LAPT Lima: Picking Up the Pace
As play began on Day 1 of LAPT Lima up on the second floor of the Atlantic City Casino in Miraflores, Lima yesterday, those who have covered these Latin American Poker Tour events before -- now in its third season -- were preparing me to expect a lot of early action. Despite players starting with stacks 200 big blinds tall, I was to told to anticipate seeing a lot of gambling early, and all-ins a-plenty.
In fact, Day 1 was mostly marked by a lot of grinding and patience -- especially early on -- as many players took their time looking for the best possible spots to put their chips at risk. It could be the pace of life one encounters here in Lima, Peru's capital city, had something to do with it.
Despite being the country's cultural and business center, Lima is well known for taking things a little bit more leisurely than one finds in other South American cities. "Its rhythm is more traditional," reports the LAPT Lima guide, "and its people reflect a steadier, calmer constitution."
That said, this is poker we're playing here. And one can only be so steady and so calm for so long.
We saw 384 players come out yesterday from more than 30 different countries, thereby creating a total prize pool of $931,200. A little over half of them -- 197 -- return today at noon to continue their quest for a genuine Peruvian treasure, coming in the form of a quarter million dollars to the one who ultimately collects all the chips.
In that group of returners one finds a couple of Team PokerStars pros. Jose "Nacho" Barbero of Team PokerStars Argentina comes back to a healthy stack of 61,000. And Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck of Brazil will be looking to add to her 34,925 chips (a little below average as play begins today). Also coming back are Diego Brunelli E Silva of Team PokerStars Brazil Online (42,925) and Karlo Lopez of Team PokerStars Online (37,450).
All of them -- and everyone else, for that matter -- will be chasing end of Day 1 chip leader and PokerStars online qualifier Jacob Baumgartner. On Wednesday, the Baumgartner, a U.S. player sporting a University of Michigan hoodie, ended the evening bagging the most chips of all with 122,925. Close behind him is Luis Hernandez of Colombia with 113,800, and Peru's own David Figueroa with 107,350.
Like I say, I have a feeling this "steadier, calmer" pace of life in Lima is about to become much less so. Come back to the PokerStars blog in a couple of hours to follow all of the action.