LAPT Lima: Day 1 live updates, Levels 1-4 (150-300)

lapt-promo.gif4:20pm: Break time
Players are on a 15-minute break.

4:07pm: Ortiz gone
Fabian Ortiz got his last chips in a couple of hands after that last one with A♣T♠. His nemeis from earlier in the day held pocket kings. The pair held and Ortiz is gone.

4:04pm: Ortiz crippled
After all that action moments ago, Fabian Ortiz has lost almost his entire stack. It came when he was check-raised all-in on a 5♠5♦[4♥ board. Ortiz, who based on the action had no reason to believe he was behind, snap-called with A♥A♣. His opponent tabled 5♣6♦. The board didn't bring Ortiz's outs and he is on life support.

3:55pm: Fabulous turn for Fabian
Fabian Ortiz and Angel Guillen are sitting side-by-side, and both have seen their stacks slip over the course of the first three-and-a-half levels. Just now it appeared the pair were about to consolidate their stacks, with just one continuing forward.

After the player under the gun limped, Guillen had raised to 1,100, then Ortiz reraised all in for approximately 9,500. It folded back to Guillen, who counted out his own chips -- about 11,000 -- then went deep into the tank before letting the hand go.

One had the sense that Ortiz especially wasn't going to be satisfied to sit too much longer with his below-average stack much longer, and sure enough he was all in again a few hands later.

He was in a bad spot with 3♥3♣ versus an opponent's K♦K♥. Bad turned to worse after a 4♣[10s]Q♠ flop. But the 3♦ made everything nice again for Ortiz. The river brought the 7♥, and Ortiz is now back up around the starting stack of 20,000.

3:53pm: Debora's day
We here at the PokerStars Blog have known Greg Debora for a long time. How long? Hard to say, but we think it's been since 2005, and long before Debora made it to his spot on Team PokerStars Pro. That kind of relationship makes for easy coverage.

Me: "So, how's your day going?"
Debora: "Pretty good. I've doubled my chips so far."
Me: "That's good."
Debora: "That's good."

So, with that, you can mark Greg Debora down for 40,000, aka, about 18,000 more than average.

3:42pm: Vultures be damned
Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips, who has been aching to make a final table on the LAPT, is not doing so well. Down to 4,000, he's clinging to life. However, despite the vulture-media hanging around his table, he's playing it cool.

3:28pm: Let's not see a flop
Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari limped in from middle position (for 300), and it folded around to the small blind who raised to 2,000. The big blind got out, and Akkari took his time before pushing his cards ahead to fold, too.

Akkari's opponent held up his cards for him to see -- Q♠Q♣. Akkari struggled early, and now sits with about 15,000.

3:24pm: Chip leader: Steven Thompson
Though he has not done anything exceptional with his hair for this tournament (like dying a spade into the back of his head), it appears Costa Rica's Steven Thompson has achived an early chip lead with around 65,000 chips. Meanwhile, our earlier chip leder, Team PokerStars Online's Karlo Lopez, has slipped back down to 24,000.

3:20pm: NEW BLINDS: 150-300

3:13pm: Preserving the memory
It's about this time in every event at which we see Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Gualter Salles that we remind everyone he was at one time an insanely good stock car driver who endured one of the most horrific crashes we've ever seen on a race track. It's a story we've told so many times, it almost feels like tradition to bring it up again...or, as we like to do, just embed the video and let you watch.

In other news, Salles is doing just fine here today (although he has pulled a hood over his head since this photo was taken)


3:03pm: Dabul gets her order
The table folded to a severely short-stacked player on the button who raised to 575, leaving himself just 1,000 behind. The small blind folded, then Team PokerStars Pro Veronica Dabul looked at her cards, looked across the table to confirm what her opponent had left, then raised enough to put him all in. He made the call, showing K♣[10c] to Dabul's 9♥9♠.

The board came eight-high -- 8♥6♦3♠4♠7♥ -- and Dabul's plan to claim some more chips was realized. With that elimination, we've lost about 30 thus far.

As Dabul restacked her chips, a waitress arrived with her recently-ordered cappuccino, and the Argentinian playfully held up one of the green (25) chips she'd just earned as if to pay. Dabul has about 22,000 chips at present -- potentially of great worth in the tournament, even if she can't buy food or drink with them here at the Atlantic City Casino.

2:40pm: Respect for Maridu (why, we have no idea)
We picked up the hand on the turn on a board of 2♠T♠4♥T♦. Two players checked to Team PokerStars Pro Maria "maridu" Mayrinck, only one of which called her 1,650 bet. The river paired the board again, this time with the 2♥. Now the man across the table led for some amount less than 2,000 and Mayrinck bumped it to 4,000. There came the call. Mayrinck tabled T♥9♥ for second nuts. Her opponent casually turned over T♣8♣...also second nuts and apparently giving Mayrinck credit for possible quads.

After seeing Maridu's new look, we hardly believe anyone could ever give her credit for four of a kind there, but who are we to judge?


2:29pm: Gomes a goner
We were not 10 minutes into the third level when a huge hand arose over at Table 2 involving Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes.

The hand began with a player in middle position raising to 500 (2.5x the big blind), and the two players to his left both calling. The table folded to Gomes on the button who reraised to 1,200. The blinds got out, the original raiser announced he was all in, and Gomes quickly made the call.

Gomes showed A♦K♠ while his opponent held Q♠Q♥. The flop was good for Gomes -- A♠[10h]9♣. The turn was the 2♣, and the Brazilian looked primed to double his stack.

Then came the river -- Q♣ -- bringing a round of "oohs" from the table at the sight of the sudden change of fortune. A smiling Gomes shook his vanquisher's hand, and he headed out the door as one of the first to be eliminated here at LAPT Lima.


Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes, eliminated early in Level 3

2:20pm: Back in action
Everybody with chips is now back in their seats and ready to play the third level of the day.

2:05pm: Break time
We've reached the first 15-minute break of the day.

1:59pm: Respect from Phillips
A player in middle position opened with a raise to 375, then Dennis Phillips raised to 850 on the button. It folded back around, and the original raiser made the call. The flop came 9♥6♥J♠. Phillips' opponent checked, and he picked up two pink (500) chips, one black (100), and 3 green (25), dropping them forward for a bet of 1,175. His opponent called.

The turn brought the 3♦ and a bet of 1,825 from the middle position player. Phillips thought about it, then let it go. He's sitting at around 19,500 at the moment, just below the starting stack of 20k.

That hand took us to the first break of the day, during which Phillips gave a quick interview for a reporter asking about the LAPT. He expressed excitement -- and respect -- for the players he's encountered on the tour.

"Everytime I come down here the caliber of play keeps getting higher and higher," said Phillips, adding that he really hopes to add a deep run in an LAPT event to his poker resume.


Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips

1:44pm: Gonzalez not going anywhere
The first couple of levels have gone quite well for Jose Gonzalez thus far, as he's chipped up over 30,000 already. Earlier we saw him take down a sizable pot in a hand in which his opponent held pocket fives on a board of 7♦4♣6♣Q♥3♣ for a straight, but Gonzalez had made his flush on the end with K♣7♣.

Gonzalez made a nice run at LAPT Punta del Este earlier this year, though ended up busting shy of the money. After his losing hand there, a disappointed Gonzalez had stuck around for a few minutes in his seat, not wanting to leave. (See this 2010 LAPT Punta Del Este Day 2 report and scroll down for the story.)

Gonzalez won't have to leave here anytime soon, as long as he keeps gathering chips. We know Gonzalez is responsible for at least one of the half-dozen eliminations we've seen thus far as well.

1:35pm: Unofficial entry numbers
The bean counters are still working their audits and an abacus has been called in from center-city Lima but as of this moment it appears there were 372 entries into today's event, making it the second-largest LAPT event in its three-season history. The only larger event was Season 1's tournament in San Jose, Costa Rica which drew 398.

Right now the big board is showing 366 players remaining.

1:10pm: Vivo o muerto
We just witnessed a highly animated discussion over at Table 19, eventually involving the floor and a number of interested onlookers. With the board showing 4♦[10d][10c]A♣A♥, 2009 LAPT Chile winner Fabian Ortiz and his opponent had a momentary standoff of sorts over showing down cards, and there arose some question as to whether Ortiz' cards may or may not have hit the muck.

Eventually the floor was called, and both players' hands revealed. Ortiz held Q♦8♦, which turned out to be best after his opponent's 9♠9♦ had been counterfeited on the river. Despite the pleas of Ortiz' opponent, both hands were deemed live.

Ortiz remains silent, having restacked his chips -- about 17,000 at present. Meanwhile, his opponent continues to discuss the matter to anyone who'll listen.

1:04pm: Level 2 begins
Blinds move up to 75/150.

12:59pm: That's what we were looking for
There is always one fairly fantastic early all-in on the LAPT, and we've found it. Karlo Lopez came in for a raise with pocket queens and got a call in the blinds. The flop came queen-high (Q-9-3 if we're being specific) and his opponent (yes, one of the 360 or so players who started at 50-100 blinds and 20,000 chips, moved all-in). Lopez made the easy call to see he was up against...big slick. No runner-runner tragedies and Lopez jumped out to the early chip lead.


PokerStars Online Qualifier Karlo "el Mago" Lopez

12:52pm: Final table faces
Here are some of the previous LAPT final table players we've seen in the field today: Jesus Bertoli, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Leo Fernandez, Jaime Ateneloff, Fabian Ortiz, and Alex Brenes. We're sure there are more, but we're still tracking everybody down.


Jose "Nacho" Barbero, LAPT Uruguay Season 3 champion

12:50pm: Turtle Army returns
Vincenzo Gianelli is not a small man. His height, weight, voice, and demeanor all define "big." And yet, the man who took second place in Season 2's Vina del Mar contest is known just as much by his army of little toys that guard his chips. Today, Gianelli has once again brought his Turtle Army, several little figurine turtle soldiers to help him march his way toward another final table.

12:43pm: Have cards, will travel
Players continue to arrive here at the Atlantic City Casino during Level 1, coming from all over the globe to Lima for this event.

Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen of Mexico just turned up a few moments ago, and has taken his seat over at Table 19. Still settling in, it seems. The dealer just now let him know the action was on him, and Guillen had to set aside various items -- including the event release form and his passport -- to get to his cards, pushing them forward into the muck.


Team PokerStars Pro and world traveler, Angel Guillen

12:28pm: It's with love, Maria
"Brad!" yelled Team PokerStars Pro Maria Mayrinck.

I stepped to her side.

"I always feel like the British are mocking me," she said, and then opened for 150.

The subject in question was this post from my colleague Simon Young (British) in which he chronicled the love story between Mayrinck and David Baker, 6th place finisher in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the WSOP.

I explained, "It always seems like the British are mocking us. It's only true about 30% of the time. This time was all with love."

"I know," she said, then went on to explain her undying devotion for Baker and her pride in his finish in such a tough field. Meanwhile, she checked down the board with the one caller she got with her raise. She showed A♥J♣, ace-high for the win.

12:27pm: Puzzling
With the light early action, we've seen many a person passing the time with a magazine or something else of the like The best time-killer in the field so far: a very worn Rubik's cube.

12:19pm: Let's see a flop
Starting stacks are 20,000, with 50/100 blinds here in the first one-hour level. Room for some play, to be sure.

Just saw a hand in which Aurel Bogdan opened for 250 the button and Fernando Gutierrez chose to defend his big blind. The flop came Q♦K♥6♠, and Gutierrez took the initiative with a bet of 450. Bogdan quickly called. The turn brought the 4♦ and a bet of 700 from Gutierrez. The call came less quickly this time.

The river was the 5♠. This time the Gutierrez bet 2,000 and with a wincing look Bogdan called again. Gutierrez tabled his cards -- 7♦3♦ -- he'd rivered a gutshot straight. Bodgan then attempted to muck but was made to show his pocket tens.

12:14pm: Curious...
We've been through ten minutes of play and not yet heard an all-in. That's odd for the LAPT. We have people checking the cameras just to make sure everything is legit.


12:03pm: Shuffle up
Team PokerStars pro Dennis Phillips is here, and was just given the honor of getting things started with the traditional instruction to dealers to "Shuffle up and deal!" The first hands are being dealt at LAPT Lima.

11:48am: Ready to roll
We're live from Lima! Most of the players have made their way up the staircase to the second floor of the Atlantic City Casino to take their seats. After a few more preliminaries, the first hands of LAPT Lima should be dealt momentarily.

There are 40 tables set up both in the main poker room and in an outer area, and LAPT Tournament Director Mike Ward tells us most if not all of those tables are going to be put to use.


Players are taking their first steps on the journey to the LAPT Lima title

Refresh this page for updates from the first two levels of the $2,500+$200 NLH Main Event.

LAPT Lima reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Brad Willis and Martin Harris and photographer Carlos Monti.