LAPT7 Panama: The 64-player question

Six of eight scheduled levels for today's Day 2 are done, and from 179 who started the day just 64 remain. Eight tables of eight, for now, one eventual champion among them.

Since the tournament reached the money, 15 players have seen the last of their chips sent to one of the 64 still here, each of the eliminated making the short walk over to the cashier's desk, converted from what had formerly known as Table 1.

Angelina Rich was the very first to fall once the burbuja burst, committing her short stack of about five big blinds with J♠8♠, running into A♥K♥, and five cards later departing. Her minimum cash of $2,820 for 79th place is made all the better, though, after having earned her seat into the tournament via FPPs.

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Angelina Rich

The Argentinian Serafin Ponti followed Rich closely thereafter, also earning a minimum cash. Ponti had committed his last chips following a flop full of flush-draw promise, but the needed fifth suited card never arriving, he departed in 76th.

Scott Montgomery hit the rail as well just inside the money, ending his tourney run in 74th. And shortly before Level 16 concluded it was Gustavo Lopes of Brazil -- the player who narrowly escaped being eliminated on the bubble -- who finally lost the last of his chips to finish 65th.

In Lopes's final hand he'd call a button raise from the blinds holding J♣8♣, then check-call another bet following a A♣9♠7♦ flop. A blank on the turn was followed by another check from Lopes, and when his opponent bet again Lopes check-shoved his gutshot draw and was called immediately, his opponent turning over A♠Q♠ for top pair. The 6♦ river was no use to Lopes, and he was out in 65th, having laddered up for a $3,060 score.

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Gustavo Lopes

The 64 are back in their seats for Level 17, with Brian England the current chip leader having built his stack up over 500,000 during the pre- and post-bubble periods. Ahead lie two more one-hour levels, then a trip down the hall here on the seventh floor of the Veneto to the pool where a party for the players has been planned.

The skies were gray earlier, the clouds even opening up for a time to drench the city streets. But there's plenty of cover available should it still be raining later. And in any case, the players having made the money probably ensures there's little chance the partying mood can be dampened.

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.