LAPT7 Brazil: Eight minutes in the tank with Joe Ebanks

Joe Ebanks is a long way from Ohio. Driven overseas after Black Friday, the American ex-pat now calls Brazil home and has become a regular presence at LAPT and BSOP events. Known as "ender555" on PokerStars, Ebanks won WCOOP and WSOP bracelets in 2011, the latter paying out over $1.1 million for his victory in the $10,000 NLHE 6-Max.

Ebanks chipped up to 55,000 in the early going, but by the top of Level 9, he had slipped to about 42,000. We passed his table with Ebanks heads-up on the turn, the board reading J♦4♦2♠3♠. The UTG player checked, Ebanks bet 6,000, and he was met with a raise to 20,000. With about 35,000 behind, Ebanks had no fold equity. It was ship or muck.

Looking positively tortured, Ebanks sat back in his chair, pressing his hands into the pockets of his striped pullover. This is when the great players really run the math on these situations and Ebanks took his time in the tank.

Three minutes passed. Then four. Ebanks rubbed his face and studied his opponent, who casually glanced around the room. Five minutes. Six. Ebanks's opponent had a coffee delivered to the table and sipped away half of it. The ten seat left, went to the loo, and returned to find the hand still in progress. Seven minutes. Eight...

At last, Ebanks arrived at a decision and shipped in the rest of his stack. Mr. Coffee quickly called and tabled a turned set of threes while Ebanks revealed A♣A♠. The K♣ river was no help and Ebanks stood up from his chair. He fished a drink ticket from his pocket and did what most of us would do with aces cracked. He headed straight for the bar.

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Joe "ender555" Ebanks

Also bidding farewell this level was the LAPT's all-time money leader, Nacho Barbero. While watching the final table of the EPT London on his iPhone, Barbero got the rest of his chips in before the flop with A♠Q♣, but ran headlong into A♦A♥. This time, the aces held and Barbero's Day 1A came to a close, although odds are he'll fire another bullet or three tomorrow afternoon.

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As we move into the final hour of play, Damian Salas is the largest stack in the room with 172,000. Leo Fernandez is also in six-figure territory with 119,000 and Angel Guillen continues to hold steady with around 110,000. We also lost Christian De Leon in the last couple hours, but he is another strong favorite to re-enter tomorrow afternoon. Of our 481 entries, 198 remain at the top of Level 10.

Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the action in both Spanish and Portuguese is available via PokerStars.tv. You can also follow the Spanish feed at PokerStars or via Facebook, and the Portugeuse feed at PokerStars or via Facebook.

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.