LAPT7 Peru: Henry Zapana zooms to chip lead to end Day 1A

Day 1A of the LAPT7 Peru Main Event has come to a close, an action-packed start to what should be an exciting finish to another season on the Latin American Poker Tour. As the last hands played out the tournament clock showed the total number of players remaining fall to 90 -- all that remained from the day's 274 entries -- and the one from that group bagging the most chips at night's end was Henry Zapana of Peru with 199,000.


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Henry Zapana

This week's event marks the conclusion of Season 7, thereby adding an extra layer of excitement to this week's tourney as it marks the season's Grand Final. As we looked back at Season 7's champions thus far, they were off and running with the Chilean Nicolas Fierro soon driving out in front of the chase pack by building a stack early.


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Nicholas Fierro

While Season 7 is ending, thoughts are already turning toward Season 8 and its planned-for kickoff at the Atlantis Resort just prior to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. LAPT8 Bahamas promises to be a special event -- perhaps the biggest in LAPT history -- as LAPT President David Carrion explained.

While the players trained their minds on no-limit hold'em, on a break Team PokerStars Pro Christian de Leon shared with us the rules for another poker variant, the highly addicting "Mata Aces" that has rapidly become a huge hit in Mexico. A game involving elements of hold'em, stud, and even draw -- and a ton of action -- it's growing popularity is easy to understand (even if at first the game might not be).


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Mata Aces... killer game!

As dinner came and went, attention turned back toward the proceedings at hand, where Felipe Balaban had soon joined Fierro atop the leaderboard while de Leon, Calvin Anderson, Javier Eduardo Swett, Thiago Rachadel, and others all fell before the end of Day 1A.


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Felipe Balaban

A fun conversation with Ari "BodogAri" Engel helped carry us through the night's latter stages. Engel returned to his below average stack of 25,000 with optimism late -- "More than starting!" he said -- and indeed such an approach proved beneficial as he'd end the night with 73,600.


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Ari Engel

Balaban would end strong with 114,300 while Fierro slipped back at the end to bag 46,700. Sebastian Ruiz Figueroa (161,800), Spencer Cossette (154,500), Luis Alfonso Perez (143,400), and Fabian Chauriye (136,500), and Jacques Blit (113,100) would be among those finishing with above average stacks. But no one could match Zapana after his late evening zoom upwards. Click here for a full rundown of the chip counts for the 90 Day 1A survivors.

They'll be back at it tomorrow starting at noon local time for the second and last Day 1 flight, with many of the eliminated from today expected to come back and continue to try for the last Main Event trophy of the LAPT season. We'll be back as well -- see you mañana.

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

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.