LAPT7 Panama: Poker faces

"Poker face" is often used far too narrowly. In most contexts the phrase refers to the absence of any expression whatsoever, a goal of sorts for players hoping not to betray any emotion at all with their look.

But as anyone who has played poker before well knows, the emotions the game can produce are sometimes undeniable. Most cannot help but convey something of themselves with those non-verbal reactions as they play.

And so, in truth, there are many poker faces.

Oded Minond of Argentina has a number of LAPT cashes under his belt, most recently finishing 22nd in the Main Event at LAPT7 Chile. He's appearing a bit wary at the moment, however, perhaps in response to the eyeing of his short stack by his tablemates.

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Oded Minond

Nicolau Villa-Lobos has likewise been perservering with below average chips. The collector of numerous Brazilian Series of Poker cashes, a UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event title, multiple EPT scores, and a runner-up in a WSOP Europe High Roller event to Daniel Negreanu is looking more than ready to jumpstart his LAPT Panama run.

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Nicolau Villa-Lobos

Raul Pino has cashed three times in LAPT Main Events, and in all three cases made the final table, his best finish being a runner-up at LAPT4 Peru. The Panamanian looks pensive -- as he usually does -- after grinding a short stack for much of the day.

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Raul Pino

Emanuel Marso of Argentina is holding up very well as Day 1B winds down, sitting behind an average stack and full of the energy that once served him as an instructor at the LAPT conducting poker strategy workshops.

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Emanuel Marso

And Rafael Tosati of Brazil is in good spirits as well. Just a short while ago he got involved in a big hand with fellow countryman Lucas Antunes, five-bet shoving before the flop with 6♣6♦ only to have Antunes snap-call him with A♠A♣. But the flop brought a six and Tosati's hand held, eliminating Antunes.

That left Tosati with a top stack of 120,000 and an appropriately mirthful -- or mischievous -- look.

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Rafael Tosati

Approximately 180 players remain from the Day 1B field as the evening draws to a close, all facing another level-and-a-half of poker between now and night's end. And each other.

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.