LAPT Vina del Mar: 63

Sixty-three. It's a number of more significance than you might think. For instance, when a horse and a donkey make sweet, sweet equine love, the result is often an offspring with 63 chromosomes. It also happens to be the number of players who will play Day 2 of the LAPT event here in Vina Del Mar.

Veteran poker tournament directors have a sixth sense that is sometimes uncanny. At the start of the LAPT event here in Vina del Mar, Chile, TD Mike Ward announced that we would play ten levels or until we reached 63 players. He revealed privately he knew before we started which of two things was going to happen.

Just as we started the tenth level of the day, 63 players remained to bag and tag their chips. They all made it to not only an early bedtime but also--and more importantly--Day 2.

As we've already noted, this is the first time the Latin American Poker Tour has set foot in the country of Chile. We came to Vina del Mar with only a sense of optimism as our guide. We were treated to dozens of PokerStars qualifiers who joined 50 Chilean players and tons of players from around South America and the world. A total of 216 runners signed up to compete for more than half a million bucks in prize money.

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Among them were Team PokerStars Pros Humberto Brenes, Andre Akkari, and Alex Gomes. Only Gomes finished the day, and he did it in style with 82,750 in chips. Fresh off a fourth place finish for $750,000 at the PCA, Gomes looks to go into Day 2 near the top of the leaderboard.

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Alex Gomes, looking and hanging tough

Brenes, alas, could not make it. His pocket aces ran right into pocket kings midway through the day. Despite flopping top set, the kings four-flushed and sent the "chark" to other waters.

The shark getting shanked

Andre Akkari was one of the last players to bust, his pocket kings unable to outrun pocket aces in an all-in pre-flop battle.

Andre Akkari, all smiles and well-massaged before his undoing

LAPT Vina del Mar was yet another Brenes family reunion. Humberto was joined by his brother Alex and his two sons Jose Humberto and Roberto. The youngest of the clan, Roberto, was the only Brenes left standing at the end of the day.

Roberto Brenes (far left)

With names like Dennis Phillips and Ylon Schwartz in the field, we knew it was going to be an interesting day. As play came to an abrupt end tonight, though, the story was all about Nicolas Perez. He finished the day on 90,050 good for the chip lead and sweet dreams.

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Other big stacks include Alex Gomes on 82,750, Fabian Ortiz with 86,850, Brandon Demes holding 82,250, and Alex Manzamo on 70,650.

Other notables making it to Day 2 are Veronica Dabul, Shirley Rosario, Melina Villegas, Maria Stern, and Leo Fernandez.

Shirley Rosario and Leo Fernandez

Watch LAPT Vina Del Mar 09: Shirley Rosario deep on day one on

It was a day that went so fast, our reports came as quickly as our fingers could type. If you missed any of the news from the day, we've got you covered. For a complete look back at our coverage from Day 1, check out any of the links below.

Summer in Chile
Summer party in pictures
Welcome to the Garden City
Summertime stars
The tables of death
Topping off the down payment
A family affair
Where sand turns to gold
The painted man
The Magnificent Rise and Perilous Fall of Juan Carlos Alvarado
By the numbers
BrenesWatch Pt. 1
Ask not for whom the bell tolls
Costa Rican royalty
Alive at dinner
Five of one hundred
Ylon on Ylon
Representing the other side of the pond
BrenesWatch Pt. 2
More flopping, less flipping
BrenesWatch Pt. 3
Max is down, Maria is up
Akkari axed

For a look at selected chip counts, see the LAPT Vina del Mar chip counts page. You can also see what the players are fighting for at the LAPT Vina del Mar prizes page.

While we've been writing in English all day, a vast majority of people both playing and following this event speak the native tongue. We've got that covered over at the PokerStars Spanish Blog.

Play resumes at noon local time on Wednesday. We'll be here to see who makes it to the final table. We'd be happy if you joined us.

If you can't wait for us to get started and still need your poker fix, our colleagues in the northern hemisphere are doing a bang-up job covering the EPT event in France. For full coverage, check out the EPT Deauville live blog.

All photos © Joe Giron/IMPDI

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Latin American Poker Tour