LAPT8 Panama: Team Bros
Poker is about more than just money and glory, it's about camaraderie.
Almost everyone has fond memories of their first poker game.
It's usually a memory with family or friends. Chip stacks are just piles of pennies or regionally-equivalent coins on a poorly-felted table not designed for such shenanigans.
You're not expected to play nice either, bluffing and squeezing every last coin from your friends is encouraged.
It's fun too, real fun.
You learn things about your friends in the process and you chat, laugh, drink and feel the neck-throbbing rush of being all-in
Oftentimes it makes bonds even stronger, poker bros.
There are a few poker bros in the field today.
Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari and Christian De Leon have been playing together for quite some time and they've even cashed in the same LAPT twice before. This one makes number three.
Another trio that connects the pair of friends is the number of languages they use to communicate.
Akkari's dominant language is Portuguese while De Leon's is Spanish. De Leon tries to practice his Portuguese with Akkari but they often end up talking in English, a language they're both proficient in.
They'll also throw some Spanish in every now and then.
De Leon has made it through to the final 32 but Akkari busted out in 40th when he pushed in his short stack with T♣6♣. Unfortunately for Akkari, the button woke up with Q♦Q♠.
There's another pair of poker bros in the still in the field with different languages, but they come from the same city. Shakeeb Kazemipur and Francois Lincourt both came to LAPT8 Panama from Calgary after winning online qualifiers.
Both players are still alive and are off to go watch the Calgary Flames try to survive the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There was also a more literal pair of bros in the field, the Venezuelan Bertoli brothers.
The Bertoli brothers frequented the LAPT in the early years but found themselves stuck in Venezuela after the economic crisis made leaving the country difficult and expensive. Now the two are back on the circuit.
Jesus Bertoli has two LAPT cashes and one final table, but failed to add to his resume this event. Tullio Bertoli on the other hand, clinched his fourth LAPT cash and is looking to make his first LAPT final table.
For multilingual coverage, check out our Spanish PokerStars Blog and our Brazilian PokerStars Blog. If you're more of a watcher, head over to LAPT Live to check out the live stream. Updates are also available on the LAPT Facebook page.
All photos are snapped by Carlos Monti and all words are clacked by Alexander Villegas.