LAPT Punta del Este: A second dawn
It's day two of the LAPT Punta del Este in Uruguay and we're expecting it to be a long one. Yesterday we started with 351 players, we played for nine hours and ended it with 93. Today we need to thin that even further, all the way down to a final table of nine.
We're scheduled for another 10 hours of play, although I expect it to be much longer -- we have the cash bubble to contend with, then the final table bubble and nobody here will want to go home.
The full chip counts from day one dropped into our inboxes sometime in the very early hours. They can be found by clicking HERE. We'll keep you updated on the progress of those notable players throughout the day, and you should expect some characteristic confusion and chaos. Once we begin to reach the business end, tables break, players move, stacks balloon while others vanish. We'll translate as much of all that as we can.
In front of where we sit in the main tournament room, Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer, who has been on the team from the very beginning, is seated next to its newest recruit, Alexandre Gomes.
The Brazilian earned his place in the Team Pro livery courtesy of a wonderful, bracelet-winning performance at this year's World Series. Raymer, of course, has some of that jewellery, representing the world title of 2005. They are beside each other on the feature table, one of those quirks of tournament scheduling that these events sometimes provide. How it pans out will make fascinating viewing, today and for the television viewers in months to come.
Also in the field today are fellow Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso and Humberto Brenes. Rousso has a relative small stack, but showed excellent grinding skills in Vegas this year to earn her a few cashes at the World Series. Meanwhile Brenes is one of the finest players in this continent or any other, and will be confident of making his 53,000 grow.
Typically, the PokerStars qualifiers have also been a dominant force in Punta del Este. We started with 145 players who had won their seat at the LAPT on the satellite tables of PokerStars, and going into day two, we still have 36 in the mix. Top among them is Carter Gill, from the United States, who was second in chips overall at the end of last night.
Gill is back today and looking to flex his big stack all the way into the money.
Also worth watching are Veronica Dabul, a PokerStars player from Argentina, who cashed three times at the World Series last month and is now one of the strongest players in Latin America. Jamal Kunbuz, from Venezuela, also had a blistering show in Vegas and is tearing it up in Uruguay.
All of those -- as well as the likes of Valdemar Kwaysser, Alexander Fitzgerald, Alex Brenes, Bo Sehldstedt and plenty others -- are now seated and the cards are in the air.
Take a look back at yesterday's action with our video bloggers:
Watch LAPT Punta del Este: End of Day One on PokerStars.tv
More of that can be found at PokerStars.tv