LAPT8 Peru: Soft opening

"I've got the softest table in the room. Way better than yesterday."

That was Shakeeb Kazemipur a short while ago after having taken his seat at Table 3 here on the far end of the ballroom on the second floor of the Atlantic City casino. Across from Kazemipur quietly sat the dealer, her arms folded in repose. A glance to his left and right revealed the true, tongue-in-cheek significance of his observation.

Empty seats, all around.

The day's first level was underway, but as the only player seated at Table 3 patience had been forced upon Kazemipur. Back for another try today after busting a couple of times on Day 1A, there was no way for Kazemipur to begin trying to increase his 20,000-chip stack without an opponent sitting behind another. Poker is not solitaire.

Other tables were similarly quiet in the early going, relatively speaking, though most had at least a few players to enable combat over cards to commence.

We took the opening to enjoy a short walk outside of the poker room, taking the long lap around the rectangular second floor which offers views on all sides of the casino below. The slots were mostly dormant, with just a handful in action, and only one player could be spotted taking turns at the roulette wheel. Meanwhile the blackjack tables are all empty, completing an early Saturday afternoon scene contrasting vividly with the busy, well-populated cacophony we'd witnessed Friday night.

By the time we returned, a half-dozen players had joined Kazemipur, necessarily making his table decidedly more active and perhaps also less soft.


Let's play some cards, says Kazemipur

Like Kazemipur, the LAPT8 Panama champion, others who have earned Main Event trophies on the tour who also busted yesterday are back today for a second go-round.

LAPT7 Chile winner Mario Lopez and LAPT7 Panama Patricio Rojas were both felted on Friday, and today they are back and seated at the same table. Two-time LAPT winner Nacho Barbero has returned as well after not making it through Day 1A.

As the first hour neared its end there were 16 tables in action, with very few empty seats such as those upon which Kazemipur was commenting earlier. That's a faster pace than yesterday by a good margin.

It's early in the afternoon, but Saturday night is coming. As are many more to the Atlantic City where the games await.


Photography from LAPT8 Peru by Carlos Monti. You can also follow the action in Spanish here and in Portuguese here.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.