LAPT8 Chile: Nicolas Fierro fires in front to conclude Day 1A
That sun we were enjoying about 12 hours ago has long disappeared, replaced by a clear, star-dotted sky and a pleasant cool.
During the interim 10 one-hour levels' worth of tournament poker have played out here on the third floor of the Enjoy Viña del Mar casino, completing Day 1A of the LAPT Chile Main Event. Those ending the day with chips to bag have completed their final required task, with Chile's own Nicolas Fierro the one sealing up the biggest stack (by far) of 197,500.
We checked in on Fierro -- a.k.a. "PKaiser" -- during the afternoon at a time when his stack was much more modest compared to those of the early pack of leaders.
He began to climb from there, however, then near the end of the night's penultimate level won a huge pot after taking a pair of kings versus an opponent's pocket queens on the turn with the board five-high. Fierro's hand held, and suddenly he was up over 180,000 to lead the 62 players left to start Level 10.
Over the next 60 minutes Fierro added more to his stack as what began as a 155-entry field was whittled down still further, with another 14 falling and just 48 surviving to Sunday's Day 2.
While the LAPT Bahamas Main Event kicked off Season 8 in January, this stop represents the first full festival of the season, with lots of side event choices available for players. A celebrity cash game was staged just for today as well -- and streamed on LAPT Live -- to add further fun to the opening-day festivities.
But for most the $2,500 Main Event was the focus of attention, and from that group Rodrigo Garrido stood out at the start. A Sunday Million winner in February, Garrido's March began well, too, as he spun the starting stack of 20,000 into six figures faster than any of his competitors before ending the night with 84,000.
The re-entry option available through the start of the seventh level gave many opportunities to try their luck multiple times today. But as the field was sawed down to less than half of the starters, many were unable to return after losing their chips.
Last year's LAPT Chile champ Mario Lopez was one of those not making it through. Nor did Ariel Celstino, Julian Menendez, Nacho Barbero, Damián Salas, Fernando Gordo, Alejandro Vasquez, Bruno Kawauti, or Ale Braga.
Meanwhile others ending the night with six-figure stacks included Juan Cordoba (147,900), LAPT7 Peru Grand Final winner Oscar Alache (122,900), Wesley Wiemes (119,900), Marcio Zacconi (117,700), Diego Munoz (104,600), and Fernando Brunco (103,100). Click here for chip counts for all 48 players who advanced.
Out into the night we go, to return once more tomorrow about 12 hours from now. Meet you back here then at 12 noon local time for the start of tomorrow's Day 1B.
Photography from LAPT8 Chile by Carlos Monti. Watch the stream at LAPT Live. You can also follow the action in Spanish on the PokerStars blog and on Facebook, and in Portuguese on the blog and on Facebook.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.