flop. Fernandez held pocket deuces to his opponent's K-Q. All seemed peachy until the board went runner-runner sevens. We'll only say this: we're glad we weren't anywhere near Fernandez's chair when the river it.

We're going into the second break of the day. We'll be coming back to Level 5 and 150/300/25 blinds.