LAPT7 Panama: Pardo pushes, collects

Level 6 has begun, the last one-hour level before the dinner break after which the re-entering will stop (for today) as will the late registrations.

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A number of players have done well for themselves during the pre-dinner portion of play. Among them are Argentina's Joaquin Ruiz who built up to nearly 60,000 chips to almost triple the starting stack during the early levels. LAPT6 Player of the Year Amos Ben of Chile also got off to a good start, building up to 55,000 by mid-afternoon where he's remained settled ever since.

Meanwhile among the short stacks at the moment are Canada's Scott Montgomery (17,000) and the Peruvian Gerardo "g3r4rd0x" Rodriguez (14,000).

Rafael Pardo had also been enduring a rough start on Day 1A, with his stack having dipped down toward 10,000 before a recent sequence turned things around for him.

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Rafael Pardo

With the board showing 8♠7♦J♣8♣8♦ and about 8,000 in the middle, Pardo fired a big bet of 6,500 and sat waiting for over a minute while his opponent sitting one spot to the left contemplated the Colombian's bet.

Finally Pardo's opponent folded, and Pardo showed his hand -- K♦5♦ -- earning both the pot and a pat on the felt from his opponent for a successfully-executed bluff.

That hand brought Pardo back up over the starting stack, then after collecting another nice pot soon after he's now sitting with about 40,000.

A regular on the Latin American Poker Tour, Pardo has collected several cashes over recent years including having made three final tables in LAPT Main Events, his best finish being a third place in LAPT6 Brazil.

Meanwhile, updating the Team PokerStars Pros playing today, Leo Fernandez has done well on his third bullet, spinning his stack up close to the 50,000-chip mark. Humberto Brenes -- currently on the feature table over on -- has had a relatively uneventful afternoon as he chews his gum while sitting behind a stack of about 25,000. And Nacho Barbero looks comfortable, too, with more than 40,000.

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Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero

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.