LAPT7 Brazil: Rumour has it

There's a rumor that a certain famous footballer is in the building. I cannot confirm or deny that Ronaldo will play today or will play at all. All I know is our photographer, Carlos Monti, took off for a secret location wearing a sly grin. It wouldn't be a complete surprise if Ronaldo walked in the room right now. A five-meter high poster bearing his visage already looks out over the field, practically daring them to shove their chips in the middle. Like I said, it's just a rumor. But I'm trying to imagine the reaction if LeBron James, Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter simultaneously descended upon the WSOP. Take that, multiply it by ten, and you'll have some sense of what Ronaldo means to Brazil.

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Players are still trickling in to the tournament room, among them three Red Spades that were previously missing in action. Nacho Barbero is shuffling chips over on Table 21 and right next door Angel Guillen has taken a seat at the same table occupied by Bolivar Palacios and Walid Mubarak.

Team Online's Jorge Limon has moved upstairs from the basement and is playing alongside Felipe Ramos and Fabian Ortiz, while former occupant Christian De Leon is presently milling around after presumably busting his first entry. We also spotted Jefferson Melo, fresh off a third-place finish at the LAPT7 Vina del Mar. He appears to be one of the early chip leaders, approaching 70,000 from his 25k starting stack.


Jefferson Melo at the final table of LAPT7 Vina del Mar

We were also alerted to the presence of Fernando Scherer, a two-time Olympic medalist in swimming. Retired from the pool, the Brazilian now plays poker full-time and has developed quite a solid game. Scherer may be a bit below par right now in the chip counts, but we're loving that hat.

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We've just started the clock on Level 5 and the board shows our player count up to 390. Registration and re-entry, however, is still open for another three hours-- not to mention all day tomorrow-- which could put us tantalizingly close to the 1,000 entry mark when it's all said and done.

Place your bets...

Photography from LAPT7 Brazil by Carlos Monti. Live streaming of the action in both Spanish and Portuguese is available via 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.