LAPT Lima: Baumgartner the big stack at end of Day 1
"Let Observation with Extensive View / Survey Mankind from China to Peru."
So begins 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson's most famous poem, The Vanity of Human Wishes. For Johnson, an Englishman, China and Peru represented far flung destinations, geographical extremes by which to indicate his intention to speak of humankind in the broadest possible terms.
Kind of makes it sound like Peru would be too far away for some to go for a poker tournament. But when the Latin American Poker Tour decided to make Lima, the capital city of Peru, a destination for its third season, a whopping 384 players ultimately chose to make the trek from all over the globe to be here. Such a field nearly eclipsed the largest ever for an LAPT event, coming close to the total of 398 for LAPT San Jose Season 1.
Those players came from 33 different countries to the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, Miraflores. While the majority traveled to Peru from other South American countries, with players coming from North America, many European countries, and even as far away as Taiwan and Korea. Host country Peru had the most in today's starting field (94), with Argentina (40), Chile (39), Brazil (36), and the United States (28) being the next most represented countries.
That multinational Team PokerStars was well represented today, too, with a dozen players in the field. Dennis Phillips, Angel Guillen, Leo Fernandez, Christian de Leon, Alex Gomes, Andre Akkari, Greg Debora, Gualter Salles, and Veronica Dabul were all here, though none managed to survive the first day of play with chips.
Other Team Pros saw relatively more success today. Jose "Nacho" Barbero (Argentina) and Puerto Rican Karlo Lopez (Team Online) will be returning for tomorrow's Day 2.
And Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck (Brazil) will be back, too. Hopefully we'll be able to spot her more easily than was the case today, thanks to her clever disguise.
Those ending to day with the biggest stacks included Luis Hernandez of Colombia and David Figueroa of Peru, both of whom sported more than 100,000 chips when play concluded.
But the one with the most chips at day's end, busting players left and right during the final level, was American Jacob Baumgartner, who bagged up 122,925.
A full list of end of Day 1 chip counts for all 197 returning players is presently being compiled and will be available by clicking here shortly.
Today's high turnout meant a total prizepool of nearly one million dollars. Click here for full payout information. The top 48 finishers will be cashing, with the winner taking away $250,000. Cards go back in the air at noon tomorrow for Day 2, with the plan being to play down to 24.
In Samuel Johnson's poem, he discusses humans' hopes and fears. Ultimately he advises against wishing in vain for things we cannot have (or should not want).
All 384 who came to play today obviously had a similar hope in mind -- to collect all of the chips and walk away with that quarter-million dollar first prize. Nearly half of those players discovered today that such a wish was perhaps made in vain.
But for the 197 returning tomorrow -- having come here from far and wide -- one can't blame them too much for continuing to possess hopes of something more.
Come back to the PokerStars blog tomorrow for ongoing coverage of LAPT Lima. To follow the reports of our colleagues in Spanish, visit PokerStarsblog.la. And for Portuguese, go to PokerStarsblog.la/br.