LAPT7 Chile: Cashes commence as Brazil's Breda bubbles
"How many are short... ten big blinds or less?"
So asked Emanuel Marso of us as we wandered nearby, having only just a moment before adopted the vulture-like behavior of circling the tourney floor in search of the short stacks.
With about 80,000 chips, Emanuel wouldn't qualify for the category, but there were at least a half-dozen others who did. Just 90 players were left -- three away from the cash -- and he wasn't the only player craning around to get an idea of the status elsewhere.
We continued to pace, watching Nicolau Villa-Lobos lose to a shorter-stacked player's all in when his 7♠7♥ couldn't hold against his opponent's A♥K♦. Villa-Lobos was left with just 25,000 or so -- having suddenly joined the short-stacked club -- but appeared calm about being able to ride out tourney's next phase.
More doubles followed. Francois Tosques went all in and survived on the feature table. Another player hesitatingly called all in following a river shove to show top pair of aces, then learned he'd survived when his opponent had but nine-deuce and no pair.
Stay in your seat
Suddenly two more fell, and with six minutes left in Level 15 the tourney clock was stopped. It was time for hand-for-hand play, but first a table needed to be broken to make 11 eight-handed tables before play could continue.
The mood was restless, and for many somewhat festive. The curiosity about what was happening at other tables increased, but the directive against leaving one's seat por favor was delivered sternly over the public address.
More mano a mano-themed messages followed, then at last the clock was resumed, and play began anew.
The first hand saw little of note. The players on the feature table finishing early, a couple wandered a few feet away to get a glimpse of the big screen television beside their table. Nicolas Fierro stood for a moment looking back and forth between his two empty chairs -- the one on the screen, and the one at the table.
With Level 15 about to expire, the second hand was dealt. Some drama emerged on Andre Akkari's table where he and his neighbor to the right engaged in some preflop reraising that finally saw Akkari fold to a six-bet, then get shown A♠9♠.
Attention was diverted, however, as the next table had had an all-in. And... an elimination. Let's all look over and see...
Jorge Breda of Brazil had open-pushed for 35,000 from the cutoff seat. With level 16 having begun and the blinds increasing to 2,000/4,000, that constituted being short following Marso's earlier query.
There had been an empty seat next to him, the button having disobeyed and wandered too far from the table to avoid having his hand folded. Meanwhile the small blind had only 10,000, making the idea of shoving perhaps even more inviting to Breda.
But the plan went awry when Ignacio Cardenas of Chile in the big blind called without hesitation. Soon Breda saw the bad news, learning his K♠5♥ was in great peril versus the A♠A♥ of Cardenas.
The 5♥9♦Q♣ flop provided a ray of hope for Breda, but the A♣ and [10s] run out didn't fulfill it, and with wide grin Breda nodded as the others cheered their good fortune.
The pace quickened thereafter, with Villa-Lobos among the first to fall. They'll play through to the end of this level before taking a dinner break, with a few more from those that remaining carrying a little extra away with which to purchase their evening meals.
Meanwhile the questions now change, with less attention being given the short stacks and more to the big ones.
Photography from LAPT7 Chile by Carlos Monti. Follow live streaming coverage throughout LAPT7 Chile in Spanish at PokerStars or via Facebook as well as in Portuguese, also at PokerStars or via Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.