LAPT Punta del Este: Day 2, Levels 9 and 10 (500-1000, ante 100)
2:00pm: Break Time Action will resume in 15 minutes.
1:45pm: Stevie 444's Demolition Derby Stephen "Stevie444" Chidwick is up to 119K after running over his table. Here's the common scene... Chidwick raises and everyone folds. If someone is brave enough to call, Chidwick bangs away at the pot post-flop and his opponents run for the hills.
1:27pm: Nacho, Nacho Man Nacho Barbero is now up to 170K in chips, which puts him near the top of the pack (if not the overall chip leader). One of Nacho's opponents gifted him a stack. On a board of A♥4♥5♥7♥3♥, Nacho's opponent shoved all in with pocket Aces. Nacho called with J♥2♥. That hand put Nacho over 125,000. A couple of hands later, Nacho pushed his stack over 170,000 when he snapped of pocket Queens with a straight.
1:15pm: In the last 5 minutes... I took a quick stroll through the tournament area and here's what I saw...
-- Leo Fernandez raised and Roberto Bianchi defended his big blind. The flop was 7♦3♥3♦. Bianchi bet 3.4K and Fernandez folded A♥Q♠ face up.
-- Over at Veronica Dabul's table, she three-bet her opponent to 7.4K. He smooth called. The flop was Q♣[10h]2♥. Her opponent checked. Dabul bet 10,000. He folded.
-- Felipe Ramos has been sparring with a player to his left (who replaced Maridu after she busted). The two were involved in a battle of the blinds. I caught the action on a flop of 7♠2♠2♥. Ramos bet 3.3K. His opponent raised to 8.2K. Ramos tanked for a couple of minutes. He counted down his entire chip stack and then reorganized them into two columns. He grabbed both and was about to push them forward before he abruptly paused. Ramos snatched up a column of blue 5K chips and slid them out for a massive check-raise. His opponent grunted. Loudly. He muttered something in Spanish to the effect of that he had to fold A♠K♠ and then tossed his cards in the muck. Ramos showed one card... the 6♠. His opponent laughed and grunted a second time.
1:10pm: The Table of Death We've already lost several players from Table 12 and some of the largest stacks in the tournament have filled those empty seats. The top two Day 1 finishers, Martin Fuentes and Jose Gonzalez have moved in, joining Sebastian Winkler and Felipe Ramos, both of whom are nearing the 100k mark.
1:05pm: Carlos Mironiuk eliminated Leo Fernandez opened for 2,800 from middle position, Roberto Bianchi called from the cutoff, and Carlos Mironuik three-bet to 15,000. Fernandez tanked for several minutes before making an anguished fold, and Bianchi called. Mironuik insta-shoved on the Q♥8♣6♠ flop and Bianchi just as quickly called. Bianchi's A♥Q♠ had out-flopped Mironuik's A♣K♥ and his hand held through the 5♥ turn and the J♣ river, sending Mironuik to the rail.
1:02pm: Blinds Up We're now on level 10. Blinds are 600/1,200 with a 100 ante.
1:00pm: 120 and counting... As we near the completion of Level 9, 25 players have already busted.
12:52pm: Panno Seizes Lead Ernesto Panno took over the chiplead when he tangoed with Daniela de Lima Zapiello in a hand that drew a significant amount of attention from reporters and the camera crew. On a board of Q♠9♠2♣4♠5♦, de Lima fired out 13,700. Panno went into the tank for a couple of minutes before he tossed out a 47,700 bet. De Lima folded and Panno's stack surged to over 140,000.
12:45pm: Double Dabul A camera crew hovered over Table #8 featuring two Team PokerStars pros -- Humberto Brenes and Veronica Dabul. Dabul opened for a 2,500 raise. Action folded to Jan Bendik, who called from the button. The flop came down J♥4♦3♠. Dabul checked. Bendik tossed out a 4,000 bet. Dabul peeked at her cards and moved all-in for around 20,000. Bendik called with K♣J♠. Dabul tabled A♣J♣. The turn was the 8♠ and the river was the 6♥. Neither helped Bendik, and Dabul doubled up to around 50,000.
12:39pm: Ramos Rising Felipe Ramos came into play with a below-average chip count, but has already built his stack to 90,000. Most of his chip infusion came when he knocked out Canadian qualifier Anthony Conte.
12:35pm: Hugo Spagrlberg eliminated Hugo Spagrlberg committed the last of his chips with A♣T♣, but ran into Adilson Cotrim's A♦K♦. Spagrlberg couldn't spike his kicker and hit the rail with 30 minutes to go in Level 9.
12:30pm: Ship it to Stevie While his roommate Maridu encountered some rough luck across the room, Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick was chipping up nicely. On a flop of J♥4♦3♠, Chidwick checked to Jimmy Castano, who bet 34,000. Chidwick moved all in for over 100,000, setting Castano all in. After a long tank, Castano reluctantly folded and Chidwick took down the pot. He's presently up to 160,000 in chips.
12:25pm: Maridu's swan song Maria "maridu" Mayrnick was just eliminated. After being crippled to 15,000, she got the last of her chips in with A-K and got a call from a player holding 7-9. Although she remained ahead on the flop, a seven hit the turn, ending her run in Punta del Este.
12:15pm: Alex Brenes eliminated On the first hand of Day 2... we already have a casualty. A player at Alex Brenes' table opened for a 3,500 raise. He woke up with pocket Jacks and shoved for 9,000 more. His opponent called with Q-J. The flop was A-10-3 and Brenes' opponent flopped a gutshot Broadway straight draw. The turn was the K and Alex Brenes was drawing dead.
11:55am: Play about to begin Our 145 survivors are filtering into the tournament room and taking their seats. Action should be underway in a few minutes.
The plan for today is to play down to three tables (24 players). Blinds are 500-1000 with a 100 ante. The man everyone's trying to catch? This guy right here, Martin Fuentes, who starts the day as chip leader with 118,000.
LAPT Punta del Este reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Change100 and Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire and photographer Carlos Monti.