LAPT7 Brazil: Stranger in a strange land

I have to confess I did a double-take earlier today when I saw Bill Gazes sitting behind a chip stack at Table 52. Were this a WSOP event or an Omaha Hi/Lo tourney at the Commerce I wouldn't be shocked in the least, but we're 10,000 kilometers away from either casino. It took a minute, but then I remembered he moved down here about two years ago, a fact quickly confirmed by the Brazilian press. These days, Gazes plays as many BSOP events as possible in addition to crushing online under the moniker "PICKLED EGG." In last month's SCOOP, Gazes made two final tables, finishing fifth in the $2,100 H.O.R.S.E. event and sixth in the $215 NLHE Zoom Turbo. A veteran pro with tournament cashes dating back to the mid-nineties, he has over $2.3 million in live tournament earnings including seven WSOP final tables and two WPT final tables. If folks are still keeping lists of the greatest player without a World Series bracelet, Gazes is surely a candidate for the top spot.


Bill Gazes

Moments ago, Gazes's table broke and his draw moved him only a few feet over to Table 51, turning it into one of the more deathly lineups we've seen in this event. Nacho Barbero occupied the nine seat and Andre Akkari was behind a 65,000-chip stack in the two.

Gazes greeted his new tablemates in Portuguese and struck up a conversation with Akkari in Brazil's native tongue. However, they soon switched to English as the young man on his left revealed his own American accent, sharing that he had relocated to Rio de Janiero after Black Friday.

Over on the featured table, Joao Neto busted his first entry of the day and Team Online's Caio Pessagno took his seat. A fixture in high-stakes MTTs on PokerStars, Pessagno is having a bit of a rough go today, and is presently down to about 11,000 in chips from his 25,000 starting stack.


Ariel Bahia and Team Online's Caio Pessagno

A quick trip around the room also found Christian De Leon still grinding hard, his stack hovering around 38,000. After busting Day 1A, Bolivar Palacios is back as is recent Sunday Million winner Bernardo "bedias" Dias. We're about midway through Level 6 right now and with only ninety minutes of play before the re-entry period ends, expect some fireworks.

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.