LAPT8 Bahamas: Tough tables at every turn

The big turnout for this first LAPT Bahamas Main Event included a number of big names both from the Latin American Poker Tour and from around the globe. No surprise, then, to see many familiar faces among those coming back for today's second day of play, including several examples of densely-stacked groupings of top tourney talent.

We were eyeing a few tables in particular during the first hour of play, including the one where EPT8 Prague champion Martin Finger, six-time 'COOP champion Dan "djk123" Kelly, and LAPT2 Argentina champion Dominik Nitsche were seated.

Through the first hour of play Finger has dropped a few chips but still sits with an above-average 135,000 and Kelly has added a few to move up to around 80,000. But Nitsche is no more, having lost the last of his stack to the Argentinian Joaquin Ruiz before Level 13 finished. The young German swiftly hopped into the PCA Main Event, however, where he's begun accumulating chips already.

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Dominik Nitsche

Meanwhile across the room sits a murderers row of live and online talent as Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy, Paul "paulgees81" Volpe, Sam "aaajack" Chartier, Jonathan "MONSTER_DONG" Karamalikis, and Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah are all positioned in consecutive seats.

All five survived the first hour today, with Leah (195,000) and Volpe (180,000) thriving the most, while Karamalikis (150,000), Chartier (110,000), and Collopy (85,000) are likewise managing well.

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Jim Collopy, Paul Volpe, Sam Chartier, Jonathan Karamalikis, and Mike Leah

We also had to look in over at Table 1 where three of the start-of-day chip leaders began the day sitting side-by-side-by-side -- Marvin Rettenmaier, Makul Pahuja, and Eduardo Cruz. Pahuja began the day with the chip lead with 244,400 while both Rettenmaier and Cruz started just under 200,000.

All three were active during the day's first hour, during which Cruz slipped back to about 95,000 and Rettenmaier held steady right at 200,000. Pahuja, meanwhile, has added to his stack, pushing up around 280,000 by the time the announcement came to move on to Level 14.

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Marvin Rettenmaier, Makul Pahuja, and Eduardo Cruz

After an hour of poker about 40 who began the day have moved on, leaving about 140 left to fight for the 111 paying positions. One more hour and the bubble should be upon us.

Photography from LAPT8 Bahamas by Carlos Monti. Click here for live updates in Spanish, and here for live updates in Portuguese.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.