LAPT7 Panama: Surveying the red spades

Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero did a walkthrough of the tournament floor a short while ago, surveying what is still a nearly full room as they move into Level 6. Estimates at the moment put the total number of entries above 330 for today's second and final Day 1 flight, a total approaching twice the turnout of Day 1A and carrying the overall field up over 500.

Unlike the tables full of combatants earnestly engaged in furthering their tournaments all around him, Barbero is in relaxed mode, having already secured his seat for tomorrow's Day 2 by making it through with the 58 survivors from yesterday.

It has been a summer of taking it easy for Barbero, having spent most of it in Brazil watching World Cup matches where his Argentinian team made it all of the way to the final before losing in overtime to Germany. That said, it was hardly a relaxing time for him, given the many close matches that marked Argentina's deep run.

Meanwhile Barbero's teammate Andre Akkari -- of the opposing Brazilian faction -- was in Las Vegas playing the WSOP all summer, but that didn't stop him from experiencing the euphoric highs and staggering lows of his team's summer, one which ended a step shy of the final in a loss to eventual winner Germany as well in a historic 7-1 defeat.

"It was the greatest tragedy in Brazilian sports history!" said Akkari of the semifinal loss, grinning a little at the hyperbole. "But it's good... now we have to rebuild," he added, looking forward to future competition.

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Always keep competing, says Akkari

Akkari is competing gamely today albeit remains sitting just above the starting stack of 20,000 after an afternoon's worth of less dramatic ups and downs.

Meanwhile two other Team PokerStars Pros are currently engaged in battle as well.

Leo Fernandez -- sporting Argenina's colors -- was knocked out once earlier today by Julian Segura, but has reentered and like Akkari sits with just over the starting stack.

Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes of Costa Rica -- whose team made the round of 16 this summer at the World Cup -- has also come back after busting on Day 1A, spinning his new stack up to around 38,000 as the dinner break approaches.

One other red spade sporter was in today's field, that worn by Team Online's Freddy Torres. Alas for Torres his stack has already been spent, the last of it shipped to Horacio Nicolas.

That hand began with a preflop raising war culminating in a five-bet shove from Torres, called by Nicolas. Torres had the big advantage with A♠A♦ over Nicolas's A♥K♣, but a board of Q♥K♥[10c]2♥[10h] made a flush for Nicolas and sent Torres railward.

Late registration and the ability to reenter remains open through the dinner break, coming at the end of this level.

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.