LAPT Vina del Mar: The painted man

Riddle time!

What's platinum blonde, has a shovel in the back of its head, and has made an LAPT final table?

If you guessed Maria Stern, you would be close. She lacks the shovel. a better guess...Costa Rican Steven Thompson. Thompson made the final table of the Sane Jose event in Season 1. At the time, Thompson looked like this.

Today, Thompson is sporting a new look and it seems to have done him pretty well in the early going.

Thompson showed up today with a cropped blonde do. If you look at him from the front, you will see the dye job, but not its best feature. Walk around behind the two seat and you'll see what's making Thompson stand out.


In the first couple levels of the day, Thompson's chip stuck out more than his hair. He had more than doubled to 25,000 by Level 3. All was going well until a hand just a few minutes ago.

With the board reading 7-8-T-7-7, Thompson was forced to turn over 9-T. It was good for a full house, but not nearly as good as Vincenzo Gionnelli's 8-8. While Thompson knew he was beat, Gionnelli wasn't too sure. In fact, when he saw Thompson's hand, he stood and slammed his fist on the table (apparently thinking the sevens full of tens beat his eights full of sevens). It was only when the chips went his way that Gionnelli smiled.

Thompson still has 13,000 in chips, though, and a cool hairdo, which should be enough to get him through the next few levels.


Play is scheduled to play until just after midnight local time or down to 63 players, whichever comes first. The smart money (or so we are told) is on reaching the 63 players earlier.

Who says? Mike Ward says, that's who.

Watch LAPT Vina Del Mar 09: Mike Ward Tournament Director (english) on

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour