LAPT8 Bahamas: An LAPT reunion for Katchalov and Ramdin
The second break of Day 2 as arrived. Just 74 remain, representing a tenth of the massive 736-entry field.
We had mentioned how Galen Hall had appeared to seize the chip lead a while ago, but a recent pass of the tables suggested Mustapha Kanit to be currently sitting behind the biggest stack at the moment. The player known online as "lasagnaaammm" had piled more than 600,000 at one point near the end of the last level, more than anyone at present.
Hall had slipped back to about 275,000 a short while ago. Meanwhile Josh Kay (510,000), Daniel Strelitz (450,000), and start-of-day leader Mukul Pahuja (440,000) form the chase pack behind Kanit right now.
Also dealing with Kanit is Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov sitting a couple of seats away from the leader. Nursing a short stack, Katchalov is one of two remaining Team PokerStars Pros left in the field after Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was knocked out after the money bubble burst.
Katchalov actually has played one LAPT event before a few years ago in Brazil.
"I busted pretty quickly as I recall, so it didn't last long," he said of that event. "But I remember everyone being very friendly and it being a nice atmosphere."
Katchalov knows a little about Kanit, having met him previously in Prague. But he's found the variety of competition in this LAPT Bahamas event presenting a number of different challenges.
"I've just been trying to adjust to whoever is at my table," explained the Ukraine native. "There's certainly a wide mix of players -- some who I've never seen before who are playing very well, and some with whom I'm familiar. But it's interesting. It's always fun to have to adjust to people who are new to me and to have to learn what to do against them."
The other remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the tournament is Victor Ramdin of New York, also sitting on a below average stack at the moment. Ramdin has plenty of experience playing on the LAPT, although it has been a while since his last visit.
"I've actually played LAPT events in Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Brazil. So I've played quite a few, but not lately because the travel can be a bit much, especially for a lower buy-in event."
Ramdin was eager, though, to reunite with the tour at a stop that was a little more accessible and easier on the travel budget. "Here, it's pretty close to home, and the big field is great, too, obviously."
Like Katchalov, Ramdin has found it to be a challenging field here at LAPT Bahamas. And it's only getting more so.
"It's quite interesting now, because as we get near the later stages there are a lot of regulars and it's really a pretty stacked field. I don't really see too many soft spots at this point, or any."
Indeed, among those Ramdin is battling against at his present table is the Chilean Amos Ben who earned LAPT Player of the Year honors in Season 6, then turned around and finished runner-up in that race in Season 7.
Play has resumed here in Level 17. The schedule calls for two more one-hour levels before the day's dinner break.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.