LAPT Punta del Este: Day 1, Levels 1 and 2 (50-100)


2:10pm: Players are currently on a ten-minute break

2:00pm: Kiss the ace Neil Channing is visiting South America for the first time with a couple of his mates. The British pro got off to a slow start but finally picked up a small pot shortly before the first break. Channing opened for a raise and had one caller the flop came down A♠Q♠5♠. He bet out and his opponent folded. As Channing dragged the pot, he snatched up the A♠ and kissed the card.

1:55pm: Brenes down! We've unfortunately lost our first Brenes of the day. Jose Humberto won't be winning the family last-longer this time. His father, brother, and uncle Alex, however, are still in.

1:40pm: Order of the day We'll be playing eight one-hour levels today with a ten-minute break every two levels. There will be no dinner break because, well, South Americans tend to eat later than we're used to north of the equator. Much, much later.

As tournament director Greg Pappas put it, "Heck, the restaurants here don't even open until 9!"

1:35pm: Early action for Roberto Brenes Humberto Brenes' youngest son Roberto already found himself involved in a substatial pot with Rodregio Seiji. Seiji opened from the button and Brenes made the call from the small blind. The flop came down 8♠3♦2♦ and Brenes checked over to Seiji, who bet 525. Brenes raised to 1,525 and Seiji smooth-called. The turn came the K♥ and Brenes led out for 1,500. Seiji called, and they went to the river, which fell the T♠. Both players checked, Brenes turning over 9♣T♦ for a pair of tens. Reiji had him, however with pocket jacks and he took down the pot. Brenes was left with about 13,000 after the hand.


Roberto Brenes

1:30pm: You have to pay to see her cards An unknown American player opened for a 375 raise. Maridu three-bet him from her big blind. He called. Both players checked the flop of K♠7♥6♣. The turn was the 5♣ and Maridu fired out 875. Her opponent folded and commented, "I'm giving this one to you."

"You're not giving it to me," said Maridu with a wide smile. "I had you all the way."

"Don't tell me," said her opponent. "Show me!"

"I can't," explained Maridu. "My boyfriend will get angry because I show too many hands."

1:25pm: Gualter Salles eliminated It's a good thing our photographer, Carlos, snapped a photo of our favorite race car driver before his quick demise. Salles is one of a dozen players who have already been eliminated during the opening levels of action. He flopped the Wheel with A♣3♠ but his opponent, Jimmy Castano, flopped a better straight with 6♦3♦. Fireworks ensued and Salles headed to the rail.


Gualter "stockcar99" Salles

1:22pm: Did he drive the Audi here? If there's one guy here who knows how to cut through a huge field, it's Uruguayan native Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez. Less than four weeks ago, Gonzalez bested a field of 21,652 players to win PokerStars' $1 Million Turbo Takedown. Not only did he turn 3,000 FPPs into $60,000 in cash but he earned himself a sweet ride-- a spanking new Audi TT RS. Gonzalez certainly has his work cut out for him today with Humberto Brenes seated on his left.

1:15pm: BrenesWatch LAPT events are always a family affair for the Breneses. Today, we've spotted four of them in the field-- Humberto, his sons Roberto and Jose Humberto, and his younger brother Alex, who made a runner-up finish at the LAPT Punta del Este in Season 1.

1:07pm: Blinds up to 75/150 Level 2 is underway.

12:55pm: Upstairs early musings Neil "Bad Beat" Channing, another British pro who made the trek Uruguay, is sharing a table with Team PokertStars Pro Angel Guillen. Adolfo Vaeza is playing in today's event despite it's "discounted" buy-in. Vaeza, a high stakes player from Uruguay, is a regular in the largest buy-in events.Most recently, finished in 4th place in the PCA's $25K High Roller Event. He's sitting at table 26 which also includes Alex Brenes and Jose Luis Capdevila.

12:45pm: Downstairs early musingsThe field is divided into two areas. The downstairs room includes a couple of tough tables. Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari is seated next to Argentinean pro Indio Guvera. Race car driver Gualter Salles is to the right of Team PokerStars Pro Veronica Dabul. Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck has British pro Keith "The Camel" Hawkins sitting at her table. Maridu did not incorporate the time change and she arrived almost an hour late! She didn't let the delay affect her game. She picked up a small pot within minutes of taking her seat.

12:21 pm: Bring on the Team Pros Players are still filtering in and taking their seats, but we've already spotted a slew of Team Pros in the house. Humberto Brenes, Andre Akkari, Veronica Dabul, Alex Gomes, and Leo Fernandez are all in their seats and slinging chips.

The TV cameras will also be following our featured table today. Here's a look at the setup onstage.


12:05 pm: Shuffle up and deal The clock is running and cards are in the air!

LAPT Punta del Este reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Change100 and Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire and photographer Carlos Monti.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Latin American Poker Tour