LAPT7 Panama: Guillermo Olvera, Juan Pastor Top Counts to End Day 1A

It was a long, exciting day of poker in Panama today as the first day of the latest stop on Season 7 of the Latin American Poker Tour played out. From a total of 175 entries just 58 players made it through to Friday's Day 2, with Mexico's Guillermo Olvera ending the night bagging a leading stack of 147,400.

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Guillermo Olvera

That finish put Olvera just ahead of the Argentinian Juan Martin Pastor's 143,400 to end play.

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Juan Martin Pastor

We were greeted by sunny blue skies and an eager LAPT staff ready to kick off the fourth event of the tour's seventh season. This marks a third trip back to the Central American country's capital, and we started the day thinking back to former LAPT Panama champions as we looked ahead to what this week held in store and the prize awaiting one player on Sunday.

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Eyes on the prize

The 12 p.m. start was standard for most LAPT events, although after the much later starts of the most recent LAPT stop in Sao Paulo, Brazil, noon perhaps seemed a little early for some to be up and at 'em.

One player for whom that wasn't a problem, though, was Joel Micka who just a few hours earlier had come one spot shy of final tabling last night's Super Tuesday. The late hours didn't affect him, however, as he was ready to renew his poker grind at the beginning of Level 1.

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Joel Micka

Alas for Micka -- a.k.a. "JMPRODIGY" -- after another long day he would bust in one of the night's final levels, joining his similarly-named online cohort Justin "JWPRODIGY" Westmorland, Scott Montgomery, Fred Volpe, Luis Jampana, Barbara Friedl, Gerardo Rodriguez, and Joel Ramos as Day 1A casualties along with Team PokerStars Pros Leo Fernandez and Humberto Brenes.

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Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes

The ability to reenter led to a lot of comings and goings, with a few buying back in multiple times in an effort to build a Day 1A stack. Meanwhile LAPT regular Rafael Pardo was among those starting to push upwards in the counts as the day wore on, as was Francis Cruz who bolted to more than 130,000 after dinner only to fall back to the pack afterwards to end the night with 70,900.

Angelina Rich also got off to a fast start today, the fashion design student and blogger more than doubling her starting stack early, then adding further to it to end with a comfortable 63,700. Rich shared with us the story of her poker education, currently continuing here after she qualified with FPPs for the Panama Main Event.

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Angelina Rich

Soon the field had been carved down to just a few remaining tables, shortening the circuit taken during our late night rounds.

Carter Gill enjoyed a double-up on the night's final hand after getting his stack in with A♠9♠ versus an opponent's A♦K♦ following an A♥3♣9♥ flop, then enduring a safe turn and river to finish with 55,200.

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Carter Gill

Among the others who like Gill, Cruz, Rich, and leaders Olvera and Pastor made it to Day 2 were Jessica Borrego (95,600), Amos Ben (87,700), Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero (65,000), and Rafael Pardo (64,100). For a full list of the 58 Day 1A survivors and their counts, click here.

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Jessica Borrego

All who busted today can reenter on Day 1b up through the start of Level 7, and we certainly expect to see a number returning to add further to the LAPT7 Panama field. Play begins again tomorrow at 12 noon local time (Central), and we'll be back then as well to continue bringing all of the action.

Photography from LAPT7 Panama by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese. Also check out the start-to-finish live streaming coverage (in both Spanish and Portuguese) at

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.